Hoarseman Shifts Focuses in “Annihilation”

Last month, Hoarseman discussed his new album with us – and at midnight, May 10th, Annihilation dropped.

The album was described to us as the “annihilation of everything political, environmental, and moral.” It is supposed to be the destruction of the high school version of Hoagland in spite of every attempt to hold on to that person.

All of this can be found in the music.

The album begins with a build up in “The Void” – lasting approximately a minute and a half, it only contains an instrumentals with no vox; this short bit is directly in contrast to the nearly eight-minute song that ends the album (“Harrison Burgeron”). The songs sandwiched between these two provide a range of emotions over a variety of topics.

Whether Hoarseman is bemoaning societal issues like in “Annihilation” or crooning about a relationship as he does in “She,” the emotions experienced jump from one to another. There’s frustration, sadness, anger, and a bit of apathy all wrapped in a twelve-song collection.

When we discussed the album, it was made clear that several of the songs were about a failing relationship. “Alive” seems to be one of them; the powerful question of “Isn’t this all you ever wanted? Isn’t this everything you asked for?” sounds like it could be someone asking their partner why they aren’t happy. However, after listening to the song several times, the meaning could double as the speaker’s confusion on his own unhappiness. It sounds like a story about someone chasing a dream and finding it wasn’t what was expected. All he wanted was this dream, and now he isn’t sure why he wanted it because it didn’t meet his expectations.

Several of the songs have a similar disposition of diverging interpretations. Previously released, “Millennial Whoop” has the surface meaning of a celebration of life, the “whoop” for youth, but the song contains the hidden story line of a burned out relationship. It’s a reflection of what went wrong, and it’s the hope that life will go on.

To put it simply, the album in its entirety is Hoarseman’s interpretation of life. Raw honesty is what reigns with special appearances from hopelessness and depression. The dance elements, upbeat moments, provide relief for the heavy topics, but the topics remain.

There’s so much to analyze. Each track is a new story, and there are twelve tracks. The melodies complement the lyrics, only adding to the analysis. Yet, at the end of it all, you just need to listen to the album. Let the music wash over you; make your own judgement. As Hoarseman insisted in the aforementioned interview, he wants people to interpret the music in their own way.

Make sure to check out Hoarseman on all social media and music streaming sites. Listen to Annihilation today:

Lone Wild Releases Debut Self-Titled Album

On Friday, April 5th, Lone Wild released their debut album, Lone Wild. The album consists of fourteen songs and lasts about fifty-one minutes. Three of the fourteen songs included are a prelude (“Lone Wild”), an interlude (“Homa”), and a postlude (“Feel the Love”).

The entirety of the album can only be described as dance rock. With catchy, upbeat tunes and the hint of 80’s influence, the band throws themselves into the increasingly popular alternative pop genre.

Beginning with the prelude, “Lone Wild,” the album starts with distant voices speaking incoherently. Sixteen seconds later, “Danger Cat” begins playing. Lyrics describing hunting a “danger cat” are chased with steady beats and a suspenseful melody.

“Stranger Ways” is the next track to play. Dreamlike vocals paired with a swaying melody make for an almost seductive draw as the vocalist bemoans the movement of his partner.

The next few songs continue to employ the dance-rock, pop influenced style that bands like the 1975, Bleachers, and Bad Suns have found successful. The music is the kind that contains somewhat serious themes but hides them under a preppy dance blanket of sound.

“Wild Child” is the best example of that preppy dance blanket. From the start, feet are tapping and fingers are snapping. By the middle of the song, it’s pretty much a guarantee to be singing “I’m a wild child/you can’t tame me.” It’s the kind of song that deserves to be shouted while spinning in dizzying circles; it’s the kind of song that will eventually become someone’s anthem.

The following songs are the warm, spinning “Up with the Sun,” the warning of “Spitfire,” and the disco-reminiscent “Sequin Dress.” Each one of these is entirely different from the others, but they are all heavy on keys and inspire their own moves – whether the moves are the spinning of the sunny 7th track or the finger-snapping of a “spitfire” or the kind found at a disco.

“Homa,” the interlude, breaks up the songs with the recording of a phone call in a different language, one of their songs playing in the background. From what I can tell, there is no specific purpose of the split other than to give a background and some additional color. It does lead into the next song, “Seasons,” though.

One of the slower tracks off of the album, “Seasons” is a love song that compares love to different aspects of the seasons. The whole five minutes and sixteen seconds is a beautiful, wistful melody of someone yearning for a reunion with their loved one.

Much like the ending score to a movie, “Feel the Love” ties the whole album up in under a minute. The postlude brings images of the main character of a movie disappearing into the sunset to mind – the perfect “GOODBYE” or “See you later!”

Altogether, the album is beautifully done.

Check out Lone Wild on all social media and music streaming sites.

