It’s Got To Be Now is the kind of album that proves just how annoying the word “indie” is as a description of genre. While the necessity to differentiate the independent bands/labels from the habits of their “major” counterparts is appreciable, the word itself describes music about as well as “alternative” did 20 years ago. Boston-based Aloud’s fourth full-length only goes to prove the point, for it plainly doesn’t fall under the “just like Vampire Weekend” stereotype of what indie rock should sound like. When so many indie bands sound alike, it’s almost sad when a cool album like this gets lumped in as well.

Along with their trademark dual lead vocalists, Aloud’s finest feature is the amount of variety built into their tracks. Hands down, the best one on the record is “The Wicked Kind,” which combines a garage-tinted guitar riff with pumping drums and psychedelic organs that aren’t nearly as out of place as they would seem. To call it intense would be an injustice; it builds and falls in the most pleasing way. “Such A Long Time” is a prom slow dance track that shows off the band’s softer side. Lo-fi vibes are given off by “It’s Got To Be Now,” a more deconstructionist piece.

It’s Got To Be Now is full of energy, brimming with poetic lyrics and precise instrumentation. I have come across a lot of “indie rock” bands, and while many of them sport similar features, what separates Aloud from the riff-raff is that they have their own sound. Whether it be the drums that sound like they could be from a hard rock song, or the guitar solos that are short but intricate, the group shows that the way they make music is different from how those other bands do it, and it’s pretty much better in every way.

In A Word: Stimulating

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