Sunday, September 13, 2009

Two Kings Of The Same Kingdom
- (2007)

Florida-based duo Yip-Yip have never particularly stuck to any sort of formalities on how their music should be played and performed and what it should be like, preferring instead to loop and distort and improvise their way around their songs as they please. That being said, Two Kings of the Same Kingdom, their fifth full-length, sounds, well, pretty much exactly like their other albums, which is to say, quirky, crunchy, keyboard-and-drum-machine-driven electronica that bounces around between bass and treble, tinny snare drums, and low saxophone notes. It's all circling, repeating instrumentals here, so much so that the tracks get hard to distinguish, but the album's so short — with 12 songs clocking in under 25 minutes — that it never seems tedious or longwinded. Instead, Nintendo-based riffs bleep and blurt and circle around, synchronizing with the percussion, chirping out good-naturedly. In fact, even the songs that take on a more ominous tone (the time-signature-shifting "Gender Changes," the darker "Genius Beast") are never threatening or even any less fun than their sunnier, warmer counterparts ("Sprinkle Council," "Club Mummy"). It's lighthearted, not particularly complicated music, where most often the treble and basslines mimic each other, hiccupping along with the drums when necessary, but it's also off-kilter and engaging and fun, smart and weird yet not overly concerned with itself or its image, unpretentious in a world of pretense. On Two Kings of the Same Kingdom, Yip-Yip have settled nicely into themselves and their music, finding a succinctness that still allows them the room to explore and develop new ideas without letting things spiral out of experimental-video-game-punk control. Which, all things considered, makes for a pretty great listen, whether or not you've heard the band before. (

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