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I Was Totally Destroying It – Vexations
It’s no revelation that the world is ushering into a new era; a new era where immediacy reigns supreme. In this world it can be very easy to cast something aside due to sensory overload if there is no immediate infatuation with it. However no one has stepped up to tell NC’s I Was Totally Destroying It that, as the band recorded this album over a year ago around the same time as it’s predecessor, Preludes, and are just now releasing it (August 21, 2012).
On paper it seems like a solid and “safe” line-up, a pop/rock group that has a male and female vocalist, keys, guitars, bass and drums. However, it’s after this is put to paper, the rest of the similarities begin to disappear. While it’s true that the band stays safely in the confines of the power-pop/rock genre, it’s what the band does in these songs that make them stand out so much. Add the fact that many of the songs were inspired by or based on The Dark Tower series by Stephen King, and you’re leaving the kiddy stuff way behind.
The album is a definite slow burner, taking several listens to really sink in, but then again most of the best albums are. As time progresses it seems many acts are content to bombard the listener with hooks or the “don’t bore us, get to the chorus” formula. IWTDI instead take the path less traveled and keep the catchiness, melding it into the song structure, rather than making it an obvious ploy for the listener’s limited attention span. Not to say it’s an album devoid of fun moments, as single “My Internal Din” and “The Prisoner” are bound to be sure-fire crowd pleasers. However, lead-off track “Vexations,” “Follow You” and “Outside Blinds” show that the band is content with taking it’s time to ensure maximum impact.
While subtlety reigns supreme for the majority of the album, it doesn’t take away from the vocal accolades of lead co-vocalist Rachel Hirsh, as she flexes her range without ever sounding like a show-off. The dual vocals really are quite effective when implemented, and tracks such as “Hello, Salty Ghost” and “The Prisoner” use this technique to great results.
The band is not afraid to show their 90’s influence, but this can create mixed results as songs like “Dust Up” and “Blood On Film” tread almost TOO close to 90’s radio-rock territory initially to be comfortable upon first listen. However, as these progress they thankfully veer further away from that era, with “Bloon On Film” actually being a great pop-song under the surface.
While the gradual approach of the album may turn some listeners away, those who are looking for an album to really sink their teeth into may find a new favorite from the latter half of the year. Fans of Stars or Farewell Continental would be remiss to add this album to their shelves, or at least their iTunes collection.
Rating: 4/5 Stars!
Album Name: Vexations
Release Date: August, 2012
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Band Members: Curtis Armstead, John Booker, James Hepler, Rachel Hirsh, Joe Mazzitelli
Record Label: Greyday Records
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This entry was posted in 2012, 4/5 Stars, Albums & Singles, Alternative, Artists, August, Chapel Hill, Genre, I Was Totally Destroying It, Indie Rock, Local, North America, North Carolina, Rating, Release Date, Reviews, United States and tagged Curtis Armstead, Farewell Continental, Greyday Records, I Was Totally Destroying It, James Hepler, Joe Mazzitelli, John Booker, Preludes, Rachel Hirsh, Stars, Stephen King, The Dark Tower Series, Vexations. Bookmark the permalink.