WCYT Reviews

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    WCYT Staff, November 20, 2015
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HHS In Depth

El Vy – “Return to the Moon”

Written by Joe. Posted in Music, Reviews

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I’m reviewing El Vy’s debut album, Return to the Moon. It was released on October 30th on 4AD records. El Vy, r at least this album, is a project set up by Matt Berninger of the National, and Brent Knopf of Menomena and Ramona Falls.

The first track is the title track, Return to the Moon. This whole song overall is very fun and happy. The guitar riff and jumping bass lines are just excellent and really compliment each other. Another part of the song that I like are the synths and keys. They sound very spacey and fun as well. The weary vocals compliment it all very well. Overall an excellent and fun song that would sound very good live.

On to track 2, I’m the man to be. When you first listen, it sounds very spacey and somewhat creepy, with what I think is animal noises as well as what sounds like birds. The you’re hit with this awesome bass riff and the magic starts happening. The heavy guitar, jumping bass line, and weary vocals are amazing. This song reminds me somewhat of the Black Keys like, straight out of Brothers, and I love me some Black Keys. The song seems to take place at a hotel with a vocal talking part in the middle. Overall, it is a very hard and rocking song with a good sound and suggestive lyrics.

Track 3, Paul is Alive. First off, I love the title of the song. I’m a huge Beatles fan so when I saw the title, I knew I had to mention it. Basically a rumor circulated in 1969 that Beatles bassist Paul McCartney died in a car crash in November of 1966 and was decapitated, and was replaced by a double that looks exactly like Paul even though he’s not the actual Paul. It also says that the 3 remaining Beatles hid clues about it on the cover art or in all albums from Sgt. Pepper onward. They can be found if you do things such as playing specific songs backwards or hidden silently in the background. It will take too long to explain what he rumor is about, so just google it if you want to know more about it (although I really want to talk about it in depth though.) So about the actual song, it’s really good. The song is about what I guessed, the Paul is dead rumor, or rumors in general. Its speaks about how no one can hide from rumors and trouble, thus the title, Paul is alive makes sense. Once again the bass, guitar, and lyrics are very good. A great song that’s definitely worth a listen.

Track 4, Need a Friend. This song sound very cool and slick. The bass and heavily distorted guitar work well and the drums are heavy and hard hitting. The synths work well in this song, as they give it a dreamy vibe. The lyrics are a guy in a club who, needs a friend and is heartbroken and lonely. Everyone can relate to it. The song has a hard rock sound and is just great.

Track 5, Silent Ivy hotel. This song is slower, and moodier. The guitar, keys, and vocals are slower as well. They keys on this track are the best, as the mix of the organ and piano remind me of 60s music for some reason. The lyrics are about people hooking up at a hotel. The song is good overall, but the little guitar solo in the middle is probably my favorite part overall though. It also reminds me of something out of a James Bond film too. Overall a pretty decent song.

Now for track 6, No Time to Crank the Sun. This song is slower as well. The meaningful piano and walking bass lines are the best part of the song. The lyrics are about having no time to relax, instead we just have to keep moving on and how time is slipping away. The whole thing has a dream atmosphere to it and is done very well. This song is somewhat relatable and is one of the best tracks on this album.

Track 7, It’s a game. This song is very dreamy and that’s what it’s about. Its wanting to just slip away and to go somewhere else to get out of reality for a while. I love the acoustic guitar as well as the synth, which is a sound I’ve never hear before. Once again this track is incredible and overall fantastic.

Track 8, Sleepin’ Light. This song is funky and free flowing. The intro to this song is great. The whole thing is dreamy and has a sleeplike atmosphere to it, which is just what the lyrics are centered around. It is a radical shift from all the other songs on this album, which makes it stand out and makes it very unique from the bunch. The lyrics are about a guy who wants his girl to come back to him, and doesn’t want to sleep alone. The keys are dreamlike atmospheric in nature, it hold the whole song together. This is one of the best songs on the album, it’s easily in the top 3.

Next up is track 9, Sad Case. This song has a very raw, powerful, and emotional sound. It features roaring guitar, crashing drums, and a dynamic bass sound. This song to me feels very passionate and raw as stated before. It has a very good and loud sound overall. The guitar and the guitar solos are the best part of this song.

Now for track 10, Happiness, Missouri. I like the title of this one, as my dad’s side of my family primarily lives there. I’ve been there before, and I can tell you it’s a very boring and drab place overall. Like the last song, it has a loud and rocking sound. Once again it faintly reminds me of the Black Keys. Overall it is a good listen.

Last is track 11, Careless. The acoustic guitar mixes in with the strings very well. This song is a very good song to end an album. It’s very emotional and powerful. I love the use of the strings. It just ads to the appeal. Once again it’s just a great song.

The whole album was alright overall. I’ve heard from other students at this station that they think it’s boring, but I beg to differ. El Vy has a good sound, although it feels like it’s a solo project by Berninger. I wouldn’t guess that it was two people. It can get a little repetitive or boring, but it s still enjoyable. I would give this album a 6.5/10.

Sun Club- The Dongo Durango

Written by Joe. Posted in Music, Reviews

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Today’s review is The Dongo Durango by Sun Club. This album was released on October 16th on ATO records. This is the second release by Sun Club, with their first being 2014’s Dad Claps at the Mom Prom. Sun Club is a recent indie pop band based in Baltimore. They are made up of 5 guys who always wanted to be in a band but never took up instruments. When they did, they shifted through many different genres, starting with metal and shifting to grunge before ultimately deciding on pop-rock. They have many influences, growing up on bands such as The White Stripes, The Beach Boys, and interestingly enough, Devo. This is the second release by Sun Club, with their first being 2014’s Dad Claps at the Mom Prom.

