YELLOW CLAW FT. ROCHELLE - SHOTGUN
Iain Mew: “Shotgun” opens tense, bass-heavy, closed in, ready for brooding. And then Rochelle belts out “I will never fall for your lies again!” and Yellow Claw drop the pretence and dive into a ridiculous drop. They can’t even wait for a whole minute before doing so, but that doesn’t make the misdirection any less effective - might as well get to the point, right? The results are both funny and fun. Same for the later drops, if not their set ups.
Alfred Soto: Hornet effects! A “mysterious” piano run! Phallic imagery — and the gun goes off in her face yet! Will this garbage fool anyone?
Patrick St. Michel: Trap music is never gonna top that TNGHT EP from last year, huh?
Crystal Leww: This chases a million trends: the slow, quietly simmering vocals in the beginning ripped straight from underground queens like Delilah, the fake Jamaican accent on the chorus ripped straight from UK dance/pop vocalists like The Saturdays, a chopped & screwed male vocal counterpart like Ariana Grande, those big dumb electronic horns like the TNGHT, and the sound of a gun being cocked again and again. This is awesome at combining a bunch of incredibly competent crowd-pleasing elements and absolutely pulling it off.
Brad Shoup: I’m trying to assign a textual meaning to the post-verse honks. (Goosestep?) I think it’s air-sucking rage. But then there’s the part about never trusting his lies again… if the last lie was “I won’t shoot you in the face,” I don’t even know why a conversation is happening. Chronology aside, the one-channel drum taps make for exquisite tension, and if Rochelle’s feature veers into Europop complacency, here come those sirens to fuck things up.
Will Adams: Terminally predictable trap-pop that wears its formula like a badge. Gun sound effects, pitched-down vocals, horn farts, drone bass for the verses are obvious enough, but even the melodrama of the central line feels assembly line. For a genre that’s barely had two years of mass consciousness, it already feels played out.
Katherine St Asaph: “Shotgun” gets through three-fourths of a verse of drama before deciding fuck it, melodrama’s more happening. This, too, begins standard: a vocal switchup, a plaint amped up by an autotune style I’m fond of — less anonymous than aspirational, like ruching on a sweater dress, made so anyone can fill its contours. (The words have to be simple too, as they work the same way; if you can’t imagine yourself crying “I’ll never fall for your lies again,” you’ve either got a blessed life or a contorted inner monologue.) Shit gets real, real fast — shots, patois — then gets specific — shots right in the face — then gets elan: “with a shotgun!” Everything else tops everything else in ridiculous dubby-trappy annoyingness: sirens, grumbling guys, Scrubbing Bubbles-step, a “serious” piano line that’s the most ridiculous of all. It’s all formula, and there’s a lot to dislike about these guys besides formula (naming themselves, ironically no doubt, after one of Marvel’s worst-aged inventions, being so quick to a trend they had an “Amsterdam Twerk Music” EP in September) — but the other formulas are so much more boring.