There are always those ready to beat the drum and march against the concept of ‘overproduction in modern music’. Make no mistake, I completely agree with that mentality – it is upsetting that tracks are quite often overproduced in order to mask the lack of talent on display. But production doesn’t go amiss in tracks and, more importantly, neither does mixing.
And that’s why I’m so distressed by listening to Federal Tele’s latest album ‘Elaborate Condition’. It’s an album drenched in beautiful guitar tones and well-produced instrumentation, but while the lush sound of instruments washes over you you can hear the distinct sound of something drowning. This would be the vocals, which fall so far back into the mix that it disrupts the whole experience.
I find myself spending a very small portion of the time actually admiring the music itself as most my time is split between trying to make out the vocals and despairing because it is impossible to do so. And this is detrimental to what, otherwise, is an incredibly good alt-rock album.
This album comes across as a bit like Foo Fighters’ debut album, with a rough post-grunge sound that edges onto something more mainstream alternative. The instrumentation is spot on and engaging, and all it lacks is some compelling vocals and lyrics – which it may or may not have, it’s impossible to tell as they are so inaudible!
I don’t want this to seem like a complete victimisation of the band. The band have an obvious talent, but they need to get this album remixed and re-released first. As it stands, the mix is obscuring a lot of potential and it won’t make too much of an impression.
You can listen for yourself here.