the-garden

To appreciate the work of kooky Cali-punk twins Wyatt and Fletcher Shears, you need to buy into their philosophy of Vada Vada. Defined as “an idea that represents pure creative expression that disregards all previously made genres and ideals,” it’s reinforced in their biography with the assertion that “The Garden don’t care what you think.”

On 2013’s ‘The Life And Times Of A Paperclip’, the duo decorated their DIY Vadaverse with surf-rock-style bass lines and hyperactive drum fills, while Wyatt ricocheted between yelps and drawls, imagining himself “waking up in a bird’s nest” one moment, and living life as a coat hanger the next. Songs rarely grazed the minute-and-a-half mark, and their deliberate absurdity was amusingly disorientating. On ‘haha’, the joke has worn so painfully thin it’s practically threadbare.

Splattered with cheap synths and often driven by – what appears to be – the keyboard’s “breakbeat” demo, their second album sounds like the sort of tinny, junglist-flavoured, electro-punk set that Noel Fielding’s character in Nathan Barley might make. Extending songs like ‘Devour’ to the three-minute mark proves a huge error too: in the absence of any spontaneous energy, you’re forced to focus on Wyatt’s appalling wordplay, which is peppered with Des’ree-lite clangers like, “Like a ghost with flip flops / I’m not heavy.” It’s probably for the best that The Garden don’t care what I think.

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