Oh boy. Sometimes I think that My Pal The Crook throws certain reviews my way just to re-ignite the flame war. My distaste for “chillwave” has been aired out on the Bloglin several times over the years, and yet here I am reviewing 1991, the album from 1991. Let me also say that aggressive un-Google-ability is another pet peeve, though I suppose that one is shared by many of you. 1991 is getting a fair bit of hype (if you look in the right sphere) but luckily it was nowhere near as chillwavy as I’d been led to believe. Unluckily, it was also not nearly as good as I’d been lead to believe not by a long shot.
Released on cassette through Astro:Dynamics, 1991 has very few things going for it. The things I enjoyed about it were few and far between, though I suppose the tactile chunkiness of single “Reborn Ice Horn” and the light Giallo-y sounding elements of “Fabric of Space” are OK. Otherwise I found it to be somewhat of a mess, lightly experimenting with several different types of boredom without breaking new ground on any of them. The repetition is never exhausting enough to create interest, the casualness is never soothing enough to placate, and the gritty “tape” sounds never justify their existence. The centerpiece track, “Open To The Dark” is built around a Cure sample – nothing like this appears anywhere else, by the way – and the only effect I can perceive is of hearing The Cure through a wall whilst you listen to 1991 tinker around on a keyboard. Not chill.- Whole Milk