If Battles made chiprock.
Chiptune crossover music is often some of the most fun and outrageously satisfying music I come across. Often chiptune music is expected to stay in a specific corner, never to leave that retro or gaming world. Artists are always branching out though and Please Lose Battle brings live drums and a power-pop edge to chiptune. It’s a fierce combo and one that keeps you lightning on your toes throughout their new EP “Fond de Frigo”.
The sheer stadium grandstanding insanity of “Turbo Douchebag” is superb. The chipsets play like guitar riffs not keyboards half the time and the live drums are a metal drum set. Big cymbals, giant time signature shifts and a lot of epic moments. Before the first explosion of rock, the track pauses for a beep-beep-BEEP of the lights going out in an arcade game. It is such a cool twist, I think it gave me my first true musically induced grin of 2022. The entire track is like Battles doing chiprock. You have moments of math rock rigid weirdness, big climactic surprises and breakdowns galore. It really sets you up for the other tracks to follow.
“Super Bitter” is a true anthem that goes a million miles an hour. Whilst the chorus riffs are a rolling synth delight, with powerful live drums smashing the absolute shit (pardon my French) out of the rhythm, its character comes from the math-rock middle eight breakdown and bass guitar quirks hiding under the chaos. It’s one you’ll have on repeat easily. “Infinity O’Clock” is less immediate but sets up a gothic tower battle against time. The way the track switches gears as it mechanically clunks through odd chord patterns and discordant note stabs – it is like the song is writhing before you whilst conjuring the devil. At the same, the track has a campy cartoon evil charm to it too. It all comes together in a beautiful cataclysm of shredding synths, grizzly bass and smashy drums. So satisfying!
“Watch Out, Mega Sharks!” is a track of two halves. The first is a cautious and dare I say calm section to let you breathe for fifty seconds. Then smash, in comes the cinematic drama of wailing warbling synths, surging basslines and drums that go at a speed beyond my arms capability. The EP ends with “Hyper Jigsaw Puzzle”. This piece wraps up everything you’ve heard previously into something that is a bit more upbeat and Anamaguchi-esque in places. Please Lose Battle never trades in happy synth lines for its grizzled power-pop ways though. The rock is always first and foremost and so even when they stray towards more mainstream chip pop territory, they feel unique and loud.
Put simply – this is the math rock and chiptune mash up you never knew you needed. Quite how Please Lose Battle manage to cram so much into their songs, I’ve no idea. On a technical level, the band are phenomenal – they play at a startling speed. That’d be for nothing if their songs lacked character. Thankfully, each one is brimming with a mixture of gothic cartoon camp and heavy rock. I love this release and I think anyone who touches the chaotic side of chip music will adore it too. It is nigh on flawless.
Recommended track: Super Bitter
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