Water Gun Water Gun Sky Attack is the solo electronic project of Tim R. de Reuse based in Denton, Texas who is also a contributing member of The Hai having released music and remixed the work of other members. ‘Slew’ is perhaps WGWGSA’s most realized work to date. There are a lot of sounds to be heard on this release and therefor there is a lot to cover so dim your monitor.
The style Water Gun Water Gun Sky Attack has built throws so many sounds at you that upon the first initial listen it may be hard to process, it’s nearly cacophonic and overbearing but fortunately the distinct style and progression of the album proves to never be off-putting. Interjected between the more expected completely instrumental tracks are electronic epics complete with nicely performed vocals. The songs themselves have so much substance; a good example being the opener ‘Outlanderish’ that showcases so many changes in direction, each beat appearing to build off of where the last one ended, branching out, constantly morphing and spilling over into the second track ‘Fine’. Track two makes way for the introduction of vocals which have this distinct feeling of sincerity, a round quality to them, I would even go as far as to liken them to vocalist Peter Silberman of The Antlers.
With ‘Slew’ WGWGSA has created a work that pushes boundaries; the most enjoyable aspect is not only his ear for outstanding production as a producer but also some solid songwriting as a musician and his attention to the structuring of the album itself. The beats constantly change with songs crossing over into each other the whole album feels like one long piece of great electronic music. ‘A Good Fake pt. II’ is a 12 minute long electronic epic full tons of sounds that gives the feeling of the music operating like a piece of machinery, this cataclysm of sounds resulting in a mechanical feeling. Beautiful spacey harmonies float about adding depth while the ever evolving beats add movement that holds my attention throughout the entire track, a track the grows in intensity, multiplying in the addition of new sounds with every passing minute. The last 3 minutes are the most intense with the addition of this heavy baselines, sputtering synth, and a really killer drum beat that hits hard.
One aspect of WGWGSA’s style is his ear for shiny futuristic sounds, metallic beats, and most noticeably his use of glitch effects which can be heard on many tracks. One of the best examples is the sputtering effect on “Actiiisciv” which complements the already ever shifting choppy and eclectic beats.
I do enjoy many of the instrumental tracks but I however do prefer the cohesiveness, this feeling of completeness that the vocals provide on these more traditionally performed songs. Tracks like ‘ckers’ just don’t really do much for me, it is not that they are poorly written or completely unenjoyable for me but that they just don’t add anything to the album that isn’t already there and ‘Slew’ is quite a lengthy album. I do applaud WGWGSA for implementing his experimental stylings into the mix, the songs are not so much straight forward but can be more appropriately described as familiar; it becomes something fans of experimental electronic and those who are just looking for some good tunes to listen to can both enjoy.
Until now with the release of ‘Slew’ The Hai hasn’t really blown me away and its not that I think the music they have been putting out has been bad but that it just wasn’t suiting my tastes. It is apparent that the quality of their output; the great album artwork, and the consistency of their numerous releases show that they aren’t substituting quantity over quality and in this case, with Water Gun Water Gun Sky Attack’s ‘Slew’ they’ve established that statement very well. There are just so many different things going on that you could play this over and over again in an attempt to digest it all and still never feel like you’ve completely explored the whole thing.
Overall rating: 9.0
Favorite Tracks: ‘Outlanderish’, ‘A Good Fake Pt. II’, ‘Out From Underground Alive’, Actiiisciv’.
Recommended: Tons of replay value. For more good electronic from The Hai check out Mattir.
Released: 26 March 2012