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Live Review: MEZKO go acid-house on 'They Like. We Like'

4 July 2018 | 9:06 am | Kyle Fensom

Sydney futurist pop duo MEZKO announce their sophomore EP by sharing 'They Like. We Like', a high octane, acid-house induced tribute to the Roland 303

Following on from their previous single, ‘Come & Go’, Sydney futurist pop duo MEZKO have shared ‘They Like. We Like’, the second track to be lifted from their just-announced sophomore EP, SYZYGY.

With an affinity for the primordial stages of electronic music, the duo normally cast their artistic eye backwards to the post-punk and krautrock of the 1970s, but on ‘They Like. We Like’, they update their historical references by a decade or so, incorporating elements of 1980s acid-house into an audio exploration of hedonistic purity that doubles as a loving tribute to the Roland 303. Detailing the sonic shift, the duo noted, “The 303 has a special place in our music, and dropping an acid riff in a MEZKO song brings us the greatest of joy.”

Compared to the taut guitar riffs and motorik beats of ‘Come & Go’, ‘They Like. We Like.’ sees the duo cutting loose in a high octane, raucous affair that throws all composure to the wind with a crunchy, propulsive bass line. But it wouldn’t be a MEZKO track if the brevity of this cutting loose was not undercut by the group’s astute emotional layering, letting a sense of unease linger in the background.

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“We work so hard to perfect our music, but sometimes it’s better to just do whatever comes out. A lot of the vocals and guitar are first takes from demos and the lyrics are intentionally dumb,” they explain, describing the track appropriately as “an in-the-moment electro trash song, a stupid and excited nonsensical banger.”

Inspired by the 1977 Italian horror film, Suspiria, the video shares the track’s relentlessly intense DNA and bristles with a similarly rambunctious, DIY ethos. All neon paint splatter, strobe lights, off-putting camera angles and bold, flashing title cards that match the punchiness of the duo’s shouty lyrics, the visuals draw a line between the absurdity of that film and the absurdity of chasing hedonistic pleasures. MEZKO are nominally “cutting loose” but they’re doing so with deadpan expressions, a detached delivery and glazed-over eyes that harbour a flicker of disappointment.

Of the visuals, the duo said, "We both love the aesthetic and absurdity of this film and have always wanted to make something with that spirit. To capture its B-grade execution and lack of coherent plot we appointed ourselves Directors. This video is about things that don’t make sense and neon paint."

With the two singles released from their upcoming EP thus far, MEZKO have travailed 1970s glam-rock, krautrock and, now, the acid-house of the 1980s, folding their historical appropriation into their emotionally intelligent brand of futurist-pop. We can't wait to see what other periods, histories and styles they're folding into SYZYGY. 

SYZYGY is out July 27th via Inertia.

IMAGE: Marcus Coblyn