Review: Cough Cough EP/ Everything Everything
By Ambika Terhanian
Opening track “Cough Cough” bursts with big band horns, while lead vocalist Jonathan Higgs proclaims, “I’m comin’ alive! I’m happening now!” with enthusiasm that is believable. And yes, the lyrics were Google’d, as his English accent is a bit on the strong side, which distinguishes his voice from other Justin Timberlake sound-alikes. Riddled with happy-go-lucky, choppy hooks, Cough Cough EP boasts a carefree party life.
A little slim, six songs are sufficient enough for a group like this, as there is only so much to do with a synthesizer. Although the galore of synth-pop keys are complaisantly produced, after back-to-back listening it can get mind-boggling and might even lead to a headache.
This is not to say the songs are annoying when taken in moderation. The palatable harmonies sung by Higgs and Co. are enjoyable to the extent that Coldplay can be heard in retrospect. Maybe it’s the British commonality.
Don’t forget that under all the floater programming that there is an actual, real-life band. This is reinforced with the steep bass lineage and trickled guitar cuts of “Kemosabe.”
Another plus of this album pariah is the African mate call of a chorus that’s sure to be on replay in your head. Contrary to its fun counterparts, “Undrowned” is a serious-voiced sign that shit just got real. Although written with a children’s lullaby tempo, it’s not exactly something recommended to play for night-tucked kids. The sadness might leave them crying themselves to sleep.
How often is it that a track is so good it needs to be put on the album twice? As often as “Cough Cough” can be remixed and get even better. Surprisingly enough, the song has been thoroughly reconstructed into its own new entity. Which one is the better one? Well, I say out with the old and in with new, the remix brings the whole other level lacking in the original?
Ambika Terhanian is a UF criminology junior. Besides talking about serial killers and the death penalty, she enjoys punk rock and skateboarding. She began writing music reviews in her DIY ‘zine called “RAWR!” and later “It is What it is” when she was 14. She then wrote for a friend’s webzine, Southern Shed Punk. When she is not listening to music, she is either skateboarding or hanging out at the Krishna House.