By Clinton Dick
Toss jazzy, upbeat music from the 1950s and 60s and punk rock together in a blender and put it on the highest setting and the concoction created sounds like the artist Slam Dunk. The indie rock band out of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada released their second album, “Welcome To Miami,” on Nov. 13. The album features ten tracks, which combine for an overall fast-paced, energetic sound.
The first track, “Can’t Stand It” starts off slow, with lead vocalist Jordan Minkoff singing loud and clear above a trumpet tune that sounds like something played during a drizzly day. Halfway through, the trumpets stops and Minkoff starts singing behind a soft guitar riff and the steady beat of the symbols. Then, the guitar, drums and brass instruments come alive as the song closes out in a fast-paced tempo. The quick rhythm changes in the song is an enjoyable technique used steadily throughout the album.
“Dying Breed,” the album’s second track picks up where the first left off, with a fast-paced upbeat tune. Minkoff showcases his vocal talent in the chorus, singing “everyone’s a dying breed,” in a high-pitched voice. The best description of “Dying Breed” is to take an upbeat Beach Boy’s song and put it on steroids.
Things don’t slow down with the next two tracks on the album. “Da Dunda” is the most accurately titled song, opening with fast, upbeat electric guitar riffs and continuing the bouncy rhythm throughout the song. The song features creative piano, saxophone and electric guitar solos. The next track, “Why Can’t I Change” is one of the most organized songs in the sense it keeps the same guitar beat throughout the song. However, the tempo slows down to a whisper of vocals and explodes in a fury of sound and energy as the song ends, leaving the listener hungry for more.
“Scabies” marks the midway point of the album. After the catchy tunes of “Why Can’t I Change,” “Scabies” doesn’t sound like it showcases the band’s musical talent. Half of the song is a soft guitar solo backed up by drums and aided at the end by trumpets. It leads into the suspenseful track, “Horse Bumper,” which has the tune of a song that might be played in an action scene of a western movie.
The transition is great into the next track, “Runner.” The pace slows way down from “Horse Bumper,” as if someone pumped on the brakes of a speeding car. With the return of the piano, the song has a very jazzy, 70s show-tune-like of sound.
The eighth track, “Sass,” takes the laid back rhythm of the previous track and blows the doors of the hinges of the album. The energy rises and falls and then rises again several times throughout the four and a half minute song. The following track, “Peter” continues with the roller coaster rhythm, but is much less upbeat than “Sass” and omits the energy and excitement.
“Fantasy” concludes the album with a fun, catchy guitar riff, followed by an upbeat song with loud and wild singing by Minkoff that is bound to leave listeners in a joyful mood.
Jazzy underground rock might not sound like the best musical combination, but Slam Dunk does it right on their second album. A good portion is in an upbeat, energetic mood and the consistent pace changes keep listeners hungry for more.
Clinton Dick is a senior majoring in convergent journalism. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.