CD REVIEW   The Sounds

Band : The Sounds
Album title : Something To Die For
Label : SideOne Dummy Records
Distributor : Suburban
Release date : 29/03/2011!!!
Release : CD

What the f***!!??? Here I was, thinking the label had somehow made a mistake with the release date on this album, and therefore, having struggled myself through a pile of other releases with what I thought to be prior release dates, I set myself to collecting the info necessary to review this album. That I'd already put in a full 12-hour's day work when I started out doin' that, must've been the reason why I didn't quite notice at first, that this album was réally already a full year out on the streets! So, you might wonder, why do I bother after all? Well...this is truly a fantastic Electronics-driven Pop Rock album! One which deserves to be thrown into the heap that is my “Best Albums Of 2011”-lists, I assure you!

Not wanting to go through the Malmö-based Swedish band's history in detail (due to the review being so belated) I will give you the bare essentials. Founded in 1998 by classmates Maja Ivarsson (lead vocals), Félix Rodriguez (guitar), Jjohan Bengtsson (bass) and Fredrik Nilson (drums, would later take on the name of Fredrik Blond) in Helsingborg, and recruited Jesper Anderberg (keyboards, 2nd guitar) after having met him at the Hultsfred Festival. The line-up remained constant since. So far, the band has released one EP (2006's Live (EP)), 4 albums (2002's Living In America, 2006's Dying To Say This To You, 2009's Crossing The Rubicon, and Something To Die For) and a series of singles taken off the albums (12 in total, 3 of which off the last one).

Meaningful is the fact that Something To Die For has a sound infused with electronics, giving some of the tracks a powerful Dance feel. Actually, that is a first for the band, as their previous material was more in the vein of New Wave, Post-Punk revival, and Indie Rock which has drawn comparisons to the likes of Blondie, The Cars, the Epoxies, and Missing Persons. The somewhat radical change in sound has seen fans and critics in bias, one side against it, the other exhilarated by it. Personally, I am amongst the latter category, evidently! And what really makes it for me, is not the fact that the musicians play a wonderful blend of Pop Rock and electronics (which is already something to die for – no pun about the song or album), but in the first place the lush, slightly hoarse voice of the female singer. Any man not melting away at that has a twist in his mind, I tell ya! Or, of course, he's so intent on musical genres that he cannot appreciate things of beauty outside of his (single-minded) world!

The band has a MySpace and own website, so I guess that where you can find audio and even video material to enjoy. If hearing/ viewing that makes you wanna check up on the band's history, there's a page on 'em at Wikipedia which I can strongly recommend!

98/100

Tony.