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Alaska! – Rescue Through Tomahawk

I swear it’s 1995, not 2005. Much of the better rock music I’ve heard lately sounds, feels, and looks like a throwback to my high school days, when I adored bands like Possum Dixon, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Pavement. This isn’t a complaint; in fact it’s a blessing. alaska!’s second release, Rescue Through Tomahawk, is one of these albums that feels ten years old, and it couldn’t be more refreshing.


Although it appears that the term “alternative” is long dead and even passé, I’m just going to go ahead and use it anyway. We critics of music like to categorize things; we think it makes us look smart. I know what you’re thinking. You’re saying “music shouldn’t be about categorization, it should be about just what it is- music.” alaska! may not necessarily be truly “alternative”, but nor are they garage rock, or even emo. The trio proves that they are much more, and that is edgy, lean, and smarter than most of the bands still being vomited out into the mainstream for our sad ears.

This album as a whole shines, but I fell hard for a track called “Real is Your Control,” and it’s definitely one of the better songs released this year. Singer/guitarist Imaad Wasif’s voice bleeds the lines “You are my favorite. Where you are so beautiful, you are fake,” over strung-out guitar perfection. Lesley Ishino’s robotic drumming paired with Russ Pollard’s bass lines round everything out into a perfect circle. alaska! Has it all right.

Honest, hard, and nostalgic, alaska!’s latest release is a diamond in the rough. It kinda makes me wish I could sit down with a can of Okay Soda in my parent’s rec room and watch a 120 Minutes with Lewis Largent.


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