The Aces – ‘When My Heart Felt Volcanic’ Review

Sugar with substance

The Aces’ ‘Fake Nice’ could be one of the best pop songs of the year. With drum lines that demand you clap along, and a chorus that, if your life was a musical, you’d be screeching at that snake you had to put up with in high school, all other pop bands should probably just go home, as they’re going to be hard-pressed to write a pop song as comprehensive as this. Unless, of course, you actually are The Aces, and you manage to put out a whole album of them.

That’s what the Utah quartet have managed to achieve on their shimmering debut ‘When My Heart Felt Volcanic’, which is essentially 13 back-to-back pop hits. Almost unbearably catchy, The Aces’ debut is nothing less than bloody brilliant.

Throughout we’re treated to bold and buoyant basslines, slick vocal harmonies and vocalist Cristal Ramirez’s crisp delivery of deliciously millennial lyrics (highlights include ‘Stay’s’ “gotta send me pictures/ save them to my roll” and and ‘Lovin’ is Bible’s’ “We could paint our love all over town/Watch it go viral“).

After a woozy, slightly All Saints-sounding verse, the arena-ready, Butch Walker-produced ‘Just Like That’ builds to an anthemic chorus that was made for screaming at the top of your lungs. And then there’s cowboy boot-thumping ‘Last One’, which sounds like what would happen if you held a disco in a rodeo. The bullish ‘Stuck’ fizzes even more than a Berocca; the squelchy synths of ‘Holiday’ ooze ’80s glam and the galloping ‘Stay’ is the Alphabeat song that we never got.

Speaking to NME, The Aces listed indie-pop heavyweights Paramore and The 1975 as the bands that they’d love to tour with. Judging by their debut, it’s only a matter of years until they’ll be playing massive headline slots alongside them.