[Album Review] Rec Centre- Monster of the Week
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by Mark Anthony Brennan


Release Date: November 18th, 2014
Label: Independent

Although he utilises the able help of Jay Arner and Jessica Delisle (who currently have their own venture, Energy Slime) Rec Centre is, for all intents and purposes, the musical outlet for Alex Hudson, whose work as a writer (e.g. for Exclaim!) and blogger make him something of a music industry insider. Although the record has a surficial sheen of light-hearted fun, underlying it all is the inevitable cynicism. This is reflected in the album title, ‘Monster of the Week’ — that crass industry term for whatever crap is currently popular — and is pervasive throughout.

The song “Celebrity Deaths” probably best sums up Hudson’s ambivalent attitude. The music is breezy, awash with ’80s-style synths, but the lyrics reveal his resignation to the realities of the modern music world: ‘I finally figured out/I don’t wanna be famous/I guess it’s just as well/I was never in danger.‘ And again in “Regency”, a tune that wouldn’t be out of place in a John Hughes movie, he betrays the bounciness of the mood with an F bomb and a few other expletives.

With a few exceptions, such as the garage rock guitar in “Evil Twin”, the songs on ‘Monster of the Week’ are all sunny, synth-drenched modern pop numbers. The band’s pure craftsmanship, coupled with Hudson’s obvious love for the genre, would probably be enough to give this record traction, but his dark, cynical edge cinches the deal by providing enough grit to keep things grounded and prevent the feathery light songs from being blown away in the breeze.