BUMMER by cleopatrick Album review by Katie Tymochenko

Thirty Tigers/The Orchard/Nowhere Special Recordings




Not many bands have truly been able to stay independent in the growing world of streaming and digital success, but two musicians from a small town in Ontario have managed to do just that by forming their own label, Nowhere Special Recordings/Thirty Tigers.

While fans know them as cleopatrick, guitarist/vocalist Luke Gruntz and drummer Ian Fraser found success in the world of rock n’ roll with a couple of EPs and some viral hits to get the band off the ground. Now, the band is back with their debut album BUMMER and have shifted their style to better reflect the intense and emotional feelings behind their new music.

The album’s initial moments instantly capture the fierce, loud and twisted journey cleopatrick is about to embark on. Plugging in with “VICTORIA PARK,” the band opts for a more deceptively melodic track to get things started. Upon first listen it’s clear the band is going for something heavier on their debut release, choosing to hide their clever melodies deep within the foundations of each song. “GOOD GRIEF” gives off a similar feeling with its punchy chorus and captivating guitar riffs, and prove that these songs might be simple but they groove.

A common thread throughout the album is Gruntz’s constant need to make the guitars as heavy as possible. These tracks are anything but clean and the distortion drenched throughout the album makes it one of the heavier rock records to be released this year. While tracks like “PEPPERS GHOST,” and “THE DRAKE,” exemplify this point exactly, an interesting twist throughout the album is the band’s subtle nods to hip hop and electronica. Without a bass player, the band needs to get creative filling out their sound and does so by creating a rock n’ roll hybrid tone similar to the likes of Rage Against The Machine.

The album’s darkest point comes towards the end with “2008.” Keeping on trend with the album’s heavy guitar parts, “2008” emits pain and agony in a mysterious and melodic way. The haunting track keep listeners on edge but somehow also promotes peace and tranquility through the song’s inventive guitar licks. Screeching vocals with perfect pitch cap the song off nicely and remind us about the dark beauty to be found deep within the roots of rock n’ roll.

Overall, cleopatrick take a staggering approach on their debut LP. Shying away from their previous more radio-friendly sound, the band doesn’t hesitate in going full-throttle using all the force and strength a duo could possibly exude. BUMMER isn’t the album for a laid back car ride or sonic trips of self-discovery. Instead, this music fosters feelings of nostalgic mass gatherings, mosh pits and crowd surfing. It’s meant to be played live and for the sake of this band, let’s hope that time comes sooner rather than later.