ARTIST: Jason Alacrity
ALBUM: The Times of Light and Iron
LABEL: Shinto Records
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
With his first solo album, Jason Alacrity, lead vocalist of now-defunct acts Slaveone and WillowFeverDream, retains a hint of his previous projects' industrial texture while moving in a more techno and pop-oriented direction. "Poison Test" is high-BPM dance floor fodder laced with processed echoing vocals, with plenty of rhythm to move bodies on the dance floor and enough flair for the melodic hooks to stick in your head on the way home from the club, while "Stainless" is softer, though no less processed, with a hint of chopped up female speech contrasting with Alacrity's own effects-laden vocals. Alacrity also brings in occasional touches of rock flavor, as on "Black Cat," which uses an undercurrent of overdriven guitars to give some backbone to the melancholy keyboard lines, and "Targets," which takes a stony trip-hop beat into more organic territory on waves of languid strumming. Overall, it's a solid mixture of emotive singing and clean sequences, but Alacrity does sometimes get in his own way with attempts at more experimental programming; while the glitches and ambient tones of "Red Country" are intriguing, like a more science fiction-flavored Aphex Twin, "My Apologies" ruins an otherwise decent pop song with sudden drops in volume that, while meant to provide emphasis on certain lines, are too jarring to work effectively. Much better is Alacrity's own bonus remix of the song, which emphasizes its moodiness via darker synth textures and slightly distorted beats. Apart from one or two moments that seem a little too clever for their own good, this is a promising new effort from Alacrity, varied enough to keep things interesting but held together by an aesthetic that ably mixes slick techno with brooding lyricism.
Visit www.jasonalacrity.net for more information.
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