Album: Scary Monsters & Nice Sprites
The name Sonny Moore may sound familiar to you; in previous years he was a member of From First To Last and he’s been associated with Bring Me The Horizon. Well, Sonny has been very busy, and he has exploded onto the dubstep scene in recent months under a name you can expect to know soon: Skrillex. Skrillex released his second album later, titled Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites through Mau5trap.
Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites EP has all the intricate beauty of a massive explosion in 1080p. The EP starts strong with (in retrospect) my favorite track off the list: “Rock ‘N’ Roll (Will Take You To The Mountain).” By about one minute in, Sonny has you after the bait. A self-assured beat, chawing bass, and flowing sidechain pulls you into the rhythm and induces head-banging in a matter of seconds. Within a couple of phrases, he takes it to another level. Fidgety vocals fill out a complex and searing melody, and high-register synths contrast the confident chord progression with sharp clarity and attitude. The song staunchly refuses to bore, and packs precision into the smallest of spaces. Even after, the final effect is not tedious as you might imagine, but delicately balanced- unpredictable, syncopated, and complex, but still intimate and fresh.
“Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” is an instant classic. Skrillex gives new meaning to the word “dynamics,” and proves again in “Scary Monsters” that dubstep isn’t afraid of a good melody. Somehow, Sonny found the perfect combination of growling and howling, because this track is as raw as it is deep.
Noisia and Bare Noize both have remixes of “Scary Monsters” in the list. I have to admit, I’m always a little reserved when it comes to EP remixes, but I found myself completely satisfied by all three on Scary Monsters EP. Noisia slows it down and fills the beat out to full-time, which really ends up pulling a ton of feeling out of the main melody. The Noisia remix is as good as the original, and paints the tune in a more positive, upbeat perspective. The Bare Noize remix, however, defies the unimaginable by making “Scary Monsters” stomp even harder and filthier than before. It’s fiercely sluggish (in a good way) and dirty as all hell.
Skrillex shows us the meaning of contrast, by balancing out a handfull of bangers with a couple more accessible and housey tunes, like “All I Ask Of You (Feat. Penny),” and “With You, Friends (long drive).” The former is right up Deadmau5 alley. Penny’s vocals are innocent and reassuring. The wide open, eighth-note chords energize the whole piece and give platform to the faster melody that comes in later and compliments Penny’s vocals. “With You, Friends (long drive)” is slow to build, but it peaks with just as much energy as the rest of the album.
All in all, I think Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites EP is fantastic. Sonny Moore shows us much of his personality in this album, and it’s that very depth of character that makes this such a definitive and progressive work. I think it’s an album that many musicians (electronic or otherwise) are finding, and will find, to be a great source of inspiration, as well as a great playlist on their iPods.
I simply don’t tire of this album
Review written by: Jake Thomas White