Corners// Maxed Out On Distractions
Recommended Track: Maxed Out On Distractions
Rising from cesspools and sewage canals like some kind of Teenage Mutant Toxic Avengers, Corners have arrived to save the great city of Los Angeles from the grips of monotony. Maxed Out On Distractions is a major stylistic shift from their first record and a move in the right direction.
The aptly titled “We’re Changing” starts things off with a bang (and a killer bass riff) as Tracy Bryant sings about forgetting a past romance. There’s a nice synth layer that meshes well with cracked whip effects and well timed guitar interludes. I love this track because it straddles the line of having too much bravado and being outright jaded. It has an attitude that speaks to anyone who’s ever been frustrated in a relationship. “Caught In Frustration” is just as disgruntled thematically but switches to a more melodic frequency with some trance-inducing slide guitar. It’s a beautifully layered song mastered to perfection by Dave Cooley (M83, Liars). “Riot” feels like a leaner, meaner, less mathematic Devo circa Freedom of Choice.
This record is full of an attitude and confidence that shows how much Corners have grown as a band. There are only nine songs, but they speak with a vibrance and grit that demands repeated listening. It really feels like twice that many songs. You’ve got “On The Run,” discordant spaced out drone-rock, like a b-side from The Moon and Antarctica. And then there’s “Love Letters,” a passionate breakup ballad with beefy synthesizer textures and sharp guitar licks. If these guys only played instrumentals I would probably still throw this record on at least once a day.
“Maxed Out on Distractions” might be my favorite track. Despite the relative lack of lyrics, it’s the most fully realized song. Bryant sings “it’s getting harder every day to determine who is real/it’s up to you to decide how you will be perceived.” It’s about the descent into the madness of identity, and perception overload as we get older. How do we adapt to our new surroundings, the changing technology, emerging (and fading) trends? I like this band because they’ve found a way to make music that is both edgy and intelligent without playing into the pressure of repeating their past success.
Change can be terrifying. Especially when it comes to music and an established formula that seems to be working. But change is necessary, damnit. It’s about time a band took a risk in this interbred underworld of music. How many times can we rehash the same song? Everything is a throwback. And that’s actually fine, but let’s at least move on to the next step in the cycle. Thankfully Corners have done just that.