This Isn’t A Sugar Substitute
One might think that being in a band and producing music for almost ten years might be the bane of a band’s existence or the ever-growing tedium would force them to retire. Shocking still is the fact that even after nearly a decade, the Ohio based band Aloha, still creates music that lives up to their brand as a band and have songs and albums that live up to some of their earlier releases. Their newest album Little Windows Cut Right Through sounds very much like their 2010 release Home Acres, but with less pop hooks and more Prog rock sounds that excite any melancholic, intellectual college student. Even now though, while this record still holds up to the band’s standards, it is still not as good as some of their other albums.
The record begins opens with the yowling vocals of Tony Cavallario and the dreamy, falsetto keyboard and guitar on “Signal Adrift.” It serves as a reminder of what this album could be. A more psychedelic with tinges of jazz layered throughout type of record much like Sugar or Some Echoes. Instead, it transitions into the song “Faraway Eyes.” An enjoyable tune best suited for studying during finals or filming a 90s montage of friends on the beach, complete with bucket hats and overalls. There is not much difference between songs, apart from “Swinging For the Fences” which sounds more like a song featured in a Wes Anderson movie with its quixotic sounding vibraphone and keyboards. Despite most of the songs sounding similar, it is one of the most enjoyable forms of repetition to fall on the ears of listeners.
The one constant this band has is Cale Parks, as the unchanging and talented drummer. While the rest of the band is not without talent, for instance Cavallario’s lyrics and the arrangements the band comes up with as a whole, the real person who stands out and continually creates music that is easily recognizable and exceptional is Parks. The music would still be good if there was a different drummer, but it’s Parks’s unique talent that raises the bar that much more with him around.
This album is nothing spectacular compared to some of their other releases. It is still better than Home Acres, Light Works, and Here Comes Everyone, but the listener wants to hear a return to their earlier sound. This does not mean Little Windows Cut Right Through should be thrown away. Rather, the listener should look at it from a comforting point of view. It is comforting to know that some bands out there are still consistent and able to produce records with a similar sound and can make any listener and fan feel at home with familiarity.