Album Reviews

Thundercat – Apocalypse – Album Review – (Brainfeeder)


Stephen Bruner aka Thundercat has all the right friends. He’s worked with names such as Erykah Badu and Suicidal Tendencies and has performed live with Snoop Dogg and the Red Hot Chili Pepper. The main thing you’ll notice from the names listed above is that they’re from all corners of the musical spectrum and his own sound defies easy classification, with different track following unusual musical trajectories, varying between jazz, indie, soul and electronica with a moments notice. It’s the type of album that keeps you on your toes and is all the more enjoyable for this excursion.

This is Thundercat’s second album and the (executive) producer is again Flying Lotus and the friendship between the pair makes it a very easy collaboration. Talking of the album Burner said:

“I feel like the album’s a story, more than anything. The music’s almost like a photobook for me. It takes me back to certain things I’ll never forget. I love working with Lotus because he was able to give it a different perspective and mold, to where people can actually see it for what it is.”

Three of the more interesting tracks from the album are ‘Tenfold’, ‘Heartbreaks and Setbacks’ and ‘Oh Sheit, it’s X’

Tenfold is the opening track on the album and builds steadily with layered synth sounds and a constant but submerged drum pounding in the background. There are hints of electric guitar that dabble with pushing this song over the top, but it remains subtle to the end and drifts off to whatever place it emerged from.

In some ways, the most radio friendly track on the album. Heartbreak and Setbacks is a simple, soulful love song that swirls with a huge sound carrying a mass of synths all flying in different directions with the vocal almost lost in amongst it.

Baby, it used to be a change for us to see

Baby, we’ll figure out where we’re supposed to be

Until we found the truth there’s something we should do

Can’t let the love stop flowing from me to you

This track ‘Oh Sheit, it’s X’ is a funk track that screams of 70’s disco with a wonderful bass line that would carry any song by itself.

“I just want to party, you should be here with me. In this ecstasy.”

The album as a whole is varied and interesting throughout, with lovely bass sounds a lot of impressive tracks. The surprise with the album is how subtle the production is, which gives the it hidden depths and makes it something that grows with repeated listens. While the songs above are the more extroverted tracks from the album there are a number of more inward looking moments that are just as provoking. This is a complex and constantly entertaining album that will keep you coming back for more.

1. Tenfold      03:04
2. Heartbreaks + Setbacks       03:23
3. The Life Aquatic     02:36
4. Special Stage        02:56
5. Tron Song    02:34
6. Seven        02:16
7. Oh Sheit It’s X      03:47
8. Without You  04:41
9. Lotus and the Jondy  04:52
10. Evangelion  02:20
11. We’ll Die   00:55
12. A Message for Austin / Praise the Lord / Enter the Void     06:35

Album available from Brainfeeder site.

Categories: Album Reviews, Best Albums

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