Tropical F*ck Storm - Soft Power (b/w) Lose the Baby Single Review
By Stephen Haring
Like an Alternative Grunge-rock Avengers, Gareth Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin of “The Drones” have teamed up with Lauren Hammel of “High Tension” and Erica Dunn of “Harmony” to create “Tropical Fuck Storm”; a musical group that reflects exactly how the world feels after a confusing and unnerving 2017.
On September 22, 2017, “Tropical Fuck Storm” released their first EP, titled “Chameleon Paint / Mansion Family” and promised to return exactly 8 weeks after for a follow up. On November 17, 2017, “Soft Power / Lose The Baby” was born; a musical experience rich with lyrics that are callously real and pure, topped with a sound that accentuates the dark and malicious tendencies of the 2017 world.
With a title like Soft Power / Lose The Baby it’s almost surefire that the music will touch on some risky political topics, and you can bet that TFS does exactly that. The album’s introductory and most dominant track “Soft Power” grabs at the throat and doesn’t let go until shortly after the three minute mark with a sudden detente that carries through until the end like a thick, wet river of morose consciousness. The moment Liddiard opens is mouth, it’s like watching the climax of a grotesque horror movie; you don’t want to partake but you absolutely have to. “Hold your fire man don’t shoot; Here come the umpa lumpa with the nukes” he belches, which immediately presents the main entree; an orange haired politician with his finger on the trigger.
The entire entree itself is disgusting, filled with anarchy, helplessness, and failure. The end result is modern day politics and modern day hate (the two are one of the same, now more than ever). Liddiard’s lyrics display the group’s vexation toward society. “He’s picked up the option, he’s gonna film the failed coup; Right after he makes Top Gun 2” Liddiard wails at the climax of “Soft Power”, reiterating the sense of helplessness. TFS Presents a solution here, with hints toward a humanitarian resistance, but immediately shuts down any sense of optimism. “Everything was going so swell; But now we need to play our weak hand well” is a direct call for help. Its shines light on an empire that has fallen, and what remains is horrid. TFS masterfully deliver this message at a time when it is needed most, when America, and the rest of the world are so genuinely horrified of each other, and themselves.
The final track, “Lose The Baby” pays homage to Lost Animal’s song of the same name. On this exit track, Tropical Fuck Storm fail to maintain the bar that they had raised so high with “Soft Power”. Liddiard still sings like a honey badger backed into a corner however the instrumentals are not quite as heartfelt as they are on the premiere track. Tropical Fuck Storm’s “Lose The Baby” is still a very unique take on the track and stands alone as a very good song. In comparison to its predecessor though, it falls slightly short of the mark.
“Tropical Fuck Storm” have abruptly marched on into the world’s current political scene guns a-blazing. Both tracks off their latest EP pack a punch and send a strong message in what is their best piece of work thus far.