The ever so young and talented band The Refractions has grown since the last time we reviewed their Breeze album. Now the four-piece band from Louisville, Kentucky have returned as 18- and 19-year olds with a rock pop album Paramind. For this record the Refractions took the next step forward by recording the album in the professional Sight Glass Sounds studio with former Picturesque drummer Cole Clark mixing and mastering. The quality of work definitely shows.
Paramind opens with breezy guitars and smooth vocals on “NYC, CHI.” It’s a poppy track with boy band dreaminess with a wonderful guitar riff all throughout the song. There’s a great guitar solo and that’s where I thought the song should’ve stop but it continues a little longer than I expected. “UFO” continues the trend of soft vocals with catchy melodies that help you vibe along. There are unexpected stops before breaking the beat making sure listeners are paying attention.
“Smack” is an electrifying rock instrumental song that features Ahmi and Vena Cava. It’s a terrific instrumental track that has ripping a guitar; smashing drums with a solid build ending a blissful harmony. The ending comes out of nowhere. It’s dream-like sequence with hushed lyrics but the mood contrasts from alternative punk jam session to sounds of sending someone regret texts in the night. While it would’ve been nice if this was left as its own interlude, it does a solid job as an introduction to the next song “Bloom.”
A great thing about Refractions is they do a good job messing with genres throughout the album. “Cream” has a lo-fi piano before stepping in with buttery smooth vocals and a horn section that is so catchy. The band also revisited and reworked some previously released songs such as “Anna” that was on their Breeze album. No harm in that, plenty of bands rerelease songs if they feel the product didn’t receive enough exposure. Also the band is a little older now and working in a high quality studio so why now give songs the proper love they deserve?
Paramind is a very good pop rock album. The young men of Refractions have laid out a solid foundation and these guys aren’t even in their 20’s yet! You could argue that the album lasts just a bit longer than needed. Understandingly they want to show off everything they can do to leave a lasting impression. But sometimes leaving listeners craving for more is even better. That being said Paramind has plenty of engaging songs to keep listeners’ attention. Refractions are talented young men that are still learning to master their crafts. If they continue on this path, they’ll have a bright future ahead of them.
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