Take your nerd-ass “WINTER IS COMING” nonsense and chuck it in the garbage. Winter is gone. Spring is here. More importantly, Tulip is here. (Oh relax, I’m not really being serious about chucking everyone’s favorite fantasy TV series in the garbage. I’m also guilty of getting in too deep to quit watching now.) However, I am serious about the upcoming self-titled release from Minneapolis’ finest synth-grind quartet. The best part? No waiting until April 14. Nope, you can find the whole damn thing right now, right after the jump!
Tulip’s forte is the marriage of ear-bending, mathy dissonance of oddballs like An Albatross or Genghis Tron with the wall-melting, skronky kind of heavy that has all the jazzy death metal kids in a buzz. Inundated with off-kilter rhythms and tides of electronic unease, Tulip delivers a sci-fi kind of lightning that few dystopian grind acts have been able to bottle. Eerie synths tones and plays on dynamics regularly call to mind the work of mood master John Carpenter. Coupled with the rubbery bass tone, I’m convinced I need to listen to this while watching “Escape from New York” or something. This record is steeped with a sense of uncertainty and danger, but it’s still rooted in something familiar enough that, like with a good horror flick, I can genuinely enjoy the dread as it builds.
“Throat Meat” greets with a tense, wonky groove laced with spacey electronics that eventually opens the floodgates to droves of wild blasts, churning guitars, grisly screams, and glowing-eyes rage ringing. Strung together by warpy synths, it’s evident that this isn’t a gimmick play. Instead, the keys are responsible for setting much of the anxious tone of the album and lend a flavor that’s been sorely missing from the grind scene for some time. Their prominence (along with some noisy knob-turning forays) ensures that most of the record is coated in a computerized, almost video game-y sheen. It’s not nearly as heavy-handed or nerdy as Last Chance To Reason, but definitely campier and way more immediate than a group like Cleric.
Still, for as quickly as much of the record moves, there’s often this menacing, robotic kind of plod that drives along slower passages (“Believe What You See” and “Lessent” are absolutely fucking crushing), lending some capital H Heavy to their limber (“Internal Colony”) and cerebral (“Kindling” or ““Indelible Arrangement”) toolkit. I can’t get over the balance in their attack and the overall atmosphere of the record. They’ve definitely carved themselves a unique niche with something that’s a little familiar, but wholly improved. I’m putting this one on lock as a Q2 favorite.