, A Is For Alpine

on 8 August 2012 in Record Reviews


A Is For Alpine
8 / 10

Melbourne sextet delivers a consistent serving of subdued guitar-driven pop

A is for Alpine. Seems pretty obvious, right? Just like the album’s title, the tracks on the band’s debut LP aren’t too far removed from that of their first EP, Zurich. But that’s definitely the way we like it.

The extension of their earlier work into eleven fully formed tracks is just what the band needed to do to attract the wider attention of Australian music listeners, for which they are so deserving.

Their chilled out indie pop is only made more soothing by the dual vocals of Phoebe Baker and Lou James. The female vocalists lure you to the dancefloor, but they transfix you, rather than inspiring an energetic dance-off.

While there is undeniably a strong pop element to the record, with infectious guitar riffs surfacing throughout, the album is decidedly mellow. With minimal usage of synths in tow, each song begins with a slow pace before building towards an upbeat and memorable chorus.

An essential part of what makes this debut record so consistent is the incredible guitar work of Christian O’Brien, which has always been an integral part of the Alpine sound, but proves that the riffs throughout are the core of these subtle ear-worms.

It was apparent on early single ‘Hands’ when it dropped last year; and the song is the album’s biggest pop moment. ‘Seeing Red’ is another great example, its ingenious riff makes it an obvious candidate for album highlight. But let’s not forget its cousins on ‘Gasoline’, ‘Too Safe’ and ‘The Vigour’.

Everything about ‘A is for Alpine’ might softly say dreamy guitar-driven pop, but the consistent quality isn’t so reserved.

Alpine have nailed their sound across the thirty-eight minutes of their debut.

We may have to forgive them for their less than inspired album title, as this is definitely a near-perfect release to kick off their album discography.

- Corey Tonkin


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