It’s a well documented phenomenon at this point. I can think of numerous examples of post-hardcore rockers I enjoyed listening to as a young teenager (Daryl Palumbo Glassjaw/Head Automatica, Dallas Green Alexisonfire/City and Colour, Jim Ward Sparta/Sleepercar, etc.) maturing and ditching their aggressive breakdowns and guttural screams to pursue the creation of more accessible pop, folk, and electronic music. Audiovox is from the same vein. Martin Bush and Brad Chancellor formerly of hard-rocking bands Salt the Earth and Orion, respectively, have put together a 6 song EP featuring some of the catchiest loops and choruses I’ve heard in quite a while.
From the opening track, Breaking Up is Breaking Out, to the final song, Mortimer, the 21:08 EP is a veritable sing-along of well crafted tunes. As vocalist, Bush’s crystal clear voice rarely approaches falsetto and sticks within a fairly limited vocal range. This allows those of us with even novice singing abilities to sound like Frank Sinatra as we capably chime in on harmony. Lyrically mature, the record feels like the musings of man reflecting on his late-teenage and early-twenty years. Love, breakups, complacence, and an eye toward the future seem to be reoccurring themes. A cool addition to the simple sleeve-packaging, the back of the CD case includes lyrics to all 6 songs.
I mentioned briefly in the opening paragraph that the songs were composed of the some of the catchiest loops I’d ever heard. In fact, if I were to describe the record as a whole with only one word, I would call it aqueous. The casiotones Bush produced on every song, pan from stereo left to stereo right like a gently rolling wave. Clicks and reverb complement the melodies throughout, never managing to conflict with or detract from the vocals or the structure of the songs. Chancellor’s drums add perfect contrast to everything else going on with driving rhythms and punctuating off-beats. My one complaint on the effort is near the 1:00 mark on the fourth song, Runtime Error. The “piano” sounds a little too much like a poor midi tone, but certainly a very nit-picky complaint.
Although I’m curious as to why they chose to go by the same moniker as recognizable electronics manufacturer, Audiovox, I’m quite curious to see how long it takes for these guys to take off.
Listen to the entire EP, streaming at myspace.
Recommended if you like: The Postal Service, Dntel, Electro-Pop in general