Ed. – This review was penned by Chase Finley, a new addition to our staff.
Band – Local Tourists
Album / Label – Adrift / Unsigned
Rating – 4.5 / 5
Since 2015, Local Tourists have been making their way throughout the Columbus scene. By playing staple venues such as Big Room Bar, Rumba Café, and Tree Bar, they have established themselves as a local band to keep your eye on.
Combining elements of guitar-driven alternative, indie rock, and a minimal, yet tasteful helping of psychedelic ingredients, Local Tourists‘ new EP, “Adrift” (released May 18, 2018), takes the listener on a ride through a crispy sounding sonic space; evoking some feelings I can’t quite put my finger on, but will attempt to describe as I make my way through the five tracks included on this release.
The first track, Parasitism, opens with a pleasing snare and bass-drum intro, stylishly opening the door for the entire EP. As the guitar chimes in seconds later, the song starts to take form, with the bass joining, and shortly thereafter, vocals. To me, this piece speaks of admiration for someone, and of self-deprecation; these sentiments hit home for me. I felt something. “I’m the disease for which you are the medicine” just about sums it up.
The second track, Tango Loco, opens with guitar, followed by drums, and then bass. As the track gains substance and speed, I notice that the sound of the album feels very pleasing to the ear, especially in the mixing and blending of the guitar and vocal tracks. The whole album seems to run like a well-maintained engine. I use this metaphor because the guitar, bass, drums, and vocals seem to work independently from each other, yet comprise a moving, driving, purring, and roaring entity. The track ends with a fantastic, fuzz-driven, guitar motif; and a contagious melody for the impressionable listener.
Next, Calico, brings us into a melancholy place; not quite sad, maybe just frustrated. Either way, it is relatable. The lead guitar is saturated with overdrive and delay, and the leads and motifs laid over the entire song bring a unique fullness to the entire product. The vocals sound somber, yet powerful. The guitar solo towards the end of the song is tasteful, unique, and purposefully, playfully, simple, in the most positive and admirable way. It fits well, and the vocals come back at the perfect point. “I’m alive, but I’m such a mess” is another unbelievably relatable thought, summed up in very few words lyrically; which is always hard to do.
The fourth track, The Architect starts with another tastefully simple, yet aesthetically pleasing guitar solo. The song sounds to me like a personal narrative, told by someone who constantly feels pressure to change, yet also experiences a sense-of-self which they feel they must maintain. The blend of acoustic rhythm guitar and clean electric leads, combined with a locked-in feel in the bass and drums absolutely packs this song with sound, adding to the album’s overall fantastic tonality, one I can only envy as a fellow musician.
The EP finishes with CQD, a track that starts off with a guitar motif, including nice, high bass leads, and some calmly sung lyrics. The song slowly gains more energy as the rhythm changes and becomes more driving. As we reach the climax of the song, the lyrics “What if I said that I could not stay, what if I said that I won’t drown with you” are sung, then chanted, and then screamed, with anger, passion, and maybe a bit of fear. Rolls on the toms, guitar leads, and an ascending bassline bring the song and the EP to a close with a very subdued, yet beautiful bang.
It seems to me that a great deal of care has been taken to put these songs in this order. If it was not, it should be regarded as a happy accident, because this EP flows extremely well. The content, order, and overall professional sound are superb on this release, and that is why I give “Adrift” a 4.5/5 rating.
I look forward to hearing this new material played live, and you should too.
Local Tourists – Tango Loco