Jazzgrind is one of my all-time favourite musical genres. It’s often very wild, barely tamed, so it goes into whichever direction it wants to go, and changes decision every thirty seconds or so. Swiss trio Five Pound Pocket Universe excels at this, and their debut album Brain Bubble Party is the proof of it.
Not only do they interweave metal, jazz, and grindcore in many aspects of their compositions, they seem to have a certain musical fetish for Japanese music, which also appears out of the blue on some occasions, sprinkled here and there throughout the almost fifty minutes that the twenty-four tracks of the album last. That makes for a most entertaining time. Genre-hopping from brutal grinding moments to smooth jazz, from sludge metal to J-pop, from chiptune music (it helps that composer Michel Barengo is also a video game music composer) to free jazz, Five Pound Pocket Universe don’t give you ten seconds to assess your musical environment, acknowledge what’s happening, and eventually anticipate what is expected to come next; no, when they find one idea, they develop it behind the curtains and then coalesce it into so short a passage that it is about to collapse in on itself due to its astronomical density.
There are very few musical territories left untouched by the quill of Michel and Five Pound Pocket Universe. And yet, despite the range of ideas touched upon and barely exploited—it’s more like taking a sip from every freshwater source than drilling one until it’s dry—it never sounds stale or shallow. Brain Bubble Party is an exceptional release. It comes out today!