Written by Barlovv
Thotcrime – D1G1T4L_DR1FT
> Illinois, US
> Releasing October 28
> Prosthetic Records
Illinois cybergrinders Thotcrime are returning after a banger of a split with The Cheeseburger Picnic back in June with this absolute beast of a full-length album called D1G1T4L_DR1FT, and if you’re a fan of cybergrind, or looking for a certifiably incredible on-ramp into the genre this is the best place you could start, at least in my humble opinion. This thing fucks, hard, and you don’t want to sleep on it even for a second.
There is so much to love about Thotcrime, even before we get into this album specifically. The quartet is made up of K. Salmon, Malady Jane, Dot Homler, and Hayley Sparxx and each one of them brings so much to the equation. Solid instrumentals, chiptunes, synths, and some absolutely furious vocals all come together to create one of the most interesting albums that I’ve had the pleasure of listening to this year.
D1G1TAL_DR1FT also brings a whole lot of different elements from a number of genres, from straight up grindcore all the way to pop-punk and emo-influenced stuff, which makes for a strangely nostalgic album that feels new at the same time. It also comes together remarkably well; the mashing of genres never feels incongruent or grating. This record’s broad influences make it feel like it shouldn’t work, but Jesus Christ does it ever.
The album is also absolutely fucking pissed at the entire fucking world. One song in particular, “You’re Like a Black Hole, the Way You Expect My Life to Revolve Around You”, aims inward at the hypocrisy of the left, opening with “You’re an anti-capitalist when you’re inconvenienced” and calls out the absolute bullshit of folks on the left who say the right things when its convenient but couldn’t actually give a shit when the chips are down. “You just want to be comfortable” is a damning criticism and one that is extremely well deserved. Intersectional feminism seems to fall away when it becomes difficult or challenges existing structures of privilege, and Thotcrime are not going to fucking put up with it anymore.
D1G1T4AL_DR1FT also looks at social media and its impact, and plenty of other ideas that feel like they only continue to be more relevant. “Everyone can see me, but I feel so invisible, virtual captivity, light hits my face and I’m flailing” begins “Tweet This!”, a song that deals with social media in a way that it feels like it was written by someone who actually understand our modern world. That isolation and constant exposure is a weird and ever-present dichotomy that folks who grew up without or early on in the internet age don’t really seem to understand in any meaningful way.
The album also deals with heartbreak and regret, and truly reminds me of how it felt to be young and listening to music exactly like this. That nostalgia that I was talking about before, sitting in my room with people screaming in my ears who seemed to fully understand what I was going through. That feeling. Even though, as I write this at 33, I don’t really have the same relationship to angst as I used to, I sure do appreciate it here. It felt like digging a CD from your youth out of the closet and rediscovering something that meant a lot to you years later. It’s just such a positive feeling.
Adding to the excitement and hype this album rightly deserves is the fact that Thotcrime has joined the roster at Prosthetic Records, joining the ranks of Animals as Leaders, Phobophilic, and Dawn Ray’d where they belong. D1G1TAL_DR1FT feels like something special with a lot of crossover potential, and I’m hoping that Prosthetic can bring them some more serious exposure and they find themselves breaking through. Of course, selfishly, I’d like to steal them for my own label, but I mean, who wouldn’t?
THE BOTTOM LINE
Thotcrime‘s D1G1TAL_DR1FT absolutely slays, and is one of my favourite albums among a year of brand new favourite albums. I’ve said it before, but I sure can’t fucking believe how strong 2022 has been for music, and we should count ourselves lucky. We’ve got all kinds of truly excellent music to get us up to the impending nuclear apocalypse and then after, until all of our phones die and we can’t charge them because electricity doesn’t exist. Sorry, I seem to have left my body there for a second…this album rules. Get it.