Return to Wherever was released in July of 2019
By Jack Kiessel
Canadian rock group Tupperware Remix Party delivered their fourth studio this past summer in the form of Return To Wherever, standing as a testament to the group’s consistent record for quality. Return To Wherever sits at an easily digestible 31 minutes making for a somewhat brief yet relaxing listen.
TWRP brands themselves as a band from the future but also the 80’s, producing music that is a mixture of 70’s/80’s disco, rock, and funk. Much like Daft Punk, TWRP keeps the names and faces of their members secret and instead go bye aliases with elaborate costumes. Doctor Sung on talkbox and keyboard, Commander Meouch on bass, Lord Phobos on guitar, and Havve Hogan on drums. Return To Wherever is notable for featuring voicework from Arin Hanson, J.P. Hasson, and Thomas D’Arcy along with saxophone provided by Brian Wecht of NSP.
The first track “Back in Town” sets the mood from the get-go, as J.P. Hasson takes on the role of a DJ for the fictional L.A.D.Y. Radio and describes a beautiful day for the listener. “One look out the window, and you can tell it’s gonna be another beautiful day here in paradise / Gentle breeze, inviting waters, heh, not a cloud in the sky!” Framing the album from the perspective of a radio listener adds a layer of immersion to the experience, allowing the listener to imagine themselves on a beautiful day listening to the radio. Instead of just listening on your phone or computer you are able to project yourself into the scenario presented to you, listening to TWRP’s new album premier on live radio.
The album’s second track “Generous Dimensions” discusses the issues of body image and reassuring someone not to shame themselves for it. “They said you don’t measure up / But I know that it’s just lies / And I know you’ve got all the right stuff / All the way from head down to your thighs” are some of the lines which cut straight to the point of the song. “Generous Dimensions” is not the first time TWRP has tackled the topic of body image. “Body Image” off of their Ladyworld album touched on many of the same issues. “Generous Dimensions” also features some of the group’s most memorable instrumentals, especially Lord Phobos’ energetic guitar solo which is capped by a smooth bass line by Commander Meouch before quickly shifting to Doctor Sung’s keyboard solo.
The third track “Typhoon Turnpike” is an instrumental track which has quickly become my favorite off the album due to its energetic tropical mood. This track would easily fit within a Mario Kart or Sonic game and nobody would be able to tell the difference. The standout performances on this track for me were Commander Meouch’s upbeat bass throughout the piece and the brief yet energetic Saxophone breakdown by Brian Wecht.
The fourth track “Solar Winds” serves as a lead-in to the fifth track “Cosmic Tides” and features J.P. Hasson performing a mic break on L.A.D.Y. Radio to introduce “Cosmic Tides.” “Solar Winds” should not be seen as solely a companion piece. While the track is brief it is perhaps the most mellow song on the album, featuring a slow and haunting trumpet and filled in with an ethereal piano accompaniment. The juxtaposition between the two tracks is immediately heard as a powerful cymbal hit opens “Cosmic Tides.” To call this track funky would be an understatement. Bass is steadily heard throughout the track, the bass’ low beats emphasized by the shrill piano. A solid track throughout.
“Hidden Potential” is what I would consider a perfect workout song. The lyrics give the listener the idea to push further and be the best that they can be. Lines such as “Unlock your hidden potential / (unlock it) / You can do anythin’ / Unleash the beast that lies within / (Unleash it)” are reinforced through repetition provided by Arin Hanson of the band StarBomb.
“Under The Sun” is a track that gives off a tropical vibe especially through its lyrics. “Everyone will be having fun / Under the sun / There is a place I know / Down by the sea / There is a place to go / Where we can be free” lines like these paint an image of a paradise by the sea free of all constraints. A perfect track for summer when this album released.
“L.A.D.Y. Radio” opens with an upbeat tune before J.P. Hasson promotes a contest for Ontario pizza place Stobie’s. Again this album reinforces the idea that it is a radio broadcast through the use of actual radio practices. After the beat continues Hasson promotes the final track of the album “All Night Forever.” “All Night Forever” delivers its lyrics in a catchy continuous rhythm that carries on throughout chorus. The track wishes for a night that will last forever, in a way to live in the same moment.
Overall Return To Wherever is another fantastic work by TWRP that recalls their accomplishments from the past while trying new ways of conveying their work. I am excited to see and hear what they will do in the future.
BandCamp link: https://twrp.bandcamp.com/track/all-night-forever
Listen to the album on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/7CldXxO1gpJPQU9GvAigT2
Reviewer Jack Kiessel is our Traffic Manager here at WFNP and an FM DJ. Catch his show “A Show With No Name” every Tuesday night from 8-10 pm on 88.7 FM and wfnp.org!