In our “Spring Cleaning” segment, we review albums that have been sent to us over the years, and have subsequently been left lying around the WRUC Office. There’s no rhyme or reason to what we pick, but an album with an interesting (not necessarily in a good way) cover is more likely to catch our eye. The body of this post is written by Cameron Yang, with responses from the blog managers Trevor and Paul included as well.
These are our first reactions to the album Makar – Funeral Genius. We have no idea what this is going into it, and the inside and the outside cover give of completely different vibes, which only adds to our confusion… The recommended tracks are 2, 1, and 5 in that order, so we will at least listen to these tracks.
Track 2: I wanna know what I don’t know
I think everyone feels this way sometimes. The song starts off on a good note, with a relatively interesting piano intro, but that melody is basically the backing to the entire track. It gets boring very fast. The vocalist comes on, and sings the same melody on top of the same piano backing over and over for the entirety of the song. The beginning is indistinguishable from the middle or the end.
Paul: I thought it would be punk, and it was, in that it was a very simple and boiled down pop. But it needs to be about 1.5 minutes shorter.
Trevor: I agree.
OVERALL: Highly repetitive. Not a good start.
Track 1: Funeral Genius
Guitars open this track, which is a blessing for this band, since they seem to be able to do guitar chord changes much more easily. At this point we realized, there hasn’t been a hook, solo, or instrumental in either of these very popy tracks. The vocalist is as monotone as she was on the last track. We did notice on this track that they have a bassist that has been playing for at least more than a year, and ought to find better work.
Paul: I looked at their description, and they do actually describe themselves as punk to a degree. It has all the attributes of punk, minus the fun. The baseline carried me through about three fourths of the song, at which point I realized what I was really longing for was a hook or an instrumental solo.
Trevor: I don’t think it’s that bad. They don’t try to overdo themselves, they play within their own talents or skill. It could have been a lot worse if they pushed themselves too hard.
Track 5: I Can’t Tell You to Stay
This track is really benefited by the duet, and another solid baseline. It mixes up the formula they have and makes an altogether more interesting experience for the listener. We had heard the male vocalist before, but this the first time him and the female vocalist appeared on the same track. It’s a wonder why they didn’t put this track first, or at least before the first and the second track.
Paul: The bassist should definitely be playing jazz. Also, this song had no notable repetition; in fact, the swap between vocalists really provided a nice change of pace. The song ended weakly, though, as for the last 30 seconds or so the pianist and the bassist repeated the same two or three chords until fading out.
Trevor: This track was my favorite out of the ones we have listened to so far. I think the instrumentals did very well to develop a hook for the audience.
It was potentially interesting pop with punk sensibilities, but it was plagued with repetitive chord progressions, uninteresting singers, and a serious disparity of talent between particular band members. The vocal mixing was the greatest sin of all, since a supposedly pop and vocalist oriented had mixed the instrumentals in way higher than they should have.