Album review: Welcome to Miami

Travis Persaud, Contributor Ω

From the pulsing horns throwing the listener into the opening track, “Can’t Stand It,” to the record’s conclusion 37 minutes later, Slam Dunk’s sophomore album Welcome to Miami is very much a party album.

This sound comes as no surprise given the conditions the Victoria-based band formed under.  The five members of Slam Dunk assembled in 2009 as a house music side project.  If ever there was a record to follow the example set by Hollerado’s confetti-filled packaging of Record in a Bag, Welcome to Miami would be that record.

By track seven of 10, “Runner,” it becomes clear that Slam Dunk utilizes formulaic emphatic highs and introspective lows. Yet, every breakdown is as refreshing as the one that preceded it. This clearly is Slam Dunk’s signature and they do it well.

Cemented by the final track “Fantasy” is the band’s ability to fabricate the most infectious of indie-pop guitar hooks.

The album is rambunctious, commanding and ultimately reveals a very dynamic musical arrangement.  Slam Dunk is equally comfortable contrasting torn male vocals with a delicate female swoon over a fanciful piano backing seen on the latter half of “Runner” as they are hammering through the punk tendencies of “Sass.”

Although Welcome to Miami is officially categorized as garage rock, it would be a shame to the album if it was pigeon-holed by the term. Fans of Titus Andronicus’ The Monitor would be partial to giving the record a listen.