Like any great body of work, Ear Ringers opens up their latest album, "Heart Therapy" with a rumbling beat dressed with twangy guitar chords provided by Jesus Mendoza, and heavy breathing synth sounds flowing from Daftnet Mendoza. The upbeat nature of this instrumental guides us into our first song, "I Had a Smile". The lyrics are incredibly sad, but the music is incredibly easy to dance to! I love this juxtaposition. I find that it really enhances the listening experience for me. It's a reminder of how complicated human beings are. So much can be true at once. "I had a smile and I remember life as a child when times were simpler," the lead singer, Miguel Angel Estrada, laments. Sometimes it's hard to grapple with the fact that our childlike innocence weakens with age. Ear Ringers did a great job at expressing this grief, especially with the chorus. The vocals are reflective of the ache that comes with growing up.
Maintaining the fast tempo of its previous song, "Don't Tell Me No" comes in swinging with a guitar sequence that's so crispy it'd make fried chicken quake. I absolutely love how the guitar sounds on every song by Ear Ringers. It always sounds like a perfect sunny day by the beach. They know how to make every note come through clearly and have the synth blend really well with it, like in their next song, "Rumors". The instrumentation on this one is a lot more dense in sound, but there are still moments where some of the instruments step back and allow for there to be a balance. There's a great atmosphere that's established by the middle of the album once "Eyes On You" comes on. This time, we're introduced to the song with Miguel's vocals. This moment is where listeners are really able to admire their beauty and realize how talented he is as an artist. He has an incredible range that's exhibited throughout "Choices" and the rest of the songs; including his ability to sing both in English and Spanish.
Halfway through the album, Ear Ringers strips down their music a bit with their songs, "Solo Hay Momentos" and "Nada Que Pedirte". A piano makes an appearance along with an acoustic guitar, softening the power pop that preceded it but not dampening the energy. There's a lot of passion throughout the album, but it gets highlighted a lot more toward the end. Despite being someone who doesn't speak Spanish, I could still understand the feelings being evoked through the composition. It's a universal language that breaks through any barriers of cultural difference and Ear Ringers are doing something so special for their community.
Their second to last song, "Caught Up" gives us one last time to dance through our problems before cooling us down with their tenth and final song, "To Get Over You". On this one, the keyboard starts everything off with a jazzy, chromatic drone that is pungent enough to hit the back of your jaw. David Bravo, the drummer for the band, plays a much slower, steadier beat in contrast to their faster songs. This makes a great ending to such a high intensity album. Daniel Romo drags the bass, matching the tone of the meaning. "I must've cried about a thousand times to get over you," Miguel confesses in this indie pop ballad. Compared to his vocal performance in previous songs, in this one it is much lower in volume and somber in tone, despite the power it still has behind it. He almost sounds defeated which reflects the nature of the lyrics. The protagonist is struggling to get over the time spent with a former lover and yearns for a day when they can heal and move on. It's a relatable feeling for anyone who's been in a relationship and it's iconic to have this conveyed over funky guitar strumming that makes me want to frolic.
Overall, "Heart Therapy" by Ear Ringers is a fantastic debut album by the East LA band that showcases everything good they have to offer. Their lyrics are relatable and it's impossible not to dance to the music. The whole vibe is reminiscent of 2010s indie pop at its finest with the bright synths, bubbly drum beats, and scratchy guitars laden with ethereal effects to round it all out. I thoroughly enjoyed this album and am looking forward to witnessing how the band will continue to evolve in their future releases.
Be sure to check out Ear Ringers and stream their debut album, "Heart Therapy" everywhere you listen to music!
For fans of:
Two Door Cinema Club
Follow Ear Ringers on Instagram: https://instagram.com/ear.ringers?igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==
Stream "Heart Therapy" on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/09zaBktUU9B7l4w1iovmL9?si=eYKWLtjjS2q4UOcvNx4XGw&context=spotify%3Aal
Stream "Heart Therapy" on Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/album/heart-therapy/1648554122?ls