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The Future of Extinctions

Review by Gary Hill

This is very much set in an electronic new-wave type of territory. It’s actually quite entertaining, but not without some problems. For one thing, the production is very bare-bones. At times, that’s a charm. At other times, it’s more cheesy and kind of takes away from the experience. Also, the vocals don’t vary enough from song to song to keep it interesting throughout. All that said, this shows a lot of promise. There are some shining moments here. With more attention paid to production and varying the vocals, this artist should be able to produce something exceptional in the future. For now we’ve got something quite good to dig until then.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Always Stepping into the Fray

This starts with keyboards, and that instrument plays a prominent role in the arrangement of the song. The vocals bring a real new-wave kind of vibe to this. In some ways the music fits that, too. While the keyboards are prominent throughout, the guitar gets a chance to shine, too.

Everything Under the Sun
While the keyboards featured prominently in the opener, they really are just about the only musical factor on this piece. And, as that one felt like new-wave music quite a bit, this is even more dominated by that sound. It’s energized and rather catchy.
Inside Outside
Still nestled in the same basic musical territory, this one has a lot more guitar presence. It makes me think of The Cure a bit at times. It’s also one of the more effective pieces here. There is some real charm and magic on hand here.
Such a Fine Time
On the one hand, I really like some of the keyboard melodies here. This song is driven heavily by the keyboards. The problem is, the keyboard voicing on this really comes across as cheesy a lot times. It sounds a bit like an old PC simulator. That’s a shame because in a lot of ways this is the best song here. It’s got some of the best melodies. Yet, that lousy voicing choice becomes a real distraction.
Secret Weapons
This is harder rocking. It’s also the strangest thing on the disc. It’s jarring in its artistic construction. Yet, it also feels a little awkward. There is something unsettling about this, but also something captivating.
Monster Monster
This is arguably my favorite song here. It’s energized. The keyboards that dominate have a good sound. The vocal arrangement is the strongest here. It’s a great song, really.
The Tales of the Broken Hearted
The multiple layers of vocals on this are a nice touch. Beyond that, though, the production feels a bit cheesy, and the song just doesn’t have enough variety to stand out. I do like the keyboards at points, though.
Undercover
Although some of the guitar on this stands out (and makes me think of the Cure again), overall this song is just too much like the rest. It doesn’t manage to stand out.
That Ship Has Sailed
There are some things that work reasonably well here. The formula is really running out of gas, though. Also, the production on this one seems particularly lacking.
Always Never
With a lot of energy and some poignant lyrics, this song manages to rise beyond the sea of similar sounds and stand out from the pack. That makes it a great choice to close things. When you add in the lush keyboard sounds later, it’s one of the better tracks on the set. The vocals hooks are really catchy, too.
 
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