Review: Chocolate Hearts and Stag Beetles

May 6, 2021 on RateYourMusic.
Release: Chocolate Hearts and Stag Beetles (AERO GROS M, 2021)

Chocolate Hearts and Stag Beetles fascinates me. Aero Gros M insists that it was meant to be satire, criticizing the hexd phenomenon as unoriginal and bad. But the lyrics fail to convey that critique, or even hint at their intended subject matter -- they are opaque and intricately abstract. (The line "72 virgins and they all listen to shoegaze" is pretty funny knowing that she meant to mock RateYourMusic users in "lovesliescrushing," though.) In the absence of textual satire, parody through production is all that's left -- and yet, the album fails here too because it's... really good? It's really fun and beautiful and refreshing. I came away from the album thinking not that hexd was unoriginal and bad, but that the style has so much potential in the right hands.

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