Penny Sheets is a band from Bowling Green, Kentucky that recently released their self-titled debut album Penny Sheets. The music is upbeat, art pop that combines with improvised vocals. Those vocals are the element most people will feel ambivalent about. There is no denying that the vocals sound like the singers got drunk, then did some ether followed by cough medicine. They slur their words together as if they are in some sort of drunken ecstasy and it’s really hit and miss. There are times where it works and other times I felt like throwing the singers in a cold shower and yelling at them to get their act together.
The album starts with “I Reflection You.” The first thing I thought was the music sounded great. It is ultimately the drums and synths that keep the vocals from completely falling apart. Their vocals are sometimes like drones that repeat a mantra but that are not particularly catchy. It almost sounds like they are doing vocal exercises.
“Figuratively Speaking” utilizes virtual instruments to make jazz music that sounds ominously psychedelic and as if coming if it's coming from an elevator. The vocals were intense to say the least. They slur their words together to the point where I had no idea what they were saying. The band has a little more vocal success on “Summer Shade” while “Hatway” is a short, effective tune.
The highlight is “Windows” which not only contains fun, upbeat music but the best vocal performance. They sound like they are trying to pronounce their words on this song and the main vocal hook is pretty dang infectious. Great song.
Penny Sheets is an album that was done in less than two days and apparently was all improv. I would really like to hear what they could if they put some preparation and time into the process working on the hooks, vocal parts, transitions, etc. The band has some originality and good ideas maybe even great ideas. There may be a lot of untapped potential here and even the greats had to think about what they were going to do before they hit record.
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