Album Review: “Brightest Darkest Day” – Pyyramids

    Most would recognize Tim Norwind as one of the band members from Ok Go’s poppy, upbeat “Here It Goes Again” music video involving dancing on treadmills that went viral on YouTube in 2006 with over 50 million views.

    Now he has formed the duo Pyyramids with electro-pop vocalist Drea Smith, and it’s clear that a lot has changed since the fun, lighthearted days of “Here It Goes Again.” Pyyramids’ debut album “Brightest Darkest Day” showcases those differences dramatically, but not without some of the classic mistakes of an immature, experimenting group.

    From the opening crescendo into the first song, “Brightest Darkest Day (Intro),” it’s clear that there’s a lot going on in the sound: Drea Smith’s moaning vocals, the rich organ and synthesizer lines and the consistently somber harmonies fit together perfectly. The result sounds original, experimental and on occasion, truly compelling. The haunting, sweet verses of “Paper Doll” show real sensitivity. Another highlight is the driving bass and distorted guitar that make “Everyone Says” a brooding, wild rock song.

    Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any structure to the album or even much of a logical sequence for the songs, which is a weakness in an album with songs parenthetically labeled “Intro” and “Interlude.” These labels give the impression of order where there is none.

    The album’s biggest failing is that in some places, particularly toward the end, it gets repetitive and monotonous. “Time” and “Time (Interlude)” in particular both rely on uninteresting melodies and vague lyrics about relationships.

    In contrast, “Invisible Scream” is one of the strongest songs of the album as it takes advantage of Smith’s beautiful vocals in the quiet, guitar-backed verses, while the choruses are loud and busy with fuzz-heavy keyboards. Similarly, all of the best songs on the album showcase Smith’s vocals and make shifts in mood and volume. Like “Invisible Scream,” a narrow majority of the tracks are fun to listen to on their own, and it shows what the group could do if all of its songs were as thoughtfully written. (6/10)

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal