Alta May – Dark Days

Alta May
Dark Days

If you take Queens of the Stone Age, minus the charm and talent, and mix them with Nirvana, minus the legend, you will get something that sounds like Alta May, Seattle’s latest rock offering. Alta May’s sophomore release, Dark Days, is a mish-mash of rock and grunge (circa 1994) all capped off with out of place and disturbing horns. Sound appealing? If you answered yes, well then this album is for you. But if you’re like me and this combination tends to repel you, then don’t waste your time. Alta May is not a band that lacks in talent, rather it lacks in style – Dark Days is a tactless, grating, album.

Alta May has consistently received rave reviews for the live performances and even appeared at this year’s SXSW festival and extensively toured the West Coast and Europe. After listening to the album, I can see how Alta May would, indeed, be incredible live. One thing about Alta May is that the band definitely knows how to write energetic, in-your-face songs meant to be played at full volume. Performed live, I can imagine the songs would be even better, despite the fact that I do not like the album. Some bands are simply not as good recorded as they are live, and Alta May appears to be one such band.

Queens of the Stone Age, Nirvana, Mudhoney, and Hot Hot Heat fans will be interested in Alta May and should check out Dark Days, but whether they will actually like the album is a whole other story. Alta May need to add some charm and tact to their recordings before they can be placed on the same level as any of the aforementioned bands. Dark Days is only Alta May’s second album, so we can only hope that they will learn from it and improve on future recordings.