Mmm so I’m back in familiar territory here…. Some old-school inspired/recently-released indie/alt nonsense! Woohoo!
Anyway, enough of the sarcasm. I quite like Sic Alps. Hailing from San Francisco, this is their fourth album, with the recent addition of a bassist (thickening the sound somewhat)… And still recorded in a basement (although you would literally ever guess this from the recording, I think it’s come out really well).
They’ve got the jangly, 60s rhythm guitar and basic drum beats, topped with some melodic 90s grunge vocals, sung so laid-back that you can hardly hear the words. In addition to this, we also have the standard song layout and general good-time vibe… What more could you want (except maybe to have been at Coachella, but hey, I’m a student)? The distortion and almost shouted vocals over the thick texture adds to the punk-feel, although not so much the jumping-around type punk! There’s syncopated and ostinato rhythms (that’s off-beat/repeated to those of you not educated in Classical music terms), there’s random key changes, creepy overlying melodies, mixes of songs with structure and none… You get the picture. This is reflected somewhat in the band’s descriptions of their inspirations – from what I’ve gathered, they’re a bit, uh, varied. It’s reflected so much in the music… But not really in a bad way. It comes across as more of an eclectic mix…. By one band. Considering there’s only three of them and it wasn’t even recorded in a studio, you have to tip your hat to these guys.
The album is, however, a bit on the long side… We’re talking 22 songs here. Now I know some people will claim that the value for money with this purchase is undeniable, but listening to one artist for that long does get a bit… Monotonous.
Listen to this if you like Ty Segull or The Sonics.