If the question is, what is the Weight of A Pronoun?, the answer should be measured in the force of its bass punches, the velocity of its glitch, and the gravitational pull of its grooves. Taking that into account, this latest batch of melodic electronica from Anklebiter (aka Tanner Volz) is a rock-solid heavyweight. Volz loves his big bass sounds and drums, and he unloads a barrage of them here, thumping and driving their way toward irresistibility. It comes at you early on, an uppercut delivered out of an opening twist of electronics on “Joey Gladstone.” It hits in straight jabs on “Tickle Monster,” laid in with squelchy tones and pneumatic hisses to keep time. Catch it on “Werewolf of Portland” (Mr. Volz wins 50 bonus points for the title), where it’s given a little extra impact courtesy of drops that open into broad pad structures. What really makes the release work, though, is how Volz dovetails sharp, angular hooks with smoothly curved surfaces. That secondary side of the scale comes from soft pads and emotional melodies laid under his glitch-based rhythms. “Never Like This” is a great example. Beautiful piano leads the way but soon gets tucked beneath Don Gunn’s perfectly clattering drums. In for the redemption comes Anomie Belle’s violin, lifting the melody and the emotional content high above the noise. Meanwhile, Volz keeps an infectious rhythm-section groove running beneath. “It Was the Truth, Darlene” slides in a deliciously retro sequencer line and chanting vocals courtesy of Princess. The sound here is very thick, intricately over-woven glitch and distortion and potent beats, and yet it’s almost weightless; your focus is fully on how damned catchy it is. And while “catchy” may not be the descriptor Volz was going for on Weight of A Pronoun, it’s fitting. These quick tracks are a pure pleasure to listen to, they all but beg you to turn them up, and between the hooks and the feeling, they stand a good chance of owning you outright. To me, this album is Anklebiter at the top of his game and just getting better.
Available from The Crime League, at Bandcamp.