Album Review: Aleks & The Ramps

4 April 2012 | 11:37 pm | Mitch Knox

Bryant is a fantastic lyricist: sophisticated, self-deprecating, super-quirky.

If you're approaching your endurance threshold of the nation's obsession with ultra clean, bright-eyed indie rock, you're in luck: Melbourne art-pop quintet Aleks & The Ramps and their third full-length effort FACTS are here to save the day. Admittedly, the opening strains of Crocodile still carry a sparklingly fresh quality, all jangles and jive, but it's not long before the first point of distinction enters the fray – this being the sublime croon of frontman Aleks Bryant. In a world of high-pitched man-boy vocalists, it's refreshing to hear a vocalist who predominantly occupies lower registers.

The ambling strut and slide guitar of In The Snow transition seamlessly into the banjo-laced swagger of Icy Faces and something else becomes evident – these guys are not here to play the same song ten times over. Although common elements permeate the record, fundamental feelings keep morphing – airy pseudo-funk (No Epiphanies), down-tempo balladry (Friends With The Night) and upbeat pop (Pray Tell), among other idiosyncratic stylistic staples. Standout track Bummer highlights two particular areas in which this album shines – firstly, it's a headphone listen. A tonne of work has gone into mixing and production, and the song's channel-hopping chorus “ohhs” are a prime example of how much attention to detail has been paid not just here but throughout the record. Secondly, you'll note that Bryant is a fantastic lyricist: sophisticated, self-deprecating, super-quirky. Which is really kind of a nice summation of the album