Album: Heads Up
Composers: The Supersonics
Price: Rs 120
Every so often, you come across an album that gets you hooked with its very first song. First impressions are important after all, and The Supersonics know how to make one.
Heads up is one of those albums that doesn’t require too much effort to listen to. All you need to do is press play and get on with your day. But what really makes this album stand out is that it is full of surprises.
The album kicks off with what is arguably the star of the album, Come around. The upbeat, jaunty number has a juicy, consistent bassline; its unusually addictive vocal lines, old-school guitar patches, and slicy grooves with open hi-hats continue, more or less, throughout the song. The song has a consistent mood, filled with interestingly discordant overtones, staying true to the band’s knack for surprises. This one is catchy, to say the least.
The album then moves into Strawberry and Into the dark, both of which embody an arena rock sound. The two tracks are characterised by ambient vocal lines, riff-driven verses and powerful drumming, with subtle and complimentary horn parts thrown in here and there. Both the songs have vocal lines reminiscent of the laid back, harmony-driven vibe deployed by the Beatles; the instruments seem to have a Franz Ferdinand flavour to them.
Even when the sun don’t shine, the third song, is a departure from the numbers that precede it, with relaxed arpeggiated guitar lines, staccato basslines and sleepy vocals. The track is well-placed on the album, introducing an element of change at what seems to be just the right moment.
The next two songs, It’s alright and On the floor, however, are a bit uninspiring. It’s alright, with its monotonous riffs and vocals that fail to hook you, is a let-down, especially since it follows four competent and well-written numbers. Though On the floor is catchy, it has an overdone, rock-and-roll sound that reminds you of almost every song by the Steve Miller band.
With its catchy guitar lines and haunting vocals, Why do I breathes new life into the album. For some reason, the album, which is bouncy throughout, ends on a sober note with the title track Heads up, a slow, atmospheric-sounding ballad.
While the album does have its ups and downs, The Supersonics manage to encompass the beauty of a four-piece band. Every element in the band, from basslines to guitar layers, is distinct. They have managed to keep the sound of the album minimal without sounding empty, which is commendable. The parts may be simple, but they complement each other well.