Alexander Giannascoli aka (Sandy) Alex G has been making lo-fi Indie Rock and releasing it on his bandcamp for about 7 years now. Rocket was my introduction to him, and based on this album I’ll have to check out his earlier works too, and see how his style has evolved. Rocket is mainly lo-fi Indie/Folk/Rock, but he takes inspiration from other bands as well to keep things varied. The album is incredibly relaxing and magical at times, perfect accompaniment to a lazy, warm Sunday afternoon. He flirts with Post-Rock and Country, but he’s also not afraid to try something completely alien, like on the instrumental Horse.
Songs like the opener Poison Root and Igive me a strong feeling of Sigur Rós with it’s dreamy atmosphere and slurred singing, but it doesn’t take me out of the moment or feel like an imitation. I love the banjo and violin combination on Bobby, a somber song about guilt in relationships. Each time I come back to this album and get to that song it hits deeper and deeper. Brick sounds like it belongs on a completely different album – in fact another 2017 album I just recently listened to, Brockhampton’s Saturation. It’s industrial intensity comes out of nowhere, but I still like it. It’s place in Rocket is like a burst of anger and frustration that everyone experiences in their otherwise emotionally stable life. He follows up with the piano heavy Sportstar, where his voice is the most distorted and robot here, but I love the contrast of the piano and the clean distortion of the guitars.
Judge has probably my favorite guitar line of the entire year. It recalls the 90’s Alternative and Grunge bands but still very modern sounding. Lyrically it’s again about guilt, but also regret for not cherishing what you once had. It’s echoed by my favorite song on the album, Powerful Man – another song with a fantastic guitar but this time it’s much more Folk sounding. Front to back it’s a fantastic album that deserves to be listened to several times to let it completely soak in. Thematically the album is wrapped up in the Jazzy sounding Guilty, with Alex asking rhetorical questions, my favorite being “Has the question become darker than the answer?”