Thom Sonny Green
High Anxiety Album Review
Infectious Music Ltd.
Released August 19, 2016
Genre: Ambient, Electronica, Instrumental Hip Hop/Trap
Thom Green does more than just drum for Alt-J, that is a fact. Aside from his dexterous and nimble percussive contribution to the already idiosyncratic sound, Green proves on his solo debut High Anxiety that he can hone his talents into a project that wouldn’t necessarily work in Alt-J repertoire. High Anxiety is composed of three years worth of instrumentals and ideas that Green has so carefully and precisely worked on while on tour; it’s a 66-minute instrumental electronica album, and a HUGE departure from what you would expect from Alt-J.
The album jumps from different electronic subgenre to the next – opening with an ambient soundscape “Vienna” before jumping into a more lush and grand change of pace with “40 Beers”. “Blew” dips into some industrial atmospheres before becoming punctuated with samples and sharp synths; “Oslo’s” synths pierce the veil its shrouded under, giving it an almost tactile quality. “Phoenix’s” lush strings bring the track to an almost cinematic level, while “Christ” evokes Nicolas Jaar’s precocious and restrained sounds from Space Is Only Noise. Green’s compositions are cumbersome, and rather choppy, but there’s no denying the amount of detail he’s honed into these tracks.
“Cologne” wobbles with some brooding strings, diversifying the track listing by a bit; Green even offers up some trap hi-hats over some hollow pipes on “Houston”, a welcome detail amidst a stacked and prolonged track listing. Any expectation for an infectious melody or zany instrumental will disappoint those who search for those, for this is Thom Sonny Green flexing his electronic music skills. It doesn’t bang, nor does it excite. But it explores different passages, styles, soundscapes, and textures indicating a rising future for a talented member who most people only remember for his lack of cymbals on his drum set.
High Anxiety is pure electronic bliss for the young wunderkind making music from their laptop in a bedroom, and is a worthwhile debut for getting lost in your head.
FAV TRACKS: Vienna, 40 Beers, VVVV, Phoenix
LEAST FAV TRACK: Neon Blue