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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Want 'Something to Die For'? Keep looking

Thursday, March 24, 2011

For about two songs, The Sounds' "Something to Die For" had me.

The band was going for "a creation indicative of a particular sound, sans any outside influence."

While it can be argued whether this is even possible in pop music, The Sounds have certainly fallen short on their new album, set for release Tuesday on SideOneDummy Records.

The first two tracks are intriguing. "It's So Easy" brings the listener into the record gradually, building the sound for over a minute before the refrain of "It's so easy when you know how it's done. You've got to seize the moment before it's gone."

With the simple proverb, repeated over and over, serving as the only lyrics for the track the album seems headed in a nice direction.

"Dance With the Devil" keeps things going with another piece of dark, thumping, multi-layered techno. The two opening tracks give a delightful mix of rock aggression and pop sensibilities, even mixing in a simple, little acoustic guitar solo near the end of "Dance With the Devil."

With third track "The No No Song" -- unfortunately not an electronic cover of the Ringo Starr classic -- things begin to degenerate.

Musically, it's another strong number, but the lyrics and vocals are trite and somewhat annoying.

From there, the final seven songs have some strong moments, but it's mostly disappointing.

They regain their momentum briefly with the title track, another infectious hard charger, but the songs that surround it are pretty much filler.

"Wish You Were Here" (also not a cover Pink Floyd) closes the record insterestingly, with a simple guitar ballad. It's like the perfect lullaby after a night at the club.

My spin: C-

Maybe this critic just doesn't get Swedish New Wave (whatever that is), but something is lacking on "Something to Die For." The Sounds have a knack for arrangement, but the songwriting is inconsistent at best.

We are left with an album that has a few ups, a few more downs, and, ultimately, a feeling of wanting something more.