Machine Girl …BECAUSE I’M YOUNG ARROGANT AND HATE EVERYTHING YOU STAND FOR

[Orange Milk; 2017]

Styles: VR survival tactics, cyber-punk, happy//hardcore
Others: Lil Ugly Mane, DOOM, Death Grips, Rampage: World Tour

How is anybody supposed to deal with the daily horror that we’re subjected to these days? The level of violence that we’ve become accustomed to is terrifying. Every morning promises to present something even more sickening and death-bringing than the day before. The abusive, prejudiced mechanics of our society have become so tightly woven together that, even now, in a time when our insidious, pervasive behavior is more pronounced than ever, we have never felt more powerless. What can we do to stop this? Will things really get better? Are we just screaming into an empty void?

…BECAUSE I’M YOUNG ARROGANT AND HATE EVERYTHING YOU STAND FOR doesn’t have the answer to our problems, but that doesn’t make it any less ready to confront them. Machine Girl’s music has always flitted between various poles of underground sound, diving into harsh footwork drills on 2014’s WLFGRL and grinding out vapor-lite pop moves on their Orange Milk debut, GEMINI. But BIYAAHEYSF takes the project to an entirely new dimension of styleplay. Fueling itself to capacity with the craven residue of every kind of high-tempo music imaginable (and front-loaded with absolutely ravenous, frothing vocals that even the tag “cyber-punk” doesn’t fully do justice), the album heaps frustration upon frustration atop one another, becoming a pure manifestation of blind rage that, surprisingly, carries an uncommon sense of self-awareness not often heard in protest music.

In times like these, it’s impossible to avoid “political art.” Oftentimes such music, in its attempt to enact real, concrete change in the world, loses its sense of bite, becoming too coded and specific to affect people in the subliminal way that a lot of powerful art does. Rather than tasking their work with the lofty goal of overthrowing the powers that b on its own, Machine Girl instead aim for the elemental. Tracks like “FUCK UP YOUR FACE” smash so many extreme, digitally tainted sounds together that they become pulsing embodiments of unhinged adolescent fury, gleefully sprinting by at a pace that causes the noises to blur into one ugly, neon-hued cyclone. “BULLET HELL,” in particular, distills the spirit of the album to its barest core, leaping from happy-hardcore synths to pure arcade-race cheerleading before stirring itself into a literal barrage of sonic projectiles, a moment as visceral and cathartic as it is brutally apocalyptic. It’s no mistake that, in Machine Girl’s hands, these kinds of violent releases become gamified, compartmentalized into something fantastical and beyond the realm of everyday life. In its way, the album is its own virtual reality FPS chamber, a safe deposit and comic-book-level dramatization of all the confusion, dread, and anger we face today.

But beyond its pure, relentless sonic intensity, what makes BIYAAHEYSF so invigorating and unique is the levity that Machine Girl lend their howling tirade. That ARROGANT means everything: an implicit self-criticism is necessary in conflict, not in a defeating manner, but as a means for us to make sense of all the violence happening around us, and to understand how we can fight back without becoming monsters ourselves. Machine Girl know they are far from perfect, lasciviously pushing their blender of sounds to almost parodic extremes, skating the rail between sincerity and ridiculousness, sacrificing neither like a total pro. This act of rebellion with a caveat toward its own insanity lays down an inspiring framework, both welcoming of indignation and aware of its faults — not mocking the act of wanting to change things, but working to push that impulse further into the future.

Our world is nothing short of a nightmare. In response, Machine Girl offer us a two-fold pill to swallow. On one side, …BECAUSE I’M YOUNG ARROGANT AND HATE EVERYTHING YOU STAND FOR builds a fantasy world all its own, splattered in green blood and jacked with the kind of high-adrenaline body music that could fulfill whatever escapist dream you might need just to get through another day. On the other, the album reconstructs its methods of release to befit a new era of rage, representing our struggles with acceptance, conviction, and an absurd dystopian wit. Whatever lies ahead from here is a mystery, and wherever the bottom of this hole we’re falling down is, we’ve likely only begun our descent. In the meantime, Machine Girl have built us a practice arena to plug into, a place to freshen up our moves and prepare for the real battle.

Eureka!

Some releases are so incredible we just can’t help but exclaim EUREKA! While many of our picks here defy categorization and explore the constructed boundaries between ‘music’ and ‘noise,’ others complement, continue, or rupture traditions that provide new forms and ways of listening. Not all of our favorites will be listed here, but we think each EUREKA! album is worthy of careful consideration. This section is a work-in-progress, so expect its definition to be in perpetual flux.

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