What is enterentertainment Tonight?
After Dallon Weekes and Ryan Seaman from I don’t know how but they found me (iDKHOW) released their first EP 1981 Extended play in 2018 we had a pretty good idea of what to expect for their debut album Razzmatazz. We are happy to see that we weren’t entirely disappointed, and even happier to see how their sound rose to the rank of this multi-layered new wave juggernaut that never strayed too far from the territory of their respective former bands. : Panic! At the disco and falling upside down.
In fact, iDKHOW feels more like a tribute to independent mid-2000s artists like The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, and even Muse, while also echoing the ’70s and’ 80s sentiments of David Bowie and Queen.
Leave me alone made for a pretty perfect album opener; The ’80s synths blend seamlessly into an upbeat disco beat and it’s the perfect introduction to Dallon Weekes’ funky vocals that will always be full of surprises as the album progresses.
The dramatic Crazy IQ keeps that dynamic energy going before releasing a splendid ironic number titled Nobody likes the opening band. We get a very Robbie Williams vibe to the vocals of this piano-led baroque-pop piece and lyrically we’re happy to see a band wanting to have fun.
From the gallows is an equally schmaltzy show number, undermined by various surprises; it’s sometimes reminiscent of Queen, with an inexplicable romantic lament of a Stephen Hawking vocals halfway through, and a saxophone solo to boot. There’s a lot going on here, but who are we to tell iDKHOW to pull it back for a bit?
After a booming psychedelic number that is Cluster hug – a sometimes cloying love song – a real highlight of the album comes with the synth loaded sugar pills. It’s a campy new wave anthem that’s brimming with sex appeal and really screams out what iDKHOW is.
iDKHOW takes it down a notch for the rest of the album; there’s a little vibe of The Cure (Wish era) on Kiss good night, uplifting scintillating synths on The lights go out, and a lullaby quality to Need you here.
However, after the short and melancholy Door, Razzmatazz ends on a powerful note with the title track, Razzmatazz. It’s a bit of a rock number with the aftertaste of everything else we’ve heard, and it’s probably the song that echoes Panic! At Disco the most – not that we were looking for this.
iDKHOW is unabashedly flamboyant throughout this hook-laden and totally over-the-top version. Pleasantly tinged with jazz and at times oddly Vaudevillian, it was always going to be difficult to categorize a band like this. But maybe for now we don’t need it.