British rock band The Alchemy’s third studio album Somewhere// Anywhere touches all corners of the genre in 11 songs. If there isn’t a song on here for you, then you just don’t get this kind of music. The album is an EPCOT center of rock ‘n’ roll.
“Birdsong” sets the tone with grunge-like verses leading to a full on stadium rock in the chorus. The “hey, heys” are an excellent touch. “Love Sick” provides more bounce, leaving room for vocalist Rhys Taylor to exercise is range.
“It was the first album where we took full control of the entire production process, from writing to recording, mixing and mastering. This allowed us to truly express our artistic vision in every aspect,” Taylor notes.
That vision is flushed out in “Somewhere Anywhere.” It’s a polished, toe-tapper of a track before returning to the rock in “True Loves a Waste of Time.” The percussion really pushes the tune with pace variations underlining interesting vocal distortions and impressive artistic courage.
“I approached the drums for Somewhere // Anywhere in a completely different way to our previous record (Idle Ghosts),” says the band’s drummer, Sam. “Instead of taking time my time to write each part of the songs, I used whatever came out of the time of writing.”
“Real Life” is an album highlight, an anthemic, stadium rock eruption that will be a doozy live. “Sun Bleached,” which was released in October, finds a way to be melancholy but hopeful, heavy but lighthearted all at the same time. It’s wonderful blend of juxtapositions.
“Summer” is such a sweat tune, setting a tone for the back few tracks. The heavier track “Brothers” stands out with an insane hook that supercharges the breakneck tune. “Hollywood” brings the album full circle, a chunky, grungy song heavy on distortions, and pure rock ambience.
Versatility is sometimes an overrated trait in music. It’s easy to dress up a rap song and turn it pop, or a rock song and turn it country. It makes an artist seem versatile, but it’s often a simple production trick. The ability to tweak small nuisances of a major genre so it dabbles in different sub-genres is much more challenging. It requires a true understanding of the art form, rather than a broad generalization of what listeners will tolerate.
The Alchemy gets the nuisances of rock. The flashes of different genre styles are so enjoyable, you feel like you are listening to an alternative or rock radio playlist all in one album. It’s an incredible accomplishment.