Take one look at the cover of False Hope Syndrome by Teenage Daydreams, and you’ll get a pretty good sense of what’s inside: a blinding light, showing various instruments and items all fairly prominent yet intricately important to the background. Well, that’s not all that’s within this album, but it’s certainly a start.
“Emotional Lightning Girl” has these super grungy tones that support the simple, wailing guitar. The vocals, high and ethereal, softly crawl over this g-force of a sound, taking momentary breaks to allow the energy to crank up a bit.
“I Love You Babe” has the same guttural feel, but incorporates some sparse higher notes (I hear a tambourine in there) to cover the higher end of the spectrum. The last minute of the song features a rather catchy riff.
I like the slightly electric ambient beginning of “Hearts Touching,” which leads into a really fun tune. A nice deep punch is delivered in the form of a pounding bass that keeps the beat. Most people shy away from the squeal of feedback, but here they’ve embraced it and made it a distinct part of the melody, an effect that grew on me after some initial shock.
“I Don’t Want to Hate” immediately brings to mind early 90’s pop tunes, with disco balls and color block patterns fizzling left and right – think “Saved By The Bell.” Keeping in line with the technique of using interesting supporting sounds, the whistle of a teakettle can be discerned here. Again, it’s not something you’d expect to hear in a song, but it was an interesting idea.
“Dead Best Friends” begins just as hollow and eerie as one would expect. It sounds like a marriage between funeral doom and grunge pop. It sounds very much like a funeral procession at first, though the energy does pick up a little while through. I like the contrast between the higher energy and the very slow parts – in fact, the slower sections were my favorite parts.
“Colors” has a rather dark atmosphere, with the sense that the music is about to simply wash over you. The melody is even catchier here than in some of the others, and I really enjoyed the higher notes juxtaposed with the tweeting birds and dreamy high sounds. There was a sound that caught me off guard and made my heart race, which was actually a lot of fun. Of all the songs, this one seems to have the most artistic depth – making it no surprise that it was titled what it was.
Going beyond the sonic level, there was something about the uniqueness of this album that made me feel like I was tripping out a bit, and at some sort of electro grunge rave. It kept me interested, and it was a fun listen. The only thing I would hope for is some variation in the vocals – her voice is beautiful, but heavily synthesized in many cases to the point where there’s no discerning one lyric from the next. As another instrument and in terms of this sound, however, the vocals work just fine as they are, and I appreciated the creativity within this album.
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