Not often does an album create as big a divide as 100 gecs’s debut album, “1000 Gecs,” did when it was released at the end of May, 2019. It was unlike anything heard ever before, and people were just as confused as to how to respond. What followed was chaos: Everyone and their mama argued over this album, and those who didn’t simply died trying to comprehend what they heard. Because it wasn’t just the earwormy autotune or borderline painful distortion that confused us — it was everything. From the trap, edm, and pop punk influences to meme-worthy lyrics, paired with nightcore-esque vocals and bass-boosted beats, 100 gecs blended the familiar with the alien, setting a landmark forever ingrained in the ever absurd hyperpop. In the face of the cracks left by A.G. Cook and SOPHIE, 100 gecs chose to do crack and got everyone else hooked on it in the process.

Or at least half of everyone. 

100 gecs were a divisive duo — a true love-hate, gec-gecless type of scenario — so the other side of this positive reception they received was nothing short of what you would expect from wannabe music critics: a pretentious sneer. To the gecless, 100 gecs were reduced to mere parody, as though it could only be through sheer, Gen Z irony that anyone could enjoy music so bad. But to themselves, 100 gecs don’t make music to be ironic. Laura Les tells FADER, “It’s playfulness, but we’re not making a joke… it’s interesting that there’s so much confusion about that, like, is that how you live your life? I take myself seriously but I don’t do so on a moment to moment basis.” There’s a nuance in 100 gecs’s approach to humor that has been misconstrued, and while ska, punk, and dubstep belong in this once-popular-now-hated category of genres, pulling influence from them isn’t done with the intention to be ironic but with interest in evolving their sound. 100 gecs don’t hate Sublime or Skrillex; they’re the ones that made them popular. “Just because we’re having fun doesn’t mean we’re being ironic,” echoes Dylan Brady in an interview with Pitchfork, “no more guilty pleasures. If it’s good, it’s good.”

And fortunately for us gecs, the fun didn’t stop at a debut; a remix album and an EP later, the much anticipated “10,000 gecs” was released in March 17, continuing this unapologetically abrasive fuse of styles. Except things have changed. As Laura Les puts it, “a lot of different shit goes on [in four years]… we listened to different shit [back then].” “10,000 gecs” embodies this natural progression in music taste and artistry, where what was once nightcore has instead become nu metal, and what was once distorted-to-shit supersaws has become live guitar. From the Papa Roach riff on “Dumbest Girl Alive” down to the Limp Bizkit record scratches of “Billy Knows Jamie,” this album so faithfully reproduces  a late 90s to early 2000s style. There’s no surprise, then, that 100 gecs recorded it all in the same room as System of a Down’s “Toxicity.” It’s this commitment to authenticity that makes it more than a cheap rehash of nostalgia, as they reach higher than the peaks of their influences. It’s one thing to hire Travis Barker to carry your mid, pop-punk album – it’s another to create the absolute anthem that is “Hollywood Baby.”

But if you ever think Les and Brady have sold out to the pop-punk revival of the 2020s, you couldn’t be more wrong: “757” brings back that hyperpop ear candy my ears have grown so accustomed to, scratching a certain itch in my brain that comes back every time the song ends in its two minute long runtime; “One Million Dollars” is yet another stand out track, sampling a voice from the TikTok text-to-speech feature into crunchy bits that have no reason being as headbangable as it is; and perhaps the most jarringly different song on the LP, the ribbiting “Frog On The Floor,” which is as if 100 gecs made a soundtrack to accompany one of those baby dancing DVDs you’d find laying around in your cabinet for God knows why. And with lyrics like these, one begins to question the purpose of Genius lyrics when the story of a frog “telling croaks at a party” is told so simply. 

But is it really all that simple? Is “Frog On The Floor” just about a frog on the floor and is “Doritos and Fritos” just about eating cheetos, doritos, and fritos? Or is “One Million Dollars” about the nonsensical lure of the American Dream and “I Got My Tooth Removed” about getting bottom surgery? Maybe it’s best to avoid over-intellectualizing fun, but once again, are 100 gecs all just one big joke? In their directness, could there be ambiguity?

Of course there could be; incorrect or not, interpretation is a part of the enjoyment. If you aspire to be like the frog, without a care in the world of “what people think about [you],” or if you feel like rebelling against the shackles of capitalism, this could be the album for you. If you instead wish to “smoke tree-size dicks” and have “Anthony Kiedis sucking on [your] penis,” this could also be the album for you. The intent of art is never constant, despite artist intent, so long as thoughtful interpretation exists, whether it be sonically or lyrically, 100 gecs are a band not to be taken lightly.

Zumba in medicine, the unexpected crossover

Each year at URMC, a new cohort of unsuspecting pediatrics residents get a crash course. “There are no mistakes in Zumba,” Gellin says.

UR Womens’ Lacrosse trounces Nazareth 17-5

UR’s Womens’ Lacrosse team beat Nazareth University 17–5 on Tuesday at Fauver Stadium.

The Clothesline Project gives a voice to the unheard

The Clothesline Project was started in 1990 when founder Carol Chichetto hung a clothesline with 31 shirts designed by survivors of domestic abuse, rape, and childhood sexual assault.