You might listen to 100 gecs for the first time think it’s like listening to a musical toothbrush being put through a grinder. This is a fair observation.
It's pretty unlikely for the average person to listen to 100 gecs for the first time and think: “Wow! Never in my life have I heard an item of music so… intellectual. So well done. I’ll be listening to this again.” But, if they’re as bad as so many people make them out to be, where did their 650,000 monthly listeners on Spotify come from? Who’s listening to 100 gecs and why?
Well, I am. I’ll speak from personal experience when I say that, yeah, on first listen, they aren’t good. At all. However, once you listen to “money machine” a few times, just trust me; it grows on you. Something about the chaotic amalgamation of electropop and nightcore and metal just appeals to me, as well as many other people, clearly. Let’s deconstruct why this supposed dumpster fire of a discography is just so good.
The appeal of gecs to me and a lot of other people is the pure and utter serotonin you get after listening to their songs. They combine slow tempo with fast rhythm; the slow tempo means you can just bounce your head to it and vibe, the fast rhythm meaning it hypes you up and makes you want to dance. Their use of synth, distorted noise, and light drums makes the music sound rough and grimey yet also upbeat, and their use of high pitched autotuned vocals and catchy lyrics honestly just makes it pretty listenable… after a while. Although it might sound a bit chaotic at first, a lot of their music is very well thought out and very well put together – it isn’t just the dysfunctional train wreck a lot of people might see it as. The constant changes and upbeat nature of their songs make them a real experience to listen to; you’re never really knowing what’s coming next. The way they've fused so many of the best aspects of different genres to form a whole new sound means it can actually appeal to a lot of people. The music is addictive.
Like I said before, their music isn’t always enjoyable or listenable at first – so a lot of the appeal must come from an acquired taste. If you already listen to artists like Cmten or Bladee, for example, you’d probably like gecs on first listen; but if you aren’t used to their style of music, you might think it's just weird. It being an acquired taste is what’s formed the widely spread opinion that the group is just bad. But why do people KEEP listening? Opinions on their music are divisive. For their music to be an acquired taste, people need to keep listening even if they think it's bad.
I think it might have to do with curiosity. I know that for myself at least, I'd had so many people promise that they WERE good, and that I just hadn’t listened to them enough yet. This meant that I listened to them over, and over, and over again, and eventually, they became good. It was almost like I wanted to be part of the club; I wanted to hear what everyone else was hearing. I was able to recognise that it was honestly very, very good. The reason they’ve had so much success from people who would have never listened to them in the first place is probably because people want to know WHY they’re good, and will make the conscious effort to keep listening. I know a lot of people have started listening to them ironically, and eventually started enjoying them, playing into the idea that it’s an acquired taste. It's like when you start saying a phrase ironically and it comes a part of your everyday vernacular, and you just can’t stop. Like I said before, their music is addictive.
100 gecs is good; promise. You've just gotta give them a chance; an actual chance. It grows on you.
Sincerely, a 100 gecs activist.
P.S.: Just to add to the reasons why you should try listen to them, Laura and Dylan, the people behind 100 gecs, are pretty good people. Both are supportive of the BLM movement and have used both the 100gecs platform and their individual platforms for good, sharing resources and posts regarding the movement and people impacted by police brutality or racism. I think that, in these times, it's important to know who you're giving listens to. Support good people.