Design Company’s Waterproof or Wallpaper is a home-recorded album fresh out of Georgia. The genre is mostly country/rock with attempts to be a bit grungy. There is solid instrumental skill with the vocals really taking the reins. To be honest the six-track album did not have me over the moon on the first listen. That does not mean that there aren’t good elements here where the band finds a number of inspired moments.
To start things off, the audio mixing could have used a little work. These days I have seen indie artists do incredible things with very meager means and so I always struggle with sub-par audio quality. As I mentioned, the music really leans on its vocals and thought with better production the music have reached more of it's potential.
If an artist is comfortable producing something that sounds unpolished, I won’t judge them for it. The album was professionally mastered and it is possible I have simply misinterpreted the aesthetic they were going for.
The music was cohesively assembled, with a lot of potential, you can especially hear it in the guitar work. I don’t feel everything was utilized properly, again this could relate back to the audio issue. I feel in the effort to straddle different genres the sound managed to get a little lost.
A track that stuck out for me was a certified highlight entitled “Suspects.” There was excellent guitar work there and a hint of grunge that was pretty spot on for me. It was this track that I felt defined the sound I wanted to hear most. Great song.
Should Design Company go for another release I would love to hear songs that had a similar feel to
Suspects. I feel when flexing those grunge muscles against the core rootsy sound has a big payoff and should be explored further.
I do like the vocal quality and delivery and it is capable of telling one hell of a story if he felt inclined to dig a little deeper. I want to hear Design Company push into different tempos as well and really show off all the skill that’s there.
I am genuinely curious to hear what comes next as they seem like a very young band who is just getting their start. Godspeed.
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