Review – The Alpacas

LP: The Best is Behind You
Release Date: October 14, 2016
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Genre: Alternative/ Indie Rock

The marriage of melody and noise is something that Barrie, ON based rock band, The Alpacas, recognize the value in and their most recent album hits the mark on this!  The Best is Behind You is their debut LP, which comes on the heels of their two successful EP’s, Good Luck (2015) and The Alpacas (2014).

This new album deals with life in your twenties and thirties.  When asked about the inspiration behind the album’s single, “Cab Fare”, they described it as being about the end of a night out spent with friends.  Knowing that things in life need to change despite resistance to that change.

Many of the songs have a very 90’s alternative feel to them in the styling of The Gin Blossoms or The Goo Goo Dolls, yet with a heavier approach than the predecessors’ tunes.  I can definitely sense the partnership of melody and noise in songs like “Artifacts”, which opens up the album, and on “Mezzanine”.  The Alpacas successfully blend together the sounds of grungy, distorted guitars, pounding drums and softer vocals, with a side of scream.  The band takes cues from American punk/alternative rockers, The Replacements, which is can be seen in the emotionally charged rock songs that pepper their album.

Yet, the album takes a few unexpected twists and turns.  The title track is a complete departure from the catchy rock tunes as a soft song complete with a piano melody by Sam Reid and choral vocals, which makes it sound almost like a traditional East Coast song, minus the fiddle-playing and toe tapping.  However, most surprising is the final song on the album, “Satellite”.  This twangy little number includes pedal steel throughout the song by guest performer, Aaron Goldstein.  These two songs demonstrate the extensive range of the bands music and their potential to tap into different genres on future albums.

Having had the pleasure to see The Alpacas perform live, I can say with confidence that the energy of their live show matches that of the album.  The Best is Behind You is incredibly catchy.  Its instant appeal has secured it a spot on my carefully groomed music playlist.  The album is available for purchase or online streaming everywhere.  Get yourself a copy today!

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