Hailing from Canberra, Australia, Positive Feedback Loop released their debut five-song EP, Beautiful Things, on January 15 under Velvet Vampire Records, the band’s own label. The band describes its sound as, “positively beautiful nerd rock,” and I can’t say that I disagree. From beginning to end, this project is filled with light, catchy rock songs that make you want to dance, or at the very least, bob your head in your seat.
All of the songs are dynamic in their own way, building momentum into every epic and bouncy chorus. The powerful, yet pleasant vocals of lead singer Simon Ferguson mesh well with the backing vocals that give songs like, “Bounceback” and, “Higgs Boson Buzz” a ton of fullness and positive energy.
Instrumentally, this project is pretty tight. On “Higgs Boson Buzz” there is a really fun set of short breaks leading into the last chorus. Drummer David Burke holds his own on that track, making it one of his high points on the album. Andrew Hood delivers a pretty sweet distorted guitar solo on “Sixties” as well that conveys how rock-inspired this record is.
The overall vibe on this project is a cross between Sister Hazel and Barenaked Ladies. There’s an element of sheer catchiness on most tracks, especially “Crystal Clear” and “Zombie Apocalypse” the seven-minute epic finale of the EP that most evidently reflects the band’s “nerd rock” image.
Though you’ll come across some serious moments here and there, they’re hidden in the jumpiness of the songs. Ferguson sings, “It’s so infuriating / Every time I do this to myself” on the second verse of “Crystal Clear” a song with an instrumental that isn’t totally reflective of the subject matter - though that’s not necessarily a bad thing here. In fact, the constant radiancy that the songs give off is pretty delightful, even during the more honest and dismal moments of the record.
I would sum up this record with Ferguson’s lyrics, “We don’t make perfect things, but we make beautiful things.” Yes, perfection is unachievable, but Positive Feedback Loop comes through with a fun debut EP that will make you want to dance. By the sound of their quirky, uplifting vibes, they must be a great band to see live. It should be interesting to see where they go from here and whether they will continue to produce songs to dance to or if they will take their sound into a different direction.
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