by Nathan Cardiff

Vanilla Brass plays almost exactly like a live performance from Approach; it’s entertaining, provoking, and most of all engaging. Approach manages to get his audience involved with his infectious personality and enormous talent. With this nine track album, it’s a brief encounter (all but two tracks are less than three minutes) and you only want more.

From the sinister opener “Grave Shifting,” Approach takes us on the thrill ride filled with great beats and terrific lyrics. “Vertebrae snap your back/Peyton Manning” he sings on “Wavesicle” (which is one of my favorite song titles this year). The very same track features Louiz Rip’s killer “Absolute though/My truth grows taller than Manute Bol” which brought a sense of nostalgia that I loved. Like it’s name, “Wavesicle” is a weirdly awesome song.

“The Geisha” has a great 8-bit opener that descends in to a warped instrumental with a chorus that pulls at your spirit (“You can run a marathon/And still feel incomplete”) and a powerful verse (“Heaven is an idea/Can’t live without it”). The music is disorienting and dizzying, while the lyrics help to keep you up and support you. Vanilla Brass also features two beautiful instrumental tracks with “Loose Park” and “Highatus Enternalude.” Even with his fast-spirited and high adrenaline delivery, Approach holds you still and keeps you fascinated for what is coming next.

Favorite Tracks: “Wavesicle” & “The Geisha”

Editor’s Note: Vanilla Brass is a precursor to Approach’s next album, Make Out With Violence, which comes out later this month.

Approach is also featured in the 2014 I Heart Local Music Swimsuit Calendar.