Experimental, funky, and an easy listen are the first words that come to mind while listening to Grape Soda’s Form A Sign. The key and drum duo from Georgia have a lo-fi sound that separates them from the other bands in the psychedelic and experimental genre. The 11-track disc starts out with a power snare and kick intro that leads into the bittersweet “Not Mine.” The contrast between the lightness of the keys and the harsh drums provides a fresh opener to an overall top shot release. The band incorporates a strong brass section in the rocking reggae song “Reason To Listen” to add a bit of versatility and spice early on. Generally speaking, Mat Lewis’ voice is very monotone, however, it isn’t mundane nor does it drag down the songs. In fact, it really does seem to work with the band’s overall sound.

Throughout the entire release, Form A Sign doesn’t lose momentum or have any terribly weak spots; instead, it keeps on throttling forward in a colorful swirl of sounds. Even the number that doesn’t really have much of a spark to it, “Smooth Rider,” doesn’t tear down the disc to shreds. Rather, the awkward pitch and jazzy tones add a bit of eccentricity to the album. In contrast the lighter vibe of the previous pieces, “Big World” starts off with a darker, vintage, Depeche Mode synth line until it swings into full gear. By the time Form A Sign ends with “Not In Our Time In Time,” you get the itch to replay it from the beginning. Grape Soda has that fresh, crisp taste that is easily one of the strongest releases of the year.

In A Word: Brilliant

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