Unfazed | Tchotchke
Family Average: 3.25/7
What is cracking friends of the family. I am confident in saying that this album has taught us all once and for all how to properly spell the word “Tchotchke”.
Listen along on Their Bandcamp and read on to find out:
Gosh this band is Fookin RAW! (in a Gordan Ramsey voice). I will always gravitate towards raw emotion, and risky maneuvers, over that cold sterile sound. I can't stand it when I hear a band with great technical ability simply going through the motions. These guys are a sharp turn in the other direction. They prefaced to us that they recorded this entire album in their drummer’s basement. While this does cause the quality of the sound to take a dip, their intentions still come through clear.
Let's keep it rollin with the positives. These guys kill it in the melody department, as all good emo-influenced bands should. Before you could dismiss the quality of the recording a sick melody would cut right through and you would be like “heck yeah let’s see where this goes.” Another thing I really enjoyed was the massive amount of energy put out there by the drummer. Man oh man this fellah just turns it up to 10 and then breaks the knob on the dial.
Overall I was really impressed with what they put together here, and I was floored when I found out they were all 17 years old. Keep it up boys can’t wait to see what else happens.
You know that feeling when you’re watching the Olympics—specifically gymnastics or something equally absurdly difficult—and you see a fifteen-year old display some insane athletic ability? That’s sort of what I experienced when I realized these guys were only seventeen. Truthfully, I wasn’t that into the album, but I can’t deny that they have an impressive sense of cohesion, emotion, and ability. It reminded me a lot of the music from bands in college—a little bit rough, a little bit grating, but a heck of a lot of heart. It’s clear this crew is in it for a good time, and I can guarantee that they would have had me groovin’ along with them in some musty basement back at school. You can tell they love making music and just want to engage with an audience, and that’s pretty wonderful.
This album is like a pair of fake Levi's in one of those giant markets in the city. From a distance, it looks like something you'd wear...but when you get closer you know it’s all a bit off. The music has a familiar sound it to it; a few times I was reminded of “Hey Jealousy" and other songs of the nineties. But while taking a closer look, musically its off. The drums stood out to me, not in a good way, with the constant cymbal-action. It felt like it was too loud, engulfing the song in this metal rhythm that seems misplaced from the rest of the composition.
That all being said, I still had a favorite song in the bunch, and that was “The News". It felt like they were trying a bit less, but it worked a bit more. I got the feeling they all had fun recording it and therefore had fun hearing it. Sorta sounded like you're in a room with friends and everyone just comes in and starts picking up an instrument and playing. The only thing is in that context, they don't all have to be so in tune...it's just a party with pals. For a recording...I feel like being in tune is kind of important. And it kind of never happened.
Definitely lo-fi but there’s some kind of charm there. The songs in the beginning were unimpressionable to me. Kind of like a Gin Blossoms, Jimmy Eat World vibe, but not quite, more like someone who’s had a bit to drink and doesn’t quite know the words trying to fumble their way through a Gin Blossoms song. He’s like not really saying the actual words, or all of the letters at least. Yet then we got to “The News.” This song was finally them. This made sense to me, looking at their album cover and who they are, they finally were just themselves in this song, and I liked it the best. Perfectly simple with the instrumentals, lovely harmonies. It was like the sessions where everyone just sits around and plays but when ya really tune in, you’re like wait this sounds pretty good. This is their real personality. Do more of this.
I get the idea in the lyrics; I feel like it’s what every high school stoner says when he/she is depressed. I don’t know what makes the chorus bad, it’s just a combination of the overpowering TOM TOM drum fills and the backing vocals. They’re just a bit too loud and they do not fit into the mix because they are very dry; they blatantly sound like an overdub. I wish the lead wasn’t so loud. For the the ending, did the drummer really need to break the track on the first song?
“Cassette tape” is a great example of a lead mixed right. It sat where it needed to be and sounded great. Were the drums off beat in the bridge section? Yes. As a matter of fact, I think the drums are off beat at least once in every song. They’re simply trying too hard. And you can hear it.
On a positive note, what keeps drawing me back to this album is that there is an undeniable energy that transcends my terrible critic skills. I would like to hear more from this band, and I hope they keep making music.
Unfazed - This Band was kinda Indie Punk. they had moments in which they sounded good, but those moments were too infrequent.
I liked the cassette song; it had a cool vibe, sort of Violent Fems composition to it. Then we get to "Bleached Shoes". Great title, terrible track. It was just too bleached out and boring. Luckily, in "The News" this band really shined. I think this song represents who they are and was the most enjoyable track on the album.
Overall it was a nice effort but in my mind it fell short of the mark.
This definitely struck me as alternative indie. I heard an influence of the Pixies, especially on tracks like "Hot to Trot". Like many albums we review, it was a bit all over the place and lacked a clear direction. Tracks like "The News" and "Dog Years" had positive elements to them, however they came across as primitive or unrefined.
I feel bad saying this, but all too often bands shoot for the “raw edginess” of notorious punk or alternative bands and they just end up sounding kind of messy. Unfazed could benefit from taking the time to make it sound effortless, when in fact they rehearsed it over and over till the sound was amazing!
Yeah so I'm just gonna save you some time before I really get into the review. I did not like this EP. Now to the meat of the review.
The band sounds like my friend's garage bands in highschool... Just really amateur sounding. Now I love me some garage rock and DIY/lo-fi bands, but this wasn't that type of amateur. It's the type of amateur that you'd see at your local battle of the bands. The vocals were just straight up bad. I'm usually not a harsh critic on vocals. I think, usually, rock music can pass by with less than perfect vocals with bands like Car Seat Headrest and Daniel Johnston. But one thing I think every band member should have is a sense of rhythm. With the vocals I didn't get the sense that the singer had rhythm. I'm not sure if it was the horrendous lyrics or just that the singer was off beat the whole album.
Now with the lyrics. Oh boy the lyrics. I think a 13 year-old wrote them. Like I said earlier, I'm not sure if the singer was off beat the whole time or if the song writing was just bad, because vocals never matched up with the instruments. But other than that, the lyrics themselves was just a cringe-filled mess. They talk about filming events on iPhones with an angst that is only rivaled by a 14 year-old's. I could talk all day about their shortcomings.