The problem with synths is that they often have quite a sterilising effect on music. I mean recorded music is always going to have a certain amount of distance from the listener and short of having someone sat in front of you with an acoustic guitar even live performances have a degree of seperation. More than anything else though, synthesizers seem to lack the immediacy, soul and human-feel that makes tracks generally feel raw and not like they were formed in some lab as a result of musical genetic engineering. Obviously there’s a time and a place for this icy separation however it does severely hinder the synth’s (musical) face-fucking abilities, that is unless you assemble a crunchy symphony of the buggers, pair them up with some live drums and create something that sounds more punk that most guitar bands bother to these days.
On Toymaker, HABITS create a deranged, grating musical landscape, where an armada of scratchy synths meets shredding bass and lo-fi drums to create something that sounds a bit like DFA1979 in a k-hole toying around with a broken Casio keyboard. This sonic Maelstrom is edged along with vocals that weave their blunted drawl into the chaos with an early Beck-like nonchalance, a cutting contrast to the druggy mess of the instrumentals. Quite frankly I don’t even know how to describe this sound but it does show that synths can kick some ass when they need to.
You think this is crazy? Go watch the video! Comment!