The Melodibots is a St. Louis-based musical performance duo founded by Logan Allison (NukLeon) and Skyler Hunt (Inkwell). They recently released The Wastes which is a rock based concept album. This album is a concept to the extreme. There is a very detailed and long explanation that reads more like a science fiction novel on their Bandcamp page but I will give you a quick overview. The album is about two robots that are bought online to bring some happiness and joy into a dying world. Apparently, the milieu is some kind of 1950’s version of what never was. I have to wonder if this was inspired by the video game Bioshock because this is the feel of that game.
They open up with “Finally Functioning” which is a song that has a lot of ’50s and ’60s influence. The sound is certainly rock but more in line with a song like “Twist and Shout” or a band like The Clash. However, the band transitions into a Chuck Berry inspired guitar solo and a ’50s high school prom ballad with ease. I was really impressed. The band really did have an older vibe but I’m not sure it simultaneously sounded futuristic or like it was coming from a parallel universe. I almost feel like they should have put some synths in there but that could easily sound cheesy.
The band has more success with “Merrier.” I was again impressed with their ability to feel like you are in this universe. The song didn’t really feel like it was coming from the ’50s. However the band utilizes these robot like noises along with a little jam that sounds like it’s coming from the bar band in Star Wars. It was cool and definitely unique.
I just loved the vocals on “Vertices.” In fact I really loved the vocals on the entire album. The duo is very exuberant and feel as if they are having fun. They take you down an ethereal soundscape with “The Wastes” while “Steppin' Out” is a fun and quirky song. I felt the other highlights were “Swing With Me” and “Memories 2000.”
The band pull of this concept album and there are just so many ways this idea could have just gone wrong. Music is always the main factor for me no matter what the concept is and this band certainly has the former figured out. Recommended.
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