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Does the New Alt-J Song Slap Harder than That 2015 Parody of Them?

An investigation.
Lauren O'Neill
London, GB

This article originally appeared on Noisey UK.

Huge news: Alt-J, the most critically acclaimed band to be named for a keyboard function (∆, because at that time triangles were a major #aesthetic) are returned! Having previously shared a snippet of a new track, the Mercury Prize-winners have now announced their third album, Relaxer—due for release on 2 June—and revealed the full version of the previewed song, titled "3WW" (which, of course, of course, is a binary code translation of the weird numbers they captioned the teaser with on Twitter). Listen to it below:


You may recall that the most insightful, penetrating criticism of Alt-J perhaps ever happened in 2015. It consisted of two lads, off their veritable bonces, parodying the band's sound (actually kind of perfectly?) as one of them ate the shit out of a dry rice cake. At the time, we decoded the unspoken critique present in the video as follows:

"See your music, boys? When you take away your Gregorian chants, ethereal production, corporeal erotica and whimsical folk, you know what it is? It's just dry fucking rice cakes."

We, as always, were not wrong. So, upon the release of new Alt-J music, we pick up the baton of serious music criticism from those two very stoned men, as we once again consult the barometer of Alt-J quality, asking the important question: Does the New Alt-J Slap Harder Than the Parody We'll Dub "Rice Cakes"?

For no reason other than that I really hate music where men sing in whiny voices like they literally just came (inside you, despite you explicitly asking for that to not happen), this gets a hard pass from me.
Verdict: Less Hard than Rice Cakes

The guitar sound is certainly very pretty but I am also quite perturbed by how much it reminds me of that "Heartbeats" song by José Gonzalez. How many car adverts is this Alt-J song going to be on, I ask?
Verdict: Less Hard than Rice Cakes

I think that the overall sound of this piece of music is actually very beautiful. It is crisp and clear and it is the sort of thing that I would listen to lying in the dark when I cannot sleep.
Verdict: Harder than Rice Cakes

Overall verdict: "3WW" officially slaps a bit less hard than rice cakes.

You simply cannot argue with scientific enquiry. Better luck next time, boys.

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(Image by Gabriel Green)