I Was Totally Destroying It – Vexations

I Was Totally Destroying It - Vexations

I Was Totally Destroying It – Vexations

Whether it is vying for infatuated “fan” status or the unreachable grasp of dark mysterious obscurities, every band is, in a sense, under the same umbrella when it comes to the race for cornering the market on obtaining something inherently creative. In the powerpop genre the piano and vocal hybrids play at our heartstrings with male/female duets, charming melodies and if we’re lucky, a bright and dancy rhythm section. In its illustrious history, bands of the so-called “same genre” such as Straylight Run and Mae have hastened to brush their sonic paintbrushes filling our canvases with vivid and tender hooks. But what leaves the listener under-appreciative in some of these cases is the diversity of sound; the much needed break in catchy piano melodies and bright, seldom-downtrodden layers. Chapel Hill, NC quintet, I Was Totally Destroying It, while still possessing some of these qualities is aware, maybe even to a fault, of the role they play, not only to their audience, but also to themselves as musicians, artists and humans.

They are unwavering when it comes to the direction and spontaneity of their music. Vocalist/keyboard player, Rachel Hirsh self-proclaims the band as being genuine if nothing else. Releasing a myriad of albums since 2007, IWTDI scores heavily with their new record giving new fans, as well as the ardent dedication from the original fan base something to really dig into, especially with tracks such as the new album’s single, “My Internal Din”. The newest IWTDI release is entitled Vexations and was released via Greyday Records on August 21st, 2012.

To delve more into the song structure of this album, the first and title track “Vexations” is potentially a quick fan favorite with a distorted guitar driving continuously through the jam with a half-time tom and snare groove. This is not an uncommon trend throughout the album (“Dust Up/New Perpetual Mobile”, “Blood Film”) and with the lower male vocal tones stabilized by the tender female counterparts; there is a meek concentration apparent with the arrangements. Hirsh’s belting pipes really showcase themselves on my personal favorite on the album, “Give Them What They Want”.

There are several shades on this album however, which allows the diversity of sound missing with many of their genre companions to shine through with hints of 90’s pop/rock (“Outside Blinds”, “Blood on Film”) and a more electronic spin taken with, “The Prisoner” and “My Internal Din”. I think the small subtle fact (well, maybe not so subtle) that there are undertones of Stephen King inspirations channeling lyrics such as, “I’m a major letdown and I’ve come undone, I don’t love more than I can let go” to boot, give a much darker auditory lyrical experience. But this then coupled with the positivity and relentlessly catchy vibe throughout the album gives a mature and well balanced approach of what would seem to be a much more seasoned career band, which IWTDI is well on their way to becoming. There are some cautious, but not to be confused with timid turns taken with this record but ultimately it all coincides with their self-proclaimed genuinely rehearsed charisma.