Rogue Rewind: Metaform – Electric Eyes

 By Doc Vocado

      I wanted to take it back to 2010 and highlight “Electric Eyes”, an audible dream sequence off Metaform’s 2010 release The Electric Mist. Born Justice Aaron, this LA native producer delivers a niche fusion of soulful hip hop, and electronic trance. Currently based in Tokyo, the producer/songwriter owes the hip hop presence in his music to early experience working with hip hop gurus Scarface, E-40, Goapele, the Hieroglyphics, and even DJ Jazzy Jeff. At face value, The Electric Mist should be appreciated for including vocals with heavy effects, while managing not to lose its authenticity and fall into the dumpster full of rushed, unoriginal production that marked that height of the auto-tune trend a few years ago.

     On the track “Electric Eyes” in particular, Aaron allows his musical persona to shine, layering a dirty hip hop drum kit with echoing, trance-inspired lyrics. The result is a spine-tickling, genre shattering tune, with some thoughtful vocals we can all relate to on those misty gray afternoons…

“I’m counting the moons, while I’m thinking of you
while I’m jamming this tune, and I’m keepin it true.
I savor the mood, til seven the morn
Got diamonds for souls, I’m a regular dude.
Some keepin quiet, while I’m starting a riot
Just give me a reason, and it’s gotta be live.
I’m sitting alone in a one bedroom home,
like a rocket ship that’s about to explode.

I saw the flash of light, inside my mind,
I like it so divine, electric eyes.

Got something to say on a rainy day
My 9-5 can’t take my soul.
I’m too awake I’m too alive
Not satisfied with a world of lies.
Lay down in a grave go back to sleep
Or so they’d wish for you to go away
Your one true face could shine so bright
I see in you electric eyes

I saw the flash of light, inside my mind,
I like it so divine, electric eyes”

 

These brief, but thoughtful verses are so real. Those days when you’re lost in thought, it’s nice to know you have someone special in the back of your mind keeping the cosmic tapestry wrinkle-free. This means something to all of us, especially when we’re lost in an endless search for purpose on this sphere of rock and magma, whirling through space. King or peasant, we all experience those prolonged moments of grinding thought, work- related stress, and feelings of exclusion. Aaron does his best to relate to these spells of self-confinement. He allows the light of purpose to shine through all the lingering uncertainty, and makes us feel like we can all worry just a little less. For as long as we know ourselves, then we’ll be ready to accept someone, or something special offering our own flashes of light that suddenly slow the Earth’s rotation; and electrify everything into a pleasant state of comfort. It’s never perfect in our corner of the universe, the misty bee hive of stampeding gorillas in collared shirts that it is. But, it can be pretty damn comfortable here if you find your place within it all and learn to appreciate it.

 

“Electric Eyes” is by far my favorite track off The Electric Mist, with “Revenge of a Nerd” and “Pop the Trunk” at second and third. Purely my opinion of course, and I’d definitely recommend overall to appreciate this project as a whole, in its intended chronology.

Bass Drum of Death – Bass Drum of Death

by The Insomniac

Top Tracks: Shattered Me, Crawling After You, No Demons, Way Out

2013’s self-titled sophomore effort from Bass Drum of Death is a noisy dark mess of a good time. These rebellious yet helpless rockers (or “rocker”, I should say, as BDoD’s music is primarily written and recorded by frontman John Barrett) are spitting in the face of what the world has dealt them and it sounds like they fully plan on returning in their rental cars of life with dents and broken windows.

I think the mood of the album is best captured in the above song, “Shattered Me” – easily the strongest single off the record. Fast repetitive guitar riffs drown out the echoes of Barrett’s pleading song of confusion, of being locked in limbo. Urges from an unknown source give a false sense of control, they cause you to act like someone else with promises of a greater nirvana only to leave you stranded in a wasteland of your mind no different than you were before, clinging to “shattered dreams” as Barrett says. It’s his internal struggle of trying to find out what he really wants as opposed to waking up in the drowsy afterglow of someone else’s night, like awaking from a dream.

This LP tells the story of man looking for an escape, away from the complicated sewage of normal life, away from the zombies he sees every day, and away from the demons who haunt his headspace. The only endearing sentiment throughout this journey is found within “Crawling After You”, another standout track from the album. It’s about the only girl worth losing yourself for, and finally he has his reason to do so, but even then he’s still drowning:

“Well I’ve wasted all my time
Trying bad to make you mine
And I know it’s not ok
I can’t find that perfect line
And when things are not the same
Too far down in my brain
Toss my drinks into the sky
And I’m face-down in my mind
Crawling after you
And I’m waiting for something
While you occupy my head
And it’s getting far too loud”

And in the end, the noise in his head, envelops you.