Mateo L. Wappo is the frontman for The Bad Barnacles but also works as a solo artist. Alter Ego is his recent release which contains ten songs and comes in around twenty-seven minutes.
This is a lo-fi album that revolves around guitar and vocals. I immediately appreciated the vocals which were delivered in a way that felt natural and emotive. The album however begins with “Demon Tapping” which is an intro with some spoken and synths. It’s thematic.
The album gets going more with “Called Your Name” and there’s this eerie and haunting quality to the song. It’s in the music as well as the lyrics - Think True Detective Season meets The Everly Brothers . “Nobody Else” is next and sort of this mix of ’50s pop and country. The haunting vibes are still very much there especially when you hear the reverb tails.
We get some warm distortion on “Slip into the Haze” for the first time. “Lost My Mind” is a highlight among the batch which is catchy and the most haunting song yet that contains some dissonant slide guitar.
“Devil’s Road,”,“Dug an Inch,”,“Lonely Sun” and “Only In Sleep'' continue to form this foundation. The closer “At Your Window” however is a bit experimental with hazy overtones. I really enjoyed the vibe of this album. It’s unique and not easy to pull off with minimalism like this. My only critique was I wanted a little more fidelity. The lo-fi aesthetic works here but a ten to fifteen percent boost here would have helped convey the emotion.
Overall, there was a lot to appreciate. The songwriting was consistently good from song to song. Recommended.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook