Minneapolis-based Marijuana Deathsquads have released one mind-blowing album. Formed in 2009, the band is almost a supergroup of musicians from Minnesota, including P.O.S. of Doomtree and Ryan Olson of both Gayngs and Poliça. Following up their early summer release, Music Rocks I & II, is Oh My Sexy Lord, an 11-track trip through experimental electronic noise rock.
The album is largely characterized by electronic textures and many different elements working in tandem. “Ewok Sadness” opens the album; it’s a slow building song, starting off with isolated vocals and ominous bass. Halfway through, the song quite literally explodes with layers upon layers of haunting effects and pounding drums. The vocals are there, but distorted, electronic, and haunting. They’re barely decipherable on “Ewok Sadness” and perfect that way.
A short interlude follows “Ewok Sadness”, after which the Marijuana Deathsquads craziness returns. In “Crosstown Crippler”, a steady beat is quickly followed by their distinctive chilling, robotic vocals.
Tracks like “Bad Boy Masterpiece” are super glitchy, whereas others (“8 9 3” comes to mind) feature moments of eerie serenity followed by noise. Some feel like an electronic version of Bon Iver (check out “Dissolve” and “Stacks”), and that might be because Oh My Sexy Lord features guest appearances by Bon Iver frontman, Justin Vernon. These songs in particular are downright angelic at times, with glowing effects accenting what I assume are Vernon’s vocal contributions buried under distortion.
“Goldan” has great percussive beat, one of their more low-key songs, and as ‘low-key’ as the song is, Marijuana Deathsquads still managed to include an unbelievable synth solo. Following, is “Vibrant Beast”, a track featuring great bass line accents by electronic pieces.
None of these songs greatly differ from track-to-track, but each song features a new element, a new beat, a new contribution. This album is a fast-paced trip that captivated me from the first appearance of those eerie, distorted vocals. I accept that this album will not be for everyone, but those who like it won’t just like it: they’ll love it.
November 27 at Waiting Room in Omaha, NE
November 29 at Mill City Nights in Minneapolis, MN
November 30 at Mill City Nights in Minneapolis, MN