Indian Red Lopez – Commit – Album Review II
Indian Red Lopez are yet another band from the musical gold rush happening in Aberdeen. There seems to be no shortage of quality bands in every genre emerging from the North East City.
“The Aberdeen based band, consisting of Mike Chang (lead vocals, guitar, keys, samplers), Dave Cherry (backing vocals, guitar, synth/keys), Darren Forsyth (backing vocals, bass, synth/keys), Danny Forsyth (backing vocals, guitars, bass, samples, synth) and Scott Maskame (drums, samples, percussion), are part of the Aberdeen arts group 26 Collective, who share creative space, ideas and energy in the Aberdeen cultural community. Their DIY ethic is upheld in every facet of their creative output – from running their own club night (SHMEET) and their own label Cease:Stop Records, to tour booking, recording and artwork. This has led to singer Mike designing the artwork for Stanley Odd’s album Reject, banner art for the music blog Glasgow Podcart as well as working with local label Fat Hippy Records.”
There is so much going on in this album it is difficult to do what the lazy reviewer would do and compare it to its nearest rival. I like that. Whether it be to lack of knowledge of music on my part or true originality it is hard to do this. I can cite flashes of my interpretation of influences.
First off would be an 80’s approach to song writing, arrangement and creating soundscapes under strong and serious lyrics. I like this a lot. This is well thought out, clever music with a story to tell. Every song has a definite beginning, middle and end as it should be. Cornelius, a blast from the past for me, springs to mind when I think of the quality of this recording and the choices of some sounds within the arrangements.
Although I have referred to a more retro feel, this album is definitely not, overall, homage to days gone by. It is fresh and vibrant and manages to be of its time. The songs pull you in and before you know it something on your body is keeping time, consciously or not. Testament to good song writing and not losing the foundations of the song to technology. Highlight tracks for me are “At night I dream of Stormy seas” and my favourite “Commit”. This for me, encapsulates the albums message musically and lyrically. It is measured, well planned and executed beautifully, lyrics we can all relate to, it tells a story and is beautifully recorded and produced.
I liked this album a lot after the first listen and now I am about 6 listens in and I am still discovering new hidden gems just under the surface. I was impressed with the song writing and IRL’s ability not to lose sight of the song in the audio layers. As I listen more this theme stays with me. The arrangements around the core of the song are vital to making these IRL songs and nobody elses. They are not padding or showboating technical ability or a case of “Look at what I bought today, it was 12 squllion pounds so we must have it on the album”.
“Commit” is a high quality body of work that shows experience in all aspects of songwriting. I am tempted to say it is a grown up album and in certain ways it is. I think I would prefer to say IRL are experienced and talented musical people, regardless of being “grown up”, who know what they are doing in the studio. I like this album, it challenges the listener to explore it fully, pick out things you haven’t heard before and enjoy your journey through it. I hope it gets the success and criticism it deserves. I am def going to see them live, I think this would only enhance the IRL experience.
Would I buy “Commit”?
Thanks for reading.
Words by B.