Self-professed nerd Ethan Tufts has never been one to celebrate the bright side of life but his latest release is his darkest offering yet. With subject matter including domestic abuse and its cautionary title, one wonders whether Tufts can make such bleak material palatable for the listener on ‘Let’s Get Bloody’.
As it happens, there’s no cause for concern. After thumping opener ‘National Felt’, the more sombre side of Tufts takes over. Thanks to his slightly whiny voice, a cry of “Are we there yet?” (from ‘The Road To Hana’) may not be the wisest lyric but Tufts’ main skills are in his songwriting and arrangement skills which make him sound him like an emo act for electronica-loving adults. As a case in point, on ‘Suffer Someday’ (think Smashing Pumpkins in their ‘Adore’ phase), Tufts demonstrates that his music can be rousing and anthemic.
‘Disappointed’ is a decent cover of an Electronic song which adds new layers of melancholy but Tufts has actually written better songs himself. One of these is ‘Beth’s On Fire’ where – against some dark yet bubbly electronica – a chilling tale is built up. Elsewhere, ‘Cassettes’ and the inventive ‘Crush’ provide excellent support.
Infact there’s so many good songs here that ‘Let’s Get Bloody’ is probably the best of State Shirt’s three albums so far and both of the previous ones were very strong. So, for students of brooding electronica – whether they’re angst-filled teens or mildly troubled adults – Ethan Tufts’ compositions come highly recommended.
State Shirt Official Site
Electronic, Smashing Pumpkins