Too Much by Bridal Party
Lightly galloping out of the silence, “Tylenol,” the song that greets us at the onset of Bridal Party’s amazing LP Too Much, floods our stereo speakers with a tuneful white noise that has been manipulated into a stately melody in this three-minute gem. The beats are soft, the vocals cutting, and the rhythm just decadent enough to carry us into the title track of the album seamlessly, as though the two compositions were always meant to be played in perfect succession. “Too Much” is driven by its synthpop-style serenade much in the way that its tracklist neighbor “Jukebox Cutie” is powered by a graceful groove that simmers beneath the surface of a boldly evocative vocal gliding over the instrumentation in the song ever so peacefully.
“Speak Easy” keeps the old world charm of the last few numbers rolling with the addition of a slow-churned percussive track that bleeds into the similarly sleek “Saltwater” only to meet an untimely end in the monolithic “When I’m Naked,” an exotic ballad that stands out as the most mature composition on Too Much (at least from where I sit). There’s a lot of passion in their play, but there’s also a feeling of disconnect in Bridal Party’s execution that isn’t as off-putting as one might assume it would be. It’s almost as if they’re merely shaman channeling some deeper divine message from the audiological gods at the midway point of this album; the harmonies of “When I’m Naked” drone on into the ethers for an eternity, and yet somehow never sound bloated or even remotely overindulgent in the negative sense.
The synths take a dark turn in “Wells” that will only grow more ominous as we get into the visceral throes of “Nectarine,” but I don’t know that I would qualify these tracks as being anymore avant-garde in stylization than the other eight songs that Too Much has to offer us. Every composition here is a little experimental when juxtaposed with the mundane mainstream sounds of the American Top 40, and while Bridal Party doesn’t totally shy away from traditional framing (listen to beat structure of “Armour” to see exactly what I’m talking about), to peg them as anything other than a contemporary indie band with a lot of diverse influences would be dismissive of the melting pot of melodic treasures that they’ve filled their discography with.
We come to the conclusion of Too Much with the anthemic sludge pop of “Attention,” and though this might be the heaviest song of any that we discover in the record’s ten-piece tracklist, it’s also one of the catchiest (in a rare twist of fate). I’ve been keeping up with Bridal Party for a hot minute now, and I think that their first complete, full-length studio album is a wondrous treat for anyone who appreciates dexterously-fashioned indie pop/rock. You’d be hard-pressed to find another band with as lofty of goals as they’ve got this summer, and if this LP is just a glimpse into what’s to come from their camp next, I doubt that August will mark the last time they make international headlines with this sound.
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