From its opening bars, Where Do We Go From Here? establishes itself as a diverse and inventive record from 36? (The question mark is on purpose, and possibly even intended to be pronounced.)
Drawing on sounds and influences from Arcade Fire, The Polyphonic Spree, and even the Mars Volta at times, Where Do We Go From Here is filled with hooks, quirks, and rhythms that encourage some serious head nodding.
Kicking off with ‘Soul Searching’, the gradual development of drums leading into an off-beat vocal eventually creates a glorious wall of sound that feels trapped in a time vortex somewhere between mid 2000s psych rock and 90s college slacker tunes. ‘Head First’ is more relaxed in its dynamic, with a strained, squawking octave shifted guitar, and chilled out delay-filled guitar strums that evoke memories of Koopa Beach from Super Mario Kart. There’s snappier sound going on with ‘Are You Scared Yet?’, a Strokes influenced rocker with its Brooklyn guitars and dynamic arrangement, its exactly the kind of song you look forward to seeing played live. ‘The Man At The Door’ draws on the aforementioned Arcade Fire influences, with its epically anthemic chorus that is ready made for crowds of fans to join in with, while ‘Oxys’ is an ecstatic two minutes of post punk sneering garage rock.
Make no mistake, Where Do We Go From Here? isn’t just sprawling experimental punk rock – the vocal hook on ‘Ms Brown’ is a true treat to the ears that becomes all the more intensified once the piano part enters the mix, and the pleasing chord sequence on ‘Kthxbye’ is like a comforting warm blanket all wrapped up with Kimberley Ilott’s pleasant vocals.
Where Do We Go From Here? is 36?s calling card, full of grand ideas which for the most part work really well. It’s an indie record to bring happiness and joy to any fan of alternative music.
By Chris Marsh