Track 1, Glob, Is a very weird song. When I say weird I mean weird. It starts off with a voice doing a mixture of laughing and coughing at the same time. It all mixes in with this atmospheric and somewhat creepy music in the background. After some time, you start to hear children laughing and playing, and the voices get distorted, it then shifts tone to a driving beat that gets louder and louder and shifts into track 2. Overall it is a very weird and atmospheric piece of music that is a bold choice for an album opener.

Next up is track 2, Summer Feet. It starts directly off of track 1. It is one of the singles off of this album as well. It is a very sunny and happy pop-rock song with loads of guitar, keys, and whimpering vocals. It reminds me of the many mainstream pop-rock songs of today. It has a very carefree and summer-ish vibe to it and I think it would sound very well if it were to be recorded live.

Paul Bergmann “Romantic Thoughts”

Written by Mike. Posted in Music, Reviews

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Paul Bergmann’s 5 track EP Romantic thoughts, released earlier this year on October 2nd, is his debut album into the music industry. This Folk artist has had many influences on his music such as Johnny Cash, and Woody Guthrie, and it shows in this album. His old 60’s soft rock core melodies stretch throughout all of his songs to complete a very well put together album. Harmonica solos echo through most of the tracks excluding Wishing Song, as Bergmann’s deep and powerful voice takes over the tune and rides through it. Track one, You May Never Know, is a nice intro track, setting the mood of the album. It guides the listener and provides a nice rhythm of acoustic melodies and classic guitar riffs and chords. Although it’s not as strong as the other tracks on the album, You May Never Know does an excellent job at introducing the listener to Romantic Thoughts, sparking interest and wonder into the rest of Bergmann’s compositions. Track 2, Drunk (Alone, And New), starts with a very nice 3 step beat that progresses along the song, never losing its upbeat mood. The song mixes complex lyrics and emotion to form a truly engaging piece. The use of harmonica at the end of the song helps transition to the next track beautifully. The third track, Wishing Song, is the climax of the album, and serves as good note to end the ep on, with a nice acoustic duet with Emily Kokal of Warpaint. The raw emotion and energy that’s radiates from this song is astonishing as both Kokal and Bergmann complement each other with sweet, deep humming through the melodies of the song. Track four of Romantic Thoughts, Ocean song, keeps the same pace as Wishing Song, but a little faster. It’s washboard like beat that keeps the song steadily moving on, compliments the songs classic sound. Ocean Song has a Frank Sinatra like tone, with deep and soothing lyrics, evenly composed throughout the tune. The last track on the album, Los Angeles, puts the listener in Bergmann’s city of Los Angeles. Describing his experiences and feelings towards the city, it seems that sadness and depression have dominated the mood of the song. With talking about dreaming, and getting drunk to escape from the reality of Los Angeles, although, oddly enough, Paul seems to have grown to enjoy Los Angeles even if everything around him as gone wrong. The deep, soothing hums of Bergmann call the song to an end, as the grand acoustic melody cascades to an end. Overall, I would give Paul Bergmann’s Romantic Thoughts an 8.5 out of 10. I say this because I believe that this album is amazingly well composed and has nice and soothing acoustic riffs. In the end, this EP truly shows the musical talent of Paul Bergmann, and I hope to hear more of his work in the future.

Depression Cherry by Beach House

Written by Reagan. Posted in Music, Reviews

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Between their first four albums the Baltimore duo Beach House has quickly become the “it” band for dream-pop. Victoria Legrand’s soft, angelic vocals seem to be the drug that hooks listeners in. So for their new record I didn’t expect anything but perfection. Although Depression Cherry is not what I would consider their best album, they do deliver. With more emphasis on the lyrics and guitar, this album contains a bliss that will keep you coming back for more. Tracks like “Sparks” can easily put you in a trance that slowly fades as the song builds. There are a few songs that tend to drag on like “Days Of Candy” and “Blue Bird”, but beyond that this album is just typical Beach House with a heavier flare. Although I did thoroughly enjoy the album I can’t say I didn’t expect more. I’m not sure how much longer they’ll be able to get by with releasing the same melancholy sound. Even though the album lacked diversity, it didn’t stop me from playing the album on repeat for days on end. In terms of quality, I’d give the album a solid 3.5 stars. Again, I expected something different but I can’t shake my love for this album.

“Beach Music” by Alex G

Written by Reagan. Posted in Music, Reviews

 

 

Compared to Alex G’s other albums like “DSU” and “Trick” his latest piece “Beach Music” is a more refined approach to his sound. There isn’t anything noticeably different about this album compared to his others except its much cleaner and put together. While creating the album Giannascoli received help from a few friends including Jake Portrait from Unknown Mortal Orchestra who assisted mixing and mastering the LP. Although the vocals are not the strongest Alex G definitely delivers when it comes to creativity and cleverness. He often uses chords that contradict the rhythm of his songs like in “Look Out” and “Thorns”, but he manages to make it work. He also uses multiple instruments which provide the album with a variety of different sounds. The song “In Love” experiments with trumpets and the piano, while the song “Salt” uses different electronic elements. Poet David Berman graces the album with poetic components, creating an even darker appeal. Like his other albums, “Beach Music” contains a gloomier, dismal feeling, but tracks like “Bright Boy” help lighten it up a bit, especially towards the end of the album. Overall “Beach Music” is a great example of how Alex G has grown into a more distinguished artist and shows us just what we can expect from him in the future.

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