POP.1280: Museum On The Horizon

10 08 2021
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Pop.1280 will release their new record Museum On The Horizon next month, and I am so excited for this. With one listen down so far, I can promise you that it is one of the most brutal and passionate records of the year. For me, they are a band that bring everything there is to love about music together so effortlessly, but they can probably also scare you shitless. That fear they bring in their sound is so hypnotizing; and if you’ve ever been to a Pop.1280 show before, then you’ll know just how they bring that feeling in a live setting also.

There is something really dark and beautifully sinister about their sound, and that’s what has always drawn me in. They are one of the most powerful bands I’ve ever heard, and they just capture everything so well in their music. I can’t help but be in awe of every single record of theirs. They are just remarkable.

Museum On The Horizon is a combination of pure Industrial noise, Punk and something that is yet to be discovered/named. This is the case with all their records, but there is something about this new record that sounds like it has a stronger purpose. It was made to move the listener, made to scare them a little and also expose you to a different world. One better than the one we’re stuck in right now. There’s this beautiful like 80s Synth tone on Not Too Deep but the vocals add this roughness to it that just get you hooked. If you’ve never listened to Pop.1280 before then you’ve been missing out but this new record is a great place to start. For me, it’s just like listening to them for the first time. I think I first heard them in 2010/2011, and what I heard just blew my mind. Some bands come into your life at the right time, and Pop.1280 are one of those bands for me.

The new record reminds me of Suicide mixed with Nine Inch Nails; that heaviness is just divine and you feel like you’ve stepped into a world that is so sacred and so unheard of. I adore how menacing the record sounds, and one song in particular that gives that feeling off a lot is Two-Body Problem. It’s like chainsaws hacking at your brain but getting nowhere near the skin. It’s fucking frightening and done so effortlessly. I’ve never taken drugs before, but I’d imagine it would hit like a Pop.1280 record. I love how there is this sound on this record that you know will go over some peoples’ heads when they first hear it (think The Birthday Party) but in a few months or maybe years’ time, people will listen to this record and just be stunned by what they are hearing. It’s such a joy to listen to, and as heavy as these songs are- they are perfect to listen to when everything feels off.

The intro to Brennschluss sounds like it could be in some dark Thriller film that was shot in Berlin in the late 80s, with nothing but grey skies and rain for comfort. It’s such a slick song, and one you can’t help but gravitate towards even after playing the record over and over. At the moment, I’m calling it as my favourite on the record but I will have changed my mind by the time I’ve played the record again. That’s how you know when you’ve found a solid record. You can’t pick one favourite song but every song can fit your mood or be a comfort to how you are feeling.

I just love this record, and I really thought I couldn’t love anything as much as I loved Imps Of Perversion (best record of 2013 and one of the best records to have ever been released on Sacred Bones no question!) These songs are made to be heard live, and to be played as loud as you can stand. Imagine hearing Mission Creep live and just losing your mind to it. There is something so freeing about Pop.1280’s sound, and I think that’s a big part of why I love this band. There are many reasons, and with every record they put out- I find a new one.

Pop.1280 have never sounded like a band that are now. They’ve always sounded like something from the distant future- something we just aren’t ready for yet, but my god we need them. The songs on Museum On The Horizon are so beautifully crafted, and manic and just a joy to listen to. Human Factor, Right Hand Man and Noncompliant are just masterpieces. The whole record is a work of art, and insanely brilliant. Again, it’s one of those records that when you hear, it just makes you wish you could make something like that. The production on this record is perfect. Is it their best produced record so far? There’s no doubt about that. Everything on this record is just so enthralling. You notice so much from the way the songs flow into each other, to the rage in the vocals. Everything on this record sounds exactly how you’d want your favourite record to sound. It’s one of those records that should be studied- it is such an intense record, and all you can do is just keep on playing it and let the band take you on this euphoric ride away from your own daily dullness.

Something to really notice on this record is how all 3 of them have pushed each other to experiment more on this record. Pop.1280 have always gone beyond, but there is something about this record that just really leans into the band pushing themselves. It is a real joy to listen to, and there’s no way on earth you could ever get tired of this record let alone the band!

