Von Hayes: Wa La! (self-released, 2021)

January 28, 2021 at 8:29 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Von Hayes: Wa La!

The latest release from Von Hayes sports a quote from Tobin Sprout, who states that there are no grand secrets to 4-track recording, just use tracks for overdubs and bounce the vocals to one track. “Mix and EQ to taste and wa la.” With that, Von Hayes keep doing it as they’ve been doing since the ’00s. This one has a few big rock singalong moments (particularly “I’m Tired” and “Zamp”, which has both harmonica and guitar solos), a mini-power ballad (“I Had No Idea It Was Today”), and tracks that are a bit mellower and more singer/songwritery than the band’s older material, like the nostalgic “Decades in the Breaking”. Both of the group’s singers duet on “And Always” while surrounded by brain-electrifying guitar noise and rumbling drums, but the second half of the song is sparse, barely audible acoustic strumming which gets interrupted by sudden, hair-raising jolts. “No Title #11” is a queasy, punch-drunk number backed by a swarm of creaking violins. “Quarantine Dreams” sounds like an R.E.M. demo, but with weirder, messier guitars. The album triumphantly ends with the space-themed pop epic “Message to the Sparkled Egg Star”.

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