23 November 2012
Alcoves - "Alcoves"
For those of you familiar with indie music reviewers like The Needle Drop or Threecreation, you might have come across the videos of 16-year old Mackenzie Keefe. Keefe, or also known under his youtube handle Mackasaur FM, has been releasing videos since the summer of last year and I've been following him for a little while now. Unfortunately though, when it came to his more recent musical exploits, I kinda just passed by them. I just sorta skimmed his debut EP, and I was about to do the same thing with this album. But, I choose to give this Alcoves album a try. And I'm very happy I didn't miss this release.
The album begins with a 2 minute intro, a noisy buildup into the real first track, "Hear No Evil". And "Hear No Evil" is an amazing track. The guitars and drums on the track are just so loud and overblown behind the vocal deliveries that Keefe gives on this track. What he does on the track is really impressive. Tons of very deadpan vocals, but tons of very disturbing and flat monologues that really give this track an extra umph into the crazy. The next track, "Same Time Tomorrow" really sounds like a lovechild between Mewithoutyou and My Bloody Valentine. That's enough to explain why I love this track. "Decay" is this very dark acoustic song that reminds me a bit of various Dan Barrett projects (Have A Nice Life, Giles Corey). His vocals on the track are quite lovely, very far out and almost unreachable through the lairs of white noise, glorious acoustics, and some really soaring guitar solos. The solos on here are really, really emotional and wailing. They just kinda hit home for me. But the next track, "Struggle With Permanence", really destroys the beauty that you had in your head from the previous track. The riff on here is really dark and crunchy, and it just feels like it's turned up to eleven. It's just wild. "Dreamscape" has an AMAZING progression of intensity throughout the song. The further you go along, it's just more and more pounding instrumentation until it just all explodes into one of the best climaxes I've heard this year. I like the improvised guitar on "Interlude", it just feels so somber and chill, but really fits in the album perfectly. "Monuments" is my favorite track on this album, for sure. The guitar line just moves me to the point of tears, why I don't know. It just really gets me perfectly. Keefe's monologue on this track is really something. Look up the lyrics to this track on the bandcamp page. I mean, just wow. It's definitely this albums, and maybe this musical years most interesting monologue. Dang. After that track is "Equilibrate", a very solid piece of rock music. It starts with a very pretty post rock sort of guitar intro and then Mackenzie sings for about a minute. But then, the track just busts into this heavy rock session. It's definitely this album's catchiest point. This album ends off with "The Underbelly", a 7 and a half minute rock call into oblivion. That's my best way of describing it. Everything is just loud, distorted and sonically abusive for the whole time and it doesn't let up. Definitely a very solid closer.
This is album is an interesting, emotional, and raw approach to rock/post-hardcore that I really haven't heard yet. Definitely very original all the way through. Put simply, I loved this LP from start to finish. I'm really glad to see this dude become not only someone I respect as a youtuber, but as a really good musician as well. I'm definitely very excited to hear what he does next. You can hear and download the the whole thing for free for yourself up above, like always.