Algernon Doll – Omphalic [Struggletown]

Pulling on influences from the likes of Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins and The Jesus Lizard, Algernon Doll‘s first two albums have had a sound reminiscent of early 90’s grunge.

Omphalic sees Ewan Grant break out from his one man band persona while still continuing to produce the sound that has captured the attention of fans and critics alike.

Mastered by Bob Weston (Shellac) who has production credits on a wide selection of classic records including LCD Soundsystem and Nirvana’s In Utero, Omphalic offers listeners a mix of gentle verses and loud choruses with an overall sound that is both earnest and haunting.

Up-tempo opener and first single ‘Split Milk Perfume’ showcases Algernon Doll’s sound, while giving the listener an idea about the theme of the record and leaving them wanting more.

The whole record is unique as musically as it is vocally, tracks ‘Justine,’ ‘Candy Striped’ and ‘Pink and Blue’ offer a melodic and upbeat sound.

Then there are tracks filled with anger and angst such ‘Tamed,’ ‘Suicide’ and ‘Relate,’ which feature screaming guitars and vocals and a much rawer sound.

The contrasts between each track is what keeps the record interesting, engaging and addictive keeping the listener from losing interest.

Omphalic is a sublime combination of blaring guitars, memorable hooks and emotional lyrics all of which are brought together in ‘Sweet Nothing.’

Closing tracks ‘Goodbye, Blue Jeans’ and ‘Pheromone’ begin more tenderly than the previous tracks, but even with this softer begin both build in intensity bringing the album to a heartfelt climax.

Omphalic is a compelling album full of honesty, anxiety and passion that travels much deeper than just the lyrics.

Words: Jess Lavin

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