REVIEW: Total Makeover - Total Makeover

Will Shenton

Ladies and gentlemen, Noah Stitelman is back.

The king of goofball synthpop and former Neighbors frontman, along with Brian Harney, Julie Noyce, and Sam Hendricks, is up on the proverbial horse again with his newest project, Total Makeover. The band's debut takes Stitelman's signature vibe to darker places, generally presenting a more dynamic sound than his previous work—and that's saying something.

The self-titled EP ranges from recognizable pop tracks like "Different Shapes" and "Self Destructive" to the simmering bummer that is "New England Highway," and the opener, "Girls With Boyfriends," even makes its way into punchy, almost pop-punk territory. But despite all this jumping around, the album manages to feel surprisingly cohesive.

It's fun to finally hear how Stitelman works in a group. When we interviewed him last year, he admitted that Neighbors was more or less a solo project largely because he didn't "play well with others," but he clearly seems to have found some people who mesh well with his sound and push him out of his comfort zone. This more passionate, cathartic style is a welcome tonal shift, and I'm excited to see where Total Makeover goes from here.