Beyond Playlist: MSTRKRFT - Fist of God

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Fist of God
Dim Mak/Downtown

MSTRKRFT's latest electro opus highlights both the duo's ace skill set and inherent limitations. The eleven tracks all feature gigantic synthesizer riffs and banging percussion arranged into head-nodding, fist-pumping anthems. That's a good thing in the sense that everything here is pretty catchy but it gets tiresome fast. After a few listens, the incessantly strident dynamics and full-bore tempos lead to ear fatigue and boredom.

Then again, MSTRKRFT isn't really an album band and this isn't really an album age -- taken as singles, these tracks all work well enough, even if some are consdierably better than others. And, not surprisingly for a group that got started as remixers, the very best tracks are those that call in outside talent. The best of the bunch are the opener "It Ain't Love," which floats a sweet R&B-styled vocal from Lil' Mo over some grinding digital cruft, and "So Deep" and "Breakaway," both of which feature Jahmal of the Carps, casting his vocal and MSTRKRFTs signature electro into old-school house and trancey disco settings respectively.

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