Published Aug 14, 2019Jordan Minkoff has been busy these days. When not on tour supporting Built to Spill with his band Slam Dunk, or making music videos and creation animation, Minkoff has been cultivating a relationship with a homely and rather lugubrious muse for his newest project: Wetface.
Wetface's newest release, Drawback, documents Minkoff's love affair with an early digital-era synthesizer, a Yamaha Electone HS. The machine plays Minkoff as much as Minkoff plays it, urging him on to strange new vocal heights; from the vocoder-tinged strut of "Glowie Edge" to the wavering falsetto of "Brown Car," Minkoff's vocal masks prove as numerous as they are compelling.
In many ways, Drawback doubles as a throwback to a time contemporaneous to Minkhoff's synthesizer. While Wetface certainly evokes the sounds that albums such Bad and Purple Rain made famous, Drawback never veers into nostalgia's vapid swamp, as Minkoff's excitement, expressed through his vocals and his understated guitar hooks, makes old sounds his own.
Drawback's release is timely. The album's warm synths, supported by absurdist drum machine beats and Minkoff's vast array of voices, provide an excellent soundtrack to summer's last days as we wait excitedly for a rumoured followup. (Independent)