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The pop-rock duo making waves in the alternative scene, I Don’t Know How But They Found Me (or for short, iDKHOW), have made their defiant full-length debut on their funk-riddled new record, Razzmatazz.
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If the title doesn’t give it away already, Razzmatazz is sure to attract listeners attention, with the colourful record boasting a wild assortment of elements reminiscent of pop music across the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, all combined with a modern flourish.
Razzmatazz starts strong with the lead single Leave Me Alone, opening on an up-beat, funky bass line and some groovy synths designed to get listeners dancing along. The rest of the album follows suit, with many a track to dance to from here on out. With one half of the act, multi-instrumentalist and singer Dallon Weekes (ex-Panic! At The Disco) citing the likes of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band as inspirations for Razzmatazz, it’s no surprise that the album has a nostalgic ring to it. Not only does it have a strong connection musically to these musicians, but the whole record feels almost removed from time–jumping from era to era with ease on each track.
… it’s no surprise that the album has a nostalgic ring to it.
Tracks like Nobody Likes The Opening Band replaces the funky bass lines and synths for a sullen piano and even some more unexpected elements, like the odd tambourine shaking in the background. Things quickly get back to the more modern electronic-influenced sound on the following track New Invention, but the surprises don’t end just there. Each track on the album is short and sweet, serving listeners up with just enough to entertain and excite without letting the style of each track get stale. While some of the more pronounced elements like psychedelic bass lines and old-timey piano notes stick out across the tracks, on some of the albums more modern-sounding songs like Mad IQ’s and Sugarpills, all the overlapping elements combine into one solid wall of funk: leaving much to unpack for fans on further listens.
From The Gallows is another track that takes a more slowed-down old-school piano approach, accompanied by some welcomed brass and a slightly out-of-place Stephen Hawking-esque robotic voice, adding to the nostalgic yet unfamiliar quality of the record. The diso-heavy Sugarpills then brings back a strong bass line and some electronic-enhanced vocals to give a much more upbeat dance vibe; each track offering listeners something new. Lights Go Down takes a slightly creepier approach, with more emo lines like “Well not every hollow is sleepy as this one / but heads roll just the same” and a gothic synth hiding behind a rocking guitar solo and yet another fun-loving bass line.
Even the sadder tracks on Razzmatazz take a different approach than most alternative bands. Kiss Goodnight offers a moodier sound accompanied by an up-beat, 808’s and keyboard-driven pop sound, while Door turns the classic sad piano ballad into more of a ukulele-driven interlude to the final act. Finishing this record off with a bang, title track Razzmatazz says it all. The slow and groovy closing track brings in a smooth sax solo to close the album off, with the perfect mix of synths and electronic influence alongside the band’s signature retro-pop-rock sound that is sure to excite alternative fans for years to come. An exceptional debut from a duo that clearly know the industry well already, iDKHOW’s Razzmatazz follows on from their previous 1981 Extended Play EP with a strong stride, showing the band have a lot more in-store for listeners.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Leave Me Alone, Nobody Like The Opening Band, Sugarpills, Lights Go Down, Razzmatazz
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Panic! At The Disco, Don Broco, The Killers, The Wombats(?)