Charting the rise and rise of Atsuko Chiba has become something of a habit for me at this point. We’ve been waving the flag of these post/math/art/alt rock aficionados for a few years now and have gotten used to them throwing us a curveball or two. But while Trace, their previous release which dropped in 2019, saw the band going into a darker, more rough-around-the-edges direction which surprised me, it’s nothing like the sucker-punch that their new track, “Quick Infant Guilt”, ended up throwing my direction. Simply put, “Quick Infant Guilt” is a full on hip-hop track, drawing noisey influences from acts like Beastie Boys and Clipping. I said what I said: Atsuko Chiba are doing hip-hop now and we’re super proud to be premiering the track right here! Head on down below to see what they’ve cooked up for us this time and we’ll meet up after to pick up our jaws from off the floor.

God damn. You obviously get where I brought that Clipping. reference from, right? The super fat beat which opens the track, alongside the spit-and-fire percussive singing style, has the pioneers of noise-rap all over it. Of course, this is still Atsuko Chiba, so when the guitars come in and then melt away into the super groovy, drum-led bridge, we’re not too surprised. The vocals return after this bridge with that Beastie Boys energy, picking up the pace to start bringing the track to the height of its energy, ready for its explosive end. Throughout, those big electronic sounding beat from the beginning of the track is doing work, carrying us forward and maintaining the track’s energy.

Put more simply, this track slaps. It just goes incredibly hard, blending in enough Atsuko Chiba sounds, fusing it with the hip-hop vibes to great extent. Oh, and let’s talk about that crazy awesome video! Atsuko Chiba have always made incredible, and meaningful, visual content alongside their music and their most recent collaboration with Phil Osborne definitely continues this tradition. Says Osborne:

The song is about the guilt that comes with consuming products and the trash one leaves behind. I had to interpret that visually and my main challenge was how to make trash look interesting and not just look like trash. Some trash is more relatable and has more visual potential than others, I discovered. So I had to be picky with the garbage I chose in order to make an entertaining video. I sketched out many ideas but had to go for the ones that were less time consuming since it’s mostly animation and takes a long time. You’re basically moving in slow motion underwater. I started lighting various garbage with a horror film approach which gave it a certain mood. I filmed live action and stop motion footage using plastic utensils, aluminum foil, pop cans, liquids, broken beer bottles etc. Mixed it with clay and some line animation and improvised a carnival Rorschach of demonic beings of excess. I experimented with lots of ideas . I kept the ones that fit together best and there you have it! 

And there you have it, indeed! “Quick Infant Guilt” drops today, via Mothland, and comes with an equally awesome B-side called “It’s Over, Right?” You can grab both over on the band’s Bandcamp.

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