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CoSign: Lip Critic Is a Horrible, Beautiful, Wildly Entertaining Idea for a Band

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Every month, Consequence puts the spotlight on an artist who’s poised for the big time with CoSign. For May 2024, that accolade goes to New York electro-punks Lip Critic and their bonkers new album Hex Dealer.

A few years ago, the members of Lip Critic (Danny Eberle, Connor Klutz, Bret Kaser, and Ilan Natter) were a couple of bored college students at the State University of New York at Purchase. All musicians in some form or another, they had found themselves feeling ever so slightly unenthused about the crop of local bands. While there were plenty of passably enjoyable acts, nothing quite triggered those deep synapses hidden in ancient corners of the brain. So, they did what they had to — they absolutely fucked shit up.

“We were somewhat bored and feeling an amount of staleness to the scene of music that we were surrounded with. It just didn’t feel like there was that much to be excited about,” Kaser recalls. “There were a ton of great bands and a ton of great musicians all around us, but there was this feeling where we were all kind of, you know, like iPad-kids: dopamine deprived.”

And thus, Lip Critic was born, an outlet for the gang’s most out-there ideas, ideas that otherwise might come across as profoundly impractical or deeply misguided. These are ideas like touring with two full drum kits or developing a video game to accompany a single release. They’re the type of decisions that, if there had been a responsible adult in the room, would have been immediately shut down. You can all but hear the responses: You know that’s going to make touring way harder, right? What do you mean you’re a punk-ish band with no live guitars? Don’t you think your resources would be better spent elsewhere? To which Lip Critic would respond with a cavalcade of ear-splitting synths and samples of pigs squealing.

“Only bad ideas work,” Natter says with a laugh, referencing a DIY Facebook meme that has becomea rallying cry for Lip Critic. “Keep your good ideas away from me,” Kaser quickly adds.

You can hear those exhilarating bad ideas come to fruition on their blood-pumping new album Hex Dealer, which is a fittingly aggressive, uninhibited, and completely absurd effort. The maximalist cacophony of the album’s 12 tracks falls somewhere in between Death Grips and Nine Inch Nails, Autechre and Rage Against the Machine, Burial and smashing your head against the wall.

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