While the genre of hardvapour has often been derided for going against the core values of vaporwave, there have been some amazing works of art produced under the hardvapour genre; this album “It Doesn’t Matter If They’re Guilty” being one of them. If you’re not for the complex mixture of noise, synths, sounds and ambiance and if that turns you off then this is not for you.
From the getgo, things are really dark and depressing. Mixing in tons of moods, distortion, dirty synths and pitched down samples, First Kings have managed to create an aesthetic that immediately turns your world black. It’s initially sad to listen to but once you get deep into the album, you’ll realize how interwoven the entire thing is and how intricately designed the album is. It’s almost composed like a movie so to speak, you’ve got tension building moments and then you got moments where things just go crazy. You’ve got high points and then you’ve got low points and both points are done in a good sounding emotional way. As if they knew how to read your mind.
Though the album may be long, it keeps you at the edge of your seat all the way. Whenever it suspects you’re getting bored, it throws you a curveball by either changing up the style or by adding more sounds. You’re never going to know what to expect with this album and that is what makes it so interesting to listen to. It’s like a garden of balanced sounds; some harsh, some mellow but the overall result works well thanks to the quality of the sound which is superb.
The only fault I can find is that it becomes less fun to listen to after a while. Music can be art or entertainment but in order for it to have a lasting impact, it has to be both. This leans more towards the art side than the entertainment side meaning while it has technically impressive sounds, it doesn’t have much in order to hold the listener afterwards; it’s kind of like an inferior “Columbine Nightmares”. I found myself struggling to listen to the album at certain times and while it does do everything well, I felt like there was something missing from the overall formula, something that could of escalated this to classic status.
Nonetheless, it’s a good hardvapour album. For fans of the genre, you’ll get your fair share of enjoyment from this album. For others though, it’ll be interesting to listen to but you’ll find yourself either loving the album or wishing you could listen to something else. Regardless, First Kings have succeeded in making a good album, congrats.