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| 20 October 2023 | Reply

Label: Double Helix Records

Release Date: October 19, 2023

Rating: 88%

Reviewer: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

I have to be 100% honest… Survival Guide is nothing that has ever hit my radar, but I will say I am glad I took this disc for a few spins, as it’s ethereal rock vibe wrapped in a poppish blanket makes it an easy listen.  Disc opener “Bad Little Seed” has a contagious vibe woven into it that makes this hummable with each listen.  The cadence of the track is fun and should keep your foot tapping from opening note until the song closes out.  “Sour Sorrow” unfolds with a cool sound that grows and builds as the song moves along.  This track allows the vocals to stand on their own with minimal instrumentation through the verses.  The accentuating percussion on the chorus helps carry the track.  “Blood Perfume” is another track that allows the percussion to help lead the way and carry the track while the vocals add punch to the song, especially on the chorus.  The songs rhythm is fun and perfectly punctuated by the bass lines.  “Lady Neptune” is one of the more straightforward tracks musically as if it were created solely for radio, TV, club play, or live performance.  The music is almost hypnotizing and the vocals strong.  The overall feel of the track has an almost anthemic feel to it.  “Fight Me” is another track that seems as if it were built to be played in a club or live.  The chorus is thick and helps create a sound that would translate perfectly in front of an audience.  I imagine some callback between Emily Whitehurst and the crowd through the chorus and bridge.  Disc closer “I’ll Picture You” is a beautiful song that wraps up the collection nicely with a piano interlude that allows Whitehurst’s vocals to shine more so on this track than others here.  If I had to choose, this would be the song I would throw on repeat, as I dig the blend of vocals and piano that build the overall vibe before any synth or additional sounds are tossed into the mix.

“Pie” is a fun track sonically, as it introduces different sounds and textures to the collection without deviating from the path cut by the other tracks.  The keyboard delivery is cool and seems to pull you along as the song moves from verse to lofty chorus and back again.  This is a light piece that ties together other songs and sounds on the disc.  “Sharpshooter” had different sounds and grooves that come together creating a slightly different vibe than most of the other tracks.  I half-assed expect this to be featured in a Tarantino movie at some point.  The overall sound is a good listen and the almost haunting vocal is a perfect touch and addition.  “wordswordswords” unfolds slowly and without much fanfare, but the song takes shape once the musical accompaniment kicks in and the verse morphs.  The layered vocal creates a new sound and feel that adds to the discs overall composition.  This is one of my favorite tracks on the collection.  “Don’t Feel Bad” has an 80’s retro sound swirled nicely with the sonic feel of the other tracks on this disc.  The vocals are solid and nicely create a path for the song, especially when the chorus hits.  The airy sound pumped into the vocal and musical accompaniment are perfect for the overall vibe of the track and help bridge different tracks and textures on the disc.  “Stay Dead” is similar to “Sharpshooter” in its underlying vibe and sound that hits slightly left of center, almost trippy.  The synth sound is thick and perfectly suited to the lyric and overall vocal tones and delivery.  This song grows more on me slightly with each listen.

Tracklisting: Bad Little Seed – Sour Sorrow – Pie – Blood Perfume – Sharpshooter – Lady Neptune – wordswordswords – Fight Me – Don’t Feel Bad – Stay Dead – I’ll Picture You







Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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