A blissful, defiantly excessive attitude prevails throughout Giant Claw’s latest LP. The sonic terrain covered throughout Mutant Glamour (Orange Milk) adequately matches the promise of the album’s title. Capping a busy 2011-2012 stretch for mastermind Keith Rankin, no sonic range is spared throughout these 10 cuts, which result in a robust dance affair.
Rankin arranges clusters of synthetic noise, consistently pulsating arpeggios and percussive groups of notes in order to build the foundation for this release. Thanks to consistent timbres and an unending brightness, the electronics collected suggest thematic returns and build dramatic sequences throughout the tracks. While Rankin presents three extended songs to embolden his themes and complete the dramatic conclusions to his compositions, he frequently pushes his collection of sounds into excessive, mind-bending collages on a group of 7 shorter tracks. Without these shorter statements, the longer songs would not seem so dramatic or narrative, and if there is tension between the different elements that Rankin explores on the shorter tracks, the pay-off is in clearer developments on the longer cuts.
“Brain on Cream,” “L.A. Christ,” and “Trapped in the Mirror” are the longer songs on the album, fittingly sequenced first, middle, and last. Triumphant dance grooves accompany synth hits, robust rhythms, and diverse electronic sounds throughout these tracks. In between these sets of tracks, Rankin executes unrestrained, pulsating beats against staccato synthetic blasts on “Glamour Mutant,” whereas “Body Science” clashes ascending synth clusters against wild sax. Rankin spares no expense on these short tracks, pushing those assemblages into conflicting territories. These tracks complement the longer tunes, which are almost airy and transcendent by comparison. If a synth cluster exists in one of the shorter tracks, fighting against another element or instrument, Rankin might bring that cluster to the foreground and fully develop it in one of his longer songs. A highly cohesive story results.
Glamorous, downright danceable dramas triumph in the end. Rankin effectively builds clusters of noise into thematic, electronic anthems. A bright, blissful attitude prevails.