Restless People – s/t

Restless People - s/t

Restless People’s self-titled debut is a take on African influenced electronic pop music, akin to 2009 breakout jj. Restless People attempt to use crystallized synths for airy, danceable rhythms, while vocally, the band opts for up tempo grooves. And they’re a very concise band; eight songs in twenty-seven minutes. Restless People, though, is a mediocre incarnation of its aesthetic, sometimes sounding flimsy and consisting of a few misguided melodies.

On “Days of Our Lives,” the electronic flourishes don’t sound all that organic, rather, more of stale redux of past electro-pop songs. Vocally, the band never quite finds the right track to ride and the hooks don’t come off as impacting as seemingly intended. “Constant Panic” downright falls on its face. The production gives the rhythm a very cheap sound and the vocals end up sounding obnoxious. The “there you go” hook is almost unbearable; the song is enough to suck any redeemable qualities from the album. The rest of the album calms down, finding better hooks and vocal performances, but by this time it’s too late for Restless People to get to anything more than middle of the road. Only “Victimless Crime” seems to really hit home as the band takes a bit more of a punk approach, using chanting vocals instead of celebratory-sounding ones. There’s a dizzying synth flurry that supplements the melody and allows the listener a strong last impression.

Overall, everything feels a bit slapdash. It’s as if the band found a beat it liked, then rode the first up-tempo melody that came to them. It’s hard to shake the feeling that they were hoping to  be a fun, danceable pop band that could get crowds moving a little bit. For their shows, that may be just fine, but it doesn’t translate to an album all that well. All in all, it’s a style over substance endeavor that comes and goes, in a forgettable fashion.