Indie. Passion. Art. Music.
This is why I chose to be a writer and more specifically one who reviews music for a living, because of the free stuff I get from people!!! That would be an overly excited lie, in reality I started writing because of bands like Hail the Sun, Stolas, and now Terra Alive. These are groups of really talented guys who would normally not get airtime outside of local college stations, nor would you ever hear about them outside of little circles of guys with porn star mustaches and non-prescription glasses . Okay, so maybe I am stereotyping the fan-bases of said bands just a teensy bit, but the point is without the internet and people with a taste for the eccentric and a passion for something a little off the beaten path , these guys would more than likely be relegated to a bunch of high-energy amazing garage shows, that ultimately may have not lead to anything.
One more story and I will get to the review I promise. So about two weeks ago after going through the stock of new music on Bandcamp I stumbled onto something really weird , kinda groovy, funny and just plain awesome. I played the EP for damn near two weeks and one day after clearing out the search history on my computer, for non incriminating purposes. The tragic twist, I lost their name, for what I though might be forever. I feverishly typed in lyrics I could remember ,which yielded no results, and after devoting an amount of time that I’m too embarrassed to specify on Bandcamp, I gave up.
I told myself that I would never hear the lead singers slightly maniacal warbly voice spew those irreverently truthful lyrics again, nor would I hear the oddly placed rap lyrics that somehow worked in the context of an experimental rock song . Yes, I was saddened by the loss of those blaring walls of sound created by the pianos and guitars; the technical and frantically engaging drumming would be missed as well. Luckily ,I had prematurely buried this new band in a shallow grave with soil loosened by raging waters of internet information. Fast forward a few weeks I review and recommend a band or two, and like some weird version of musical pay it forward the band that made me excited about music was now emailing me with a simple request : a review of their latest EP. What was a music junkie like me to do other than oblige?
The Confused Mind of a Young Hedonist starts off perfectly with Camping ,which is easily the best song, it full of melody and manages to shift tempo from slow to fast in a fun and engaging way that keeps you guessing as to where the song will go next. Speaking of next , the second song Bad Luck is an interesting mix of ska,rap, and math rock; it’s a very chill song that never ratchets the intensity too much and perfectly leads up to track three. Donna Troy , an acoustic ballad that surprised the hell out of me especially given that I really enjoyed it ,as I tend to hate when bands throw an acoustic song into a heavy album to give the audience a break . On this album said break is well placed and it definitely works well within the album’s framework.
Now, for the second best song on the EP , Health Class College Course ; the additional vocals provided by Donovan Melero (Hail The Sun) perfectly add to the song’s frantic nature . Donovan does a chilling Anthony Green impersonation on the song that had me double checking the album’s “Thank You” section. The opening of the song sounded like a standard doo-wop ballad, which is pretty awesome. The only weak point on the album was The Drowning Ghost it felt a bit out of place and was a little too slow especially given Donna Troy is already on here. The album ended on a high note with the eerie and anguish filled Here’s to You,Mother of Sound , the song is a meditation on the nature of relationships and the dissolution of a family. One of the stronger points on the album worth mentioning were the lyrics. They were accessible, crass, heartfelt,complex and well written; Terra Alive manages to capture the inner monologues that many a young adult has had in their life concerning love, lust, and relationships, both familial and romantic.
The Confused mind of a Young Hedonist is easily one of the more inventive album’s I have heard in a while, Terra Alive’s delivery may not be for everyone, but what the hell does everyone know?I mean who put them in charge anyway? All kidding aside, I have a strange feeling Terra Alive is about to explode ; they have that strange mix of high energy songs that are fun, catchy, relatable, well written and just plain weird. So go download this EP so you can tell everyone how you totally liked them before they went all mainstream, and while you’re at it go download their other stuff as well for extra points.
Overall Score: 4.5 / 5
Stand Out Tracks: Here’s to You, Mother of Sound , Camping , Health Class College Course