Alt. ‘Dysfunctional’ (EP Review)

I’ve been advocating EPs for a few years now. Generally they’re bracketed to bands early into their career or on the local level. But I think it’s something bigger bands will eventually start doing more regularly. Just wait until Bring Me The Horizon do it and everyone will jump on the bandwagon (oh wait). Don’t be followers readers back yourself and do something fresh much like what Alt. have produced on their new EP Dysfunctional

Let me begin with how much I enjoy these guys new band name. It’s clever, short and fresh and an exciting change up. It gives the band a different identity from their former name After Change and is now an opportunity to create something completely new. Something the 4 boys from Adelaide have achieved here. 

7 songs are what we are being treated to on their new release tracking just over 25 minutes. There is a lot of music packed in and for a first release they’ve done a very decent job. As an alt (no pun intended) rock band, mixing electronics with the odd dose of heavy is certainly a sound relevant to this day and age. 

Straight away I get massive Nothing Like Thieves vibe musically and especially vocally. Hook wise this is on another level to bands at this stage of their career. Examples include Chasing Safety and S.A.D showcase that in spades. Chasing Safety in particular is addictive the more you hear it, wait for the Slipknot section coming out of the first chorus. Wild.

There are other great tracks from the opener and first single Insubordinate kicking off with a groovy riff combined with Myles Kennedy vibes in the chorus vocally. The massive closer Affinity makes me think 30 Seconds to Mars with the huge electronic sections. I’m talking 30 Seconds to Mars when they were good FYI.

You can hear influences from song to song and they combine some great ones throughout. Hearing riff city at the start of Smoke Signals was a personal favourite moment of mine too. 

A few questionable parts for me are the heavy post hardcore moments mixed in. I get that they want to spice and change up the sound but sometimes they feel misplaced. Especially on songs like S.A.D where I was enjoying the track until a random breakdown hit. The screams in the climatic closer Affinity weren’t needed and detracted from an otherwise great song. I think timing could be better on future songs but I do get why they are adding them to their sound. 

Keeping me entertained for 25 minutes as a local band is a challenge but Alt. pulled it off on Dysfunctional. Reading into the process behind the recording you can see why the songs are so well structured and so well written. They reached out to artists like Trenton Woodley from Hands Like Houses and Zach Britt from Dream on Dreamer/Young Lions. Both influences can be heard throughout the EP especially in some of the choruses. Production is carried about by Callan Orr from Dream on Dreamer at Avalanche studios and he along with the band who are clearly great musicians deserve a lot of credit for the final product. 


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