‘What’s wrong’: A track-by-track review
September 20, 2022
On Sept. 2, 2022, online content creator Elliot Fullam released his debut album “What’s Wrong.” Taking inspiration from artists such as Mazzy Star, Elliot Smith, Alex G. and Duster, this record strives to bring exactly what fans of these artists are looking for.
The opening track, “Dolonia,” starts the album off with an immensely melancholic feeling, accompanied by acoustics reminiscent of those featured in the Brazilian metal band Sepultura’s album, “Bloody Roots.” The song gives a great introduction to the sound Fullam is aiming for, as well as setting the basis for what the rest of the album will sound like.
Going forth, the song “Half and Half” expands on the themes from the previous track. With airy chords and catchy lyrics, this song portrays a theme of inner conflict and personal image. The repeating lyrics “Covered in roses, covered in dirt” and “Good and bad is all I feel” portray the back-and-forth emotions Fullam felt while writing this song.
Next, in “You’ll See My Ghost,” Fullam switches the tone a little. Starting with electronics, the song then leads into acoustic guitar and drums. The acoustics on this song are less plucky than the previous two songs, attributing to the tonal change. Though the drums are not necessarily anything special, this is the first track to include them thus far. At this point, the album is really beginning to unravel itself to the listener.
Changing up the vocals, the song “Won’t Go My Way,” gives a simple yet refreshing vibe throughout. With soothing vocal harmonies as well as the song beginning and ending on a single-note hook, this simple song has a perfect and short delivery.
Through the proceeding track, “I’m So Happy,” with a riff seemingly inspired by the band, Duster, Fullam perfectly presents a darker sound than preceding songs. The addition of drums on this track really helps to give the song a feeling of fullness as compared to tracks without. Throughout the track, Fullam’s light vocals rival the darker riff adding a great dynamic as the song keeps building up throughout its runtime, making it a perfect listen for a rainy day.
Entering the halfway point of the album, “Going Alone,” brings a floating feeling similar to some previous tracks. With beautiful vocals accompanied by strings, this song is short, sweet and definitely one of the better songs off of the album.
Next, we explore “Blend Into Walls.” Starting with another darker instrumental, the hook is fairly simple. Towards the halfway point of the song, the vocals cut out and we are left with an amazing instrumental piece that slowly fades until the end of the song.
At the eighth track, we have finally made it to the album’s title track, “What’s Wrong.” This track picks up the pace with the drums and its catchy vocals. Towards the end, what sounds like a Glockenspiel is added, making this one of the more unique instrumental sections within the album. With a much more driven feeling than previous tracks and the most clever lyrics thus far, this song definitely delivers a great experience.
Continuing forward, we listen to the song “Shapeless.” Starting off with what sounds like the modulated sound of strumming the strings above a guitar’s nut: bringing a sound that is very reminiscent of wind chimes. The track has a very Kurt Cobain-esque feeling throughout, being somewhat similar to songs such as Nirvana’s “Something In The Way.” The track begins to fade out towards the end, giving an interesting isolating feeling.
The second to last track, “By The Train,” brings us back to the jangly finger-picking that prior songs such as “Dolonia” gave us. Being one of the more upbeat songs on the album, it is a great uplift from the previous track, “Shapeless.” Though the instrumental is somewhat basic compared to previous songs, the hard-hitting lyrics make up for it.
Finally reaching the closing track, “Cruel World,” we are met with another fuller-sounding acoustic. With a much more self-recorded and twangy sound, this track brings a unique dynamic as compared to what we have previously heard. Though this track is not bad, it does bring a somewhat lackluster conclusion to the album.
With this album gaining recognition across TikTok of all places, it lives up to the hype. Displaying an impressive range of emotions and amazing vocals by Fullam, “What’s Wrong” is a great listen. Being Fullam’s debut album as well as being recorded in his bedroom I was surprised by how well the album was mixed. If you are a fan of indie, slowcore or are just looking for something new this album is a definite must-listen.
“What’s Wrong” is now streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp and more. For more content from Elliot Fullam check out his Youtube channel, Little Punk People.
Malaki (he/they) is a second-year Communication student here at UTSA. He’s originally from Nevada but has lived in the Austin area for most of his life….
Riley Carroll (she/her) is a class of 2025 communication major from Houston, Texas interested in pursuing copywriting, reporting and concert photography….
Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio
Your email address will not be published.