Let’s make something abundantly clear right out of the gate: making a piece of art is no easy feat, in the same right as it’s no easy feat to go dissecting it like a colonoscopy performed by a crackhead with Parkinson’s. That being said, it’s their prerogative to create and mine to review, so, here we are with a fresh full-length release from Williston, North Dakota’s Tuesday X entitled Pop.
Tuesday X go for an incredibly odd mixture of compositional elements. They sport the angst of an early 2000s emo shoegaze band with the excessive overproduction of an 80s synth-pop act. Picture Moneen, Brand New, and Robert Smith of The Cure took a shit in Devo’s mouth, then made them shit out that shit, and force them to eat their own shit comprised of the shit they made them eat. Once Kevin Smith is done suing me for copy write infringement and if you’re even still reading, I can tell you that it’s a rough listen but could totally have its audience.
Pop as an album essentially goes for artsy and angsty and comes out with harsh ill produced sounds. Excessive use of singular and cheap keyboard notes begin the ordeal with opening track “Pop Music” which is closely followed by the vocal section which is absolutely drowning in vocoder or autotune effects to create a very 80s synth type effect. Wrap this up with dry far away drums and harsh cymbals and we’ve basically got out first five tracks wherein comes the first break from the electronic vibes with “Funny You Should Mention That.” Slightly upbeat yet melancholic acoustic guitar takes the front followed by the first time we hear the vocal section mildly clearly. Of course, that’s quickly quelled with a full-blown fucking echo. Not a reverb, an echo, through the entire song. Thirteen tracks later we land on a mildly redeeming quality in the final song “I Guess You Could Call This an Ending” which displays a very Brand New style of composing a song, ambient presence followed by the angsty groove we know and love so how however still drowning in the overproduction this entire album has been plagued with from start to finish.
Let’s double back now. This was not a fun experience for me as a fan of almost everything that this band is attempting. What I’m not a fan of is how it was executed. It’s unique in every fashion and the ideas do in fact come together, but the fact of the matter is that this record felt too much like it was scared of itself to be without all these added bells and whistles that honestly sounded like nails on a fucking chalkboard whilst fucking a cat. I know plenty of people that would one thousand percent enjoy this kind of idea, but if you ask me, strip down all the added effects like the echoes, the autotunes, and the keyboard. Go straight Elliot Smith into the night and this absolutely could have been a fun record as there’s absolutely some useful guts here.
Written by Jason Greenberg
*edited by Danielle Kenedy