Review by Dom Vigil
Aspiga’s newest release, What Happened To You? is an amazingly well balanced album. While many bands usually rely on their vocals and lyrics to drive an album home, What Happened To You? is more well rounded - each instrument gets a chance to shine.
The first thing that really stands out about this album within the first few seconds of the first track, “Medusa’s Dance,” is the deep, rich bass tone and the full-sounding guitar. If a band can win me over before the vocals even come in, I’m impressed, and Aspiga definitely does that with this track. When the vocals do come in, they’re mellow and easy to listen to, all while holding onto a little bit of a punk edge that keeps it from sounding too soft. The choruses on this record are really melodic and beautiful, despite the lower, mellow tones of the vocals. Stand out tracks would definitely be “My Little Erasure,” “Fortunes,” and the incredibly catchy, “Wide Eyes.” Easily one of the strongest tracks on the album, “Wide Eyes,” has a hard hitting chorus that leaves you wanting to sing along, all while keeping with Aspiga’s signature sound.
“Beneath Atlas” has a much more punk sound to it compared to the rest of the album. Right off the bat, it’s more fast paced and the vocals are a little harsher and grittier than they are on the rest of the album. The lyrics on this track are especially strong. Another standout track vocally is “I’m an Animal,” which is easily the most vocal and guitar driven track on the album. On top of that, it’s just a really well rounded track with unique bass lines that back up the strong vocal and guitar work.
The bass work on What Happened To You? is easily one the strongest aspects about the album. While it is really well balanced, the record is definitely very bass driven, which is a nice change compared to vocal driven music which seems to be the norm lately. Sometimes, this causes the vocals fade into the background, but that flaw is easily overlooked. In fact, the only real gripe I have with this album is that some tracks seem to sound the same. While Aspiga has definitely found their own unique sound with this album, some songs seem to blend together. The vocals tend to stay on about the same level throughout the entire album, which contributes to that, but despite that, What Happened To You? is still an incredibly strong record. Little sound clips of the band in the studio littered throughout the album make you feel like you’re right there with them, watching the album come into creation, which is definitely a nice touch. It makes What Happened To You? feel more real.
The great thing about What Happened To You? is that it’s unique. While that may sound like a blanket term used to describe the album as a whole, it’s nothing short of the truth. It’s very few and far between that a band really utilizes each and every member’s talent, and Aspiga does that from the catchy choruses, strong guitar work and signature bass tones to the gorgeous harmonies in tracks like “I’m an Animal,” and upbeat drum work that keeps the album chugging along, even when it seems to mellow out. Aspiga are on to something with What Happened To You? and I can’t wait to see what they do next.
Listen To "Wide Eyes"