Marijuana Deathsquads | Oh My Sexy Lord (2013) // MDS is a strange band to wrap your head around. For one thing there’s two drummers, so the songs on Oh My Sexy Lord pound with some crazy time signatures, but nothing too over-bearing. You’re halfway conscious of it throughout the album. The other thing is how there’s four guys huddled around beat machines, sequencers and snyths — all of them going to town creating a lush and vibrant soundscape entirely lacking in traditional guitar cues. By itself this music is otherwordly, with electronic clicks and synth-scapes being created. All of which sounds surprisingly great on headphones or speakers, swirling through whatever headspace you’re in. Last, but not least, are the vocals. Primarily handled by Isaac Gale, but shared amongst several others (including Doomtree’s Stef Alexander (aka P.O.S), Justin Vernon and Poliça’s Channy Leaneagh) are all processed through a vocoder and distorted and pitch-shifted until they’re almost inhuman. A majority of them are shouted as well. In some respects this is what electronic punk-rock sounds like, abandoning the traditional “sound” and style, going for something entirely different just because it sounds great. Gale has the pipes for it too, and along with a huge line of guests you’re treated to a vocal bonanza that manages to not sound messy.
There’s also very little, if anything, dealing with Marijuana here besides the name itself, which is one of the greatest. Oh My Sexy Lord sounds a lot more complete and whole than their previous LP Crazy Master. For one thing this album is longer, and the CD release indicates there’s a linked series of songs, but I haven’t bothered figuring out the story behind them. The music speaks for itself and comes alive through speakers. It’s hard to prepare for an album like this, one that can be almost ambient and then switch to some kind of quais-electro sequencing. Channy Leaneagh’s vocals pop up now-and-then and provide a nice lighter side to things and create some great balance, as does Justin Vernon.
Oh My Sex Lord is worth listening to, if not to impress your friends with one of the best band/album titles of all time.