In an age where anyone with a keyboard and a computer can become the next Girl Talk, electronic music has become the next indie-rock, flooding the market like there's no tomorrow. Some audiophiles shack up and prepare for the worst; others wait on the beach with open arms; but when the tsunami finally hits, everyone's getting wet. Most will give up hope and search for the familiar dry land of guitars and trite pop numbers, but those willing to swim just might find something new.
Emerging from somewhere between indie-rock and electro, Muscles has produced a truly original record. Fat squares and soaring arpeggios provide a perfect stage for the processed vocals, while heavy kicks and the occasional trance hook keep the floor moving. However, what really distinguishes this record from other electro releases are the lyrical and vocal dynamics.
On first listen Muscles may sound like a full band; however, this is not the case: it is indeed a solo project. But you'd never know it, thanks to the cleverly layered vocals. I don't believe there is a moment on this record where at least three vocal tracks aren't streaming simultaneously. For many acts this might prove distracting, or even chaotic, but Muscles executes it perfectly. Stanzas tend to use three tracks: one pitched lower, one standard, and one pitched higher (or sampled faster). Chorus sections often add one or two shouted tracks, turning the already catchy choruses into irrestible dancefloor shout-a-longs.
The lyrics are also refreshing. Thematically, Muscles has no more trouble singing about carpe diem than he does strained relationships. Furthermore, a strange inner wisdom pervades the music, despite its penchant for abstraction and metaphor. Even when addressing something as trite as love, the lyrics retain a quirky originality ("My hand slipped into your hand / and it was awesome / and it was special"). Besides, anyone who can pull off a line like "Last night I met a girl / who says she has connections / in the moment independent music community" has already got my vote.
All in all, Guns Babes Lemonade is an electronic release everyone should be able to enjoy. It's like a hug for the ears, a tug onto the dancefloor, and a snapshot of silliness, all-in-one.
Long live peace, love, ecstasy, unity, and respect.
RIYL: Simian Mobile Disco, TV On The Radio, Justice