Album Review: Melville – The New Zero

Every album runs the risk of being too generic for its genre – in indie rock, for example, sounding like a carbon copy of The Talking Heads. It’s a fine line, and many bands succumb to techniques that wind up making them sound like a stereotype of what they’re trying to be. Melville’s new album, “The New Zero”, toes the line, erring on the side of catchy, twisting things up every few songs.

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Complete with warbling vocals and biting guitar, “The New Zero” sounds almost like you’d expect. It’s indie pop-rock, driving and cool, with soaring melodies and bubbling synth. From the opening notes of “Televised”, this is clear – it’s vaguely reminiscent of the early 2000s, complete with distorted riffs. The first half of the album feels similar, leaving a familiar déjà-vu taste in your mouth.

Later, however, there’s a twist: “Claws Out” has a country twang throughout, both in vocals and instrumentals – a sound that reminds me of Pinegrove, one of my favorite bands of the moment. For the rest of the album, that folksy influence is clear. It provides a shift in sound, a relief that keeps the record from becoming too tedious. This new stream is only broken up by the last two tracks, “Einleitung” and “Forked Tongue”, which come out of nowhere with thicker beats and fiery, ripping guitar. 

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Photo by Jeremy Wade. 

Maybe it’s the fact that “The New Zero” is a quintessential indie rock album, or maybe it’s that each song is relatively simple, yet still catchy, but the album is easy to listen to – and after this week, everybody needs a little bit of that. It can get generic, but is still a little fiery, just enough to shake things up.

 

Check out “The New Zero” by Melville, out tomorrow on Bandcamp!

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