Retrospective look at BRONCHO’S “Just Hip to Be Woman”

   With the release of their sophomore album, “Just Enough Hip to Be Woman,” BRONCHO obtained their first minor hit with “Class Historian.” This quintessential indie-rock song evokes the warm embrace of summer and coupled with an infectious melody, this track officially put the band on most people’s radar. As the album turns five this year, it seemed only fitting to look back at the release that brought this Norman band to the forefront.

   BRONCHO formed in 2010, releasing their debut album three years later. Titled “Can’t Get Past the Lips,” this album combined a pop-punk angst and fervor with the washed out guitar and hazy vocals of a more indie/alternative brand. The following year, “Just Enough Hip to Be Woman” was released.

   As previously stated, this album saw the band moving to embrace their indie-rock sound, although the more punk leaning side remained in the background.

    This album IS summer. The bright and sun-baked instrumentation with an echo-y and ambient vocal delivery. This theme of summer is even present in the album art, as a portion of it depicts a woman swimming. Everything about it brings a warm fuzzy feeling of nostalgic remembrance for the summer sun and pure bliss.

   Starting off the track list is “What,” a lyrically intriguing song, as it displays a narrator who hopes to “get it on,” while the woman ultimately rejects his advances. This song bounces back and forth between frustration and the desperate attempt to prove that the narrator is worth pursuing. While this song could be viewed as the band defending this sort of self-entitlement, the self-deprecation displayed by the narrator proves that they aim to make fun of this toxic ideal. Couple this with the bright sound that BRONCHO hopes to establish as their new sound, and this track becomes an instant standout.

   Following this is the break out hit for them, “Class Historian.” Instant recognition is gained through the “Du du du” styled intro. The track brings in some more humor, as it details the narrator returning to a class reunion and trying to get the phone numbers of one of the girls he had known in high school.

  With the introduction of this track, a point must be made for the catchy quality of this album. Each track has a melody that is very recognizable, even if just in a single section of the song. BRONCHO knows how to write a hook, and they do not let the audience forget it. “Deena,” “Stay Loose,” and “It’s On” all have that ear worm effect, easily lodging themselves into the conscious mind of the listener.

   One of the darker moments on this album comes in the form of “I’m Gonna Find out Where He’s At.” This track has a more minor tone, as the narrator details his mom’s boyfriend, who he seems to be less than satisfied with. As the title is repeated throughout the song, dread grows at what the fate may be for this boyfriend. The more sinister tone, both in the lyrics and in the music, make this song stick out in the track list. This being said, that is not a negative to the song, but rather something to break up the sunshine (musically speaking) that exudes through the rest of the album.

   BRONCHO’s sophomore album is a strong indie-rock project. With glistening guitars, infectious bass lines and a perfectly atmospheric vocal style, “Just Enough Hip to Be Woman” is an incredible release.

SATURN hits perfect balance in new EP

  Despite their smaller size, SATURN is a band that has been kicking since 2003, releasing two full length albums, with a follow-up EP in 2018. “Stomping Grounds” is a fascinating release that packs a bit more of a punch than their previous albums.

  SATURN is typically a fairly ominous band. Whether this is in the lyrics or the hazy, atmospheric musical landscape that they craft, most of every song has some kind of darkness layered into it. While this bleakness is omnipresent in “Stomping Grounds,”  the atmosphere is ditched for stronger guitar licks and more dynamic lead work. While this does stand out a little next to some of their past work, the sound continues to compliment their strengths and avoids ditching their old sound completely. In terms of a band’s evolution, this is the “Goldilocks Zone” that most bands would strive to achieve.

  To try and classify this release into a genre would typically land it somewhere in the alt-rock arena, but distinctive metal-inspired riffs flow through a few tracks. “August Heat” has this lead guitar that takes over the mix that sounds straight off a Black Sabbath album. The fuzzy hard-rock chords that flow through the title track further exemplify this idea.

   Despite the “metal” comments, a strange similarity can be drawn to Gorillaz. Vocally, the similarities are occasionally uncanny. The filter layered over Brett Fieldcamp’s vocals in “A City Split By A Mountain Range” is distinctly similar to what Damon Albarn has done in the past. Take this with the synthetic drum work, sweeping synthesizers, hollow production and cryptic lyrics and the likeness to Gorillaz is undeniable. This all being said, it never feels like a cheap rip-off. SATURN establish their own identity without truly sounding like copycats.

   The black tone of this album carries on to “Dorothy Gale,” a track that discusses a tornado, presumably one that hit the band’s hometown of Moore in 2013. Taking the title from the full name of the lead character in “The Wizard Of Oz,” the song discusses this Dorothy that comes and destroys everything in the narrators life. The literalness of this track can only come in the eye of the beholder.

   “Stomping Grounds” is a truly excellent EP that helps establish a new sound to these local veterans. Demonstrating their immense talent, this release is not one to be passed over.

One Two Ten Releases the Third Installment of the “Hurry Up & Wait” Collection

Yesterday (March 8th), One Two Ten released Wait, the third installment of their EP collection, Hurry Up & Wait. The band began the slow process in October with Hurry, followed by Up earlier this year. The full length album (a 12-song production) will come out in April.

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