Alpine are one of those Australian bands that look primed to hit the big-time. With strong vocals, interesting melodies, and a lust for life, the six-piece from Melbourne release their second full-length Album entitled Yuck, and with it attempt to refine their sound in an interesting way. Having six personalities in a band can sometimes cause problems, but Alpine take it in their stride, and it really seems to work for them. Opening track Come On is testament to this, managing to showcase many ideas in a short period; particularly intriguing is the use of stylised beats against minimalist synths, in what could be described as a background of chilled out hip-hop – think Damon Albarn’s side project when he penned the album for the Beijing Olympics.
Single Foolish changes things up a bit, giving off a vibe of the funk and dialling up the pop with up-to-date synths and acoustic guitars, set against a strong melody and tantalizing vocals. They’re not simple vocals either; the ease at which they hop, skip and jump over the track is an impressive feat of song writing. Jellyfish again switches the feeling back to chillout in fine fashion, with smooth and sultry beats sitting behind lyrics of a rousing nature: ‘heels on cobblestones satisfy better than your cocky tone’.
The band has been great at using influences to their advantage in the past, and the qualities of this skill are further brought forward on Yuck. Shot Fox’s marching beat leads you into a track that’s musically reminiscent of Pharrell Williams and vocally along the same lines as MGMT. These two influences bounce around each other, and manage to avoid conflict to create an interesting piece.
But for all their influences, there is still room for originality, and this is most prevalent on album closer, Need Not Be. The new age bluesy sound wonders in aimlessly with off-set sounds and monotone vocals of a robotic nature, creating a perfect comparison when set against the ‘lost at sea’ lyrics: ‘I’m confused between sex and love’.
Yuck is an album of contrasts, styles and influences, but somehow Alpine manage to bring this altogether without getting lost. It’s an impressive feat considering how many layers are involved on the record, and is testament to the great song writing and production. If you’re looking for something a bit different, and a band that deserve to be big, look no further than this record.