Garbage in, not garbage out
King Garbage’s sophomore album entitled Heavy Metal Greasy Love is passionate, chaotic bliss. The North Carolina-born duo of Vic Dimotsis and Zach Cooper briefly stepped away from their production booth to create their newest compilation of garage-rock tracks. Previously writing and producing for artists like Ellie Goulding, The Weeknd and SZA, the pair is continuing to prove their range of abilities. Playing every riff and beat that appears on this album, Dimotsis and Cooper are a force to be reckoned with. Blending genres anywhere from breakbeat to beach pop, there are few genres this album leaves untouched. Heavy Metal Greasy Love is not for the faint of heart.
The opening track, “Checkmate,” presents the theme of the album and sets the scene for what’s to come: soulful funk with electronic influences. What may sound off-beat to some is blatantly intentional; the syncopation is a clear indication of the band’s jazz influence. Other jazz-riddled tracks on the album like “Let Em Talk” and “Busy on a Saturday Night” show that King Garbage knows exactly what they’re doing. There is frequent competition between striking pianos and blaring brass, but the two compliment each other well. There is little room for much of anything else, yet each note is deliberate. Within the infrequent quiet moments in individual tracks, the choruses are much more easily detected. With soft-spoken voices reminiscent of bands like slenderbodies and LEISURE, lyrics need a close listen, but are externally poetic. Every once in a while, Cooper’s sweet serenade becomes a fervent roar. “Monster Truck” demonstrates this passion well; a traditional love ballad with both crooning and pounding vocals. There is no telling what lies beneath the instrumentals.
Nearing the end of the album, “Never Die” and “Piper” show themselves to be the shining stars. “Never Die,” an eight-minute track, is a sweeping, slow-burn that could have easily lasted another five minutes without complaint. “Piper” is an easy listen, but not in the way that you don’t pay attention. What these two tracks possess is a trait somewhat hard to find in garage-rock; they move right along. While all other songs on the album may have listeners asking themselves what will happen next, in “Never Die” and “Piper,” there are no questions asked. Both songs are mindless in the way that they hold your attention and you listen so intently that everything else around you is a blur. The closing track, “Peanut Butter Kisses,” is the perfect way to tie this album in a bow. The drum beat is subtle, the vocals are pretty and the metaphors are clear. In this track, just like the rest of the album, whatever it was that King Garbage was trying to say, was understood.
Heavy Metal Greasy Love has the potential to be one of the quintessential indie albums of 2022. It’s obvious that King Garbage was doing some experimentation with some of these tracks, but it was nothing that they didn’t succeed in. The pair have invented a sound and a feel that has become authentically them. Because this sound leaves no genre behind, the future of King Garbage is bound to know no limits.