“Alien Punk Journal” the first full-length release from Hopewell, New Jersey singer-songwriter Tony Lio is an epic, dreamy and bombastic journey through time and space. Drawing upon influences like early Radiohead, Jeff Buckley, Soundgarden and Elvis Costello, Lio’s debut album is a futuristic blast from the past with nay an electronic instrument and is a refreshing dive into recorded sound.
Kicking off with an energetic Beastie Boys-esque a capella passage, Lio waste’s no time bringing the energy with ‘Omega Bomb Bomb’ a rocking number that brings to mind the heavier moments of Elliott Smith’s catalog. The guitar heavy track is drooling with alt-country inspired licks and wide, thundering drums with vociferous tom laden fills.
Tracks like ‘Zoe’ and ‘Margaret’ showcase Lio’s acoustic balladry and draw similarities to the softer side of T-Rex’s Marc Bolan while spacey jams like ‘Daydreaming’ with gained vocals, soaring guitar leads and references to popular culture(Ghost in the Shell/there’s blood on the dancefloor) provide an ethereal and dissociative malaise from the very human and relatable lyrical influence the majority of the album comprises.
It’s a difficult task to write a futuristic based album with retro recording techniques but Alien Punk Journal is the perfect blend of old and new. A solid album to bike through the city or go on a nature hike, taking the listener from the tangible to the sublime in a seamless ebb and flow and reminding the listener that there was more in common than apart.