Pop. 1280 – The Horror
February 24, 2012
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This is real noise rock, not half-arsed, a proper homage to punk with a layering of dissonant sounds. The Horror is Pop. 1280’s first full length album and it’s good. Is it album of the year? Probably not, but it’ll be up there in the honourable mentions.
Pop. 1280 are named after the crime novel by American novelist Jim Thompson which follows the life of a simple-minded police officer who develops a penchant for various psychopathic flights of fancies, and it is thus no surprise, considering this particular influence, that The Horror is a very dark album.
Against the tide of current musical trends that has seen rock as a genre evaporate into a mere afterthought; Pop. 1280’s abrasive album will most likely jar you. It is confronting and you’ll probably wonder how I could like this album so much. In fact, from an objective viewpoint there clearly is something strange about liking an album that is this blatantly grim. Sometimes you stop to wonder what is with Pop. 1280’s fascination with dogs and in particular the gruesome allegories that they conjure up. Nonetheless, after your ears become accustomed to the jangling distorted guitar chords and the ethereal bass mix which is placed a bit further back than usual within the soundstage that acts in such a way that the bass is not the typical distinct intimidating thump but rather an ominous beat that allures; you’ll see that this album is something quite amazing. Disregarding the lyrics and imagery which clearly place listeners in a love it or hate situation, the textures of this album are really quite impressive.
However there are some downsides to this album namely the uninspiring at times vocals. Whilst it is understandable that the singing is not the centerpiece of Pop. 1280’s sound it seems as if this shouting form of singing could perhaps be a bit more emotive in order to further complement the instrumental atmosphere. Nonetheless this is really a minor gripe, on a baser level the vocals do effectively communicate the underlying theme of The Horror – life is pretty messed up.
Pop. 1280 are currently touring with Cut Hands, Xeno & Oaklander (amazing band live), Veiled and David E Williams.
Stream the entire album http://www.spin.com/articles/stream-horror-disgusting-new-pigfck-slab-pop-1280