Alex Matkovic (guitar/vocals/synth/lyrics/production) and Janelle Trieu (vocals/piano/guitar/lyrics) are the two members that make up A Lot Like Us. Matkovic lives in Chicago and Trieu resides in Salt Lake City. They collaborate through video chatting and file sharing service. Hallow is their first release which happens to be written specifically for Halloween.
I have to say it seemed odd to me that their debut was a concept album that may have veered towards a niche sound that may differ from their other material. All I am saying is if an artist comes out with a Christmas album they usually do it well into their career after they have established a sound for themselves.
The songs fall under the umbrella of rock/pop. They also have a bit of that Halloween vibe. Take for instance the first song “Everything Is Dead!” It revolves around guitar, bass and drums but the instrument that gives it that Halloween feel is the organ. The song is straightforward and simple and Trieu delivers a solid vocal performance. She sings, “Walking the streets in the middle of the night / Pulled out his phone just to find a ride / To his surprise his battery ran dry / At the worst time, his phone had died.”
The juxtaposition between the singing style and lyrics is funny to say the least on “Carve Your Heart Out.” She sings, “You were gone / Now you’re everywhere / I can’t escape / Overwhelmed / By the sight of you / The way you taste / But I Just want to carve your heart out / Open up / Let me take your pain away.” Trieu delivers another solid performance on this track. Next up is the short “Organ Thieves” which at just over a minute could have been extended.
The fourth and final track is “Nothing Can Save You.” Truth be told Matkovic isn’t as good a singer as Trieu is but he does hold his own. Out of the four songs this one has the most overt Halloween vibe due to the manipulated vocals. He sings, “I sit inside this ancient tomb / Plotting my vengeance on anyone who/ Dares to disturb me / You've probably heard of me / You should've known not to come here alone.”
Overall, the songs are well written and decently produced. I wonder what's next for the band? A Thanksgiving themed EP?
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