Ward White “As Consolation”
Ward White left the cozy confines of New York City to the sunny Paperchaser Studios in Los Angeles for his latest album As Consolation. Thematically the album deals with loss and moves to new experiences. White also has one of the most distinctive high tenors I’ve heard since Kevin Godley (10cc).
There is a laid back California feel to the album as a whole, with White working in subtle sonic cues as a compelling storyteller on the opener “Here’s What Happened With Heidi.” Next, “Crater” features a catchy chorus over a galloping rhythm. This is not immediate gratification, but after repeat listens it will stick with you. White’s more melancholic work like “Dude” and “Parking Lot” are also memorable.
The instrumentation is also exceptionally good, and standouts include “Spurs,” “Weekend Porche” and “The Crows” which states “Sadness will drive you insane…” with a warbling guitar flourish. Not everything here resonates, but enough does. Check it out!
Punch Punch Kick “Punch Punch Kick”
Produced by favorite Linus of Hollywood, Punch Punch Kick have spent lots of time crafting lean hooks and youthful lyrics for their debut album. And these guys do it without pre-programmed beats or autotune. Each song has that burst of joyous guitars similar to early Weezer, Bowling For Soup or Jimmy Eat World.
“Licking My Wounds” starts with the rant about our fast-paced lifestyle “Where did all the time go?” sings vocalist/guitarist Phil McDonald. “What the Kids Don’t Know” is a great critique about mass marketing to kids today; “I don’t want to raise my hand in the air/because I care.” Each song is a gem here, even “When You Hang Around” references Cheap Trick. The band’s sound is very consistent, staying with similar tempo throughout – and that’s my only beef here. They could’ve added ballad or transitional tune to prevent this from sounding like a collection of singles. Highly Recommended.