Aspiga – ‘What Happened To You?’

By Sarah Scanlon

Many styles of music today can definitely make you feel nostalgic for a different time—maybe when you were back in high school and going to shows in church basements, or listening to a new CD in a friend’s car on a road trip. New Jersey’s Aspiga really bring the listener back to the late 90s/early 00s with their new record, ‘What Happened to You?’ released October 21st on Paper + Plastick Records.

The album opens with ‘Medusa’s Dance’, which sets the tone for the rest of the record. It’s smooth, guitar-driven pop-punk with an alternative rock feel. “I wish I knew your secrets to happiness, I’d write ‘em down… Memorize the details, practice them almost every day”, sings vocalist Kevin Day. His lyrics are relatable, and his not-quite whiny, gritty voice is somewhat similar to Rivers Cuomo—the connection to Weezer here with the vocals really push that 90s-alternative tone through.

One of the standout tracks is the first single released from the record, ‘Wide Eyes.’ Though Aspiga is a three-piece, their songs never lack tone; each track is still layered with tight musicianship.

The entire record sounds like a mixtape you’d listen to in high school, its sound throwing back to The Get Up Kids, Hot Rod Circuit and others. Aspiga would fit right in there—it’s the vocals especially that really remind me of the late 90s/early 00s emo era. As they say on their bandcamp page, “we intend to make you feel” and fans of this particular sound will find ‘What Happened to You?’ very appealing.

SARAH SCANLON

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