Accidental President – Was It Meant To Be This Way?

Accidental President – Was It Meant to Be This Way?
Wormholedeath Records
Release Date: 6/10/2023
Running Time: 57:00
Review By Alex Swift

A collage of radio broadcasts predicting apocalyptic scenarios accompanies soaring guitars on the title track to “Was it Meant to be This Way?”.  While the stark contrast between them can feel like sonic whiplash, this track works to introduce us to the vivacious form of space-rock Accidental President aspires to achieve on this project. Indeed, perhaps the most impressive aspect of the act is their technical versatility as moments like ‘Ready Kid?’ contrast discordant, fuzz laden sections with an impressive sense of scale that’s further elevated by the crystal clean production. With this sound palate, the three-piece are able to make the concept of bidding one last goodbye to loved ones before escaping from the confines of planet earth seem convincing. This theatrical flair continues onto ‘Bang Bang’. Although this classic originally by Nancy Sinatra is one of the most covered songs in history, its presence here makes sense alongside the richly melodic yet commanding background of a record that puts visceral, ferocious imagery at the forefront. 

As the album progresses, we hear the band venturing into yet more adventurous territory, with ‘Bitter Sweet’ proving a slivering, carnivorous anthem with layered harmonies and melancholy depth. Later on, ‘Dollar Signs’ is made captivating by synchronised guitars and tone-setting touches of synth and piano, as the song condemns the villainous pursuit of profit as a means to an end. “I see the dollar signs glistening in your eyes”, frontwoman Dahlia Neville sings against galloping drum patterns, directing her disdain against wealth disparity and greed! This is followed by the slow burning ‘After the Sun’, where solemn acoustics and creeping distortion soundtrack poignant condemnations of unbridled ambition and selfishness in the face of human suffering! Of course, not all songs are as triumphant as these. Moments like ‘Super Hero’ and ‘Paranoia’, while serving perfectly fine on their own as rowdy slices of hard rock, add little to the album as a whole, forcing the attention to wander and drawing attention to the album’s length.

Standing out on the tracklist is ‘Unity’ which charms with glistening instrumentals and a sense of constant forward motion, perfectly complimenting the optimistic message, as the band beg for us “to rise above fear and misery” and cherish life. Still, in a move that’s as clever as satisfying, this is part of a trio of incredibly unique, well-written songs that close the album on an absolute victory lap! ‘Save Her’ is a guttural post-grunge piece featuring a slowly unfolding story about helping one who’s been widely condemned as a failure, in defiance of all those who cry out against such acts of mercy, and compassion. Following this, we end on ‘More to Life’, which stacks tension, before exploding into a cathartic lead break. “Is it too much to ask for you to be a good person?” questions the final line of the album in a move that brilliantly brings the project’s introspection towards life, politics, and morality to a striking conclusion. 

Overall, through combining multiple styles in a way that’s versatile and invigorating, Accidental President succeed in making their style of socially charged alternative stand out. Future releases may well see them continuing to hone their sense of identity and creativity. For now, though, “Was It Meant To Be This Way?” Proves an excellent blueprint for further adventures. 

01. Was it meant to be this way?
02. Ready Kid?
03. Bang Bang
04. Bitter Sweet
05. Super Hero
06. What U Wanna
07. Dollar Signs
08. After the Sun
09. Paranoia
10. Unity
11. Save Her
12. More to Life

Dahlia Neville – Lead Vocals
Dave Ben Lee – Guitars
Jimmy James – Drums


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