Scary Monsters & Nice Sprites
Previously the frontman for L.A. post-hardcore outfit From First to Last, Sonny Moore continues to develop his unforeseen dubstep tendencies with the second EP under his Skrillex alias, Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites. This surprising electro reinvention still throws a few bones to his previous metalhead crowd, with the virtually demonic basslines of "Scatta," a blisteringly dirty 140-bpm anthem featuring the suitably breakneck-speed MC skills of U.K. grime collective Foreign Beggars, and the sinister lyrics of the Daft Punk-esque robotic rave of "Kill EVERYBODY" ("I want to kill everybody in the world") just as unsettling as anything the two albums recorded with his former band had to offer. But perhaps inspired by the move to Deadmau5's Mau5trap label, its nine tracks present a more chilled-out, melodic, and even playful side to the eclectic producer. "With You, Friends" (an ambient reworking of the closing track to his My Name Is Skrillex EP) is a slow-burning epic that displays his penchant for chopped-up vocal samples amidst some lilting piano chords, swirling proggy electro riffs, and hypnotic house beats; "All I Ask of You" echoes the lush techno of his new boss, with its warm layered synths, ethereal vocals (courtesy of Penny), and Euro-trance hooks; while even the heavier moments are interspersed with lighter touches, such as the ingenious sample of YouTube sensation speedstackinggirl ("Yes! Oh My Gosh") on the towering beats and distorted bass of the title track and the Space Invaders-style bleeps, helium vocals, and stadium rock handclaps on the chaotic electro-clash of "Rock n' Roll (Will Take You to the Mountain)." The three remixes from Noisia, Bare Noize, and Zedd are solid if unspectacular, with only the latter's chilled-out version of the title track providing anything wildly different from the originals. But the invention showcased on the first six bass-heavy anthems is more than enough to suggest that the U.S. has found someone who is capable of selling the dubstep sound back to its South London homeland.