Itch Round 2 Album Cover
The cover for Itch’s alt-rock-funk album, ‘Round 2.’

Band: Itch; Members: Nina Budjinski: vocals; Dušan SimITCH (AKA Simon Dex): guitar; Vihor RistITCH (AKA Rust Cool): bass; and Filip StanišITCH (AKA Phil Grey): drums

Album: ‘Round 2’

The most groundbreaking musicians are usually those who have an innate ability for creating songs that uniquely utilize elements that have already proven to be successful, while also ambitiously striving to bring out new features. That’s certainly the case for the up-and-coming alt-rock band, Itch, which has recently released its nine-track funk sophomore album, ‘Round 2,’ after it unveiled its debut record in 2012. The new album from the Belgrade-based quartet is a stunning mix of many different styles, which is helping further establish the musicians as an original and creative force to be reckoned with across the globe.

‘Round 2’ begins with the funk-inspired entry, ‘Prison Disco,’ which immediately proves that singer Nina Budjinski’s powerful vocals and her captivating instrumentalists are worthy of being compared to such female led groups like Gwen Stefani and No Doubt. Itch’s frontwoman instantly showcases her penetrating voice, which is supported by a growling bassline and sharp percussion. The song’s overall alt-rock-inspired rhythm is also driven by gruff guitar riffs. The upbeat, ’90s ska-punk track, which serves as the record’s lead single, is captivating and gripping, as Budjinski fiercely proclaims that people should rebel against what they don’t agree with in life. She also encourages people not to let anyone hold them down, and pursue what they truly want in life.

‘Prison Disco’ then leads into the sophomore entry on the Serbian band’s latest album, ‘My Oh My,’ which is also the best tune on ‘Round 2.’ Driven by a funk groove and rhythmic beat, the song proves what a fantastic presence and talent Budjinski and her fellow musicians have while they’re performing. Also supported by pulsating alt-rock guitar riffs and drum beats, the vocalist alluringly croons about knowing that her relationship would end, in part because all of the fun they had together when they were younger is now over. As she reflects on the time they were together now, after the time they’ve apart apart, she contemplates how she’ll completely move on. The track continues the ’90s ska vibe that began in its predecessor, and when combined with the polished production value that rivals popular American bands, the tune has the potential to become an international commercial hit.

Another noteworthy entry on Itch’s new record is its fifth song, ‘ReRe.’ Featuring an uptempo beat, the track is powerfully motivational, as Budjinski encourages the quintet’s listeners to show people the kind of person they can be, and to not be frightened by closed minds. The energetic rock blend of the bass, guitar and drums helps make the tune electronic, which helps highlight the quintet’s vital message that people should embrace the differences inside themselves, and see what life can truly be like when they’re their true selves.

‘Round 2’ begins to wind down with its penultimate entry, ‘Yura,’ which intriguingly blends together enthralling heavy metal and vibrant industrial vocals and instrumentation into a memorable song. The track also features several nuanced harmonic shifts that hone in on the tension that people often contend with in their daily lives. udjinski also infuses the tune with a chilling cackle that revives the group’s pop-ska-hard rock beat. The dynamic anthem will surely be one that listeners remembers, as it also features energetic guitar riffs and gritty vocals.

Itch’s sophomore album comes to a close with its second single, the strong progressive-rock-inspired tune, ‘Mangata.’ The song effortlessly showcases the group’s dynamic and multi-faceted style, as it blends dazzling guitar riffs with Budjinski’s dazzling vocals. The vocalist croons about chasing the stars, in order to find one that shines bright to light her way. She also emphasizes the vital message that people should also stay away from the person that tampers their ability to move forward.

The most innovative musicians are usually those who have an instinctive passion for creating tunes that uniquely highlight elements that have already proven to be successful, while also ambitiously striving to bring out some new features. That’s certainly the case for the Itch and its recently released album, ‘Round 2.’ The new record from the quartet is a stunning mix of many different styles, which is helping further establish the musicians as an original and creative force to be reckoned with in the music industry.

For more information on Itch, visit the band’s official website, as well as its Bandcamp and Facebook pages.

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Itch's alt-rock-fun album, 'Round 2'
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By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

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