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REVIEW: Tobacco -  Sweatbox Dynasty

REVIEW: Tobacco - Sweatbox Dynasty

By: Daniel Ward
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A review of the Tobacco album “ Sweatbox Dynasty.”

 

You might know Thomas Fec as TOBACCO or as head of psychedelic indie pop outfit, Black Moth Super Rainbow.  However, you probably don’t know much more than that due to the fact that he’s reclusive, wears a hat low when on stage and isn’t known for giving interviews.  Fec started releasing material under his alias TOBACCO in 2008 and is now gearing up to drop his fourth album, Sweetbox Dynasty.  

 

In anticipation for this upcoming release, he has teased two singles, “Gods in Heat” and “Human Om”—and the other 10 tracks drop August 19th.  These new, mostly instrumental songs are psychedelic, experimental and to the point.


That album opens with the single “Human Om,” which lets loose robotic voices, hip-hop beats and sometimes-violent synthesizers.  There is a hint of Daft Punk and indie pop, but it’s immediately clear that this is mostly experimental territory.  The song modulates between melodic and soothing to aggressive and almost jarring.


“Hong” pushes along with a catchy groove and chimes that ride along on top.  “Wipeth Out” sounds like a totally whacked out car engine or if you could imagine what it would be like inside crumbling factory after a gigantic explosion.


The second single “Gods in Heat” is more traditionally constructed and juxtaposes synths that hit like heavy guitars with super-soothing synth voices.  “Home Invasionaries” generates nostalgia because it sounds like a medley of classic 8-bit Nintendo games.


“Dimensional Hum” is a trippy, unpredictable psych ride that takes you through several layers of synth textures.  You never know what to expect.  “Warlock May” and “Suck Viper” revisit vintage tones of video games past.


“The Madonna” is a bizarre mix that seems to lack a cohesive beat.  It also comes across more as a medley or compilation than a single song.  In contrast, “Fantasy Trash Wave” has a hip-hop feel and is much more of a traditional song.


Clocking in just shy of two minutes in length, “Memory Girl” doesn’t waste time in dropping a chainsaw-distorted bassline that sits side by side with soothing chimes.  “Let’s Get Worn Away” finishes the album with a composite of all the sounds that previously appeared on the record: electronic blips, hip-hop beats, robotic voices and sometimes violent synthesizers.  Then it all ends with a minute of just static.


TOBACCO has successfully combined the worlds of psych and electronica.  It’s clear that he isn’t trying to follow in someone else’s footsteps and that he didn’t hesitate to break rules.  Also, even though these songs are instrumental, erratic and use mostly synth instruments, there is an indie feel to them, which adds to their uniqueness.  Sweatbox Dynasty is original, trippy and never boring.   

 

 

Tobacco - Sweatbox Dynasty


Listen to a song by clicking on a title below:

Click to Play Tobacco - "Human Om" (Video)

Click to Play Tobacco - "Human Om"

Click to Play Tobacco - "Gods In Heat"

 
 
 
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