I’ve been on the fence about this band for a while and I was going to hold my judgment until their debut album dropped. Well, here’s my judgement: It’s Barely Happening.

In theory, this album should work for me, but it doesn’t. I love this type of genre, whatever you call it. Genghis Tron are a favorite of mine. I love Between The Buried And Me and their experimentation and use of song structure. iwrestledabearonce should be great music, but instead they fall a bit short.

What I hate about this record the most is Krysta’s singing. The screaming and growling vocals are okay, but when she tries to sing it sometimes sounds horrible. Her singing gets to be like a mindless wailing, like in “You Aint No Family.” The chorus goes something like this:

YUGHHHHHHUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUaaaaaaaaahuuuuuuuuuu…

It would be decent if she knew how to write a good vocal melody and followed it instead of wondering around like she does. She pulls her shit together to put some catchy vocals on the table every now and then, however.

As far as the musical experimentation, it was hit or miss. The parts I enjoyed didn’t seem to last long enough. Other times, the song at hand was almost ruined by sounding a bit too disjointed. Some of the breaks are amazing, though. Using Jazz, electronica, bluegrass, and whatever they can get their hands on, they often create these gems that shine through. Sometimes this record is brilliantly crafted with displays of technical musicianship, but other times it gets annoying and hard to take seriously. I’m surprised I made it all the way through this record on first listen. I sucked it up and the second time wasn’t as bad, so there might be something more here.

Fuck me, I still don’t know. This review is just as all over the map and disconnected as the album itself. It should put you in the mood then, right?

The Cat’s Pajamas

HBIH star-ratingHBIH star-rating HBIH star-rating half2.5/5

– JR

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