Album: 10,000 gecs by 100 gecs
Written by Aiden Russell (CJAM Staff)
100 gecs take pride in being the musical equivalent of a car crash. They do a lot of stuff that just sounds… wrong, but it’s hard to look away – or listen away in this case. Their latest release, 10000 gecs, continues this theme but actually comes close to breaking away from being audio garbage at least once or twice.
Track one, Dumbest Girl Alive, takes its cues from Papa Roach weirdly enough. It’s like Last Resort but less pleasing. It sounds big, but contains almost no low end – leaving an emptiness that’s characteristic of most of the songs on the album. It changes genres almost every verse and despite this crazy decision, it still feels cohesive.
757 has a crazy fast part that comes to a grinding, heavy halt at the end. This song is probably the closest to their previous releases in that it’s synth focused and sounds a lot more nonsensical. The mix on this song, mainly the ending – is a mess. The bass is crazy loud and the snare drum barely has any presence. In the context of the song however, it works.
Hollywood Baby is one of the album’s strongest points. The production is still very much an acquired taste, but it’s a rock song with interesting instrumentation and vocal choices. It also feels like an eternity compared to the rest of the songs on the album – it’s one of three songs with a runtime above three minutes.
Frog on the Floor is my personal favorite on the album. It’s a very, very stupid song, but they take it so seriously I can’t help but get invested in it. Laura Les actually says ‘he was telling croaks at the party’. It’s such a bad pun, but again, 100 gecs really cares about this frog and the personal issues he’s going through, and so do I. It has a nice steady pace, finishing with a slow, dramatic breakdown. 100 gecs definitely wants the listener to be caught off guard, and this song really did that for me. I couldn’t stop laughing at it the first time I heard it and it’s still hilarious.
Doritos and Fritos is a really catchy song. The guitar line makes me want to get up and dance. This song and the previous two are trying to sound more like music rather than just noise. There’s still enough missing so that you can tell it’s distinctly 100 gecs, but it’s a lot more accessible than most of their music. I could play this song for someone that had never heard of 100 gecs, and they might find it okay. Which for this band, is a huge accomplishment.
Billy Knows Jamie is a Limp Bizkit song – leaning heavily into an old school rap metal type song. Laura’s vocals somewhat channel Fred Durst. Then we get to the breakdown and oh man… they actually start screaming. They really commit to the metal image in the second half of the song as it becomes incomprehensible, both lyrically and musically – the production fades in and out of pure noise. This is another strong point of the album for sure. I wasn’t sold on the song with the first listen, but it really grew on me.
One Million Dollars uses the “repeat the same thing over and over again” style but does it with different variations. The start baits you into thinking it’s a club song, but it’s actually a rock song, then it’s a club rock song. This one hinges a little less on the noise aspect and settles on being a club song that a rock band might play. I find this one pretty enjoyable.
The Most Wanted Person In The United States is what I feel to be the worst song on the album. The lyrics are funny, but everything else is just kinda… not that interesting. The boing sample is kinda cool, but I’m not really sold on the rest of it.
I Got My Tooth Removed is a hard song for me to place. It goes for the same honest absurdity as Frog on The Floor does, but I feel that the concept isn’t executed as well. It starts out tricking the listener into thinking it’s a ballad. Then, the chorus comes in and it’s a ska song. It stays that way until the bridge, where it’s a ballad again before going back into the ska part. They even say “pick it up” when going to the last chorus. Depending on your taste, you might find this song to be really good and Frog on the Floor to not be so good. It makes me wonder why they’d include both songs when they’re very similar in tone and content.
Mememe is just a dumb fun pop song. The punkish synth drums in Dylan Brady’s verse are cool, and Laura letting the rawness in her voice show is fun during her section. The chorus, while good, is just standard. For a group that loves to throw every convention out the window, it’s an odd choice. Then again, maybe that’s the convention break there – that the expected path was actually followed.
I’d rate the album 7/10 overall. It’s really creative and the shift over to mainly being a rock band is interesting, but the direction of harsh, yet simple songs doesn’t always land. When it hits its peaks though, as with Frog on the Floor, the result can be quite amazing. It’s just that it doesn’t always work, even when examining it through a sensible lens.
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