Dress-2-Kill: Fuck You, Asshole — Nostalgia has a funny way of warping our perception of things. There’s a reason why the phrase “rose tinted glasses” exists. The love we have for things in our childhood or just things from bygone eras is a difficult animal to describe. Some things stand the test of time because well made things always do, regardless of the decade from whence they came. Some things are terrible but still earn a place in our hearts because of their association with happy memories, and yet other things are so bad they come full circle to being good again.
I can think of only one man, one icon of the eighties that exists in all three realms of nostalgia: Arnold Schwarzenegger. No one else represents quality journeys into retro futurism (The Terminator, The Running Man), celebrations of violence and one liners (Commando, The Predator), and poor ideas executed terribly (Hercules in New York) quite like Arnold does. Dress-2-Kill has distilled the Arnie zeitgeist into a hard hitting synth adventure, proudly titled Fuck You, Asshole.
‘It’s Only Science Fiction’ leads us quickly into a room-filling synth melody, and while it isn’t the meatiest of tracks on Fuck You, Asshole, it serves as a perfect appetizer for the main course (Green Berets). ‘The Running Man’ is somewhat similar but the urgency of the synth work and the drone of the bass are evocative of an 8-bit run for your life, culminating in one of my favorite lines from Commando. Probably my favorite track on Fuck You, Asshole is ‘A Hooker With Three Tits’ featuring Kiile. The synths, the little guitar riffs and delayed wails, the toms all come together in such an effective way that I really felt like I was at a bar on the wrong side of Mars, wondering where my next breath of air was going to come from.
‘You’re One Ugly Motherfucker’ is a descent into paranoid synth madness with dashes of horror and sci-fi thrown in because, there IS something out there waiting for us, and it ain’t no man. ‘I Don’t Do Requests’ closes out Fuck You, Asshole with another expansive, atmospheric track that features some cool outrun sensibilities.
It’s not uncommon for a producer to so transparently pay homage to retro royalty, and it’s not uncommon for those homages to be awesome; the synthwave family has many talented members. It’s uncommon, however, for a producer to so wonderfully capture the spirit of a legend the way Dress-2-Kill does on Fuck You, Asshole. Indeed, from the title of the EP to the title of each song, it’s clear who inspired D2K. But what counts is the music and this is a solid piece of pure synthwave. Before Fuck You, Asshole I thought it would’ve been impossible to capture the sound of one man who is an unstoppable cyborg killer that’s being chased by both the galaxy’s greatest hunter and ruthless brutes competing for television ratings, while he tries to find his kidnapped daughter and liberate Mars in the process, but D2K went and did it. Next time you need to let off some steam and feel like an Arnie marathon, skip the VCR and put on Fuck You, Asshole… 8.5/10
A Hooker With Three Tits (feat. Kiile)