Published Mar 11, 2020Some might roll with the descriptor "art punks" when referring to Wyatt and Fletcher Shears, the unpredictable duo behind the Garden, but they often do so many things at once that fitting them into some sort of category feels dishonest. While 2018's Mirror Might Steal Your Charm saw the twin brothers connecting to their goofy, rambunctious punk side, their fourth studio release, Kiss My Super Bowl Ring, is just as experimental and weird, but showcases the Garden in a darker and more aggressive mindset.
The Shears brothers draw inspiration from music far and wide, converting it to suit their own absurdist punk ways. With the Nirvana-esque grunge in the opening track "Clench to Stay Awake," the explosive drum and bass in "Sneaky Devil" and the trap-inspired switch-ups and harp samples in "Hit Eject," there is not a single uninteresting second throughout the entirety of Kiss My Super Bowl Ring. Listeners are exposed to music that is volatile and surprising, devolving into clamorous rage or ascending into catchy melody at any given instance.
Although rare, there are a few moments throughout Kiss My Super Bowl Ring where the duo ditch inventiveness for what feels closer to crassness, a prime example being the dissonant chaos of the final track, "Please, Fuck Off." More often than not, however, the Garden's experimentation feels subtle and strangely organic, and two moments where the album is at its best include the death metal drum roll in the chorus of "AMPM Truck," and the exotic flute solo near the end of the slow burn grunge track "A Fool's Expedition."
As their most viscerally intense release thus far, Kiss My Super Bowl Ring has the Garden screaming as much as they are singing, and transitioning between the two within a matter of seconds. Somehow, the Shears brothers are able to make it work. (Epitaph)