Every so often, I am lucky enough to hear music that is so different and unique that it is an outright challenge to the status quo and everything you assume music should sound like. One-man band Action Cube has created a real work of art with The Bits Detective, combining the barebones edicts of music theory with new age technology and using an unbounded creativity to package it all together. The album as a whole is fun, dark, and weird – and possesses a well-composed charm that makes everything work.
I absolutely love the opening riff and echoed vocals on “It’s Summer Now.” Pulsating and enticing, it captures your full attention, and piques your curiosity for what’s coming next. “Like the Young” follows with stronger vocals and an eerie twang in the background. The guitars sound a lot more electronic here, a sense that gets more powerful as the album progresses. The chorus is extremely catchy and easy to pick up after just one listen.
“Fake Out” has a dirty sound punctuated by sharp drums and haunting toned vocals. It sounds like Nirvana gone electronic, which in theory seems like a terrifying matchup but works impressively well here. “The Slow, Man” has a backdrop sound that reminds me of the sound P Jack from the Tekken franchise made when he started up, and it’s a surprising but welcome addition to the track. The album takes a decidedly sharp turn into the 80s pop theme style with “DEDR” and “We Gun,” shying away from the rock influences present in previous songs. We reach a plateau at this point in the album, where the ethereal trip of the music begins a delightful cruise that continues through “Win Win.”
The sense of relative calm is shaken up by “Normally, I Don’t,” which kicks the tempo back up and reminds me of the energy present in the first song on the album. “Robot Hood” creatively makes use of a dripping sound that evolves into an irregular drum beat. The transition is somewhat jarring for a few seconds but is incredibly satisfying once the vocals kick in. Closing song “Look Ancient” comes back full circle, providing a nice sense of closure particularly in the final organ chords. You can put this album on at a party to get people moving; similarly, you can pump it through your favorite headphones in a quiet room and simply absorb all of the different dynamics. Like many of the rock albums of the 70s and 80s, this takes you on a journey and is an experience for the senses, and is a truly captivating listen.
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