VHS Collection - Retrofuturism
Review by Dom Vigil
In a world driven by singles, EPs and short attention spans, it takes a lot to get listeners to sit down and fully listen to a full-length album, but VHS Collection’s debut album, Retrofuturism is one that’ll be easy to listen to from start to finish. With an electric, nostalgic and dreamy vibe and no two songs that sound the same, not only does Retrofuturism arrive at the right time, but it’ll also keep your interest with each coming song.
Opening Retrofuturism is the dreamy, surreal and absolutely massive “One,” which feels like a call to artists like Empire Of The Sun or M83. With a catchy as hell chorus, “One” is certain to hook first-time listeners right off the bat, and the songs that follow will keep them around for good. The second track, “I Can’t Stand It” is a complete 180° from “One”. Not only is a little darker and more haunting, but vocally, it showcases an entirely different range from James Bohannon. In fact, it’s almost hard to imagine that “One” came before “I Can’t Stand It” but surprisingly, they flow together very well. Then there’s “Take My Money,” driven by groovy bass work and a smooth, catchy as hell chorus.
As Retrufuturism charges forward, two things will become obvious. First: the album’s title is the perfect description of VHS Collection’s sound. The band has created a sound all their own with obvious new wave and 80’s pop influences combined with modern synth-pop production. VHS Collection has managed to craft a sound that stands out from the quickly expanding genre. The second thing that stands out is the fact that no two songs on the album sound the same, but that’s not to say that Retrofuturism feels meandering or unorganized. Instead, VHS Collection are showcasing their diversity and ability to branch out of the comfort zone that many modern synth-pop artists fall into. Songs like the acoustic guitar driven “The Otherside” are something you’d never expect from a band like VHS Collection, but it absolutely works.
Obviously, there are a few standouts on Retrofuturism despite the fact that each song has its own strengths. “Blame It On A Dream,” for instance, is heartbreaking but still incredibly warm - a perfect balance of emotions. Meanwhile “American Cynic” and “Animal” are absolute bangers. Then there’s “Fade Out,” the cinematic closer that’ll make you want to listen to the album all over again.
Retrofuturism will make you excited for the future of pop music while reminding you while you fell in love with it to begin with. By blending sounds of the past and future, VHS Collection have created a lush soundscape with no boundaries. Anything is possible for this band, and that’s what makes Retrofuturism such a powerful debut release.
LISTEN TO: “One,” “American Cynic” and “Animal”
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