Wonggoys – High Hello album review
By Dayna Duncan
Inevitably, when you think about really cool trios of brothers from the Philippines, with smooth vocals and super stylized lyrics, you think of the Wonggoys. Or you don’t…
…until now, anyways! Here you go!
Listen folks, as a child of a musical family, there’s nothing as good for the soul than a pack of musicians cut from the same cloth. Things simply mesh, harmonize, sound, vibe, and inevitably “go” together better. These three brothers, Kyle Wong, Gabriel Keith Wong, William Wong Jr. go together like Cebu and sunshine. Even their band name “Wonggoys” (a take on their own last name), sounds smooth!
What we have here is my take on their latest full album release entitled “High Hello,” and not only is the album artwork pretty stellar (interstellar…get what I did there), the songs are too. Overall, I’m impressed (obviously, by my intro) and I am always a sucker for good, chill, fun, and sometimes poignant indie rock. It’s hard to place this album in a distinct genre as I think they weave in and out of alternative, folky, indie, and even pop. It definitely has a flow, but also keeps you guessing and interested.
The first song, “Weekend” starts with some rock/orchestral hits and fun lyrics getting you excited for the weekend. (Obviously.) Once the second verse hits, the rock guitar starts and it evolves from there. Layered instrumentals and an easy-going chorus make for a decently entertaining song. Track 2, “On My Way” is a solid indie rock hit. “Gay Is Ok!” is the 3rd song and is a lovely anthem promoting LGBT rights and is a simple ballad and has a wonderful message against hate. “Never Let You Go” begins with piano, a nice change of pace from the album thus far. A tune about love lost and the “feels” that follow.
“Missy” is the 5th track on the album and the most interesting musically. More electronic and less rock guitar, it has a lot of fun and keeps things light. This is a good “dance at the rock show” song. (Grab the pretty girl. Go for it. I dare you.) This song also has some good octave vocals on the chorus as well as a really fun lyrical flow at the bridge. Track 6, “Patches” is a simple indie tune and is a break from the electronic while being more guitar-driven. Vocally, I really like “Never Too Late” (track 7) with more ethereal singing, awesome harmonies (again, nothing beats family harmonizing), and wonderful lyrics. The symphonic strings and piano, amidst the lovely vocals, makes for a soft and beautiful song.
And after that, “Blurt” hypes us back up again with a very electronic-driven pop sound. Like I mentioned, this album really doesn’t stick to the same mold and moves between genres with each new song. It’s a nice journey. The conclusion of the album, “Voices” starts with a booming drum hit, harmonies, and the pining for a pretty girl. It’s fun, rocky, and a decent finale to a very decent album. If you like listening to albums that aren’t the same song repeated over and over, then this one is for you. If you dig harmonies, pop-rock, indie rock, and heartfelt tunes then listen to “High Hello” by the Wonggoys! It’s a fun album, with fun dudes, a cool vibe, and a nice change of pace.