ALBUM REVIEW: The Garden – Kiss My Super Bowl Ring

Release Date: March 13th 2020
Label: Epitaph Records


Although The Garden‘s fourth record, ‘Kiss My Super Bowl Ring’, is primarily self-produced, it includes some shimmering production from Dylan Brady of 100gecs.

The record splices together the greatest parts of everything that the Orange County duo have done in the past and uplifts it with a much grittier atmosphere and heavier elements, whilst simultaneously giving the electronic/drum and bass sections the spotlight. All of this equates to easily the greatest record that the Shears twins have put out to date, riddled with jungle breakbeats that perfectly embody the anxiety-ridden, cathartic rages of its lyricism.

‘Kiss My Super Bowl Ring’ opens boldly with the hell-raising rollercoaster ride of a lead single, ‘Clench To Stay Awake’. It twists and turns into a crescendo of psychotic screams and pulsating drum work which then bumbles its way into a haunting outro that feels like a serial killer taking a much-needed breath after committing his atrocities.

‘A Struggle’, ‘Sneaky Devil’, and the titular track all equally hit like a sledgehammer to the skull. Visceral, brooding, and balls to the wall experimental from start-to-finish, all three tracks are the absolute peaks of the record, and are certain to be standouts amongst their live set.

‘AMPM Truck’ sees the duo jump headfirst into surf rock, with jangly guitars and jittering percussion at the forefront, whilst ‘Lowrider Slug’ and ‘The King Of Cutting Corners’ bring to mind the gritty, chaotic grunge of Nirvana.

Please, Fuck Off’ is an explosive drum and bass track, accompanied by the sinister raps of “It’s about time I look out for myself / So it’s fuck you if you’re gonna be a rat.” This is all an ode to the album title, which the band have recently stated essentially means “Kiss my ass”.

For a band who have dabbled with fun, tongue-in-cheek absurdities so much in the past, especially so on their previous LP ‘Mirror Might Steal Your Charm’, it’s refreshing to see them delve into new territory.

The Garden have confidently boasted a sound that we always knew was up their sleeves, and they seem to have really found their feet within it as they wholeheartedly flourish from front-to-back.