Album Review: The Golden Age of Apocalypse, Thundercat (Brainfeeder, 2011)

goldenYou would expect Erykah Badu’s bassist to know something about melody. Stephen Bruner (a.k.a. Thundercat) demonstrates that here clearly. Songs like “Daylight” and “Is it Love?” are catchy, pleasurable tunes that the listener warms to very quickly.

What’s remarkable about this album is how Thundercat uses dissonance to put us off-balance and yet manages to push his melodies through the noise to keep us grounded. Broken beats, sharps, flats, and sonic subterfuge abound. But the core of each song grabs you and doesn’t let you forget it.

There are echos, strong echos, of Jaco Pastorius. If you download any of this Thundercat album, buy Jaco’s track, “Portrait of Tracy” as a mandatory companion.