REVIEW: 100 gecs – 10,000 gecs: An Irreverent Musical Playground

If you don’t inhabit a certain corner of the internet, you’d be forgiven for never having heard of 100 gecs. The duo, formed of Dylan Brady and Laura Les, were one of the first acts to popularise a genre now known as hyperpop, with their 2019 debut album 1000 gecs.

Drenched in gen-Z internet culture, the record was so unabashedly maximalist that it was hard not to take notice, with heavily processed vocals, overblown drums and utterly bizarre lyrics wrapped up within undeniably accessible, catchy melodies. And take notice the music world did, with the album making its mark on countless publications’ end-of-year lists, and Jon Caramanica of the New York Times even crowning it the best album of 2019.

Album cover art | 100 gecs – 10,000 gecs

It’s understandable, then, that the follow up, somewhat confusingly titled 10,000 gecs, has been so hotly anticipated. First announced in late 2021 alongside single ‘mememe’, it’s been a long wait for gecs fans to get their next fix. With such a drawn-out release schedule, it was easy to worry. Were 100 gecs just a bizarre yet entertaining flash in the pan who couldn’t sustain themselves in the long term? As months passed, and artists from Sam Smith to Rebecca Black (yes, that Rebecca Black) began to imitate elements of their style, there was a concern among fans that this follow up wouldn’t bring anything new to what had become an increasingly saturated scene.

Luckily, if the duo is indeed fading into irrelevance, there’s little sign of it here. 

The record’s opening track, ‘Dumbest Girl Alive’, begins with the much-mocked earsplittingly loud THX sound effect (because why not?) before morphing into a nu-metal inspired anthem of self-deprecation that samples the bass of Travis Scott’s 2018 smash ‘Sicko Mode.’ 100 gecs are undoubtedly ridiculous, and their biggest strength is that they embrace that label wholeheartedly. 

‘757’, for instance, sees the distinctive sound of Star Wars’ TIE fighters serving as a percussive accompaniment to the outro, while ‘One Million Dollars’ is little more than the repetition of its title in a multitude of voices, including that singularly irritating TikTok text-to-speech voice, over a storm of electric guitars and bombastic synths. It might sound horrific, but thanks to 100 gecs’ relentless enthusiasm it’s impossible not to crack a smile as this LP barrels through its 26 minute tracklist.

100 gecs | dog show records

The only real moment of respite comes on ‘Frog On The Floor’, with its relatively simple, organic instrumentation. That’s not to say the production doesn’t have its quirks, however – the fact that a track on which a frog’s croaking forms a major part of the backing can be classed as a respite is a testament to the insanity of just about everything else on display here. Indeed, its lyrics are injected with the same unique sense of irreverence that defines the album, as the duo tells the story of their reptilian companion: ‘I heard you met my friend the other weekend / I heard that he was telling croaks at the party / And then he got on his front legs and did a keg stand / Wow that’s so cool, I wish that I was there so I could see it.’

If you’ve ever wanted to listen to a 90s-infused ska-punk banger about invasive dental surgery, Brady and Les have you covered there too. Penultimate track ‘I Got My Tooth Removed’ romps along after a fake-out opening versereminiscent of Jeff Buckley’s classic ‘Hallelujah’ is transformed by an explosion of absurd, joyful energy.

If it’s not already clear, there is not one dull moment on any of the album’s 10 tracks. It certainly isn’t for everyone – I’m sure there will be people reading this who think the descriptions of the music I’ve offered sound like an unparalleled sonic hell, and that’s absolutely fair enough. 

Those who are willing to get on board with 100 gecs’ absolute mockery of the concept of self-seriousness, however, will be rewarded with one of the most unique, surreal, and mind-bendingly fun albums in recent memory.

Harry Featherston is a final-year English student and LSM’s Arts and Culture Editor. You can find him on Instagram here.

Feature Image: Dork

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