Album Review // iDKHOW BUT THEY FOUND ME ‘RAZZMATAZZ’
The debut album from iDKHOW has been a long time in the making, and it is every bit as zealous and fabulous as one could’ve hoped it to be.
When you try to imagine who or what could be the saving grace to the oddity of 2020, a band that has been lost in the confines of space and time is surely not the first thought to grace your mind, yet here enters iDKHOW with RAZZMATAZZ. Self-proclaiming to be a band from over 30 years ago, who knew that the saving grace for the present would arise from the past? Blending 80s-inspired melodies with modern ideas and production, RAZZMATAZZ is the existential disco for the overthinking, worry-stricken generation of this age and there is no better soundtrack we can ask for as the world waltzes on hopelessly.
Opening with Leave Me Alone, it’s a romping anthem for introverts as vocalist Dallon Weekes pleads you to, you guessed it, leave him alone. Twisted with cynical lyricism, like ‘the devil that you know is better than the devil that you don’t’, the wry humour is every bit as irresistible as the funky grooves of the track. Proceeding Mad IQs is a show of vocal prowess as Dallon jumps between opposite ends of the vocal spectrum without ever missing a beat or compromising on the velvety smoothness of the melodic lines. Filled out with the occasional exclamation and gospel-like choral harmonies, the catchiness of the track cannot be understated and you’ll want to bust out a few moves to the swaggering rhythms.
Nobody Likes The Opening Band is a humorous take that sounds anything but, with its poignant and pleading vocals, complete with a solo heartrending piano. The distant quality of the track makes you feel like you’ve unearthed a cassette tape that you’re only playing back now, and complete with the timelessness of the feeling (we’re sure that the current age is not the only one where opening bands have felt unappreciated and dejected), you’re made very aware of the origins of iDKHOW and their inception from a different decade. It’s a reminder that materialises every so often throughout the album, through a smattering of synthesisers or other old-school electronic effects, without which there would be no second-thoughts about when it was produced given the modernness and innovation that breathes life into the work.
Prepare to feel some festive cheer in Clusterhug, with its euphoric major melody and soaring vocals that are akin to the joyous Christmas carols that light up our lives at the end of every year. Except instead of baubles and tinsels that adorn the space, its Dallon’s lush voice and jubilant instrumentals that brightens up the air and leaves you with a pit of warmth in your stomach. Sugar Pills is a hymn for the despondent and anxiety-ridden as it conveys the desire to search for a quick fix through arcade-reminiscent electronics and pulsating bass lines, and the urge to have a boogie along is carried through the syncopated percussion of Lights Go Down and hedonistic finale Razzmatazz.
For an outfit that’s not from this day and age, the topics explored and sounds created by iDKHOW are strikingly relevant and apply just as much now as they did at the time of penning. RAZZMATAZZ is a glorious, resounding debut that invites you to delve even deeper into the mysterious world occupied by iDKHOW and have a ball of a time while doing so. Just try not to get so wrapped up in the kaleidoscopic melodies that you become unhinged when you eventually return to real life.