When you name your EP something as intriguing as ‘Alien Boy‘, there’s always going to be a certain level of expectations as far as what listeners are going to expect. It’s going to have to be spacey, jam packed full of lovely electronic sounds and with perhaps just a hint of some trippy vibes, otherwise you just aren’t living up to the title you’ve sold yourself on. Luckily, Oliver Tree seems to have got the memo and aimed to deliver something that really does sound just a little bit out of this world as far as production values go, but does it genre hopping selection of tracks help it truly get off the ground and into space? Well, let’s have a look…
It is safe to say that the idea of a consistent tone has been thrown to the wind in favour of bitesize samples of different sonic ideas. The fuzzy thrashings of ‘Upside Down‘ and the alt-pop flavourings ‘All I Got‘ could easily be confused for earlier Beck works (dancing around somewhere between ‘Mellow Gold‘ and ‘Odelay‘). ‘Welcome To LA‘ sounds like it could of been cut straight from Kendrick Lamar’s seminal work, ‘To Pimp A Butterfly‘ and ‘All That‘ bares all the trademarks of your typical SoundCloud rapper.
A good SoundCloud rapper of course.
NO! NOT LIL XAN!
Such a mixed up bag of styles runs the risk of ruining itself through it’s sheer refusal to stick to a musical narrative, but when it’s executed as well as it is here, it matters not one bit. The EP’s six track runtime lasts only 16 minutes, but not a second has been wasted on filler material. It’s concise and to the point, yet allows enough room for experimentation to sound unique, without ramming it’s head up it’s own rear in self congratulatory arrogance.
This is not an album for your average radio listener, but for those looking for something that will gently push the boundaries of their taste into new waters? Well, this may well just be the EP for you.