The TCR, aka Taylor Christian Russell, is a literal beast incarnate. 3 LP’s, an EP, numerous collaborations, two duo projects with The Dust Collective and Karate King, and a musician for the comic The Outrunners. So when he announced his 4th LP for release sometime in the summer, I was fairly excited. The dude’s music is perfectly 80’s to be in a movie about the 80’s. What I expected was the usual from the sneak peek Snake+Dragon EP. I was wrong…so very, very wrong. This album is Rain Dragon Records’ best release to date, and I believe it’s The TCR’s best release. Ever.
“Terraform” is the first track, and it’s pretty usual, pretty groovy and club-esque, like an alien disco party in space celebrating the formation of their planet with Earth, it has this aesthetic I’ve seen in other TCR songs, and it’s always welcome. “You Get Me High” is the second track, and a first for Taylor. It’s the first track he’s made(not counting side projects and collaborations) using vocals from a singer named Chelsea Owen, aka, Oceanside85(who’s debut album I might review soon ;3). The vocals make the track shine loudly, and make the track a treasure to behold. “In Too Deep” is the crime gone wrong, the drive-by that failed, the security cameras that picked you up before the heist. Now you’re trapped with no way out except in. Oceanside85 and The TCR once again collaborate on the track “Desert Rose”, which appeared as an instrumental on the Snake+Dragon EP. The track reminds me of a 70’s exploitation film, with the jazzy beats and background, and the vocals themselves give it that late night drive in vibe.
“Nightbreed” is the fifth track, and is named after Clive Barker’s film of the same name, which in turn is adapted from his novel Cabal. The movie doesn’t get much love in the darksynth scene, and it rightfully should. Looks like The TCR shares the same ideas. “Darth Spader II” is a sequel song from the track “Darth Spader” off of The TCR’s Machete Beach LP, and I didn’t think there would be a sequel song. This is just as excellent as the original, those guitars, those synth key-lead ins, those solos, oh lord it’s summer all over again. “From Underground” goes back to the vibrations from “In Too Deep”, being mystifying and creepy and a bit slower than the other tracks, I’m also lead to believe this song is a reference to C.H.U.D.
“Death Disco (Dread Beat)” is the eighth track, and one of the other songs from the sneak peek EP, and I’m proud to see it’s here. While it’s not the title track from the EP, “Snake+Dragon”, or the other excellent horror movie inspired “Late Night With The Podlings”, or even the groovy “Zombie Prom!”, it’s still an amazing track that reminds me of hideouts in the back rooms of clubs from cops or even monsters of some sort. Finally, the last collaboration on the album features an artist I’ve covered before, Stilz. These two have done this before, working on a track from Stilz’s “Judicator” album. Now they’re reunited to created an epic track called “What We Do In The Shadows”. This is like a ninja movie met a horror movie met a crime thriller movie. Oh wait, that’s “Ninja 3: The Domination”. There goes my original idea. Let’s relax for a bit, as the interlude track “Wicked Waltz” sets in, and feels like a sequel to the earlier dance track “Death Disco”.
“We Are Electric” is the second-to-last track, and the eleventh track, and it reminds me of old new wave bands back in the 80’s, like ABC, or The Cure, or even Depeche Mode. It’s just missing some vocals and backup singers and a creepy and totally cool music video. Sadly though, all things must end. This is the case with this album, as the song “After The Burn” is the last and twelfth track on the album, and also a reference (I believe) to his beloved track “Afterburner”. It’s just as fast and action-esque as the aforementioned song, and if not better than it. It’s soft piano chords mixed in with the fast-acting drums and the such is amazing, just like this entire album. I’ll stop giving ratings and let you guys go figure this one out yourselves, but if I predict, you won’t need my ratings to know it’s a perfect album.