Nothing has been held back on this record, and that boldness is what keeps you constantly hooked. I never score records, but if I did this would be a solid 10/10 and even then, that wouldn’t be enough.

Museum On The Horizon is out on 24th September 2021 via Profound Lore Records.





POP.1280-Paradise

5 04 2016

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About two weeks or so ago Willis Earl Beal wrote something so important regarding music writers and how certain publications rating systems and the like are fucked, how they force feed readers to like what they like and expect them to hate them when they turn their back on them. What I’ve noticed is too many music writers are passionate about hating a band rather than praising one they love. It made me think about review records and if there’s really any point. I don’t review something in the hopes someone agrees with me, I do it because I hope someone goes and buys the record regardless of what I write. I could never ever write about a band or singer I didn’t like. I’ve been told by some place I was going to write for- they told me they never gave full marks for a review so I wasn’t allowed to praise something I loved too much. I pride myself on having better morals than being a semi-decent writer. Needless to say, I didn’t write for them. Which is probably why I’ll never make a living out of this. You accept it after nearly 10 years. So, with all of this said I’m going to write about why Pop.1280 have yet again released another mind-bending and mind-blowing record. I know of one other person who digs this band as much as I do(my uncle.)

Pop.1280 make music that is hard to stomach at times. When I first heard them I had this feeling that they would become something of an obsession. I loved how loud and frightening their sound was- and still is. Decades ago, kids used Punk to piss off their folks. I sincerely hope some kid is out there blasting out these guys to piss theirs off, and their neighbours. The thing that I love the most about Pop.1280 is that with every release, they get a little more terrifying. This is the kind of music you play when you want to scare someone shitless. Personally, I’d be tempted to use their music to try use it in a more romantic setting. Their music sounds like falling in love anyway- tormenting and chaotic. Have I been doing it wrong? No. My mind and god knows what else is wired differently. Paradise sounds like a nightmare, probably, to those who’ve never delved into this murky world that Pop.1280 have been building for years. It’s a world that makes you shudder, ache and think. Paradise just reinforces my love for them and if anything, has got me pretty excited for their London show in a few weeks.

9 songs in 39 minutes. 9 songs that are set to fry your brain, make your eyes go funny and make you question your surroundings. Something I’ve admired for some time about Pop.1280 is their ability to make you feel as if you’re trapped. Trapped in the hell of your own mind, in the midst of others- anywhere. They create this atmosphere that makes you feel as if you’re the last person left on Earth and everyone else has disappeared. It’s creepy. Really fucking creepy, and it isn’t for people who dream of sunshine and rainbows. I don’t know what kind of person latches onto a band like this. I have, and I guess you can draw up your own conclusion about it. I initially started writing about this record last week, but I stopped myself from writing because I realised quite quickly that this isn’t a record you casually listen to. I’ve taken it in. Or maybe this record has taken me in, chewed me up and spat me out. Do what you want, Pop.1280. This sinister feel to the record (and like their previous ones) has got me ready to see them live in a few weeks. I’ve never seen them before, and I’m really hoping it sounds equally terrifying live.

Phantom Freighter is the second track on the record, and in some ways it sounds like someone losing their mind. In general, Pop.1280 seem to capture the sound of madness really well. Phantom Freighter is a tension-filled track that makes your heart beat quicker than it probably should. It keeps you on edge, and I think that’s pretty much a solid for Pop.1280’s music overall.

Paradise will make you delve into some dark and lonesome emotions, and that’s perfectly fine. You shouldn’t always feel comfortable or secure when listening to music. Nobody should want predictable. For me, the fact that a band like Pop.1280 exist and can still make people feel a little uneasy like The Birthday Party did gives me hope. Not sure what kind of hope, mind. I’m pretty sure Paradise justifies why Pop.1280 are one of the best bands on Sacred Bones (pretty much all bands/musicians on that label are great) but it also shows why they are one of the best bands around. They’ve still got that raw and unpredictable sound that was on The Horror and Imps Of Perversion, and I think it is something that they will always be able to really put into their sound.

Sometimes you don’t need the news or a horror film to scare you shitless- just listen to Pop.1280 if you want some kind of kick.