I met Sebastian aka Alphanze while bartending at the Urban Space Food Hall in downtown Chicago. A young, bright, intelligent gentleman with a passion and thirst for music. Hmm, sounds like me and many other good lads and lassies I’ve had the privilege and honor of knowing. Alphanze is no different in this regard, and his music is something unique and has thoroughly cleansed my palette of what I thought records were supposed to be like. Exquisite.
Starting off with a country folk like song in Wild, you can hear Alphanze’s voice reign these lyrics that are ambient and in the background, being an avid guitarist the mix is focused on his power chords and plucking; paired with a rhythm synth or piano. Creative and unexpected.
The next record is more of like a grungy early 90s rock sound featuring a Juliette Lewis like songstress in the artist MAD. I really like this record for the ambient mix of the feminine vocals, how short it is, and how the record literally makes me feel like I’m Lenny from Strange Days.
Track 3 is Love, and this record feels like grungy Elliot Smith with more whispery gravelly vocals. “I got no love for you” is sung repeatedly with a melancholic electric guitar melody. Alphanze seems to channel very specific aspects of the late 80s through 90s rock sound and its clear he’s a student of music and is quite learned.
One is track 4; this record ramps up the intensity with a stronger guitar melody and Alphanze uses a scratchy low voice to sing the higher layers.
Issom outdoes One in its over the top scream singing with fantastic guitar playing and melody. This track is a hard punk rock style and probably my favorite on the whole album. Highly recommend Issom this song has replay value! At 5 minutes and 11 seconds long this record will take you on a ride and leave you introspective as you hear Alphanze yelling his lungs and heart out.
Punkman has these breakdowns that feel like a robot seizing culminating in echoes of Alphanze worriedly asking in a high pitched timber "are you real?" "where'd you go?" "I can't do this without you!" "punkman". I feel like this might possibly be a satire off of Day Man but either way this track bangs for a minute and a half.
Alien is another record featuring the lovely vocals of MAD! This melody and duet feels like a Swedish pop rendition. An easy and fun listen with Alphanze taking the bass part and underscoring MAD's soothing tonality. Listen for a feel good escape!
Beginning with winy electric guitar chords and a spoken word sung flow by Alphanze, Emma's A Corporate Leader feels like an anarchist breakup riff where your ex is obsessed with money and status. Another short, sweet, 1 and a half minute track by the illustriously eclectic guitar playing Alphanze.
Ending in less than a minute outro track featuring My Son, Alphanze hits an epic melody to end the diverse yet exquisitely curated The Tease album. Alphanze hits the drum break and the scream to finalize the record perfectly leaving the listener feeling like all loose ends of the sonic experience have been tied together.
If you're looking to listen to something different and completely self produced, go put on The Tease by Seattle to Chicago transplant, Alphanze. You will be surprised by the unexpected, and it might ignite a perfect nostalgia bringing you back to the genesis of the grunge era.