AURA ZORBA: GLITTER DAYS ARE GONE LP
Aura Zorba is shoegaze industrial indie pop from Portland, Oregon that blends cinematic soundscape with interesting bits of straightforward gothy glam songwriting. Along with most of the Shore Dive label I always hear Bauhaus and My Bloody Valentine as major influences on a lot of their bands. The moog synth tones on track one “Exposure” do add an element that harkens back to a little bit of The Rentals. As we get further into the album the glam rock psychedelia peaks through more and more. The vocal is a mix of something like Anton of Brian Jonestown Massacre and Peter Murphy mixed with a hint of Mick Jagger swagger. Tracks like The Searcher I had to actually look up if it was a T. Rex cover because it’s an uncanny impression of how most T. Rex songs sound. The band is eclectic but it never feels like too much, there is a shared aesthetic throughout. It’s like on purpose things they do really well on this album are not repeated and instead with each track a new flavor is introduced. The vocals are delivered with such fervor that it helps even the subtlest parts to remain exciting.
ELLIOT LEE: RUBIES SINGLE
In moment one we get kind of a jazzy vocal and then a moment later we get metal hip hop with white girl rap. The combination of the two comes out sounding a little Evanescence for my taste. I have no idea how to feel about this. It’s like it’s a psychotic mix of Billie Eilish and Cardi B, or at least trying to be. I feel like I don’t want to get into the conversation of cultural appropriation because terrible white artists have been stealing hip hop flavor for 4 decades now but this feels original and fun some of the time. I feel like this is rap rock revival and might seem like utter shit when we look back at it but for the moment I guess it’s catchy and I can see the appeal for teenage girls that love Billie Eilish, My Chemical Romance and Cardi B. It’s basically a mix of everything popular right now. So if this is a play at the numbers game, like let’s incorporate as many things that brought success to other artists into one song, then I think Elliot Lee wins, it’s certainly jammed full of shit.
THE ENDORPHINS: MELTING SACRILEGE AND SATURATION NIGHTMARES SINGLE
This track harkens back to the grunge era sounds of early Nirvana, Failure, Alice In Chains but more in the way these band’s earlier recordings sounded. This sounds like it was created in a dank basement somewhere. The track has great shoegaze elements and never really jumps into a big rock chorus like the later tracks by the bands mentioned. Overall it’s a cool vibe that The Endorphins present, especially the My Bloody Valentine feel for the solo takes this track out of sounding like a billion other bands and gives it a cool indie aesthetic. It’s dark, loud and gritty, what’s not to like?
SKY IS ALRIGHT: INDIGO MOON SINGLE
So I’ve listened to many styles of singers, everything from barely a whisper to screaming like you’re on fire. The vocal on this track is the weirdest thing I have ever heard, it’s all whispers but with so much compression and treble that it literally hurts to listen to this. In all honesty, get a producer and use a studio and if you already did, find a new studio to work with. This isn’t singing and neither is the talking part, it’s a collection of weird frequencies that work against the music and not with it. The music isn’t bad at all, it’s very Sunny Day Real Estate mixed with lots of other emo flavor from the 1998-2003 era. Seriously, I know you have a real voice in there, just use it, the whisper thing is not working.
- Sam Lowry