Album Review: tameBERSERK – ‘Super Thinking’

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The dying embers of 2019 saw the final flurry of music releases ahead of a new decade, a fresh start, a new hope, or so we thought. One of the records that perhaps bypassed many was an album by London multi-instrumentalist tameBERSERK who unveiled debut release ‘Super Thinking’.

It’s no surprise that the album didn’t top the album charts for the simple fact that tameBERSERK appear to thrive in their independently-minded, DIY style approach to writing and recording. Indeed, tameBERSERK appear to revel in having creative control over every aspect of the production even taking control of promo shots, artwork and video content to accompany each release. In an industry saturated by an obsession with social media numbers (or lack thereof) and New Music Friday playlisting, an industry that has pilfered underground movements and the ability for those who inhabit them to thrive, it’s refreshing to discover an artist who’s willingness to embrace independence is used as a badge of honour.

‘Super Thinking’ isn’t going to change the face of music but its a fun, often kooky, musical journey that ebbs and flows from track to track, melding surreal lyrical content with lo-fi indie-pop sonics. Opening track ‘Spring Grove’ neatly sets the tone. Scrambled audio samples bleed out from the speakers before slowly dissipating, giving way to eclectic orchestral notes that fade into the distance. ‘Centerfold’ characterises tameBESRERK’s unorthodox approach as flowing, effected samples are accented by new romantic style vocal segments. ‘Best in Show’ stands out as one of the best songs on the album: an incessant drum beat is countered by vocals that could have been lifted from a Flight of the Conchords song, all brought together by scrambled, maniacal samples. ‘Favourite Years’ is one of the more conventional songs on the record that evokes comparisons with indie rock artists such as Menomena and Why?, while ‘Velo’ acts as a breather bringing proceedings to a much needed relaxed pace offering some respite from what has felt like a journey through time and space.

The final act of ‘Super Thinking’ grips less than the first however, the through line of experimentation is maintained up to the last track as the record closes on ‘Single Point of Failure’. The track offers a concoction of noise, samples, beats and psychedelia – a combination that sums up tameBERSERK’s unique outlook.

‘Super Thinking’ is a challenging, bizarre album that plays out like a fever dream. The record will not be for everyone but then, tameBERSERK would not be tameBERSERK if they sounded like your usual indie band and their ability to create distinctive music is what sets them apart from their peers.

‘Super Thinking’ is out now via Poster Boy Records.

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