Friday, November 11, 2011

OH YAY! Th' Mole: Do Not Be Afraid is out!!! :) :) :) !!!!!!!!!!!!

Th' Mole is tough to pin down. Hopping between musical styles, record labels, costumes, and even stage names (see The Mole, DJ 0.000001, Captain Daydream, etc.), it seems that his only dedication is to innovation, with an utter disregard for tradition. The wide range of themes running through his new album, Do Not Be Afraid, include magic, sex, death, surveillance, and motivation, to name a few, while the music includes elements of nearly every genre known to man, from Chinese folk to dubstep.

Beginning with the explosive and intricately complex instrumental, "Spell To Kill Cancer", Do Not Be Afraid immediately shines a spotlight on Th' Mole's production skills. As opposed to past releases, the album is entirely self-produced, and nearly half of its running time is vocal-free, showcasing his impeccable drum programming, masterful sample manipulation, and progressive arrangements. "Go Horsie" is a driving, jacked-up dance song designed to make the listener move, with Th' Mole yelling, "You and me gonna dance tonight, or else we're gonna f___ing fight!" The electro-rock-rap of "I Love Unicorns" continues the high octane energy as Th' Mole proudly tramples on the concept of traditional masculinity.

The momentum of the album rarely slows as the listener is taken on a rollercoaster ride through Th' Mole's wild universe, from the jaded look at romance of "I'm Feeling Feelings" to the mystical rap gibberish of "Shocky Guy Go" to the accordian-based "Goodbye Forever". The enhanced CD version also includes the endearingly scrappy home-made music video for "Go Horsie" as well as a nice and dark 8-bit dubstep remix of "Bouncy Ball" by Murdasloth.

As varied as Th' Mole's music is, ranging from beautiful to harsh, funny to sad, literal to abstract, there does seem to be a common thread running through it. As the album title suggests, Th' Mole has a message of hope. Despite the chaos and negativity of the world, there is solace to be found in the unknown and in the boundless creativity of the human psyche. He implores us in the CD liner notes to "Stand proud in the chaos and the fog, and smile wide as you plunge into a future that you will help to create. Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see. And above all, Do Not Be Afraid."

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