Now here’s an album fans were waiting for! Alcoa has always been a sort of background project of Derek Archambault. He might sound more familiar to you when he’s screaming at the top of his lungs in Defeater. Well, Alcoa is nothing alike. Archambault has traded in the hardcore punk vocals for a much smoother and softer voice. This is the first full length album Alcoa releases after a demo and a single. But it’s here: ‘Bone & Marrow’. Read on for the review.
When a hardcore singer releases acoustic music, you never know what will hit you. It could totally suck and be forgotten within a day, or it could be more than awesome. But is it something that Defeater fans can appreciate? This album has eleven songs that all sound different. Some are really good, and just a few are not that entertaining.
‘Bone & Marrow’ starts off with ‘Keep Track/Lose Track’. This song grabs and pulls you into the album immediately. With a nice little melody as its basis, you could almost call it a happy song. Just until Archambault starts singing in a deep, melancholic way that makes the track whole. It is a brilliant way to start an album, but let’s hope it does not spoil the rest. The record almost flawlessly continues in Drowned, the second song. It starts off very relaxed with a honky-tonk piano in the background. It’s kind of a dull song ‘til Derek shouts ‘Hey!’, and the band starts jamming along. This is awesome.
Cab Rides & Cigarettes is definitely the best track. It’s almost a mixture of simple Bob Dylan-esque rhythm, with a tiny bit of John Mayer on electric guitar. But Archambault took these two ingredients, and made the song his own. The word are plain, but it makes a great story. You’re gonna want to put this song on repeat. The album gets a bit dull after this one, up to Lucky Me, the eighth song, which is an upbeat song.
Eventually, the record closes down with Third Untitled, a hard, almost rocking jam with a lot of power. Great idea, Derek, not to finish an album with a sad song. This one doesn’t make you feel down when it ends. You can easily go on with the next acoustic record, or maybe even play some Defeater! ‘Bone & Marrow’ is a nice album, but not superb. However, it does take the listener to another realm, and keeps him there until it is finished.