Fuckin’ Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco… they’ve had too strong of an influence on pop-punk music. Now, poop “punkers” everywhere are straining their vocal cords to produce that same kind of dreaded whiny pitch that my little cousin made the other night when I shot him in the ass with a high-powered Nerf gun. Sounds like Toronto, Ontario boys Arcane Ghosts have been riding the complain train as well, or at least their lead vocalist Jason Diaz has. All zings aside, I’ll give these guys some credit as it would appear that they are fresh on the scene and have been hard at work promoting their latest EP entitled Traveller. Although they launched ‘er on February 22nd, 2017, judging by their promo vids, these guys were getting around town on tour way back in the fall of Killy McKill 2016.
The opening track, “Pay My Dues,” – no fuckin’ thank you. That’s the whiny shit I was talking about. I was really waiting for Diaz to start singing “haven’t you people ever heard of, closing the goddamn door.” This song has some sweet guitar and drum teamwork; the drums really compliment the guitar and it definitely sounds cool with them both going at their respective roles simultaneously. However, I couldn’t get over the nasally voice pitch. Now, the next track “Alive” has a little bit more of an edge to it, with a pretty rockin’ chorus that sounds a little bit like, well, P.O.D’s “Alive.” It’s heavier and angrier and you can get a sense of aggression in Diaz’ voice, which kind of redeems the nerdy, push-over vocals in “Pay My Dues.”
“Flower City?” More Like Owl City – goddamn, they ripped off his sound AND name… ah, but that’s okay; I’ll give this one a thumbs up, for sure. “Flower City” has the catchy main riff with a calming breakdown as the chorus, allowing for a very interesting turn of events throughout the song. The main riff is bumping and fun while the vocals and lyrics are kind of somber and sorrowful. This track is unpredictable and I enjoy that; it is probably the big hit, or at least it should be.
The thing about this EP is although it is quite diverse, as each song has something different about it, such as in “Ghost” when either Diaz or David Principe just starts Screamo yelling, there definitely are a lot of words sung and stretched-out syllables which kind of break the flow of the vocal rhythm, something that could have perhaps been a little more melodic throughout the EP. I concentrate mostly on vocal melodies in songs, so even though the instrumentation is unique, funky, and a 7.5/10 in regards to production quality, the interrupted fluidity of the vocal melody is displeasing and quite unsettling, if I would say so myself.
Written by Keenan Kerr
*edited by Danielle Kenedy