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Solea | review | alternative | Lollipop

Solea

(Textbook)
by Tim Den

Let's get the facts out of the way first: Solea features members and ex-members of Texas Is The Reason, Samiam, Sense Field, Knapsack, and The New Rising Sons. Do these names matter? You bet your ass. Not only did some of these bands make some the most important underground music of the last 10 years, but their collective experience in songwriting/performance have gelled together seamlessly in this new band. Though it might be obvious to state that Solea sound just like the combination of the members' former outfits - guitarist/vocalist Garrett Klahn's distinct vocals over guitarist Sergie Loobkoff's bittersweet chord progressions - it's a fact to be celebrated, not shunned. Because what they've captured is the best of the rousing nature of their past works, rawking the daylights out of you with sweaty, touching, emotional outpouring.

Opener "Apotheke" is literally the best song that Texas Is The Reason and Samiam never wrote. The vocal melodies are so effortlessly catchy and affecting, you'd be hard pressed to deny its greatness even if you've outgrown your fondness for post-hardcore. "Where You Belong" takes a simple yet powerful refrain of "you are all that matters now" and continually shifts the key upward, sonically emphasizing a sentiment already bone-rattling in its melodic beauty. In fact, the only complaint I have is with Klahn's obsession with words that end in the sharp "a" sound (say, rain, away, today, etc.), which makes some of the vocal lines sometimes seem interchangeable. But for the most part, the guy makes you remember how Texas Is The Reason made you scream "your place is at the heart of my everything" outloud.

Having heard Solea's debut EP a few years back, I was uncertain what awaited me in this full-length. More mediocre indie rock/pop? Or boring rock revivalism a la The New Rising Sons? Thankfully, Solea have grown into their abilities quite well, giving us old timers an album to proudly display next to the old faves.
(www.textbookmusic.com)

 


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