Boomkat Product Review:
The latest addition to Instra:mental's Nonplus family, LOL is an ambitious studio project helmed by a notable drum 'n bass producer who wishes to remain anonymous (though internet bods have inevitably already put paid to that). Though it pays conceptual homage to VHS, and makes use of 70s valve mics, cheap drum machines and no small amount of tape-crunch, this isn't some lo-fi experiment - it's a big, bombastic pop album with a dark and sultry edge. It's an acquired taste to be sure, but if you liked Skream's ravey remix of La Roux, or the more vocal-led Various Productions gear then you'll be all over this, we reckon. Opener 'Trophy Wife' sets the tone, effortlessly flitting from cinematic torch-song mode to bashy grime-lite a la early MIA. 'Quarter Life Crisis' and 'Squeeze Me' are just two of several tracks that morph dubstep saw synths into grungey, overdriven guitars, and certainly won't be to everyone's taste; the more successful tracks are the more minimal, spaced-out and less obviously emo cuts, like the the elastic techno-funker 'Face Me', 'Me Me' and 'White Noise'. The latter of those is on a similar cinematic flex to Kryptic Minds, and album stand-out 'Dare Me' goes one step further: it’s a devastating 21st century dubstep ballad, coming over like a middle-aged Katy B bemoaning her fourth divorce. With all these big hooks and big ideas, we wouldn't be surprised if LOL are filling stadiums before too long.