Genre- Alternative rock, electro-rock, indie pop
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Razzmatazz is the showiness factor of an event, it’s entertaining and jazzy. For I Don’t Know How But I Found Me, “Razzmatazz” is the perfect title for the band’s captivating first album released on Oct. 23.
I Don’t Know How But They Found Me is a duo made up of singer/bassist Dallon Weekes, previous bassist for Panic! At The Disco, and drummer Ryan Seaman, previously in Falling In Reverse. The duo has known each other since they were both in the band The Brobecks together, but, a few years ago, the two decided to put together a secret project. The project played random shows in different small venues and bars as more fans slowly discovered their music. From there, the fan base has only grown and the secret band has become out and proud of their music and all they’ve done.
One of the most interesting things about the band is that it’s filled with conspiracy theories of time traveling. Some music videos take place in the 80s, and others even further back, while some are even placed into the present and future. The band even uploads videos which attempt to describe the timeline of the band. The YouTube videos described I Don’t Know How But They Found Me as a band found on lost tapes VHS tapes from long ago. They’re also connected with a company called Tellexx, an old TV show called “The Superstar Showcase,” and a white shadow that follows the band around. It’s another feature that draws in fans with the conspiracies for them to figure out.
In 2018, I Don’t Know How But They Found Me released a five-song debut EP titled “1981 Extended Play.” However, they’ve been known to play random, not yet released songs at all their concerts, so many of the songs were discovered before the official release. This was the same situation with the new album, “Razzmatazz.” Both “Lights Go Down” and “Door” were first played at concerts back in 2018 but are now tracks on the album. Even “Clusterhug” was originally a The Brobecks song that was rerecorded and reinvented for the album.
“Razzmatazz” is an interesting mix of so many different vibes and aesthetics, and there literally isn’t a genre to place this album in because it’s all over the place in all the best ways. A lot of the songs feature jazzy melodies and background instruments along with 80s influenced beats and harmony bass lines. It’s genius how all of these different sounds work together to produce songs that work in 2020 but also would work in the 70s, 80s, and even 90s.
The title track, “Razzmatazz” is painted with images of stardom and fame followed by the toxic music industry. Mixed with electric melodies and driving 80s bass backings, one lyric stands out the most, “And now some things just cannot be fixed / With sparkled tongues and politics.” It all encompasses the toxicity behind fame in every sense, no matter the trade. Between the song’s meaning matched with the hypnotizing piano and saxophone solos, it manipulates and draws in the listener, a perfect reflection of the music industry.
It’s intriguing to go from such an upbeat song like “Razzmatazz” or “Sugar Pills” to modern indie mixed with synths songs like “Kiss Goodnight” and “Door.” Both of these songs take a softer approach, making use of higher-toned vocals from Weekes. It’s a big change from some of the other songs on the album but it suits Weekes’ style, especially his and Seaman’s style when he was in The Brobecks. ”Door” is even entirely composed of a ukulele. It allows for breaks within the music where the listener can process all of the sounds they just heard from the other music. It’s like a cleansing palette during a meal. It’s smart decisions like these that push the rating of this album through the roof.
Weekes and Seaman may be two of the most talented musicians and writers out there. Weekes’ voice is so ethereal, I can’t even describe how it makes me feel but it fills my entire body and makes me feel whole again. With Seaman, you’ll never hear a basic beat, everything is complex and unique, each song’s pulse is carried by his talent.
“Sugar Pills” and “From The Gallows” are especially great examples of just how unique this album truly is. “Sugar Pills” is 80s electronic pop mixed with 70s funk to create a love child that no one asked for but that everyone needs to hear. “From The Gallows” is like a 60s love ballad till you get to the first chorus where alternative rock riffs carry Weekes’ strong vocals. There’s also a mix of electronic, robotic voices placed throughout the song that turns the love ballad dark.
I Don’t Know How But They Found Me have truly pushed the limits with “Razzmatazz.” The album is something so unique it can’t be compared to any other album released. The band makes good use of painting stories with every word and each sound is carefully selected to heighten the story further. The album has been well worth the wait and outdid any expectations that were placed before the release. It will be interesting to see where the band goes from here with their music but for now, the show-stopping razzmatazz that the album provides can enrapture listeners for a lifetime.