Melbourne outfit Alpine made quite a stir with their debut album ‘A is for Alpine’, ultimately resulting in a coveted performance slot on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’
Three years on and they’re delivered their second album, ‘Yuck’, which is quite an interesting affair.
The ten songs featured are constantly shuffling between the band’s signature kooky sound and the pure pop melodies that can’t help but cut through the noise.
What this means for the average pop fan is that there’s a fair bit to enjoy on here if you can look past all the indie elements trying to grab focus.
First single ‘Foolish’ is a prime example of this; The vocals and lyrics are pure hipster but that chorus, with its lush strings and guitar, is pure catchy pop.
This can also be seen on ‘Crunches’ and ‘Shot Fox’ with both having radio-friendly choruses. We’d even argue that the latter could be quite the electro pop ballad if it was stripped right back, though that wouldn’t be very Alpine now, would it?
Speaking of “being Alpine”, the band demonstrate their love of the experimental on songs like ‘Jellyfish’ and ‘Standing Not Sleeping’.
What we weren’t expecting was the R&B and big band influences that popped up on a couple of songs. ‘Up For Air’ could almost be a Beyonce-esque slow jam with lyrics like ‘You’re the one who’s gonna make me lose control’. It’s still very much an electro song, but its more soulful influences are equally as obvious. ‘Damn Baby’ is a similar shock to the system.
The big band throwback is the most instant song on ‘Yuck’ by a country mile. It’s kind of Christina Aguilera ‘Back To Basics’ on one hand, and Say Lou Lou-esque indie-pop on the other hand. The combination shouldn’t work, yet it does rather well.
All things considered, ‘Yuck’ could well be considered a compromise of artistic integrity and commercial influences.
Half of the album is quite abstract and will appeal straight to Alpine’s core audience, whereas the other half flirts with more accessible sounds and melodies.
In our humble opinion, we would have loved to have seen the more commercial songs stripped back a little bit to better Alpine’s odds of widespread exposure.
The quality of the more obvious pop tracks are quite high, but it’s almost as if the band are deliberately dressing them up as more indie than what they were destined to be.
Download : Foolish, Damn Baby.