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No need to bash on Volcano!'s 'Pinata'

Published: Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Updated: Thursday, July 19, 2012 18:07

Volcano!

Piñata
(The Leaf Label)
Grade: B+

At first glance Piñata seems like a bit of everything you’ve ever heard before, but after giving it a couple listens you can really appreciate what Volcano! created. Their hard work resulted in plenty of catchy, complex and eccentric songs. The Chicago trio created an album that is entertaining, albeit bizarre, from start to finish.

The title track, “Piñata,” starts the album off on a bit of a disjointed note and is indicative of what is to come. Rather than flow effortlessly, it’s a bit like stop-and-go traffic.

Singer Aaron With is a vocal chameleon. There were times when I could have sworn it was Tim Kasher (Cursive) singing and in others it seemed like Brandon Boyd (Incubus) took over the microphone. With might sound like other talented singers, but he certainly has a signature style – at times, there is maniacal laughter and screaming (“So Many Lemons”) followed by animalistic grunting and growling.

“St. Mary of Nazareth” and “Child Star” are two stand out tracks on an album full of gems. Drummer Sam Scranton makes eloquently creepy beats that synth and bass player Mark Cartwright has no problem layering upon.

Volcano! created a magnificently fun album that throws plenty of curve balls at the listener. It’s nice not knowing what to expect for once. All in all, this solid band made a solid album.

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