AbsolutePunk.net
   Username
Password
 
Album Review
 
Kurt Travis - Wha Happen? Album Cover

Kurt Travis - Wha Happen?

Reviewed by
8.3
Kurt TravisWha Happen?
Release Date: January 24, 2012
Record Label: Doghouse
Like many of his peers, Kurt Travis has branched into acoustic territory for his solo release, opting to wow listeners through new genres rather than sticking to his tried-and-true post-hardcore. Unlike his peers, his sound is anything but expected.

The EP Wha Happen won’t be for everyone; for some, it’s just too out there. Personally, I’ve been digging it - these indie tunes have soundtracked my long night drives all week. Whether he’s throwing out nutty four-part harmonies, laughing through the middle of a track or utilizing spacey beats, Kurt pulls it off with slight eccentricities that make for an interesting listen.

It’s clear from the get-go that Travis’ recent history shows no influence when “25 New Ways To Regress” brings the weirdness full-force. Between the choir of laughing Kurts and the “dat-dat-dat” courtesy the Doug theme song, most listeners will cock their heads sideways in confusion rather than appreciating the composition’s level of detail. There’s a lot to process here, and you won’t grasp the multiple melodies and off-beat aspects until you’ve sat down with it for a bit. The following “Time To Make A Plan; Not Getting Younger” needs as much deciphering, though is equally rewarding upon proper understanding.

The testing doesn’t last the whole EP though; three of the remaining four tracks are much easier listens, starting with the title-track. “Wha Happen” is structurally the most conventional song on the record, with its single-worthy chorus serving as one of the album’s highlights. We get layers galore again on “Let’s Remember Time,” but with a great mix of orthodox structuring and vocal overlays that make for the most balanced song of the bunch. Closing with the refreshingly-naked “How Are Things” works well, giving us Kurt alone with an acoustic while sounding the best vocally of his entire career.

It’s interesting, really. Tonally, the album is the perfect for the calmest of hours, with soothing guitar work that makes for a serene listen, but the peace is cut by expertly-crafted vocal melodies that require more attention than late night listeners would normally employ. It’s this careful equilibrium that makes Wha Happen a great record, appealing to all moods and rewarding those who make the effort.

Many won’t meet Kurt at his new home in left field, while others will anxiously dig into whatever the man throws at them. Don’t be so narrow-minded that you miss this great listen.

Recommended If You LikeAnthony Green, Some indie band no Kurt Travis fan has ever heard of

Track Listing1. 25 New Ways To Regress
2. Time To Make A Plan; Not Getting Younger
3. Wha Happen?
4. My Favorite Things
5. Let's Remember Time
6. How Are Things?
This review is a user submitted review from Jack Appleby. You can see all of Jack Appleby's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 21
05:05 AM on 01/20/12
#2
theotheryabs
There's a Melody in Everything
Offline
User Info.
theotheryabs's Avatar
I may have to check this out
06:21 AM on 01/20/12
#3
therookielot
the shape of punk just came
Online
User Info.
therookielot's Avatar
iremember him and zac Garren recorded some tracks together, don't know whatever happened to that. Cant wait to check this out
06:52 AM on 01/20/12
#4
t00latef0rr0ses
Purple Monkey Dishwasher
Offline
User Info.
t00latef0rr0ses's Avatar
Intrigued by this release. Loved his vocals on ALLB.
08:10 AM on 01/20/12
#5
HyperactiveYout
Your twisted change is normal.
Offline
User Info.
HyperactiveYout's Avatar
I felt so bad for him when he was opening for Jonny with this stuff, he looked so down on himself. Funny how life is starting to turn the tables around. Good for him.
08:13 AM on 01/20/12
#6
t00latef0rr0ses
Purple Monkey Dishwasher
Offline
User Info.
t00latef0rr0ses's Avatar
I felt so bad for him when he was opening for Jonny with this stuff, he looked so down on himself. Funny how life is starting to turn the tables around. Good for him.
A Lot Like Birds >>>>> Anything DGD will do. Blessing in disguise that he got away from that mess.
08:25 AM on 01/20/12
#7
corybear
Carucage Records
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
I felt so bad for him when he was opening for Jonny with this stuff, he looked so down on himself. Funny how life is starting to turn the tables around. Good for him.

I thought that exact same thing. Nobody at the St. Louis show even really payed attention, but I thought his set was by far the best. He did some Elliott Smith covers that were just breath-taking!
08:26 AM on 01/20/12
#8
corybear
Carucage Records
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
And this EP is fucking awesome. So glad to see Kurt living up to his solo stuff. Wish he'd go solo full time!
08:47 AM on 01/20/12
#9
Dustin Harkins
Go support Kony 2012 some more
Offline
User Info.
Dustin Harkins's Avatar
I can't wait to listen to this. When he was doing his last tour with DGD with Mess in the band, a friend brought me backstage and he was playing solo material and some of the Elliott Smith covers mentioned above, and it was incredible.
09:41 AM on 01/20/12
HarryPotter
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
A Lot Like Birds >>>>> Anything DGD will do. Blessing in disguise that he got away from that mess.
Do you see what you did there?
09:42 AM on 01/20/12
Dustin Harkins
Go support Kony 2012 some more
Offline
User Info.
Dustin Harkins's Avatar
Do you see what you did there?
OH HO HOOOOO

10:08 AM on 01/20/12
t00latef0rr0ses
Purple Monkey Dishwasher
Offline
User Info.
t00latef0rr0ses's Avatar
Do you see what you did there?
ohhhh snappppp. i said mess and the screamer is jon mess. Unintentional... or was it?!
12:54 PM on 01/20/12
ChaseTx
_______________
Offline
User Info.
ChaseTx's Avatar
I need this so bad! I'm wondering who won the contest that was posted a few days ago...
01:36 PM on 01/20/12
Tele72
Regular Member
Offline
User Info.
Tele72's Avatar
Part of me wants to hear these songs with better recording quality but it just wouldn't seem right. The fact that some of these songs were just done on Kurt's Macbook make it very real to me. One of my favorite EPs in a long time.
03:22 PM on 01/20/12
HeavenResign
Registered Member
Offline
User Info.
HeavenResign's Avatar
Gotta check this out. I love his voice.

NEWS, MUSIC & MORE
Search News
Release Dates
Exclusives
Best New Music
Articles
CONNECT
Submit News
Forums
Contests
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
HIDDEN TREASURES
AbsolutePunk Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Recommendations
INFORMATION
Advertising
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
FOLLOW
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
PropertyOfZack
UnderTheGun
Purevolume
Chorus.fm | @jason_tate