Aztec – Black Art and Star Charts
After their 2014 release, Stitches, Atzec are back with their latest EP, Black Art and Star Charts.
Opening with ‘Southern Brother’, Aztec’s sound has already matured, with a warmth to their tone and some fantastic vocal harmonies that perfectly complement the guitars that sit somewhere between slacker college-rock and beefy stadium blow-out. Kyle Schepens’ lead vocals have a sweet indie vibe, with the occasional nod to Conor Oberst’s frequent ability to sound as though he might burst into tears at any moment. This is ‘sad-indie’ with a sense of direction and a ton of guts. ‘Wind Tunnel’ delivers a chugging guitar that creates a real sense of moving forward with purpose, while ‘Feet Like Roots’ stands out as an explosive track that could give a lot of indie rock from the last couple of years a run for its money in terms of shooting for the top of the leaderboard.
The sheer breadth and scope of this relatively compact EP is remarkable, with the huge soundscape of ‘Your Plans’ reaching out far and wide with its synthy background tones and soaring vocals that knit together a raucous, stellar two and a half minutes. Concluding things tidily with title track ‘Black Art and Star Charts’ brings the EP to the perfect end, with just as much bluster and bravado that it started with, leaving a good taste in the mouth and a desire to come back for more.