An explosive pop debut, perfectfor a west coast road trip...
'When My Heart Felt Volcanic'

Imagine a long journey in a vintage Cadillac convertible, driving to California. You want a collection of synth-pop summery sounds to accompany you and your friends as you make the pilgrimage, but you can’t face spending hours debating and deliberating. You want a variety of pop music ranging from The 1975’s synth pop to Dua Lipa’s explosive sound, with moments of Arianna Grande’s R&B soul and shimmers of indie-pop sounds similar to that of Pale Waves.

Well, you could have saved yourselves some time and energy; The Aces debut record covers all bases. Pulling influences from each corner of the pop genre to create a collage of Californian imagery.

Contemporary influences are apparent throughout as The Aces rely on explosive choruses and soaring backing vocals, particularly during the falsetto bridge in ‘Strong Enough’.

Lyrical craftmanship and clever storytelling is generally ignored in favour of a melodic riff which makes the record passive at times as it tip-toes on the borderline of background music, the choruses required as a wake-up call. There is little respite from the falsetto vocals and rip-roaring choruses which makes the record seem repetitive, and the attempt at variety through piano ballad, ‘Hurricane’, fails to hit the spot, highlighting their lyrical immaturity thus contributing to a dull finale of an otherwise exciting record.

It seems The Aces have achieved their goal however, to escape the indie clichés attached to pop bands using guitars, and have created a fully-fledged pop scorcher. You may not be able to immerse yourself in this record however, it is perfect for a west coast road trip.

7/10

Words: Johnny Rogerson

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