Review Written by Joseph Timmons: IndiePulse Music Magazine
In an incredible and masterful musical experience Jalal Andre and his music project gloryBots are preparing the world for the release of his new album titled Dark Alien Pop, which we have had the dual honor and pleasure to get a pre-release listen and review opportunity. It is not often that the anticipation of a phenomenal album release is of an equal and possibly greater level of excitement than this.
Dark Alien Pop, an album that includes, at count 12 fully developed and powerful tracks that are not just expressive but intriguing and relay the efforts of an artist’s lifetime while also giving perspective to a world view. The full length album Dark Alien Pop will be released in the Fall of 2018, yet even n ow among the music journalism community and those in the know, this album is making news and creating new levels to meet.
In Review: Dark Alien Pop by Jalal Andre is enigmatic and undefinable, to say it is “New Wave” or “Techno-Pop” would not do it justice. In an open, dreamscape manner, Jalal Andre’s musical project gloryBots have recorded pure emotion, like brainwaves, a transcendental experience. The music is a heartbeat, a life’s audio score. In sounds that may resemble their influences, but is in itself whole and new. The band has taken opportunity to express their views in the lyrics about life, society and the “new norms” which are potentially the moment of our “De-Evolution”. Much like the groups of the 80’s and early 90’s, the resentment of what the world has become is obviously disturbing, Jalal Andre has found a new voice in expressing this.
To dismantle the full album track by track would be an insult, this album is not just the sum of its parts, but an entire thought, and entire experience, butu we will bring you some tracks of not that should be considered, and when the album is released, this will be one to hear this year. First, we can share with you one track that Jalal Andre has posted for listening pleasure on Soundcloud –
The range of songs on Dark Alien Pop may inspire favorable comparisons to legendary bands like The Cure (in “Gold Politique”) and Radiohead (in “Dream About Nothing”), along with elements of Nine Inch Nails and God is an Astronaut in such tunes as “Afterlife” and “Syzygy.” In the track “Dream About Nothing”, I feel it is a commentary of how people spend so much time wishing and no time doing, creating deep and entangled fantasy lives that are unobtainable, then are disenfranchised from reality, only to then complain how their lives are unfulfilled. This is the circular argument of today’s age. Noted as “the jangling atmospheric fuzz-rocker” “Dream About Nothing” is destined to be a historical track of Disillusion.
The blistering “Immolation,” a powerful showcase for Jalal’s soulful vocals, about human beings who have lost their sense of humanity; and “Forces,” a song about multifaceted self-expression that incorporates bossa nova overtones (Jalal spent five years of his childhood in Brazil) floating in a chasm of subharmonic synth and wah-bass.
It is with the same richness and enthusiasm, we hear it the track “Entanglement”, which is hypnotic and sensual, alluring and darkly sexy, the feeling of forbidden fruit. The lyrics are vague and this can be a song about anything, but ultimately, it could be about wanting what you know will possibly destroy you, which makes it so much more seductive.
“When it comes to musicality, I like the sonic direction of the gloryBots project, which is a great representation of where I am at musically,” says Jalal. “I also think this is a better fit for me than what I’ve attempted to do in the past. When I listen to Dark Alien Pop, I’m excited by the results and feel that I’ve achieved what I set out to do. It’s an unfiltered expression of who I am, and it feels creatively liberating to know that I was able to get that out.”
A little history about how this group came to be, after overpaying his dues with “five or more” bands with horrible names he’d just as soon forget, Jalal Andre finally hit his stride fronting Seattle based rockers Echo Texture, releasing two albums and achieving some regional success. While he’s still part of that band, the singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist freewheeling creative spirit needed something more – a crazy-cool universe where, he says, “aliens land while listening to OK Computer, meet Nine Inch Nails and Muse in a back alley, a fight breaks out and it’s all captured on video.” It’s time for an earthly welcome to gloryBots and Dark Alien Pop, the uniquely inspired product of Jalal’s post-rock imagination, a solo project he describes as an amalgam of upbeat, post-punk and alien sonic textures.
Dark Alien Pop is a dynamic musical brand reflecting the artist’s longstanding interest in being more on the fringe than the mainstream – and a full-throttle embrace of a multitude of instruments, grooves, atmospheres and trippy musical ideas. “gloryBots began as a deliberate departure from the typical rock band format, with an intent to pursue a greater focus on theme development and multi-instrument arrangement,” Jalal says. “The project quickly evolved with the introduction of more alien sonic landscapes. The combination of melodic, pop-like vocals cast over haunting themes, alternate chord constructs and these frequent landscapes gave rise to the concept of my trademarked Dark Alien Pop, which would become the self-defined gloryBots style.”
Unlike his previous rock projects, with gloryBots, Jalal was interested in finding out what would happen if he didn’t reveal the music to anyone until he had fully cultivated it himself. Working with Derek Bennett, who co-produced six of the tracks, Jalal brought in more digital elements, including synthesizers, keyboards and percussion. His intent was not to be selfish, but rather to see what he could come up with on his own, without any potential redirection by outside input. He approached the project from the perspective of exploration. Not surprisingly, this involved some cool moments of trial and error.
For instance, the initial song he wrote for this new paradigm was the intensely spacey and deeply percussive opener “Entanglement,” which at one point used only synthesized, digital instruments. Unhappy with the original, machine generated mix because he felt it lacked soul, Jalal hired Los Angeles drummer Ben Hilzinger and began to rework it as a more organic song, still with a large digital footprint. The digital/organic dynamic on that track ensured that the entire project would take shape in that domain. When it became clear that an alien landscape was manifesting, Jalal began to include more subtle alien elements in the other songs, both as he was composing and also in the production process.
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