By Rudy Rigg
Find out more about Rudy here!
I DON’T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME’s (aka iDKHOW) coy bewitchment of anachronism in their debut album ‘Razzmatazz’ is nothing short of the most wonderful nightmare.
Running with the threads of Dallon Weekes’ retired band The Brobecks – which released a delightful handful of EP’s and one full LP throughout the years of 2003 to 2011 – Weekes’ newest brain child oozes tempestuous nods to a more analog reality, yet still maintains a stronghold in the world of modern pop. Sporting colourful synths, vaudeville theatrics and the occasional saxophone; Razzmatazz is begging you to lose yourself in its comforting nostalgia.
Sitting with 12 tracks at 37 minutes long, the album spares no time in showing you what is on offer. The opening track ‘Leave Me Alone’ thrusts you into the delicious fever dream of ‘Razzmatazz’ with its gritty guitar riffs and splashes of retro video game sound effects. The most satisfying payoff of the opening track being the juxtaposition between the line “go fly a kite until you’re tangled in the hanging tree” and the ensuing moment of synths that bring Saturday Night Fever to mind. It is moments like this that slip and slide themselves so delicately throughout the entirety of iDKHOW’s glittery LP.
A while later, we take small departure from what is turning out to be a love child between The Duffer Brothers, David Bowie and all the best things about classic video game soundtracks’ and back to the core of the now-gone (but never forgotten) ghost of BandCamp.com: The Brobecks. ‘From the Gallows’ is the unsettling jazz influenced ballad you didn’t know you needed. Its wallowing shuffle beat is just fast enough to keep you plodding along, but accompanied with the horns and tinny piano it relishes in the suggestion of the song being about two early 20th century vampires and not about any living creature at all. In fact, while on the topic of the past, it’s succeeding song ‘Clusterhug’ is a rework of a demo that was part of The Brobecks’ LP ‘Violent Things’ physical release.
In all its technicolor fury ‘Razzmatazz’ does pace itself and provides some relief from its higher energy tracks. ‘Kiss Goodnight’ is thick with plucked bass and a rhythm line that distorts itself into making you believe that you’re relieving the first night out you spent with your teenage crush. Similarly, ‘Need You Here’ is a playful yet confidently mature back-and-forth letter detailing being separated by distance. Despite being overtly and purposefully flashy, Weekes’ critiques on topics like celebrity culture and narcissism, and his musings about obsession and control dive deeper than what the rightfully distractive melodies first offer.
It’s the effortless complexity and languid transition between musical spaces that make iDKHOW’s first album ‘Razzmatazz’ feel deep, thoughtful and anachronistically retrospective.