Experimental Indie Rock
Self-Released February 5, 2017
Lexington’s Ezra may look like your standard three-piece band, but the sounds on Dog Days show a little more than that. The album is made up of eleven great tracks (even the quick, palette-cleansing transition tracks like “Apathy,” “Lethargic,” and “Detachment” are good enough to make you wish they were longer) and show a large range of sound-output ability for the small group. “Silhouettes” stands out as the obvious single for the album to me – it’s a catchy, fast-moving track that explores (quite successfully, I’d say) some crunchy guitar dissonance during the chorus in a way that you might have heard in the earlier days of Radiohead. Immediately following is “Reaching,” a song at a lower intensity complete with soothing background vocals and a nice, simple guitar solo that hits all the right notes. “Realize” is a sweet, light track, and another highlight of the album – the summery, shimmering guitars and relatable chorus of ‘soon enough we’ll both realize, our timing just wasn’t right’ make it a memorable standout. The penultimate track, “Bones,” is a change of pace from many others on the album. Synth bass and muted drums lend a soft, almost sad color to it, and the last iteration of the chorus – fleshed out with extra vocals and guitar sounds – is moving and flushed with texture. As a whole, Dog Days is solid from front to back – it is constantly moving forward, wastes no time, and the smart use of harmonic dissonance sets up some great moments of release and arrival – it is well worth a listen.
Tracks I Liked: Left Behind!, Silhouettes!!!, Reaching!, Realize!!, That Night!, Bones!!
Ben Southworth – February 20, 2017 – Kenwick Place
Lo-Fi Indie Pop
February 12th, 2016 – Jurassic Pop
Beat Awfuls has been making noise around Lexington for the last few years, playing shows, releasing EPs, all that good stuff. This Friday, they’re putting out their first full length album, Nothing Happens, and it’s nothing short of stellar. Submerged in lo-fi crunch and distortion, the songs here amble along, jangling with poppy charm. The singles are good – “Maui Wowie” is full of dissonant guitars and sings about wanting love; “You’re Not Gonna Love Me Anymore” is laid out with arpeggiated chords on guitar, glockenspiel, and its catchiness nails itself right into your head. But the thing that makes this a good record, I think, is that they could have just as easily picked any two other songs as singles to represent it. “Who’s Driving?” stuck out to me immediately, a song that sings “I sold my little brother heroin, now he’s writing a novel” as drums chug along and the guitar plunges through the verses. “Shitty City” is uptempo, with verses singing “I live in a bad neighborhood, but it’s good … I live in a bad neighborhood ’cause I should” and filled with choruses of overdriven “oooooh’s.” If you like lo-fi rock, even a little bit, you’re pretty likely to dig this one – each song on Nothing Happens is a catchy piece of pop music ripe for laid-back listens on repeat.
Tracks I Liked: Jackie Ono!, Maui Wowie!, Who’s Driving!!!, Lemon Drop!!, You’re Not Gonna Love Me Anymore!!, No Dice Cold Bones!, Shitty City!!, The One They Love!
Ben Southworth – February 10th, 2016 – Kenwick Place
Genre: Super-Catchy Rock
I’ll start this review by saying that this is one my favorite EPs I’ve heard from a Kentucky band in a good bit. Based out of Bowling Green, this group has a sound that lives up to a name like “Buffalo Rodeo” – it’s big, energetic, and just as fun as I’d guess that particular event would be. Not only is the recording fidelity great on this record, thanks in part to Greyskull Recordings, but the songs themselves – particularly the choruses – are fetching, to say the least. The pairing of the male/female vocals of lead singer Zach Preston and synthesizerist Jordan Reynolds makes for a great mix, and the addition of a higher vocal range from Reynolds is often what pushes the songs to the next level of intensity. Like Heavy Chase (who I think were also recorded at Greyskull, and are fellow members of the Bowling Green area,) this band knows how and when to throw their backs into their songs. On this release, Buffalo Rodeo has a way of just flowing from verse to chorus and back again in a way that they don’t have to tell you “Okay, we’re going to the chorus now,” but when they’ve made it there, you definitely know. So, upon some of the arrival points – especially the final choruses of songs like “Compass” and “Holly” – the band has accumulated several tracks of vocals, guitars, keyboards, and drums into something that sounds pretty huge and experienced. If you’re wanting an EP that gives you just under a half hour of music that doesn’t hold much back, look no further – these guys have got their foot on the gas for the duration.
Tracks I Recommend: (Really, all of them, but here’s my breakdown) Treehouse!!!, Compass!!!, Remington!, Holly!!, The Child in Me!, My Window!!
– Ben Southworth