Album Review: Splashh, Comfort

Even in their genetic makeup, Splashh bunch. Formed in London, the band consists of members from Australia (Toto Vivian), England (Thomas Beale) and New Zealand (Sasha Carlson and Jacob Moore). Their music could be described as equally diverse, with a sound which draws from 90s American alt rock to current lo-fi trends—all of which are present on their debut album Comfort.Opener “Headspins” gives a clear Pixies vibe to begin, with its driving bass, before being smothered with washed out vocals courtesy of Carlson, a residing theme throughout the record. “All I Wanna Do” unveils the blend of influences behind Splashh’s diverse sound. Guitars could easily be accredited to Dinosaur Jr., while the sentimental, distant vocals are reminiscent of the recently championed lo-fi sound of the likes of Wavves, as Carlson sings “All I want to do is sit by the pool today and drink with you”. They may not be the most lyrically sophisticated act around, but given their influences you would hardly expect it. The cheap keyboard tone adds an eerie feel which doesn’t go astray.The keyboard heavy “Need It” displays a more indie vibe, and is perhaps one of the more forgettable songs on the record. The sound of Splashh lends itself to being guitar driven, and it’s evident when that isn’t the case. Introduced as a spacey jam, “Vacation” offers many similarities with American band Yuck, as it slips in and out of a psychedelic groove to a heavy 90s alt rock inspired chorus, akin to the likes of Sonic Youth. “Lemonade” is undoubtedly the grooviest offering on Comfort. Bass heavy and adorned with jangly guitars, the distant and often whiney vocals may start to get on your nerves by this point. But then again it could be said that young men singing simple, reverb heavy, overly emotional lyrics is part and parcel of the lo-fi sound; take it or leave it. “Lost Your Cool” showcases a more laid back approach to the sounds presented on Comfort. While it’s by no means the token ballad on the record, it offers a more mellow account of the 90s inspired guitars and no-hoper teenage lyrics scattered throughout the record. Comfort is not going to blow your mind, whether you’re a fan of the current indie lo-fi scene or the alternative guitar bands of yesteryear. But fans of such genres will certainly find something to grab hold of on the record, even if it is just as a footnote on their beloved sounds.by Brendan Wrigley

June 25th 2013
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