Cover for debut album by Alfresco Love Sounds taken by Joel Dayum
I’m not embarrassed to say that very recently, a specific piece of derogatory sounding guitar work from an offspring track, wouldn’t get the fuck out of my head. Yes, I heard it and felt offended when it happened. If anyone else had been around, they would have seen me go from calm-face to face-cringe in a millisecond, like I don’t already have problems with my rep.
Why wasn’t there an uprising in the Middle-East when that song came out back then? I don’t doubt when they threw that into the track, the rest of the band were just dumb enough about music to be blown away; “Oh wow man, that’s great! Leave that in!”
Don’t get it? It’s that Arab guitar ‘solo’ in their hit song. Yeah, now you hear it too!
But I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to talk about how I fixed that immediate problem. If it wasn’t for the memorable guitar solos in Tom Ward’s solo project Alfresco Love Sounds, I’d be on a slippery slope.
I want to thank Don’t Need No Melody for drawing attention to the single suck a bag of dreams.
Right from the start of that track, the beat of the snare is essentially the totem to take with you before you go into the dream. Despite the blog’s don’t need a melody title, that track establishes the melody right from the get go. It reminds me of whenever I think about starting with a melody for to a song I’m writing, I try to come up with various tricks to tease it in and then figure out how to fill the gap between that of figure out when I’ll use it again, maybe even stretch it out wherever I can.
This gap in the song happens right after the melody but you don’t notice it because Tom is actually putting you under with smooth bass lines and harmonies, until the world becomes glittery and all your fears dissipate, telling you how much he could “live inside a dream”. He does this before he brings back the melod, this time with fuzz and swirling guitar solos.
This was weeks ago when I first heard this and weeks later, that same single came back to life in my head while I was doing something really mundane. I had to give this album another listen and it never fails from the first track, I’m mesmerized by Ward’s mastery of sound.
I’m not going to use any language you’ll have to look up later for the simple and fortunate fact that I don’t have an extensive vocabulary. The opening track Sock Cooker Bliss throws you right in the middle of a crispy sunny morning, it’s poppy and fuzzy. Listen to how the drum beat smacks like peanut butter or how the track plays around with its epic sense of space right when you think that serene pop hook is coming back… It’s too immersed to keep you guessing before it sneaks another melodic wave into the second track mirror skies.
According to his blog, releasing this debut came sooner than expected. Ward comes across as a very meticulous perfectionist in his craft. Those shoegaze moments in the album — and there are plenty of them — have purposes beyond fitting the shoegaze moniker. He’s sculpting scenes out of mist and vapor as they take form before they disappear while he keeps creating new ones.
Yes, I’m a fucking weirdo, I know. But to me that describes what Ward is doing here perfectly because he’s constantly moving. Blame chillwave for making me see things in a more visual sense.
Also, Ward is too self-aware to just let the sounds and effects tell one story. Listen to how he changes the order of things with Cleveland and throws in that Burt Rogers sounding rock guitar. Very spontaneous. All it needs are two guitar rah-raahhhhs to go with the twinkling guitar chords. Yes, it doesn’t take much to get me off, I know.
What’s also great about Ward’s work is that he has a lot of it! Check out some of his other band camp releases before he drops another one!
Look. If Ward was concerned about putting this out before he thought it was ready, he can rest easy. It’s perfect.