iDKHOW – Razzmatazz (Album Review)

I DON’T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME – Razzmatazz
Released: 23 October 2020

Line-up:

Dallon Weekes // Bass/Vocals/Keys/Guitar
Ryan Seaman // Drums/Percussion/Backing Vocals

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Do you often find yourself wishing that music that was made now was as good as the stuff from the 80s? With drums, bass and synth? You’re in the right place then! I Don’t Know How But They Found Me, or iDKHOW depending on the mood are a two-piece from Salt Lake City made up of Dallon Weekes and Ryan Seaman. In my humble opinion, they are one of the best bands around right now and this Friday they are due to drop their debut full length album Razzmatazz. Formed in 2016, the duo released an EP 1981 Extended Play in 2018, a 3-track Christmas EP Christmas Drag in 2019 and are currently signed to Fearless Records.

The album kicks off with ‘Leave Me Alone’, which was also the first single released and the synths remind me a little of a pinball game (kids look that one up if you don’t know what it is!). It’s actually a track that could easily fit in with mainstream acts like The 1975, and is energetic from start to finish. It is the perfect opening track for a record. ‘Mad IQ’s’ follows and it encourages you to get up and dance with it’s electro beat and rocky drum and bass. 3 minutes of pure fun! ‘Nobody Likes The Opening Band’ was actually released in March 2018 with a hilarious music video that I highly recommend you check out (it’s got a LOT of fruit throwing!). It’s almost but not quite a piano ballad spiced up with a little bit of a tambourine and make sure you listen ’til the end to hear the incredible range and lung capacity of vocalist Dallon Weekes.

Up next is ‘New Invention’ and makes for the perfect movie soundtrack, especially a scene where a man is either dreaming about a woman, or if they’re dancing around the topic of being enamoured by each other (I immediately thought of 10 Things I Hate About You here!). It sounds kind of dirty but also kind of funky and I think it’s for these reasons it’s one of my favourite tracks on the record. You’re Beautiful / and evil too / sinister and vile  are the opening lyrics of ‘From The Gallows’, a track that would not be out of place being played in a jazz bar. It’s beautifully dark lyrically, made even the more beautiful from Dallon’s inflection while he sings.

Marking one side of the halfway point of Razzmatazz is ‘Clusterhug’ and coincidentally (or not, I wouldn’t put it past Ryan & Dallon to be clever like that) it sounds like the midpoint of a musical, the song that tells you the intermission is coming. I really enjoyed the way the song ended with the crash of a symbol fading out, yet also sad when it finished. On the opposite side of the halfway point is ‘Sugarpills’ and it’s probably my favourite track on the record purely because of Dallon’s vocals. Ever since I started listening to The Brobecks, a former brain-child of Mr Weekes which involved drums from Ryan Seaman, and then eventually Panic! At The Disco, I have loved Dallon’s voice. He has such an incredible range to his voice, as well as having the depth and strength to express emotion from his inflection and ‘Sugarpills’ has that in buckets!

Eighth cab off the rank on Razzmatazz is ‘Kiss Goodnight’ and it’s hauntingly beautiful lyrically, vocally and melodically. It’s definitely what you’d consider as the ballad on the record and ends fittingly on a piano note. ‘Lights Go Down’ follows and it’s dancey and fun with what I believe is a saxophone solo in its second half, which I definitely wasn’t prepared for but enjoyed nonetheless. ‘Need You Here’ comes across very much as a love song dedicated possibly to Dallon’s children, about how he wishes he could always have them close or be close to them which is really sweet and I got a little emotional.

We sadly get closer to the end of the LP with ‘Door’, a ninety-two second long ukulele and piano song that sounds like it was recorded in a home studio and fades out with a magical sound effect. Short and sweet! Lastly we come to what Dallon Weekes told Wall Of Sound was his favourite track on ‘Razzmatazz’ and is also its title track. Whilst the melody is a little repetitive, the track as a whole has a really good vibe to it. Dallon once again gets to show off his vocal chops, and Ryan’s drums are probably my favourite on the LP. I especially like the digital voice saying ‘Complete’ at the end. It’s perfect for the vibe that iDKHOW have with both their sound and their image.

Razzmatazz is a modern take of the synth pop style that everyone enjoyed in the 70’s and 80’s, just made rockier with Ryan Seaman’s drums, and Dallon Weekes’ always impressive vocals. It’s just the kind of uplifting music we’ve come to expect from the Salt Lake City duo.

iDKHOW – Razzmatazz tracklisting:

1. Leave Me Alone
2. Indoctrination
3. Mad IQs
4. Nobody Likes The Opening Band
5. New Invention
6. From The Gallows
7. Clusterhug
8. Sugar Pills
9. Kiss Goodnight
10. Lights Go Down
11. Need You Here
12. Door
13. Tomorrow People
14. Razzmatazz

Rating: 8.5/10
Razzmatazz is out this Friday via Fearless Records. Pre-order HERE.
Review by Kelsey Trevan. @kelsey_139

Revisit Bree’s chat with iDKHOW frontman Dallon Weekes here

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