A horrible hack

Grem Smiley


Year Released: 2020
Format: CD
Label: Pasalacqua Records
Reviewed by Thomas Strawbridge on Aug 21, 2020
I’ve tried this a few times now and my overwhelming impression is that the songs are too long. Excluding the 2 minutes of out of character raw punk on Deadbeat these songs are all up around (and over) the 5 minute mark. Now, I don’t mind a long song. I really don’t, but for punky indie-rock that is always going to be a stretch.

Opener Void (once you get past half a minute of samples) is a nice and punchy, more on the punk side of things. I don’t like the vocal effects but hey, what can you do. But it ends with the kind of drawn out, slown down outro you’d expect at the end of an album, and then things get even slower. The next two tracks are closer to 6 minutes, and both follow a relatively minimal path before getting loud/fast, but there just isn’t enough in them to keep interest.

Indie Debauchery has some really good hooks – but grinds them to dust through over-repetition. Somewhat surprisingly it is the longest track Calamity, that really shows off dynamic range and development, before Malady closes this album with the kind of well pitched and paced, quietly melancholy indie-rocker that the first half of the album was crying out to be.

There are some decent elements here, and the last couple of songs are good, but ultimately a frustrating listen as a whole showing more potential than purpose. This all just needs… tightening up, a bit more focus.

Share this: