live ep review ~ team rkt ~ acoustic session

If further proof was needed that those long, Winter (and being honest, Summer, Spring and Autumn) nights spent in the glow of a gameboy colour were a chance to allow a child's mind to explore the furthest reaches of the imagination, then TeamRKT (Pronounced 'Rocket' - for those not familiar with the Pokemon villains) is indeed that proof. One of a growing faction of bands emerging with their childhood influences painted proudly on their faces (A movement pioneered by The Wonder Villains and their references to shiny Pokemon© cards), the Portstewart two piece's electronic edge and playful personas have won them many new fans since their formation in 2011. Following up from their well received single 'This Is Not The End', they recorded a live acoustic session, an interesting proposition for a band relying heavily on the art of electronic soundscapes. Here we took a look at their session, on the night they performed yet another live session, this time live on BBC Radio Ulster's 'Across The Line'.

Opening their session with the charming 'Above The Clouds', Team RKT quickly dispel any myths that they rely solely on the melodic quirks of a computer synth, a fast paced acoustic guitar interweaving perfectly with the electronica they've built their songs around. Front man Rory Powers vocals are as swooning as the, surprisingly emotional, song commands, any pauses for breath only enhancing the sweetness of a track that bounces with melody and affirming delicacy. Lyrically, it's littered with the idealist imagery that only real day dreamers can seemingly convey. 'Above The Clouds' is as warm and affectionate as the title suggests and a fine introduction for any first time Team RKT listeners.

The mood is shifted slightly as the follow up shows Team RKT's intriguing take on chart hit 'Hot and Cold' by Katy Perry, an unusual choice that by the third or forth listen eventually begins to grow on the listener. Although the repetitive synth bass is a necessary inclusion, it does slightly grate, although the overlaying video game styled melodies do add a certain dynamism the original lacked, despite it's chart success. An intriguing, yet thoroughly enjoyable effort.

Final track 'Watch It Grow' focus's much more on vocal melody, as Powers voice is for the first time allowed to take centre stage. Kit Gier's backing vocals also given their first prominent feature. Although not stepping too far away from the Team RKT formula that has served them so well thus far (requests to 'throw away your silver, cause we're going for the gold' remain ever prevalent), it is by far the most open the two piece have allowed themselves, as their classic 'Chiptune' style is relegated to sit behind the bands vocal dynamic. As the track goes on, it continues to gather momentum, particularly Powers croons of 'You're the water, I'm the sunlight' which may seem contrived from the overdriven amps of a modern day indie outfit, yet manages to remain heartfelt from the synths of what is a very promising young band indeed.

Fun, light hearted and beautifully bright, these live sessions are a fine testament to Team RKT's journey so far and you imagine they will only continue to get better.

Taylor Johnson

If you like ~ Chameleon Circuit | Darwin Deez | Owl City ~ You'll love Team RKT

Keep up to date with all official Team RKT news on the links below:


No comments

Powered by Blogger.