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ALBUM REVIEW: REC - The Sunshine Seminar
By Anastasia K - 03/27/2016 - 01:09 PM EDT

Artist: REC
Album: The Sunshine Seminar
Label: Independent
Genre: Indie alternative pop/rock
Sounds Like: Tears For Fears (80s)
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 10/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: Any Universe
CD Review: “The Sunshine Seminar” by REC is all about driving beats, original melodies and arrangements that define this whole collection. Intricate stories filling jam-packed rhythms; electronically infused songs with catchy melodies; this will have you moving in no time, and from start to finish.

REC, a NYC transplant band, featuring Nick DeMatteo, has been around since 2005. “The Sunshine Seminar” is their 5th album. They definitely ooze an 80s vibe, bringing to mind some of the prominent pop bands of that era (Tears For Fears?), but still holding their own and adding to the sound.

The opening track sets the atmosphere of the album, and though each song is consistent to the album’s ambience, it still retains a variety, leaving you anticipating the next tune. But then something “familiar” starts to form, a distinct sound sets in, and the versatility shines through. All of the tracks stay true to the mood of the album, but they are different enough to keep you listening.

These songs are filled with engaging melodies and solid beats. Full of great little stories, some songs – most?-- are angry songs; we all feel this way when, say, someone leaves our lives. REC help you say the words you feel and want to say. Though thought-provoking, the lyrics stay simple enough to not compete with the entirety of the songs. And then they go and keep you thinking even after the song is over.

“Different People” and “Xmiss” set the tone of the album. “Ripe” is a trippy, atmospheric groove that glides you along in psychedelia. “Brave the World” – hello punk (rock?)!  “Any Universe” – definitely the most melodic (and my favourite) of all the tunes; there is something about this song just gets me to hit repeat. It’s part hurried yet calm in a strange way. Is it the vocals? This song just feels ethereal. It’s a happier, more hopeful song, amidst the angrier f-off songs in this collection.

This whole album transports me to a “place”… sometimes to the trippy 60s, sometimes to the electronic 80s, and then back again to modern-day today, bringing new sounds out from the influences of the past, and making them today’s sound! Welcome, REC! Welcome to my playlist.

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