Albatros - Demo (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Demo (2010)

Death to False Hope

Albatros excel at combining disparate elements into a singular sound that makes the different pieces snap together perfectly. On their five-track debut EP, they show a surprising level of solidification, evincing that they know what they want to do and how they're going to do it.

Jumping off with the high-energy "Ella Fitzgerald What a Slut!", the band makes the daring choice to combine modern hardcore with gruff vocals and then make the daring jump to back the melange with a horn section. But, instead of the horns being just another buzzing ska section, the group leans more on the effects of motion and soul, and use the horns as support structures that give the other instruments more force and room to get daring.

Throughout the release, the group plays variations on this setup, getting a good deal of mileage from this interesting mash-up of instruments. As the EP progresses, it becomes surprising how well the band adheres together. Although this is a new release from a new band, the songs sound as if they've been heavily road-tested.

While the EP has hilarious and clever album titles, sometimes the lyrics don't quite live up to their potential. While the aforementioned "Ella Fitzgerald What a Slut!" isn't actually about Ella Fitzgerald, it's not clear why the title of the song is what it is, as the song seems to be about being affected by the repetition of normal life.

Additionally, as tight as the songs are, they could stand a bit more variation. On an EP, every tune needs to count, and here, as good and well-structured as the songs are, they tend to blend together.

Albatros are off to a very strong start and have made some daring musical combinations that pay off in spades. Once they start to push their setup to its boundaries, their next release is sure to be as unique and interesting as it is well-put together.