Album Review – Vibonics (Self Titled)

The band is diverse, which shows a great reflection of the city of Toronto from which they hail

I think it’s crazy that I was just talking to my friend Kadina the other day on twitter if I were to review some local (Toronto) talent, and i said that I was sure that the day would come. Who would have thunk (yes, that’s a word. Google it) that it would come sooner or later? It happened out of random too, and I think that it’s great that there are people in this city that are supportive of the arts whether it be written, musical, film, or whichever aspect of art you involve yourself in. The support is around, but not at a standard to which we could be at. We have time though, so I’m not worried. BUT, the reason why we’re here is for this review.

It was really random how this was brought to my attention, but Shout out to Alborz for being a reader and reaching out to me to do this review. So, let me commence:

This logo reminded me of the Watchmen for some very strange reason. Don't mind me

Vibonics is a group from Toronto with a very unique sound. The first song I heard (which, I’ll go into in a second) The Roots instantly came into my head as a source of their sound. Electric guitar, piano, wicked drums, and a rapper flowing with solid lyrical content? Ya, I could see where their style was coming from.

Major

The opening piano sequence reminded me of some songs from The Roots’ Undun album. Then after the build-up with the electric guitar and the drums, you knew something was coming up. Now, I’m no expert on rock music, but I can dig the electric guitar on this track. The rapper (who goes by the name of Crossword) does a good job by providing solid lyrical content that goes with the title of the song. It’s a song that talks about hardships and the coming up of an individual, and when they accomplish what they’ve achieved, they feel major. It’s a feeling we all get at one point, so I like the message that it’s conveying. The lead singer (Kubota), has a voice that’s reminiscent of a jazz musician from back in the day. Sweet and sultry, so I can dig it. I was definitely grooving to the sound of this song, which led me to want to hear more.

Nervous

Not as hard hitting as the Major, but this song is essentially a conversation between Crossword & Kubota about him speaking to her to get involved with a relationship, and the feeling we all get of butterflies in our stomach is evident. We all get nervous to a certain extent because we don’t want to screw up any potential shot that we have with said “like interest.” After going out on the test dates, the main question that pops up into our subjects’ heads is essentially the same. If they’re both committed to taking it one step further. It’s simple songs like this that make me appreciate the written content, because it’s easy to relate to, and at the same time, with great play by the drummer & pianist, the brings the song together. The funk/soul vibe that this song gives makes me like the band more.

Palm Trees

I’ve never seen a palm tree in my life, because I live in Canada. I’ve only seen them in pictures and in movies, but they look cool, so one day I’ll actually see one in person and then all of my feelings of awe with then evaporate. But, this isn’t about the tall tree, this is about the song which graces the name of the tall tree that was aforementioned (random, yes I know, but you know how I roll already). I love me some acoustic guitar, please believe that, and only throwing some nice female vocals over-top just does a lot. BUT, the content has to be something I can vibe to. This was definitely one of those. Palm Trees is pretty much a explicit visual description of a woman who wants nothing more than some narcotics & intercourse. Listen, we all have wants and needs, so I’m not even mad at it. I liked how palm trees was referenced as weed, because trees is a common alternative name for the intoxicating plant. Everything in this song was great until the feature. I can understand the want to have a male presence on the song, but I don’t think that it was effective on the delivery. If it were me, I would have left it the way it was, or just throw Crossword on it if you needed a male vocal on the song. I still liked it, but that one verse made it lose points for me.

Lights Out

This was actually the first song I heard when I was approached to do this review, and at first I didn’t think much of the vocals, because the flow wasn’t hitting me as much, but after taking it in a couple of times, I can tell that thought went into this. It seems like the theme of the last 3 songs (including this one) have been dealing with relationships. Getting into one, being in one, and now the unfortunate aftermath – The Break-up. Crossword is reminiscing on what he had, and what he lost, and it’s pretty much the perfect name of this song: Lights Out. The party’s over, all good things must come to an end, so it’s fitting. The emotion that Crossword was portraying in the song, you could tell that he was feeling emotional, because he had a lot of love for this girl, and again, it’s easy to relate to, because all guys reminisce about the good times and get angry because things could (and should) have been different. Damn, I know for a fact that I can speak on that, BUT, this isn’t about me.

Alright, so after taking this in, I do believe that I should venture out and discover the talent that is in the city of Toronto. There’s more than just rappers & singers, but actual great instrumentalists who provide a sound that’s vintage, but also blended in with the new school flavour. I like what I hear from this band, and I hope to hear more from them in the future. Stream/Buy their EP and show some support to homegrown talent. But, for now,

That’s My Word & It STiXX

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