Alkali Flats – S/T

The first time I listened to the Alkali Flats debut self-titled album I didn’t like it. I thought it was boring, annoying, and repetitive, but the more I listen to the album, the more I like it; in fact I’m starting to love it.

Alkali Fats have blended together a mix of alternative, indie, and pop to create an album reminiscent of indie legends like Pavement and Pinback. The band describes their music as “moody and idiosyncratic, while mixing alt-pop sensibilities with enough aggressive hooks to please die-hard rock fans.” I’m not so sure about the rock part, considering Alkali Flats do not play rock music, but I can safely say that indie and alternative fans will make a special place on their CD racks for Alkali Flats.

Alkali Flats begins with “Lady Catherine, Ride On,” which has a choppy rhythm matched by equally choppy lyrics. The song is built on a non-traditional structure and helps to set the stage for a non-traditional album. “Lady Catherine, Ride On” is followed up by songs like “Daylight Savings Time” and “Lake Monsters,” slower ballad-like songs with relaxing melodies and soothing vocals by Steven Binnig. “Deep South” is a more upbeat track, with a pop rhythm that will have you tapping your fingers, dancing around, and singing along in no time. “Deep South” is hook-laden and will get stuck in your head, but won’t annoy you.

“Paper Thin” is structured on a funky jazz bass line, overlapped by a continuous guitar riff. The drums are quiet, yet militaristic in style. Bennig’s vocals on “Paper thin” are just that – thin and airy, almost eerie, the song could be on the soundtrack of any creepy movie playing in theaters today. “Screams,” the album’s closer, is the perfect ending to Alkali Flats, capturing the best aspects of all the songs on the album. “Screams” proves once more why Alkali Flats are so talented and why they should be the next band to breakthrough onto the Indie music scene.

Surprisingly, Alkali Flats have yet to be picked up by a label. So, if representatives of Matador, Saddle Creek, or Jade Tree are reading this, please sign Alkali Flats and give them the adoring fans and recognition they deserve.