Fire Toolz – I am upset because I see something that is not there. (Hausu Mountain)


Um…have you heard Fire Toolz before? Because if you haven’t you’re in for a treat. It’s possibly some of the most idiosyncratic music you’re ever going to hear. It may be the most well produced genre cognisant outsider music that’s ever existed, where an 80’s synthetic sheen meets, well, er, death metal? Or something like that. It’s like if Slayer were given a bunch of hallucinogens and forced to live inside Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory – back when Willie had a perm.

It’s the work of Chicago based Angel Marcloid, who pretty much does everything, composition, lyrics, vocals, electric & acoustic guitar, fretted & fretless bass, electronic drum kit, virtual instruments, production, mixing and mastering. She has some guests, playing drums sax, flute and La Croix (which could either be a Theremin or a soft drink), but it’s very much one person’s vision. And it’s a saccharine vision of blood curling brutality, augmented by some of the sweetest weirdness you could ever imagine.

It’s quite chaotic, between odd samples like ‘you’ve been listening to a podcast,’ to shards of random digitalia, to the shiniest synthesizer sounds you’ve ever heard, to the terrifying black/death metal vocals, its all quite beautifully ridiculous, really funny and stupidly inventive. Marcloid delights in escalating; just when you think it’s too much she’ll add some Eddie Van Halen guitar or terrifyingly lame synthesizer chimes and there’s not much left to do but smile, shake your head and bow down.

Marcloid’s music is a special kind of genius. It’s dense, brimming with seemingly contradictory ideas, filled with humour and playfulness, but also a deep love, respect, and understanding of the genres she incorporates into her unique sounds. Unless you’ve heard Fire Toolz before you’ve never heard anything like it.


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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.