Album: Self Titled
By: John Verburg
I must confess, I received local band Soundmeetsound’s album in my mail quite some time ago, and having misplaced it, I didn’t get to it as soon as I would have liked. Apologies to the group. Their self titled debut album was released at the end of October in 2013, and while I had difficulty finding a website for the band, it appears the four piece band is based out of Grand Rapids. Among the information I came across about the band, was that they played with a much respected Minnesota band called Howler at Mulligans. That’s not bad company to keep, so I was excited to dive into the album.
“Soundmeetsound” is an eight track album that I would file under the experimental rock category. It’s hard to pinpoint a genre on these guys, but ultimately, it’s just good ole fashioned rock n’ roll. Upon listening to first track on the album ‘Old Man’, one can easily imagine putting the album on during a late night/early morning drive to clear your head. The opener starts off sparsely, creating a bit of tension through the vocals of Jesse Kaczmarczyk against the budding heaviness of the Bradley Armstrong led guitars. Tension and songs that build momentum are a theme throughout the album.
Second track, and probably my favorite, ‘Be Afraid’ is a track that The Doors likely would’ve been proud to write, “Are you numb to pain…have you seen so much that you can’t relate…” are just some of the lyrics on the track that are delivered in Jim Morrison like fashion. Third track, ‘It’s All Your Fault’ is an ode to Radiohead in that it is a slow build to a freneticism that appears about halfway through the song. Other highlights include epic nine minute song ‘The Dying Earth’ and ‘I’m A Zombie’ which employs some of the fuzziest guitars on the album.
Overall, Soundmeetsound’s debut effort is a strong one. At some point, I think I would like to see the band live, to get a better feel for the type of energy/vibe they are trying to produce. While the band is good at creating tension, and a good bit of atmosphere with it’s guitar arrangements against the somewhat subdued vocals, I would like to see the transition into their heavier moments have a little more fervor to them. That certainly could just be personal taste or just the mix/production of the album, but there’s a potential I see in these songs to make people say “Holy Shit!” that isn’t always there.
Regardless, keep up the good work gentlemen, I look forward to hearing more from you in the future.