THE MONSTERCAT SERIES BONUS #13
I was originally going to write this review after writing the review on Muzzy's Get Crazy EP but before writing the Hold Your Colour review. However, being the idiot that I am, I put off doing this EP review until after I was done with the aforementioned review on HYC. I am not holding off on this any longer and it is with great honour that I present 2013's Sugar Rush EP from Australian producer Nemanja Brenjo, better known by his stage name PIXL.
1. Sugar Rush (4:44) - It seems that PIXL wants to start the EP on a high note as this song starts off with a bass heavy intro that sets the tone for the rest of the song. After the intro, PIXL gives us a calm sounding reprieve that goes on for 30 seconds before we are treated with some heavy growls for 15 seconds as a build-up for a drop. Once the drop hits, the calmness is thrown out the window and the growls become a mainstay. I will admit, growls can make a song sound better, but too much can ruin it just as easily (See also: "Dubstep Killed Rock n' Roll" by Ephixa). I'm not saying that too many growls is a bad thing, because I know that electronica fans (particularly the fans who are into dubstep mainly) look forward to that in dubstep tracks, but it can get repetitive after so long.
After a solid minute of a growl-filled drop, we get another reprieve, similar to the first one, but this one goes on longer than before, which makes me happy. With the second drop, it is simply a copy/paste of the first one only with some extra synths playing over it. Fortunately the song ends after a repeat of the song's intro, but with the two segments in the opposite order. Overall, this song had a great concept, but it didn't fully develop into its full potential.
2. Dream Of You (feat. Dead Robot) (4:36) - Being diverse, PIXL decides to dive into the world of drum and bass with this chillout number. What starts as a quiet melody accompanied by a soft piano with the vocals of "I dream of you (x3) all the time" repeated throughout turns into a melody that sounds similar to drumstep. We then hear just the piano to sooth me into a dreamlike state as the vocals come back. Once the drop comes again, the drumstep influence fades out while the drum and bass influence flourishes.
At this point, this is my favourite track off of this EP mainly because I am a huge fan of drum and bass. Call me biased, but I don't care. I love it when an artist like PIXL experiments with different genres rather than sticking with just one for each release (Pegboard Nerds do this as well). During the last half of the song, it is another copy/paste of what we heard during the second drop, but this one of the few times where I don't care if that's the case. After this, the song goes into a twenty second outro and the song ends.
3. Promises (feat. Nessakay) (4:00) - So, we start off with vocals that sound similar to what we heard on the previous track. What I mean is that they are soothing to listen to and I was not surprised when I started to fall asleep while listening to it. Once we hear the kicks and snare, it is clear that this could be considered a dubstep track, meaning that PIXL has managed to dabble with a different subgenre for each track on this EP. Also, there is no warning before the drop, which seems to come out of nowhere. I appreciate this kind of drop because it deviates from the usual formula for a traditional dubstep track and doesn't make it sound like it was paint-by-numbers. This would usually be the part where I continue talking about the song, but there is not much more that needs to be said other than it is an excellent vocal track that could also be perfect for any dubstep or chillstep fan.
You ever go into a project or a review of something with such low expectations but then the end result is a complete opposite of what you were expecting? I got exactly that response after I finished listening to this EP. PIXL might have stumbled a bit on the opening track, but he quickly redeemed himself with the other two tracks, giving me something worthwhile to listen to. I hope to hear more material like this from PIXL in the future because to me, this was one hell of a ride.
This is part of the Monstercat Series