10,000 gecs” latest album from 100 gecs

10,000 gecs, by 100 gecs.

10,000 gecs”, the new album from 100 gecs is final­ly here, and has been duly recog­nised as the promised deliv­ery of the sec­ond coming. 

After the LA-based duo’s debut, 1,000 gecs, broke the inter­net after its release in 2019, the band was signed to the mighty Atlantic records, and the world wait­ed to see just how dis­ap­point­ing their fol­low-up would be, now that they’d sold out to the man.

But no soon­er was the album fin­ished and ready to go, than the band cer­e­mo­ni­ous­ly binned it to begin it again from scratch. And now that, a life­time lat­er, their fol­low-up is final­ly here, the ver­dict is unanimous.

10,000 gecs is an epoch-defin­ing snap­shot of the zeit­geist that per­fect­ly encap­su­lates the dis­pos­able nature of con­tem­po­rary cul­ture. By min­ing so catholic a land­scape of musi­cal influ­ences with such bold irrev­er­ence, it tri­umphant­ly pro­duces a new kind of universality. 

The world and music will nev­er be the same again. You know, the usu­al in terms of a mea­sured crit­i­cal response. 

And the pair are play­ing their part to per­fec­tion, per­form­ing wall to all inter­views with prac­ticed insou­ciance, declar­ing their indif­fer­ence to all media, includ­ing and espe­cial­ly social (“I’m actu­al­ly not even on…” etc.) in per­fect­ly formed sound bites pre­cise­ly for­mu­lat­ed for the very plat­forms they’ve so lit­tle inter­est in courting. 

In fair­ness, it’s not their fault that they sud­den­ly find them­selves cat­a­pult­ed into the lime­light. They have to find some way, I sup­pose, of deal­ing with all that, and this is prob­a­bly as good a way as any. 

But there’s a huge prob­lem for a pair of musi­col­o­gists who are as unabashed­ly seri­ous in their study of all things son­ic as gecs are. There’s very lit­tle ter­rain left to go search­ing in.

In the 80s and 90s, the 60s and 70s were trawled exhaus­tive­ly by hip hop and rap artists for grooves and snatch­es of melody to sug­ar-coat their rage with. Then, in the oughts, DJs like Shad­ow and RJD2 mixed con­tem­po­rary hip hop with what­ev­er they could get their hands on from the 80s and 90s, as well as the 60s and 70s. While more recent­ly, the likes of Daft Punk and Bey­on­cé went back to dis­co and to house in their orig­i­nal forms. 

So any­one dig­ging today is forced on to nec­es­sar­i­ly obscure ter­rain. The result is that, in between the glo­ri­ous onslaught of thrash gui­tars, pop-punk, ska and auto-tuned vocals we get respect­ful nods in the direc­tion of Limp Bizk­it, Green Day, Primus and Ween.

Which gecs then feel duty-bound to insist is done in com­plete earnest­ness, and is utter­ly devoid of even a soup­con or smidgeon of irony.

It’s all incred­i­bly clever, gen­uine­ly impres­sive and propul­sive­ly toe-tap­ping. And yet. To once again mis­quote Gertrude Stein, there’s very lit­tle there, there. 

Instead of being able to bal­ance the intel­lec­tu­al weight of their son­ic archi­tec­ture with the emo­tion inher­ent in a clas­sic 60s, 70s, 80s, or 90s melody, they’re reduced to rely­ing on musi­cal ref­er­ents that fur­ther bol­ster that intel­lec­tu­al heft. So it ends up being all brains and lit­tle in the way of heart or soul.

The result is an album that’s daz­zling but un-engag­ing. Telling­ly, despite com­ing in at bare­ly 27 min­utes, the album some­how over­stays its welcome. 

What it feels like more than any­thing else is an inter­mez­zo. An enjoy­able, indul­gent nov­el­ty record, that the band can now put behind them to focus on some­thing some­what more substantial. 

You can see the offi­cial video for 10,000 gecs’ Dori­tos & Fritos below:

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