Review: Alright, Self titled EP
Poppy, female-fronted indie punks Alright hail from Charlotte, NC (USA) and feature members of Late Bloomer and It Looks Sad. Truthfully it was the Late Bloomer connection that drew me in in the first place but this self-titled EP (released on 24th March via Negative Fun) is a really sweet release with light fuzz on the guitars, simple yet catchy melodies and a light, breezy feel.
The more straightforwardly poppy Mixed Signals opens the EP, bouncy, with a punk edge, it’s fun, catchy and easy to sing along with. Cold Feet is fuzzier and slightly reminiscent of (the recently defunct) Bleeding Rainbow in that it has a more indie/shoegaze feel and unfussy production.
Watercolors is my top pick, it has a cracking melody and doesn’t rush to get going, but when it does it transports you. This track has a moody tone compared to the others and the instrumental section midway wrings goosebumps which continue with the vocal refrain at the close. The mood is successfully lightened again with Pollen & Allergies for the end of the record, making you want to re-spin it straight away.
This isn’t groundbreaking stuff but I’m hooked; the sweet, simple honesty of the tracks combined with great vocals and melodies is perfectly balanced.
Hoax Hunters – Comfort & Safety Album Review
The Richmond trio’s debut album is a rousing treat; fast-paced guitars, vocal lines you want to sing along to and its all wrapped in a warm and comfortable blanket of scuzz and great melodies.
The vibe is very much late 80s punky indie rock – think Minutemen, Dag Nasty and Husker Dü, so erring on the (old school) punk side although with a certain amount of restraint and finesse injected – the album’s opening track Hoax Hunters is dynamic, upbeat and punchy, sounding like some long lost classic. Breathe is another brilliant tune – an organic sounding melody flies over a tightly penned riff, bliss. Perception of Choice remnds me of Dinosaur Jr. but this may just be the Feel The Pain-ish riff, as when the track takes off its all moody melodic punk again.
Other features of the record are the great bass lines and hypnotic drums – the bass is pushed high in the mix and often drenched in distortion giving tunes like Glitterbomb a richer texture while the drums are relentlessly insistent but with plenty of playful touches – often they lend the tracks a dreamy, hypnotic quality and in tunes like Riskless Business they are pushed to the front and are the clarity amongst the fuzz.
There’s plenty of genre mashing going on throughout the record, the little touches of this and that feeding easily into eachother and creating a lovely warmth – the beautifully scuzzed out sound of 90s indie meets DC hardcore punk is addictive and balanced perfectly by the production (showcased brilliantly in the powerhouse track Erase at the end of the record if you still need any pointers). The album is available on Bandcamp and comes recommended by me.