What started as a Muse-lite band, Alt Track have steadily used their influences and work ethic to carve out a sound that is not only original but inspiring also. Their debut full length album was an eclectic collection of political punk, folk, hip-hop, trip-hop, post-rock, drum and bass, whilst also keeping a rock alternative edge which saw them gain favourable reviews by myself amongst others, alongside some fantastic press for their ongoing live shows.
The two-piece have grown and matured some what since then and their upcoming european tour marks the release of a new three track EP, ‘The Banana King‘ available either on tour or free via their soundcloud (which I will link you to later).
‘Speakers‘ has an electronic Radiohead mixed with a piano pop ballad feel to it musically as it builds up to showcase the somewhat expected spoken word rap before relenting to allow the more mainstream friendly singing to come to the fold. It’s by the fifth minute where Alt Track really show you why they are such a promising band though, it is here where everything ups itself an extra notch and the vocals combined with the infused electronic drum and bass feel alongside some beautiful piano work really brings out everything that you should love about this band, it’s Radiohead in their Kid A era, mixed with65daysofstatic, mixed with Muse and lets say Public Enemy for good measure. It sounds like a mad hash of influences, but the band make it work for themselves somehow.
‘Slave Song‘ is a more straight up affair than ‘Speakers‘ and is my favourite on the EP. The reggae influence is clear from the straight up drumming alongside the ska friendly bass-line, while a clangy country-esque guitar cuts in and out of the track brilliantly as Pete Williams once again politically tells us whats what in his politically infused lyrics. Again, it is towards the end of the track where Alt Track really mix it up, bringing the tempo up considerably to work some almost dubstep style drumming and samples along the clangy guitar, and it is this that really marks the track up to make it fantastic. A lesson once again, that all songs should be listened to until the very end.
‘White Nights‘ is perhaps the black sheep of this release. Brilliantly melodic, a keyboard melody creates a lullaby while Micky Dey (that’s the singer rather than the rapper for all you not in the know) creates a haunting soundscape behind, with your standard low key electronic elements to boot, and the occassional reggae guitar line. It is all very low key and understated, which, while quite awkward on this EP, does show a side to the band that while perhaps wouldn’t work in a live setting, really would make a nice addition perhaps in the middle of an album (rather than on the end of an EP making it feel somewhat like a singles b-side).
This is definitely a release for those already familiar with the bands music, or fans of the bands I’ve mentioned about. Alt Track don’t ever seem prepared to become poppier or more indie to be more commercially popular, and that to me is always a good thing, whether it is to you is a complete different story, but check out the EP, it’s free, and I highly recommend it.