“I know you want it…but how much?” That’s the question that Make & Model open their debut EP ‘Channel Surfing‘ with. And when I say “their” I mean to say “his”. Make & Model is the new solo project of one Brian Hall. He’s no stranger to music but Make & Model is certainly a departure from his indie-rock experience with Philly-based ode-to-the-sixties band Grubby Little Hands. While there is still quite a shoegaze element to both the band and to Hall’s latest solo work ‘Channel Surfing‘ (which drops tomorrow!) seems to split from the psychedelia and retro vibe of the band and forges ahead into synthetic compositions and processed vocals through the use of a vocoder.
I’m not sure if you could ‘Tell Me How Much‘ I enjoyed this album and nor am I fully sure I could tell you myself. I will say that there are certainly elements of the EP that really should be expanded on. The opening track has an allure and a sexiness to it that I kind of wish resonated through the rest of the album but I realize that there were grander themes that overcame this sensuality of this track and that is no business of mine anyway. There is a wonderful bass line that helps open up this track and while it is rather repetitive, I think it would play pretty damn well in a club. It’s got enough of a kick that it could keep hips moving, for sure.
Now, I’ve been told before by some people to just ‘Don’t Be An Asshole‘, but I have to say that there are only so many times that I can hear that same line before I’ve become very tired of a song. With the exception of very few other lyrics the title of this track is the complete lyric and I think that by the end of the two minutes and forty-six seconds that I’m being told not to be an asshole that I’ve got the message and a fairly strong urge to be an asshole. That being said, I was at least pretty amused by this track for the first little bit of it until that feeling washed over me.
It would be interesting to see how Make & Model would take this act ‘On The Road‘. I’d wonder if he would try a Daft Punk-style sort of performance (but obviously on a lower budget). This is one of the more interesting tracks if for no other reason than that the verse is a natural stresser thanks to its constant lyrical build with no real pay off. I very much enjoy that. And what I could understand of the lyrics made for a far more engaging song than being hammered with the same message over and over again.
I wonder if Make & Model will look back and think about ‘That Summer‘ when he pushed the music from his debut EP. It’s certainly an important part of a musician’s career and solo work is some of the most rewarding due to the naturally reflective nature of it. And I have to say that this final track of the EP is truly reflective, for sure. I reviewed ‘Change Of Heart‘ as the single release from this album (HERE) and I thought it rather engaging lyrically as an expression outward to the audience. ‘That Summer‘ though, is quite a beautifully reflective piece. It still does carry the repetitive nature that much of this EP holds onto throughout but I truly think it works wonderfully on this track. This is assuredly my favourite piece for both the quicker pace in the first two minutes of the track and the constancy of the ending with a gorgeous orchestration to play the song out.
Overall, I would say that this is a pretty good first solo push for Hall in the guise of Make & Model. I think there is a story here that could perhaps do with a bit more clarity but each track could, on its own, be the premise to its own more closely-themed album. I would love to hear what sort of album could be sparked from ‘That Summer‘ and perhaps that will be a reflective album to come in the future after many more years to come of Make & Model. When this album drops tomorrow, I recommend checking it out. It can work as dance music, or as relatively ambient music…or it can help you reflect.
And, in spite of my rather terse review, I hope that Make & Model can look back on the release of this EP and the next few months to come of pushing it out into the world and say “I remember that summer; I remember it well”.