The Los Angeles-based group finds new life on their first project in four years.
On the opening track of their new EP Scattered Storms, Good Bison muses that “this year’s been a long time coming.”
With their last release, That’s Bodhi, dating back to 2017, this new batch of songs marks a welcome reentry for the band. But Scattered Storms doesn’t feel overdue – it feels refreshing, like a day in the sun after months of constant downpour. The four-track EP sees Pablo Alvarez, the mastermind behind the project, at a new creative peak, his music more open and experimental than ever before.
In collaboration with Mauri Viladeugtt and Slightly Stoopid producer George Spits, the soundscape Alvarez creates on Scattered Storms combines light surf-rock with touches of ‘90s alternative and hints of punk. Mostly acoustic guitar compositions, the tracks take a more relaxed approach, but the EP isn’t devoid of explosive moments. Crashing percussion in “Black Garlic” and emphatic vocals on the tail-end of “Since I Left Miami” punctuate these instances, pulling the tracks from their seemingly settled grooves and adding a layer of nuance.
Scattered Storms is as much Sublime as it is Snoop Dogg, as much Incubus as it is Eminem. Though sonically rooted in rock, the lyrics flow like rap verses, weaving in and out of the instrumentals effortlessly. The triplet rhythm in the second verse of “Lunatic” is especially indicative of the hip-hop influences, and the emphasis on phrasing continually propels the verse’s momentum. “I’ve only got two seats, it’s kind of a nuisance, but long as I’m moving and lucid, I don’t feel so useless” feels like it’s tumbling down a hill, gradually picking up speed as it keeps moving forward.
The EP isn’t a typical project, but then again, nothing about Pablo Alvarez is. The Los Angeles-based artist was born in Bogota, Colombia, then immigrated to Miami before chasing his LA dreams. From learning English through endless Star Wars re-watches to taking odd jobs after his move to Los Angeles to holding a Guinness World Record (Longest Consecutive Rap at 26 straight hours of freestyling), Alvarez has always had an ear and an eye for the unconventional. It shows in all aspects of the EP, from the genre-bending compositions to the visualizer for “Can’t Predict The Weather.”
Scattered Storms is a testament to the power of patience. Following the release of That’s Bodhi, Alvarez came to a standstill with his music, but four years later, he arrives with a work that feels like the culmination of every Good Bison project thus far.
“After Good Bison’s last mixtape, That’s Bodhi, I felt lost. I didn’t know what direction I wanted to go in. I stopped writing lyrics for a while, and I couldn’t figure out what to do next. “Lunatic” and “Since I Left Miami” are the first songs I wrote on guitar. The chords are simple, but they came to me naturally, and I was able to convey emotion without using my words, something I had never done before. I didn’t even have to pick up a pen to write the lyrics because the words just came to me as I was playing. It was like those songs materialized out of thin air. I stopped being concerned with whether or not I was rapping, or what genre the music was supposed to be. The only thing that mattered to me was that I was being sincere. I remember when I performed “Since I Left Miami” acoustically for George, he told me this was the music I was meant to make. And that spark is what inspired me to make Scattered Storms. 4 songs. 10ish minutes. A whole lotta love,” Alvarez said.
Listen to Scattered Storms below!