In need of salvation
'We Are Your Saviours', the five-track EP from Hey! Alaska is a difficult listen and hard to judge exactly how the record makes me feel. The band have gained quite a cult following recently, particularly in the UK, bringing their unique style to local and independent music festivals. The music performed and written by the band is a heady mixture of rock n roll, punk and power-chord heavy metal that showcases the influence of many independent bands before them, and probably sounds great when you're drunk but it's the lack of substance, meaning or coherence that stop their EP from being considered worthy. Even when the music is good, such as the raucous opener 'Sessions', the wildly incoherent and difficult to understand vocals don't excite me, they just give me a headache. If the lyrics are any good, I can't really make sense of them anyway.
That being said, some embarrassment is saved by the album's second and stand-out track 'We Are Your Saviours' that preaches salvation and is a strong and punky call-to-arms or fists in the air song, and demonstrates what the band could achieve if they made their vocal stylings a little less heavy and more dynamic but even that notion runs dry after awhile. The combination of the less-full on but ultimately whiny secondary vocals and throat-singing lead vocals on 'Are You Afraid of the Dark?' is a mixture that is sure to make you feel ill and nauseous, wanting to listen to something a little softer and more poetic. Truth is, Hey! Alaska are probably happy about how they sound, and many bands have become successful previously using the same ideals and methods, but their sound is not memorable or pretty at all.
Sure, the band have a strong instrumental section, with the combination of scathing guitars, ear-splitting drums and a rattling bass forming a stern foundation for their front man to preach his desires in the grittiest voice he can, but the tried-and-tested arrangements and melodies soon wear extremely thin. An EP that will give you a migraine if you listen to it for too long, and I'm sure some people will enjoy that, but I'll take something a little more poetic and melodic thanks.