Cohesion is a surprising word to freely associate with pop-punk chiptune music, but Alone in the Universe presents a fresh, powerful, and cohesive experience with their new release ‘Watercolors’.
‘Watercolors’ by Alone in the Universe surprises at nearly every turn. Dive into the full review below!
The infusion of punk freedom into dominating chiptune melodies is a fantastic way to breed organic musicality in a usually rigid compositional sub-genre. The escape from rigidity mimics punk’s trademark refusal to conform within traditional roles/bounds/systems, which in turn serves to allow the chip component of Alone in the Universe’s sound to shine as a full-form member of the group playing beside (and at times deliberately against) the carefree pop-punk feel.
Alone in the Universe has a quirky, well-rounded sound that prioritizes unity over agenda despite a clear rebellious punk influence. Great pains are made to lay a groundwork for the band’s high-energy punk vocals, but it’s clear that fly-by-night is not AITU’s goal here, rather, ‘Watercolors’ is a persistent and genuine effort made with the intent to deliver a polished, professional album while also expressing an almost counter-counter-culture punk sensibility.
Jump into the next few featured tracks below and get a real sense of ‘Watercolors’ by Alone in the Universe:
‘Sequence Earth’ is a full-force chiptune opener, exemplifying an imaginative compositional style while spearheading the album’s delightfully frenetic tone. ‘Watercolors’ eases listeners first into Alone in the Universe’s musical direction with this instrumental initial track before launching into lyric-laden tunes to great effect, making ‘Sequence Earth’ the perfect bridge for new fans to cross into Alone in the Universe’s musical style.
‘Watercolors’ leaps off the coattails of ‘Sequence Earth’ and augments the established power current with exuberant vocals and a tropical overtone that sinks its hooks in and refuses to let go as this title track cements the pop-punk tone for the rest of the album. A pure and unadulterated joy runs throughout ‘Watercolors’ (both the track as well as the album in its entirety) that when combined with its chiptune nucleus creates a truly euphoric album experience.
‘Sunset Silhouettes’ hits the ground running with a harder percussion foundation and a FRENETIC lyrical journey through the devil-may-care trials and tribulations that come with deciphering dreams and seeking out answers. A theme of being unable to shake the feeling of something greater beyond your own horizon is only underscored by a famous clip tagging out the tail end of ‘Sunset Silhouettes’ from the film ‘Men In Black ‘in which Tommy Lee Jones’ character “K” explains to Will Smith’s “J” that “…1500 years ago everybody knew the Earth was the centre of the universe. 500 years ago everybody knew the Earth was flat, and 15 minutes ago you knew that people were alone on this planet. (sigh) Imagine what you’ll know tomorrow.” An apt parallel, indeed.
‘Nighttime’ takes an appropriately twilight approach with a plucky guitar riff and shaker percussion to offer a welcome reprieve from the high-octane crazy train of the first half of ‘Watercolors’. The resulting instrumental is still able to poke fun at itself with joyful crowd-rumbling “HEY”s to remind that Alone in the Universe’s megaton pop-punk one-two punch isn’t dead; only resting…
‘The Great Beyond’ takes several of the musicalities of the first half of the album and mashes them into an instrumental trip down short-term memory lane before careening into a lyrical tail end about considering your past while embracing the present and beyond, tempered with the humility of knowing that experiences beyond you hold as much or more weight than your own preconceptions.
‘At Last, Farewell’ owns its place as the album’s setting sun with lyrics contemplating and eventually surrendering to the eventual entropy of the entire universe. A hard hitting drum kit knocks home the weight of ‘At Last, Farewell’ under a cascading final burst of chip-melodies and rock guitar until arriving at a climactic, satisfying breakdown.
‘Watercolors’ is a magnificent melding of freedom and rigidity. Alone in the Universe succeeds in fusing two worlds together with tireless cohesion, and the resulting experience is surprising, uplifting, and fun!
Alone in the Universe stitches together electric polish and pop-punk revelry for a full-force chip-punk cabaret not to be missed in ‘Watercolors’, which is available NOW for download on Bandcamp for “name-your-price” and comes highly recommended.
PixelRecall ~ (R. Morgan Slade) ~ Support the artists you love