Double Experience, the Canadian nerd-rock duo, has been setting high scores on my music preference screen for years. With their third full-length play through, they tried something a bit different. Coming off of their last album, Unsaved Progress, and a grab bag of addictive singles, they decided to release three thematic EPs based around the morality spectrum of tabletop role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons. As of April 24, these three stand-alone releases have been combined into a single LP called Alignments, and it contains some of my favorite music these two have ever recorded.
Describing characters that run the gamut from Lawful Good to Chaotic Evil, Alignments is a surprisingly cohesive album given the rag tag elements that guide the direction of each track. Bursting out of the gates with “Perish Song,” one of the Evil numbers, we have a rocking ode to a glitch from Pokemon Red. This is followed by “New Me,” putting us into the mind of Marvel’s The Punisher, and gracing us with slabs of enticing riffs and one of the cleverest chorus lines I’ve heard in quite a while. In my opinion, that cleverness isn't a one hit wonder, and is matched by another tune on this release: the ballad of sadism entitled “My List,” which is as deftly harmful in words as it is sweet in music.
“My list, my list, I running down my list.
Causing you harm was the last thing I wanted to do,
but it was still on my list.”
That song, alongside “Ghost In The Machine,” are two of my favorites tracks on Alignments. The latter, though name dropping Tetris in the opening line, also falls perfectly in line with the 1995 anime “Ghost In The Shell,” which deals with cyborgs and what it really means to be alive. Whether this is intentional or coincidence is of little consequence, because, as with everything Double Experience releases, the music is addictive regardless of the background knowledge of the listener. But, oh, how much sweeter the experience when you get it.
The original three EPs are rounded out by the title track, which is the darkest, most musically dissonant of the bunch – not to ignore the poignant lyrics of “Something’s Got To Give” about gun violence in the United States. In contrast, the bonus track “Love Is Not Just Talk” is one of the most upbeat tunes on the album, using the tropes of tabletop RPGs to discuss the simple matter of romance.
You have a couple different choices when it comes to Alignments. You could buy each of the Good, Evil, and Neutral EPs separately and enjoy them in their byte-size glory. Of course, doing so would neglect two of the tracks, so you’d need to purchase them digitally. Alternatively, you could get the full Alignments album, which mixes all those songs together, good and bad… ahem, I mean evil, alike. The choice is yours alone, but I for one am enjoying the entire collection as much as I’ve enjoyed anything by Double Experience. If you’re not sure, you can always let the dice decide.
Buy Alignments (full album): From The Band | iTunes | Amazon
For more on Double Experience, visit: