Published Oct 24, 2018Tropical Fuck Storm are a band that's difficult to ignore. There's that name, which wouldn't sound out of place at a high school battle of the bands; they have a scrappy psychedelic sound that sits somewhere between Tame Impala and the garage rock howl of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard; and they've earned praise from legendary rock writer Greil Marcus, who said their sound is "what history sounds like as it's being written."
While their debut record doesn't have the lasting power of King Gizzard or Tame Impala's best work, it still shows a group unafraid to take risks and get messy, and their exploration results in some interesting material.
While the band have some interest in flexing their garage rock muscles on tracks like "You Let My Tyres Down" and "Chameleon Paint," Tropical Fuck Storm seem more interested in trying to do more with less, using these elements in new ways, particularly during the album's strong back half. The slinky bass and staccato guitars on "Rubber Bullies" make for an effective combo, as do the effects-laden guitar and driving rhythm section of "Two Afternoons." The band sound at ease during their more experimental moments, and it's these moments of originality that make up most of the record's highlights.
While not necessarily groundbreaking, A Laughing Death in Meatspace is nevertheless an intriguing debut from a group with plenty of tricks up their sleeve. There's still room to grow, but their adventurous spirit on display across the record will hopefully make for some compelling material moving forward. (Joyful Noise)