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Playing music under the Coco Coca moniker since 2005, this Seattle-via-Illinois one man band self-produced three records in his basement before releasing Black, Black, Black, his first full length album. Blending driving, distorted rock and roll and digital dance music to create his own unique electro/grunge cocktail, Coco Coca is a multi-talented songwriter with a strong grasp for dynamics and layering. Containing some vague electroclash sensibilities, the bass heavy guitar notes and low synth riffs of Black, Black, Black makes for hipster club-ready dance beats.
From the first few fuzzy chords of opening track, "Partners," this album instantly grabs you by the waist with both hands and doesn't let go. With lyrical content about "disdain for the world...our government...and this hopeless way of life we perpetuate," this music is ideal for dancing in the dying light of the sun on the eve of the apocalypse. The sound is reminiscent of the stuff the Dust Brothers did for Fight Club, a kind of digitized alternate reality. The intro to "Sa Cougar" conjures the stylings of Daft Punk, while "Space Country" combines guitar riffs seemingly influenced by the Ventures, an eerie Halloween-esque synth melody and a mellow dance beat for a perfect example of how Coco Coca plays with the fusion of many genres for an exciting result.
With some Casio-esque synth, spacey experimental breakdowns, hooky anthems, and up-tempo guitar, Coco Coca is at his best when he is at his most danceable. The gun-shot-like beat and distorted lyrics of "Prime Mates" and double tracked vocals with a dash of falsetto on "Blood Is Thick," Black, Black, Black may be a bit dark at times, but never loses the qualities that make it perfect for a sweaty dance party in some one's basement. The energy remains consistently high, the whole of the album strong.
Considering the fullness of the sound, it is difficult to imagine how Coco Coca pulls it off on stage. On some songs in particular (notably "There's A Snitch in My House"), the way Coco Coca layers the various vocal tracks creates a special sort of tension, building an uncomfortable atmosphere. With so much going on in each track, it would take some serious finesse to keep all the moving parts in synch. But that's neither here nor there. Black, Black, Black is an outstanding piece of work from this emerging Northwest artist.