Select Alt Delete Save As – ‘Ultra Cultura’

By Joshua Wroath

Much like their name Select All Delete Save As’s second release, ‘Ultra Cultura’, is a jumble. The duo of Anthony Walker and Terry Emm obviously had fun making this mix of alternative indie/electro rock but for the listener, it’s hard to get any focus or enjoyment from it.

From start to finish the musical style jumps around, with the pair trying ever so (too) hard not be pigeon holed into one genre or sound. The result is there is no coherent flow.

The eponymous opener ‘Ultra Cultura’ with guest vocalist Rachael McVay is energetic, from which one thinks that the duo could have the knack of making a trippy electro-indie number. The same can be said for lead single, ‘Modern Life is War’, with McVay again on lead vocals. Unfortunately these are the only two tracks where this is so as her clear, melodic voice wraps around the boys’ indie/electro music perfectly and provides a consistent sound.

Walker and Emm clearly don’t take their lyrical content too serious, which is fine, but when the lyrics are the main part of a song then it does become a problem. On ‘Human Error’ the monotonous repetition of the song title grates agonisingly on the ears. By the end you wish it had never made it to the album. ‘Nectar of Instruction’ is not much better. The lyrics are weak, the words seemingly chosen simply because they rhyme. And how anyone is supposed to get their head around ‘The Sun and his Sunglasses’ or what on Earth it is meant to achieve will forever be a mystery.

The most enjoyable song on the album is undoubtedly ‘Archetypal Woman’. With its surfer rock sun vibe, it’s the catchiest and most fun sound on the record. A simple, rocking 3 chord number, it’s fuzzy bass and pure punk drumming makes anyone want to dance and smile. It’s just a shame this is not heard anywhere else on the album.

If Walker and Emm just wanted to demonstrate as many different musical sounds and arrangements as possible, then this is a good effort. If they wanted to make a pleasurable listening experience though, they have not succeeded. If the duo can bring the rest of their sound and songs in line with ‘Ultra Cultura’, ‘Modern Life is War’ and the instrumental ‘Slowcore Puck’ then they would start to create accessible songs and have an actual direction. But if they simply want to remain unattached to any genre or musical space, then Select All Delete Save As will always remain just a fun experiment for the two boys from Jersey.

JOSHUA WROATH

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