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Album Review under the radar

iDKHOW’s debut EP 1981 Extended Play

If there’s ever been a marketable idea it’s I Don’t Know How But They Found Me (iDKHow for those not desperately trying to bump up their word count.) Formed with two members which already a great idea since people are always looking for the indie equivalent of Royal Blood or The Black Keys. The two members in question are Dallon Weekes, former bassist of Panic! At the Disco and Ryan Seaman, former Falling in Reverse drummer. 

The band have received widespread coverage due to the nature of their act. They get the rock coverage from Kerrang and Rocksound due to their pasts, current coverage from indie blogs and mags because of their current retro alt-pop sound and then coverage from larger mags who hope they’re the next Royal Blood/The Black Keys/The White Stripes.

Opening interlude or ‘Introduction’ is a mood setter, used in this case to really push the retro feel, after all the EP is called 1981 Extended Play. From there ‘Choke’ takes on elements of every part of 80s culture, the verse featuring pulls of Queen, T-Rex and other glam rock bands whereas the chorus changes pace to sweet pop, sarcastically contrasting the lyrics about Weekes’ resentment for LA living and the corruption, obsession and lavish living, like an updated examination of Hall and Oates’ ‘Maneater’.

Admittedly ‘Social Climb’ feels tired on first listen, there’s nothing interesting here but perhaps that’s the point, that this social hierarchy is boring to listen to and deal with on a regular basis. ‘Bleed Magic’ has more to answer for but it is potentially where the the pairing feel most at home – pop punk. The track wouldn’t sound out of place on Panic!’s Vices and Virtues or even with the likes of Neon Trees. The chugging bass and extreme reverb help drag the song from the murky depth of pop punk, but only just enough to put the retro indie spin back on it. Let’s not talk about the outro.

The lead single from the EP, and undeniably the best received track, ’Do It All The Time’ oddly comes last on 1981 Extended Play. That being said it’s clear why, the track shows the most indie sensibility from iDKHow. Being lauded the anti-pop song by poking fun at the modern day pop scene that has allowed too many people to ‘do whatever’ and be funded through trust funds and nepotism.

Though iDKHow will no doubt go far, if they continue down the route they appear to be heading, they’ll never shake off the comparisons to their former bands. The idea that the band were around in the 80s and have just been uncovered feels too much of a gimmick if they continue to hing their act upon it. Just saying that the band are retro doesn’t actually make them retro. There’s a long way to go but it’s not a bad start for I Don’t Know How But They Found Me.

Listen to 1981 Extended Play here.

Featured Image: Perry Winkle Photo

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