With some of the best produced drums and most outstanding vocals in recent memory, Occult Classic is certainly one of the best and hardest hitting electronic albums of the year. Occult Classic is Jake Stanczak’s first full Long Play since he unveiled his stage name Kill The Noise in 2007, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. Stanczak hits the listener hard with brilliant sound distortion and drum patterns that are a joy to both listen and dance to. However, some of my most anticipated songs on the album fell a bit flat, as several collaborations struggled to be anything more than mere novelties.
The album starts off extremely well with the hit “Kill It 4 The Kids (feat. AWOLNATION & Rock City)”. The track doesn’t wait more than a few seconds before the listener is smacked with a repetitive yet catchy vocal by AWOLNATION’s Aaron Bruno and an aggressive liquid bass. The second drop especially is undeniably fun to dance to; I could definitely see it playing well at an electronic music concert. The first song on Occult Classic is one that I’ll be listening to for several months.
Stanczak’s first LP as Kill The Noise, however, falls a bit flat near the middle of the listen. Two of the collaborations I was most looking forward to, “I Do Coke (feat. Feed Me)” and “Dolphins On Wheels (feat. Dillon Francis)”, just didn’t live up to what they could have been. Although they were fun gimmicks, the tracks failed to warrant more than a play or two. The vocals and sound effects within them, although quite funny, weren’t enough to set them apart from the myriad of other electronic songs in today’s scene.
Where Occult Classic really shines is in its last three tracks. The concluding songs, “Lose Ya Love,” “Spitfire Riddim (feat. twoton),” and “All In My Head (feat. AWOLNATION),” all exemplify the best dance floor bass music in today’s scene. The first of the three, “Lose Ya Love,” exclusively a Kill The Noise track, perfectly combines screeching melodies and insane vocals to make one of the best electro/dubstep tracks I’ve heard in years. Very reminiscent of Skrillex, the owner of the label this album was released on, this track does not disappoint.
The following track, “Spitfire Riddim (feat. twoton)”, takes the listener by surprise right from the start. It jumps right into a reggae feel that is similar to that of a Major Lazer song. Then, at 25 seconds in, some drums hop in and suddenly the listener is assaulted with frightening vocals and vicious sounds. By the second drop, the pace of the song picks up and it takes the listener on a ride like no other. To conclude the trilogy is the second AWOLNATION collaboration of the album. With more beautifully crafted and edited Aaron Bruno vocals and sound engineering, “All In My Head (feat. AWOLNATION)” is perhaps the most audibly pleasing track on the LP. The last minute of the song beautifully fades out to complete the album in fantastic fashion.
Overall, I was very satisfied with Stanczak’s first full LP release. Typically, heavy bass and high intensity albums struggle to have a cohesive feel throughout, but such is not the case for Occult Classic. Occult Classic stayed strong on its daring drum patterns and absolutely stunning vocals throughout while continuing to give each song individuality. Perhaps my biggest gripe of the album would be the gimmicky songs that just didn’t live up to what they could have been. Seeing a collaboration with both Feed Me and Dillon Francis on the track list perhaps gave me more excitement than actually listening to the tracks. Although they weren’t bad songs through and through, they weren’t good enough to warrant more attention once the gimmick wore off. Despite this downfall, Occult Classic, Jake Stanczak’s first studio album under the moniker Kill The Noise, is in the conversation for the best electronic album of this year.