release date: 17th April 2020
Anyone with even a passing interest in Synthwave will have heard about the elusive Electro Magician known simply as ‘Trevor Something’. In a genre that appears awash with Talent and those who are less skilled to put it diplomatically there are very few Artists that on impact changed the game and this artist is one I regard as a prolific game changer. I don’t think I’m alone in that thought.
Since exploding onto the scene in 2013 with his single ‘All Night’ he has continuously pushed the boundaries to evolve his sound into something that quite simply oozes sex. Don’t believe me? Go listen to ‘Love you again’ from his album of 2014 ‘Synthetic Love’ or ‘Your Sex is a Dream’ from his 2015 LP offering ‘Death Dream’ and keep a packet of cigarettes nearby for the post coital eargasms that will follow! But “enough of Trevor’s 50 Shades of Synth” I hear you cry, and you’ll be right. Today I attempt to review his New Album ‘Microwaves’. I say “attempt” in so far as there are those who probably think (and wrongly I may add) that a fan couldn’t in good conscience review without bias. Oh yes they can! In fairness fans are the harshest critics there is and they’re pretty vocal about it too. You only have to cast a cold eye on Social Media to figure that one out,
So here goes….
‘Microwaves’ in of itself is a curious title, the most cyberpunk of all home appliances and the LP aesthetic has a neat little purple brain cooking away in there like last night’s take out. The artwork is a head scratcher but in retrospect possibly details a narrative where it feels in recent times that everyone’s brain is a little fried with the constant bombardment of the 24-hour news cycle where nothing good comes out. Bad news sells fast and if your life is circling the plughole tethering yourself to the Matrix of Gloom certainly doesn’t help.
The Album gallops out the gate with “You are my obsession”. The first single off the new release. It’s a gritty, punchy little number that grabs you from the outset. You’re left in no doubt that this is a Trevor Something lick when the vocals ooze in. The melody is ultra-addictive and by the break down at 2 minutes 27 seconds in I was sold. The trouble is that when an album starts out stronger than Schwarzenegger it can cry off harder than Pee Wee Herman so I was tentative about the tracks to follow to say the least.
The next Two tracks “Living to Die” and “False Reality” couldn’t be more different, the former from an instrumental perspective wouldn’t feel out of place in a Club Med setting at Sunset with Beds for seats to lounge on. It’s a pretentious effort with a rather morose title, but the dichotomy between the two ideas does give the listener a well-rounded idea of where his head was at making the track itself. I rather think that the track could have been better placed further down on the album as it does offer a respite from the other songs but that’s just my opinion.
Now... “False Reality” should be played at night doing 90 mph down a neon-lit highway. That’s it! The track itself vocals wise reminds me of early Depeche Mode in presentation but whether you’re a fan of The Mode or not don’t let that take you away from possibly one of the best tracks on the LP itself. It certainly jockeys for position with “You are my Obsession” that’s for sure. Subjective though my opinion is I’m sure most of you will agree when you hear it!
“Do it to me” which is track 4 off the album is exactly what it’s about! Yes, Trevor does his Sex thing again but this time to a rather distinctive 80's sounding backdrop. Images of Strip clubs and substances abound but that’s not unusual for Trevor let’s be honest. I liked the track, I wouldn’t be specifically raving about it but it’s a grower (no pun intended).
Track 5 satirises the listener by just putting 51 secs of the sound of a Microwave in motion to the back drop of pulsating electricity. Madly, you listen to it to see if there’s anything hidden in the narrative but no it’s a Microwave that’s it. A cheeky little filler.
Après the Electromagnetic interlude the rest of the album plays out as if being led down a dark path to the backdrop of seedier beats and grimy hooks that leave you wanting to shower after listening to them but I expect nothing less of the artist and I love it.
All in all, this album certainly presents a darker undertone it’s evident of course in the titles of most of the tracks from “No one Cares to “Living to Die” and “You’re so ugly”. It’s a solid album with some surprises but unmistakingly Trevor Something.
Favourite Track: False Reality
Least Favourite: Playin' me
Grab Microwaves here: https://trevorsomething.bandcamp.com/
Within weeks of releasing this album another dropped in the form of 'Deep Wave Data Dark Web Daemons' which will no doubt get a review very soon