Today (9 July), indie-rock act SCORES release their debut album ‘Vol. 1’ via Oread Records; a beat-driven collection of nine darkly melodic rock songs.
Scores’ core members are veteran musicians: brothers Austin and Alexander Ward have performed in internationally touring alternative rock bands Hembree since 2016 and The Noise FM since 2005; CJ Calhoun is songwriter and vocalist in cult-favorite indie group Cowboy Indian Bear and releases solo music as Bonzo Madrid. The three musicians first crossed paths while living and performing in Lawrence, Kansas — longtime mecca of indie music in the United States Midwest — becoming fast friends then roommates. The three had long talked about creating music together, but it wasn’t until a month-long backpacking trip through Europe that Scores came into existence and the songs of Vol. 1 began to take shape.
Largely inspired by the pulsating bass lines, pounding drums, and heavy synthesizers of the music the trio experienced in clubs across Europe, Vol. 1 is the Midwest band’s indie-rock take on dance music. From the scrappy, driving rock of “Over / Under” and “Parallels,” to the dark, bass-heavy future funk of “Talk Flood” and the industrial clanging of “Keep Yr Eyes Clsed,” Scores navigates a variety of moods while emphasizing an appreciation for tight songcraft and catchy melodies.
The propulsive beats and spacious melodies of Vol. 1’s songs are the perfect accompaniment to CJ Calhoun’s soulful vocals and impressionistic lyrics. Calhoun effortlessly floats between existential angst on “Broaden Out,” the visceral pleas of “Keep Yr Eyes Clsed,” and the helpless pull of seduction on “Alligators.” Meanwhile, “Talk Flood” finds Calhoun anxiously wrestling with the current social climate: “Another kid on the ground brings a military answer / Got rubber bullets and the dogs staring down the protestors.”
But Vol. 1 is by no means a record of gloom and doom. Amongst the highly personal lyrics and dark rhythms of the music are moments of beauty, most fully realized in the cathartic climaxes of “Can’t Sleep, Don’t Bother” and “Berlin Lines.” Scores Vol. 1 will be accompanied by artwork and music videos for each of its nine tracks. Scores Vol. 1 will be available through all digital retailers and streaming services beginning Friday, July 9, 2021.
1. Broaden Out
2. Over / Under
3. Talk Flood
5. Can’t Sleep, Don’t Bother
6. Keep Yr Eyes Clsed
7. Berlin Lines
Scores is CJ Calhoun, Austin Ward, Alexander Ward Engineered & mixed by Joel Martin and Greg Panciera Mastered by Guy Davie at Electric Mastering London