Personnel: Trevor Blumas (vocals, guitar, programming, sampler, sequencer); Allie Blumas (vocals, flute, drum, drum machine, percussion); Jaclyn Blumas (vocals, keyboards, synthesizer, musical saw).
Recording information: Hurd's Lake, Ontario (07/2014/02/2015); Kensington Market, Toronto (07/2014/02/2015); Manzano Mountains, New Mexico (07/2014/02/2015).
On their second full-length, Total Time, genre-hopping Toronto trio Doomsquad have solidified their brand of shamanic, psychedelic dance-pop. The group still deals in sprawling, expansive dance rhythms, but there's more of a pop focus here, and not quite as much hair-raising distortion as some of their previous work. Siblings Trevor, Jaclyn, and Allie Blumas trade off ethereal, sometimes goth-influenced vocals, and the music often includes percolating synthesizers, layered guitars, and polyrhythmic dance beats. The vocals are quite sexual, sounding ecstatic and downright orgasmic on songs like "The Very Large Array" and "Russian Gaze," but there's also something playful and sly about them. "Solar Ass" has a ramped-up spacy post-punk groove, and after a few bars of trance-induced wailing, the song snaps into focus, and the lyrics end up being about a donkey rather than one's gluteus maximus. While the energy level is high for much of the album, the squad does take a breather for a few slower, ritualistic numbers. "Collective Insanity" begins with a long ambient intro, slowly developing pounding drums and dramatic vocals. "Farmer's Almanac" starts out with new age flutes and hand percussion, turning into a lament that yearns for escape from the body. Other tracks have more of a chaotic edge, such as "It's the Nail That Counts, Not the Rope," which lays jagged electric guitars and maniacally shouting vocals over a Kompakt-like shuffle beat. "Eat the Love" adds a bit of industrial creepiness, particularly when Trevor yells out "Fire!" over a metallic guitar burst. As the song progresses, his vocals (as well as his sisters') are accompanied by some sleazy late-night saxophone. The album is a hypnotic, slightly silly expression of physical as well as spiritual desires. ~ Paul Simpson