Review Summary: A haunting album with darker Punk and Grunge elements. Never, ever predictable. Recommend to listen to it in one go in its entirety.
This album was recorded by Sol (main writer) and Minky (producer) with a little help from their alien friend.
“White Sight” is a good introduction the setting the mood of the album. The song like many other tracks have haunting vocals and interesting harmonies. The guitar distortion is a bit too muddy for my liking. The album definitely needs to be listened to in its entirety to be properly appreciated. You recognize the impressive work that went into writing and recording this album on a low budget. The other recorded instruments are of impressively high quality for the budget. Although that low budget should be taken into account, the drums’ quality (although well played) is the weakest link in the chain. Drums are expensive to record, but you cannot ignore the quality gap between the other instruments and drums. With that criticism out the way it is a very impressive and creatively recorded album.
“Scared to Sleep” takes a very different approach to the rest of the album. Although consistent elements are there, it takes a bit of a foo fighters theme when it comes to the lead guitar in the verse. Whilst the guitar work is great I feel the vocalist voice isn’t suited for this style of song. I believe it may have benefited if there had been some multiple vocal tracks, creating a simple FF like harmony. Halfway through the song you are introduced to a great riff ending the songs choruses. The song tricks you into wondering if the song is going to end with a solo, which it does. The solo is very experimental yet I must say that I didn't enjoy it. Otherwise, a solid and enjoyable song.
“Echoes” is by far my favorite track. Far more upbeat than the other songs, but with that same haunting theme found throughout the album. The drum beat is very unconventional and it's worth just focusing on the good use of the kick drum. The song’s structure feels much more conventional. (Intro, verse, chorus, verse chorus, breakdown, verse/outro). However the song finishes with the verse which is more a product of twisted carnival hating the idea of being predictable. This is something this album can be applauded for: it is never predictable.
“Drive Down” has a dirtier Pink Floyd feeling towards it. When the vocals come in again, I notice how effectively the singer’s voice is used throughout the album. This is good control from the producer of not trying to make the vocals something they are not; resulting in the voice sounding like it naturally belongs to the album. The drumming is interesting, making many transitions and not sticking to a simple supporting beat. The song’s mood does not change much, but rather has different variations. The repeating variations make the track very hypnotic until the end where a delayed guitar makes for an interesting ending.
The albums fifth track is “Apathetic Animosity”. It starts out with only an electric guitar. My impression was that of somebody noddling a jam for the first minute. It however turns out to be a well executed transition; from a room with your friend playing his/her guitar in the corner, to a structured guitar, to supporting haunting vocals. The transition from verse to distorted chorus/riff is effective. Maybe it’s because I have a short attention span, but for a riff that will be repeated multiple times throughout the song it was too long (being played 8 times per chorus). The verses on the other hand are short and sweet. Summary: Good structure, original guitar work, and a vocal line you can immerse yourself in. The chorus is just too damn long. The song ends with a similar noddling feel, which compliments the song's introduction perfectly.
“Left Today” is sadly my least favorite song. I found the vocals were (intentionally) way to low on the mix, leading me to struggle hearing anything going on in the verse. There are short breaks in the middle of the song. Although this was again intentional I did not like it. The song could basically be divided into four blocks (quiet, laud, quiet, laud). Regrettably I believe the structure and transition of this song does not flow as well as the other tracks.
“Someday Blues” goes for a very different approach. Its aim is a hypnotic feel. This is done with a bluesy and jazzy riff. Whilst it does compliment the rest of the album, the song stands better on its own. An interesting song that takes risks, using other styles of guitar playing whilst accommodating the albums darker feel.
“Sleeping Nights” has a slight James Bond theme in its riff if you replace the guitar with horns. This track gives an eerie feeling of having been here before and sums up the entire haunting feel of the album. The introduction goes on forever. And then the lyrics ‘Lying awake…’ takes you by surprise. I reckon this is when the vocals are at their strongest and most effective in the album. The experience is great. There are however two ways you can feel about it. One is ‘Jesus the best vocal performance is hidden in an 8 minute song, why hide it"’. The second is ‘awesome there is this hidden gem within this album, I’m so glad I took the time to listen to it all through’. The lead guitar compliments the vocals brilliantly. Lyrics are probably some of the deepest in the album. The vocals stop around the six minute mark. I enjoyed the instrumental outro of the song much more than the intro. However at 6:22 the drummer does something I wish he didn’t. I shall say no more. Summed up, my favorite vocal performance.
A great album I would recommend to listen to in its entirety. I wish the people involved in the albums making it the best of luck and hope to hear another soon in the not so distant future. Hopefully the next album will be recorded with the higher budget it so obviously deserves.