East India Youth‘s second record starts with a track called The Juddering. It’s a pretty accurate title: the first three minutes of this record are a sonic assault in surround sound, a slowly rousing piece of jagged soundwaves that confound, excite and, yes, disorientate. This is William Doyle’s Culture of Volume, and it doesn’t let up for a single second after.
Take End Result, for example, which detours into minor keys over fuzzy drum. Or Beaming White, with its scattergun synth percolating behind 80s melody. Technically, it’s all present and correct – and really quite impressive, especially on the resplendent 8-bit final-boss vibes of Hearts That Never and techno-lite Prodigy-baiter Entirety – but something doesn’t quite connect amid the pyramid of frantic electronica.
It’s not that Doyle can’t touch us. Parts of his debut Total Strife Forever were easy to adore, but the new record is harder to penetrate. And while he’s close to having his Perfume Genius moment on the slow-burning Carousel, there are too many detours, too many indulgences (including a ten-minute track) that cloud the message. A solid second effort, then, if a tad too ambitious.