Experimental punk outfit The Garden have never been ones for convention. It’s safe to say their latest offering makes no diversion from their brand of ‘Vada Vada’ spirit that calls for their distinguishing fearless freedom of expression. Expectations are a dangerous thing with the California duo. However, I talked myself into eager anticipation for their newest album. I’ve never been happier to have my own hopes surpass themselves; it’s harsh, it’s intense, it’s off the wall crazy and it’s utterly brilliant.
Both lyrically and musically, Kiss My Super Bowl Ring is absolutely captivating. Seizing your attention without asking, an overwhelming sensory barrage you never thought you could enjoy so much. It’s obvious that the motivation for the whole project is a musical free for all; no borders that bask in the sense of total chaos. It’s created for itself, with the twins stating that they simply do not care if we like or even listen to the album. This middle finger to, not only their critics, but to just about everyone is evident by the title of the album (what I can only assume is some form of kiss my ass synonym), and made blatantly obvious by the closing track entitled ‘Please, Fuck off’.
The whole affair is a rollercoaster; taking the listener from the ferocious drums of their familiar punk style in ‘AMPM truck’, to the jungle stylings of ‘Sneaky Devil’. Every track is a jack in the box, another splash of gasoline fuelling the already blazing rule book. After their breakthrough on Epitaph Records in 2011, The Garden worked closely with influences Dylan Brady of 100 gecs fame and Kero Kero Bonito. Although of similar tone to their previous albums (haha and Mirror Might Steal Your Charm), a more powerful sound arises.
Characteristically employing a host of new ideas, it contributes to the DIY, experimental feel of the album. The fast paced synths and bizarre samples play beautifully with the thrashing drums and screeching vocals of Wyatt Shears, adding a hint of intricacy and complexity to the carnage. Similarly, the lyrics proudly bear the Shears stamp. Existing both incredibly bold and absolutely hilarious, you can’t help but crack a smile at how charismatic The Garden are.
All in all, it’s undeniable that Kiss My Super Bowl ring is well and truly out there. I can’t think of a label or category to apply it to, but to even try would defeat the object. And why bother? It’s irrelevant. The album is full to capacity with personality and a life of its own. It thrives in it’s unique dynamic existence, free from any constrictions of tradition. So, whether you blare it through your speakers or let it blow your mind at point blank range through your headphones, embrace the chaos. And don’t worry if it’s not your thing. The Garden don’t care, and that’s why we love them.
Words by Clem Brady