An Appalling Miracle
I Was Totally Destroying It delivers a poppy, hook-driven album that adds to their already impressive résumé. This being their third album they are passed the sophomore slump, which brings them to a comfortable and confident position. Vexations anchors IWTDI into a serene surrounding, being able to establish themselves as a successful indie/pop/punk group.
Led by the quarreling vocals of John Booker and Rachael Hirsh, Vexations enlivens the soul. Though harmonious, Booker and Hirsh both seem to be struggling for the spotlight. This proves to be futile seeing as they are both so accomplished and polished that it becomes a moot point. “Dust Up New Perpetuum Mobile” is a perfect example of this war that takes place between allies. Backed by a heavily distorted rhythm guitar, lead guitarist Curtis Armstead strings us along with a crisp and clear lead. IWTDI is balanced out by the rhythm section; consisting of drummer James Hepler and Bassist Joe Mazzitelli.
Vexations is said to be quite symbolic of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, which can explain the dark turns the album takes. Quite often in indie music an artist or group will write a concept album, which usually results in disaster. Vexations breaks this pattern with its heavy punk feel and beautiful harmonies, making this album complete with intrigue and prosperity. “Outside Blinds” illustrates this point quite well, delivering an appalling miracle to the listener. This effect is subtle but distinct, and is an integral aspect of the track.
Boasting an all-star production cast of Joshua Cain and Ed Ackerson, Vexations delivers across all mediums, big or small. Cain, being a part of Motion City Soundtrack, brings a professional high-end aspect to this album that might not be there otherwise. The collaborations between all of the noteworthy members behind this masterpiece worked to perfection, and brought this album to new heights. With the album dropping on the 21st of August, there isn’t much time before you are the last one to hear Vexations. Don’t be the last person you know to cop this album.