Aloha – Here Comes Everyone

Aloha
Here Comes Everyone

Perhaps unfortunately for the band as a whole, Aloha has been tagged as “that band with the vibraphone.” Not only did it define, in many people’s minds, the uniqueness of the band, it also defined the band’s sound, to some degree. That vibraphone was always present in the band’s unique form of light and airy jazzy-rock songs. However, after two full-length albums and assorted EPs and 7″s, vibraphone player Eric Koltnow has left the band.

With that loss, the band added TJ Lipple, who produced Here Comes Everyone with the band at the famous Inner Ear Studio, where Lipple works. Because of the talents of Lipple and drummer Cale Parks, the band still makes use of some unique instruments, including mellotron and marimba, but the loss of the vibraphone appeared freeing to the band. The new album is more upbeat in moments, more focused on rock, and Tony Cavallerio’s warm voice and guitar are able to shine more intensely on these tracks.

With the band’s penchant for more up-tempo, pop-based songs, the percussive talent of Cale and Lipple can be heard quite impressively from the very first song on the album, the edgy “All the Wars.” In addition to the percussion, the guitars drive these songs more than ever before. There’s even some guitar solos, as on “Summer Away” and “Boys in the Bathtub.” As if to signify a more rocking sound to come, the band’s closing track, “Goodbye to the Factory,” has plenty of straight-forward rocking guitars and a slightly echoey effect to Cavallerio’s voice.

Despite the more upbeat songs, the band still has those softer, airier tracks that led many to love its sound. There’s some unique mellotron and marimba used on “You’ve Escaped” that hark to the old days of the vibraphone, and sampled strings contribute beautifully to the rather upbeat “Boys in the Bathtub,” which made an appearance as a more acoustic track on the band’s recent 7″. “Water Your Hands” sounds like vibraphone mixing with the synths (apparently Lipple plays that as well), and it’s a nice, rhythm-led track with the band’s jazzy style. The mellow “Setting Up Shop” and the start piano-based “Perry Como Gold” show the band’s moodier side, and they also shows off Cavallerio’s versatile voice.

Here Comes Everyone feels like a transition album to me. It’s clear that the band is finding its new sound after losing a band member who provided a major focus of the sound. The songs will appeal to old fans, no doubt, but they show the artists heading in a more experimental and intricate direction with a more pop-based structure. But in and of itself, this album is full of extremely strong tracks, and for those who appreciate more complex structures and a cohesive album, this one’s highly recommended.