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Artist of the Month
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August 2015
LOUDS
"If More People Bought Art More People Would Buy Art
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With their debut EP If More People Bought Art More People Would Buy Art, LOUDS hits the nail on the head with its appealing out of the gates energy. Released via Color Theory Records, the Brett Boucher-produced EP instantly grabs a hold of the body’s desire to let loose. 
 
The group leads with its best foot forward with its debut single and album opener, “Ways.” The standout track has a warm, vamping synth and those dare-you-to-keep-your-hands-still claps, which are melded with the sugary, chiptune sonic blasts. That bubbly, dance-inspiring vibe is cut through and juxtaposed by lyrics that form the picture of a hot and cold relationship. “The love you’ve known sailed from you one evening, months have gone now you don’t feel the same.”
 
Wisps of light guitar, keys, and gentle percussion converge in the narrative of  “Lying in the Middle” with its upbeat Paul Simon-Graceland vibes. The rolling hills that are ready to break out with exasperations chronicling the fickle courtship. “It’s the wrong way to approach it, but I know that your heartaches after months of feeling kind of confused. One day I’ll be lying in the middle with you.” The song concludes whimsically with Beatles-esque harmonies:  “My arms are tired, I’m half awake, but finally there with you.”
 
From the alarm bell, to the to the approaching bass and organ tone leading into those sinister strings, anticipation rapidly builds in “Driving Us Together.”Once again, the band dives into the complexity of relationships. Amid that layered fluid instrumentation, which creeps and momentarily bursts, underlies a sincere thought: “I’ve been trying to forget you but I don’t know how. Driving us together don’t erase your doubt.” The song simplifies down to a strumming guitar as echoes of “goodbye” come through before meeting up with the heartbroken chorus.
 
Strumming sets off into the echo of menacing tumbling keys in the chest-thumping, never-tell tale “It Takes Two.” “We’re alone in your best friend’s basement. You’re the one who brought me down... As we talking my hearts raising, I hope you don’t figure out” leading into the smoothed chorus: “Cause everybody knows it takes two…” That weaving in and out creates a lively yet personal sense.
 
If More People Bought Art More People Would Buy Art threads a layered vibrant in-motion musicality with a relatable multifaceted tug and pull aspect of intimacy, zooming in on all sides while never sitting still. The EP is an impressive debut from the fledgling electropop outfit that ends way sooner than you’d like it to conclude. - Michael Colavita

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Album Review: Science & Advice - The Armchairs

Album Review: Science & Advice - The Armchairs

It should be readily apparent to anybody with a working set of eardrums that The Armchairs fall firmly in the same camp as a handful of other 60s-esque pop acts cropping up. But where exactly they draw inspiration from is somewhat more of a mystery, because this certainly isn't the simple pairing of Beatles and Beach Boys that we've come to expect. Instead, we're treated to an odd menagerie of Zombies, Kinks, and earlier, goofier Floyd (you know, before the rest of the band decided not to pickup Syd). This is a slight, but welcome, change of pace, and what's even more welcoming is the way they throw it all together. It seems that most bands, when under these prestigious influences, would either a) condense it all into pure power-pop confectionery or b) partake in the more indulgent qualities of psychedelia, to the point of tedium. The Armchairs manage to land it somewhere right in between, a sweet spot of controlled lunacy.

Opener "Grampa Yells Portents at Strangers" starts things off right with crazily shifting time signatures and vocal harmonies. It kind of feels like four songs in one, which proves representative of the album's feel as a whole; tracks are short, almost fragmented, but still intense and fully realized. If there's any obvious single, it's "Little Sammy Ghetz" which begins and ends with an irresistible interlocking guitar riff that makes it hard not to get some muscles twitching.

But The Armchairs seem to know better than to trifle with too many obvious hooks. Why do it the easy way when you can do it the fun way? This is an album populated by guitars, alternately crunchy and spacey, awesomely analog-sounding synths, and joyous harmonies. But it's also populated by mind-melting freakouts like "What For My Cow Eating There?" and tracks like the forty-nine second punk explosion "Harrison Ford". So, to get to the heart of it, Science & Advice is a record that manages to do all of these things with such panache making the album an impressive debut by the oddball but loveable quartet. You can stream and download the album here or purchase it at Punk Rock Payroll where it will come packaged in a handmade travel pillow - perfect for those partiers who never know where they’ll pass out at. (Cover art by Vincent Finazzo) - Joe Poteracki

 

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