Video Premiere: Tulip – Creature, Not a Bug

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Dr. Wily works at the LHC now?

Every chance I get, I point out how little I like most mathcore. Despite having the attention span of a gnat, the hyperactive energy of the genre with its non-stop tempo changes, squeaking quitars, and penchant for incorporating odd bleeps and bloops is just too much for me. Plus, it’s named after the objectively worst school subject. What’s not to hate?

There are exceptions, of course, and if you’re familiar with Minnesota’s Tulip, you might already have noticed that they’re somewhat outside the genre’s usual fare. The aggression is certainly here, as are the odd time signatures and a dash of electronica, but the overall result is different enough to catch even my curmudgeonly ear. This can largely be attributed to the simple but immensely important fact that Tulip’s songs don’t change direction every 5 fucking seconds. The band is instead perfectly fine with settling on a groove for longer stretches of time, letting you appreciate it in all its weirdness, which reminds me a lot of Freighter, one of the few other exceptions.

Given all that, and how enraptured I was with the band’s previous, self-titled outing, I’m more than happy to present the first track from their upcoming 2nd full-length Derangement, Exquisite Tenderness.

Now I think we can agree that even without the frantic video, there’s a whole lot going on here. The varying vocals, the jolting forward momentum of the guitars, and the drums that refuse to ever quite settle all create a frantic maelstrom right from the start. And yet, do you feel overwhelmed? Are you exhausted? Is there a renewed surge of hatred for anyone who made you look at numbers and symbols on a blackboard? Probably not, given that the chaos is presented in a digestible manner and at a reasonable tempo, drawing you in and allowing you to properly take in all the sights.

As for the video, the band explains its genesis thusly:

“At some point during the writing of this album, the prospect of the destruction of the Earth via the production of black holes from high-energy particle collisions at the Large Hadron Collider came up. Fortunately for the Earth, this event is vanishingly unlikely, but the idea stuck with us. We pushed and pulled at the narrative through the album’s completion, resulting in the story depicted in the video.”

I’m not one to argue with science, so I’ll leave it at that.

Derangement, Exquisite Tenderness will be out on July 15th. Pre-order a digital copy via Tulip’s Bandcamp or a tape via Ordovician Records. Then find out that the band is breaking up here.

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