Under Review

Rec Centre

Dealer to the Stars

Self-Released ; 08/12/2017

Jonah Lee-Ash

f you have ever gotten sucked into the indie pop vortex that is YouTube autoplay, then you should already have a good idea of what to expect before listening to the new Rec Centre album. I’m talking about bands like Twin Peaks, Boy Pablo, Rex Orange County, you get the idea. On Dealer to the Stars, Rec Centre blends synths, laid-back vocals, and upbeat melodies with a lo-fi sound that could only have originated from the Pacific Northwest, delivering a cohesive, thoroughly enjoyable album.

The six-person band fronted by Alex Hudson, keeps their sound clean and consistent throughout the album. This can be both a blessing and a curse for a band, as the spacey sounds of Rec Centre blend together after a few songs. The tracks, all featuring droning, futuristic synths, are difficult to distinguish from one another without looking at the tracklist.

In its entirety, however, the album holds itself very well. The song “King of the Weekend” opens up with a folksy, layered vocal section à la Fleet Foxes, slowly building into an atmospheric, spacious, distorted guitar solo accompanied by looping synth and subtle, beautiful horns. One of the slower songs on the record, it offers a break from Rec Centre’s established sound, and the band’s experimentation pays dividends. “Blood Moon” is another track that strays from the sound of Dealer to the Stars, introducing funky basslines and more rhythmic, ritualistic drumming.

Overall, the songs I enjoyed most on this album were the ones that took risks, something I wish Rec Centre would feel more comfortable doing. Regardless, Dealer to the Stars is a great piece of indie pop and bodes well for where the band, and the genre, is headed next.