A true stroke of compositional genius is always found when spaces are left between the sound, allowing the music to breathe and take flight. Greg Hoy’s Cacophony starts off with a ringing guitar, bass and drums trio that turns on and off like a light switch, providing the groundwork for this infectiously-crafted track. A timely ode to the craze and absurdity of our modern society wrapped into such an irresistible package, ‘Cacophony’ has all the elements to be a sharp indie classic. The peak of its instrumentation comes when a jangling guitar interlude is accompanied by the hoo-hoo-hoo’s that immediately evoke another witty classic, Pavement’s ‘Cut Your Hair.’ All together, this track starts off the EP with a gloriously revelational and festival-ready tune.
Messed Up World
With on-the-nose, satirical messages and more punchy instrumentation, ‘Messed Up World’ might describe a sadly amusing reality but makes for an insanely well-crafted song. Clocking in at just a bit over two minutes long, this track fills every second with riffs as it dips and dives into a seemingly bottomless well of craftsmanship. Effortlessly cool vocal harmony serves out social commentary and the guitar interlude has a wonderfully vibrant, retro feel. Mirroring a classic breed of rock songs and yet undoubtedly modern, this song can appeal to any and all audiences looking for a bit of lyrical precision with their guitars.
Here Comes The Light
Opening with a shimmering acoustic guitar before exploding with plugged-in power, this track’s structure is an homage to the powerful chords of 60’s and 70’s rock. By the title alone one might expect the light to symbolize a moment of thankful clarity and understanding, but it turns out to be much more probing. ‘Here comes the light you never wanted’ the lyrics go, and represent the oftentimes uncomfortable truth that shatters any sense of complacency. The instrumentation is similarly sharp, with full commitment to every phrase. A punchy and amplified track with lyrics that subvert expectations, ‘Here Comes The Light’ stands out in both the alternative and rock genres.
An awesomely full bass and drums duo start off this track with a grooving, rhythmic feel. The sharp guitar crescendos are reminiscent of The Pixies, and the vocals are assured and steady as the chorus flows joyously with a start-stop motion. “If there’s a heaven way up high...let me know when it’s time to move along” is genius, full of easy going acceptance and refreshing simplicity. The bursts of electric guitar that add a powerful punch to the track phase in and out as the bass and drums keep moving along. Even if the destination isn’t quite clear, we are enjoying the journey nonetheless.
Can You Take It
This track is an awesomely punk-influenced, energetic tune. Guitar slides lead into the punchy chorus bars, and a chugging, rhythmic instrumental is particularly Ramones-esque. The way the vocals distort and drone is wonderfully affecting when taken with the witty attitude of the song. “You gotta keep them saturated, you gotta stay domesticated” are a sampling of the lines that epitomize a rebellious, sarcastic and probing perspective. Perfectly lean and precise, this is a winner: My favorite song on this first half of the EP.
Do Unto Others
Perhaps the most timely and reflective of the tracks on this first side of the EP, ‘Do Unto Others’ is just over two minutes long and yet a perfectly concise encapsulation of our modern society that is failing so many. ‘Do unto others, what have they done’ is the chorus refrain. References to toy guns and Walmart shopping pepper the narrative. Each line refers to a Black victim of police brutality. In any other year it might seem unbelievable, but we live in 2020. Even when the guitar pulses in and out with a surging, White Stripes power, it does not become a rock song. Rather, it is a rock portrait of a time in which so much injustice and corruption goes blissfully ignored.