250 Word Album Review: Universe Contest – We Are The Rattlesnake

Universe Contest - We Are The Rattlesnake

Universe Contest - We Are The Rattlesnake gets 3.5 stars

Universe Contest’s second full-length album is a morphing collection of songs that refines the sound from their first record. The music is more cohesive as a whole and feels less like individual songs and more like blobs of music. The songs smoothly switch paces and momentum constantly, whether it be using punky guitar or electronic drones. Listening to the album is like watching a lava lamp, the transitions are a smooth flow and all the musicians follow eachother’s leads creating a punchy group of solid songs that works better as a whole.

Keyboards are often more featured than guitars like on the trippy “The Day The Earth Took Pills” and “Squirrels” but there is some solid guitar work and big sounding drums like on the ferocious rocker “Jumbi” that keep the record easily in the rock genre. While “Squirrels” is keyboard dominated, the Modest Mouse style vocals give it and instant punk edge. “Dirty Clean” sounds so much like a rave song you can almost see the strobe lights and glow sticks if you close your eyes and the layered vocals sound like an entire audience singing in unison. The record builds to a climactic conclusion with the arena sounding “Remember” that seems to create a big exclamation point.

We Are The Rattlesnake is unmistakably a labor of a lot of work, whittling a group of songs into an experience. Without a doubt the record sounds big enough to fill arenas or make the best use out of a good sound system attached to your turntable. It is an ambitious attempt by Universe Contest to make a great record and when you get in the right headspace, it feels like they may have succeeded.

Key Tracks: “Dirty Clean” “The Day The Earth Took Pills” “Jumbi”

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