Applied Communications – Uhhh Sort Of

Max Wood (aka Applied Communications) is not your average 18-year-old boy. He now has two successful albums under his belt, which is a feat many 20-somethings are still chasing, and a steadily growing fanbase. Uhhh Sort Of is not your average album either. It’s a bold and very strange affair full of quirky lo-fi beats, disjointed guitars, and Max’s Isaac Brock-meets-Atom and His Package vocal approach.

With his previous effort, Africa Baby, Yeah Yeah Yeah, Max admittedly created an album that didn’t really carry any sort of message that he feels is important. This time around, the recent death of his single-parent mother plays a large role in musing this young artist, and the music reflects a lot of the psychological damage that has been done.

Sexual frustration is a topic that comes up more than once on Uhhh Sort Of. “Lets Make My Bed” is a track about a girl that only responds to Max while being drugged on sleeping pills. Max finds himself deeply, sexually attracted to a woman in hopes to fill the void of his loss in “There’s a Reason This is Such a Cliche.” Later on in the album, Max belts out “please don’t die, I love you mom” over hand claps, tambourine, and a waltz beat for an ironically happy song about his mother’s death.

Uhhh Sort Of is a youthful, exuberant, expressive album, but despite all this, I have a really hard time getting into it. The production is very lo-fi, and a lot of the ideas seem half-baked at best. Maybe it just goes over my head. This is an artsy, noisy album from a young man still trying to find his place in the world.