The Sourheads – Care Plan For The Soul – REVIEW

The 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s are all famous decades of music. Modern music will always be indebted to these eras for influencing one obsessed musician and who in-turn influences another, and so on until that knock-on sequence shapes the artists we love today. These periods were star-studded and defined by the likes of Iggy Pop and The Stooges, Guns N’ Roses and Queens of the Stone Age. These are all of course heavy influences of Wakefield’s rejuvenated Rock N’ Rollers The Sourheads.

People well-versed with these eras may be able to pluck out these various influences on their debut album Care Plan For The Soul better than me. There’s a kinda ‘sleazy rock’ swagger-vibe to the vocals, a pelting punkiness to the verses, a fuzziness to the guitar which sounds straight out of the history books. There’s a fair bit going on but if I were to categorise this sound, I’d go for ‘Dad Rock’. It sounds like your old man has got the old band back together and they’re rehearsing in the garage.

Here’s the thing, The Sourheads: tambourines, whiskey singing, wah-wah pedals and the incessant amount of rock beat on this album are heralding and emblematic of another era altogether. It’s 2017 for crying out loud – very nearly 2018.

Nothing on this album attempts to bring some modern spark or injection to these older styles – that’s my biggest gripe. If you’d have taken this style and somehow fused it with something new, updated it in line with the digital market you’re catering to – yeah, I can get behind that. But you haven’t. You could have released this decades ago and nobody would have batted an eyelid (bar the obvious leap in technology). Nothing from opening track Demon made me want to listen to the following eight painfully long tracks – that’s an egregious, technical shortcoming in my view.

Anyway, I did persevere and so the album drones on, frustratingly, like an argument in an empty room, all this indeterminate rage really going nowhere from vocalist Jake Coxon. I’m not even going to try and separate the tracks because there’s very little making them distinguishable besides a sloppy off-beat in Secret Cigarette and a 12/8 time signature in Mad Dog – which also proffers an uncomfortable crescendo to the album. If I had to stretch myself to pick a favourite it would probably be Don’t Get Caught (I Am The Lotus) – like, it’s alright.

If you still love rocking out to music from 30 years ago: great, each to their own, this album is probably for you. I’m not saying there isn’t a niche for this: Christmas is coming up, maybe get it for your Dad’s glovebox collection. But if you like to keep on top of modern music, The Sourheads should be reserved for a Battle of the Bands tournament: [2/10]

 

Care Plan For The Soul is out now here.

Find them on their website, Facebook and Instagram.

 

The Bad Flowers – Self-Titled EP – Review

Cannock based Rock N Roll outfit The Bad Flowers released their newest EP The Bad Flowers on the 4th of November, With influences of from The Who, The Bad Flowers’ sound resembles the psychedelic rock n roll which was so prevalent in the 70’s but with it their own 21st century spin. With this self-titled EP the band are ready to prove themselves and break out from the underground scene they are in at the moment. Now without further ado lets break down the tracks that make up this latest release by The Bad Flowers.

First on this EP is the track Can You Feel It?. A track that perfectly summarizes the sound that The Bad Flowers seem to go for through the entirety of this EP, whilst it is very reminiscent of the influences the band has it still shows how they are trying to add their own spin. The tracks strong instrumentation is something that sticks out in the mind throughout the tracks run time and allows the band to open the EP with what is a good track giving a lot of promise for what is to follow.

The second track on the EP is the lead single City Lights, when this track first appeared it showed the potential this upcoming release had. With its catchy chorus and strong instrumentation it made this track look like it was going to be the strongest track on this entire release. However against the rest of the EP it appears the track is the opposite , and is somewhat the weakest track on this release, but by no means is that a bad thing as what made this track great when it first came out still make it a good track now it just seems to miss the connection like the rest do.

Big Country comes next with it’s overly groovy feel and really cements itself as a highlight on the EP as not only is this track one of the best vocal performances but also is somewhat the best instrumental performance the band produces on this record. Alongside that this is the time on the album where we truly get to see that 21st Century spin on the classic ideas presented by the band.

The final track of this EP is its strongest, Run, Run, Run overall truly shows the potential this band has for the future. With its clever guitar lick and well structured lay out the song exemplifies the band in a great light, and alongside the amazing vocal performance on this track it gives the place from the band to move on from after ending on such a high note.

Overall this EP does what it needed to do and that is to show not only what The Bad Flowers are capable of but to also show that the are a band to watch in the near future as although it isn’t going to happen on this Self-Titled The Bad Flowers have the potential to go quite far with their own re-imagining of Psychedelic Rock n Roll.