I want to start by saying that the moment I heard the name of the album, the first thought that crossed my mind was “this album had better be an interesting listen or else…”. I mean, the album is called “Lead Role in a Classic Horror”. How do you name your album that and release something that is tedious to listen to? Well, I can say the album doesn’t suck. But by how much?
Beginning with an intro that is very rock-esque in sound and jumping into the energetic “The People”, the album begins on a high note. The song is really memorable, and the instrumentation is on point. The song may not do anything new but it does what is does very well. Now with so much energy flowing through your veins because of “The People” (see what I did there?), you would think that this would be one of those really hard-hitting rock albums. But when “Time Eraser” comes up next, things take a very strange turn. The song sounds like a mix of alternative, jazz and blues. No joke. I was so surprised. And as random as that change felt, I still enjoyed it.
“Lead role” & “In a classic Horror” are next on the menu. Lead role being the more rock sounding of the two. Its chorus is really easy to sing along to and I do see it being a song that would stay on the bands set-list for a long time. “In a classic horror” calms things down for the first half of the song then picks up in intensity as the song enters the second half. Unfortunately the first song didn’t transmission seamlessly into the other, which was a bummer seeing as the two songs are the title tracks of the album.
“Darkness At My Heels” is a very melancholic, acoustic-lead track with some violins in the background and an interesting listen. “I’m so happy I could die” is a pretty fun listen. The song honestly deserves to be the soundtrack to a romantic comedy. The chorus is pretty catchy and it’s even got a solo towards the end, at the point where the songs intensity picks up.
“Dirt Horse” is an instrumental track, and unlike a lot of instrumental tracks I have heard over the years on non-instrumental albums, isn’t there just to fill up space so that they can have 10 tracks and sell it on iTunes for $9.99. The opening note progressions lay a really good foundation for what is one of the more intense and dynamic tracks on the album. “Emotion Electric Love” is next and we have another song that would be a good movie soundtrack, with its catchy hook and its immersive instrumentation. And the song is almost 6 minutes long, yet never gets boring, ever. And it’s got a solo too. Like…what??! 😀 0_0
And then there’s the closing track, “Feels like the ocean” which features a somewhat haunting opening riff. The songs energy manages to stray on the low-end, even with the aggressive riffing. All this transitions into a very mellow section with just one guitar playing as vocalist David van Vuuren starts to sing. Then next thing the songs tempo picks up….honestly the song feels like a volatile chemical reaction that will rock your face off. Just like acid. Only this time it’s a figure of speech. So it’s not like a hazardous substance that would inflict…wounds….errr……okay.
So the first two songs on the album feel kinda out-of-place….to some extent, all the songs feel out of place. Besides the two songs that I said sound like Rom-com soundtracks, the rest of the album felt so sonically diverse, especially on the first listen. And I was sad to hear that “In a classic Horror” was not a very memorable listen. Not that I didn’t enjoy it but I always forget the song once It’s over. The “Intro” and “the People” made me think would just be a sorta typical but fun rock album but after those two tracks, expectations started turning on their heads.
But despite all that, I REALLY ENJOYED LISTENING TO THIS ALBUM….! The diversity in sound was all over the place yet to some extent wasn’t. By the time the 4th track rolled on in, you basically knew what you were in for. The songs for the most part are memorable, the production and instrumentation is crazy good. Songs I didn’t like much on first listen grew on me, the songs that I didn’t find memorable were still enjoyable to listen to and…. it is one of the most enjoyable rock albums I’ve listened to in a while. Southern Wild, y’all did good on this album.
PS: Do you guys play Dragon Age, cuz your name sounds like a place in the fictional geography of the game. I think it’s in the first game. Just thinking out loud. Okay, bye.