Last week, Guelph band Adverteyes released their sophomore LP, Cultures, to their Bandcamp profile. After a cassette release in January and debuting some of their new material at last month’s GAIN Music Festival, a lot of people, including myself, have been eagerly awaiting this release.
On my first listen, I noticed that Cultures doesn’t play through like I would normally want an album to. I usually prefer forty-five minutes (22 minutes on vinyl) of continuous music (like most Pink Floyd or Nine Inch Nails albums), with the songs ordered in a way that takes you up and down. What I did find, and now ultimately like, about Cultures, is that it listens like a play or book, in three chapters. It’s almost like there is an introduction, conflict and conclusion, not just from the beginning to end of the record, but in each of the three chapters as well. Cultures, Adverteyes, is telling you a story, so I used my imagination, and just listened.
This is the part of the review where I would usually break down a few of the key tracks, talk about production (which is great), point out the album’s strengths and weaknesses and boil it all down to a verdict on whether or not to buy the record. I can’t do that with Cultures. Every song is an important part of the story. The first track, Romancing The Stone, is like meeting your tour guide. The song introduces itself, the album, and the band. “Hello. We’re Adverteyes. We will be taking you on a forty-five (46:19) minute journey. Please, lean back, get comfortable, and close your eyes.” So, I followed my tour guide’s instructions. With a little imagination and a willingness to go, I went away with Adverteyes.
These are the first words that popped into my head as my journey progressed as Cultures played through:
Outer space, magic carpet ride, belly-dancing-gypsy pub, Marilyn Manson voice, excited, scared, Willy Wonka tunnel, happy & carefree, love, ghosts, an old church, longing, slowly watching a candle melt into a puddle of wax, dancing, struggle, victory, relaxation, anxiety, relief, exhale
There are so many layers to Cultures that trying to describe the album with a few adjectives about the sound, influence, emotion, location or mood, would be unfair. I felt taken away, via many different forms of transportation, to different locations, and felt different emotions with each arrival. I haven’t had this type of experience from an album in seven years, let alone by a Guelph artist. If you like adventure and imagination in your music, Cultures by Adverteyes is for you.