No one can deny the turbulent year that was 2016. Beatastic certainly felt this as much as anyone, rushing the release of a spur-of-the-moment EP on New Years Eve to get his thoughts and feelings on the year out in the open. In his own words: “I wrote a couple of songs over the last 2 weeks of 2016 and realized they had a negative slant to them, were about the state of the world and addressed the coming year.” Even though this sort of political, economic and social environment can create hardships for many, it can also be the fuel that ignites a creative firestorm for many artists. This EP, its full title being I am Disgusted by What Happened This Year and I Don’t See How it Can Possibly Get Any Better (2017), is one of these wildfires.
The EP begins with Nothing Will Be the Same This Year, a track full of opposing ideas and sounds. I enjoyed the combination of layered beats and the pentatonic violin part; however, the distorted guitar on top proved to be confusing to my ears. Usually I would suggest that the guitar be cut out of the track, but in light of the thematic content I think it should be kept and the confusion continued. In the other tracks, the instrumentation and sounds are easier on the ears. Become One of Them uses vocal harmony in sections of the song and Beatastic’s voice becomes more drone-like. What stands out about this track in particular is the great guitar solo after the chorus and the fade out and fade back in at the end. There’s nothing like a false ending to surprise your audience!
This is the Year uses a really cool sound which is featured at its beginning. From what I can gather, the sound is much like the low drone that is made from a didgeridoo, and for me it was an interesting addition to the EP. More of the strange surreal that has characterised 2016 was conveyed in this track, with some of the melody and lyrics blurred together to make a sonic atmosphere of restless anxiety. By the end of the EP most of the nervous confusion is gone, with Act On It conveying clearer ideas and only a touch of distorted guitar. My only criticism was of the lyrics. Although I understood the message, I thought it could have been executed in more sophisticated language. I would reccommend working on improving the lyrics or working with a poet/lyricist.
For me, this EP stood out but not because it was an enjoyable musical experience. The whole point of the project is to express how messy and disappointing 2016 was and the music reflected this. I give it 8/10.
To hear the new EP check out his Bandcamp
To hear more music from Beatastic check out his Soundcloud