Friday, 4 July 2014

Review| Ramyn King - The Teal Album

Influential British label Pterodactyl Squad is releasing a power pop/rock album. The Teal Album is Ryan King's, aka Ramyn King, debut release under the moniker, having previously worked under many different others, VGMing since '09. However, for a release on one of the oldest and most important chiptune labels going, there is a surprising lack of chiptune here, but that's not to say what makes up the rest isn't fantastic.

The Teal Album perpetuates itself as the culmination of early Weezer mixed with Megaman soundtracks. Whilst the Megaman influences don't shine through, Ramyn King does manage to create a series of brilliant Weezer tributes with enough electronic flairs and new musical ideas to raise itself above simple fan-boy copycatisms. 'Kyofu' opens with almost math rock tones before getting all 'anime opener'. The track then hits a peak when vocals spitting the album's catchiest hooks and arena-rock level bridges collide; Foo Fighters via Weezer in a synth shop. 'YUKO' ends the album on a high, with sliding electronic tones that slowly reign dissonant before building into a powerful and unfathomably catchy closer, as backing vocal 'oohs' give the closing power pop moment some serious melodic bite.

Elsewhere Weezer infulences are even more prominent. 'mm4.nsf track-11' sounds dangerously close to 'No One Else' in its introductory sections, before Ramyn takes a diversion and turns rock-opera in the electronics, before ending in shoegaze atmospheres and vocals. Also, opener 'password screen' does a fantastic job of anchoring the rest of the album, with a track so Blue Album that if it were released by the LA quartet this year it'd be considered a comeback. The lyrics on a whole follow their patterns too, pondering subjects from playing videogames in pants to fucking on the floor. The vocals always sound incredible though, in fact bar some of the detached sounding electronic components, the production on the album as a whole is genuinely astounding.

The album does take a slight quality dip with 'vitamin d actually prevents acne' and 'last magdalene'; the former featuring the least affective hooks on the album and the latter taking an odd stylistic shift and going Smashing Pumpkins in its 90s alt moodiness, to the track's detriment. Even with the slight dead weight of these tracks, the rest of the album is incredible in its scope, ambition and execution. Never mind the electronic gimmick side, this is an incredible 7-track display of power pop/rock being done as good as the stadium-filling best.

Favourite track: Kyofu