Aleks & The Ramps – Facts
Melbourne-bred experimental noise-pop quintet Aleks and the Ramps probably live in a beach shack filled with banjos, drinking red cordial all day and discussing their disillusionment whilst being awesome comic book superheroes by night. Self-professed creators of Indie Rock written by people with short attention spans, Aleks and the Ramps have created an eccentric blend of genres that not only disregards the conventions of ‘normal’ Indie music, it throws it out the window. The band’s latest album Facts is a blend of bizarre imagery, pop hooks and experimental and electro noise that is a treat for the ears with a touch of worldly disenchantment, citing modern anxieties in cute rhyming couplets.
“A panic attack up the Back of the Redmond Barry reading room / And a birthday on the moon” (‘No Epiphanies’)
Aleks and the Ramps have been making music ranging from stoner jams and indie spaz-outs since 2005 but judging by the creative and zany range of sounds within Facts they haven’t run out of energy or ideas yet and audiences are still pleased and/or confused by the noises they make. They have a fit and then a swoon and then a co-ordinated group dance in the space of a few minutes in Facts. This album is like a cupcake served by a grumpy hobo hipster.
The eclectic mix of sounds and genres within the big box of random are underlaid with a somewhat cynical view of the world. The album explores social tension and paranoia through the lens of a kaleidoscope, balancing its skepticism and mild modern anxiety with a healthy dose of absurdity and spry pop. The vocals are interesting, Aleks’s baritone stably supporting fitful melodies and Sez’s sweet, siren-esque voice providing an interesting and often beautiful contrast. Aleks’s voice has been compared to Roy Orbison’s croon, and it’s certainly the contemporary, misanthropic equivalent.
“Now I’m alone / its just me and my clone taking shifts holding the aerial for our TV” (‘Friends with the Night’)
Facts is a dynamic album and the spasmodic genre changes add to a schizophrenic energy that is hard to ignore. This is definitely a doing-things album, not of the sit-down-and-float-away variety. They have GameBoy and arcade sounds, heralding angels, banjo, tambourine, claps, psychedelic sounds and electro noise. Heck, they even sing backwards at one point on “Bummer”!
I’ve heard that Aleks and the Ramps are amazing live, although I have not been lucky enough to witness it myself yet, and judging by the eccentricity of Facts, I can’t imagine anything less than spectacular coming from these guys in the flesh.
by Izzy Roberts-Orr