Review: Somos, “Temple of Plenty”
Quick – What comes to mind when you hear the words debut album? Huge choruses, crazy infectious melodies, and a sound that most bands spend their entire careers trying to create, right? No? Well, Somos is here to change that with their upcoming Tiny Engines release, Temple of Plenty.
The record starts off with Familiar Theme, which does a fantastic job showing off all of the attributes of this record we just covered. The melody is playful and infectious, and you instantly become engaged by vocalist Michael Fiorentino’s unique vocals. The chorus of this song, much like the rest of the album, is almost instantly stuck in your head and will leave you effortlessly singing along. Next up is Domestic, and talk about a one two punch. The track starts with Fiorentino belting out “Why’d you have to act on your anger/add a story of hurt to your name” and once the instrumentals pick up, the song just comes at you with no remorse. Talk about praying on the defenseless. Those of you that haven’t heard the single yet –which you can do here– will easily be swept up in pure joy for the near three minutes this track lasts.
This track is followed by Dead Wrong, which has some of my favorite lyrics on this record in just the first 30 seconds. When I heard “Empire and a crown of thorn/Today you get two for one/and the rope around your neck we’ll call a halo when you’re gone” sang for the first time, I just about lost it. This song is yet another powerhouse single that Somos decided to release. It’s not that hard to see why either. With such a concise, catchy hook, they were bound to catch the ear of even the casual listener, making this yet another song that will instantly have you singing along.
Lives Of Others is next, and this is without a doubt my favorite track on the entire record. With music that is vaguely reminiscent of pop heavy acts like The 1975, that will have you moving at least a little bit on just its own merit, the track starts off incredibly smoothly. The hook is what really shines through on this track. The delivery is monstrous in the best way, taking off into new heights with everything picking up for “It started as a daydream and ended like a nightmare”, the excitement I feel when this happens each and every time is something I haven’t felt in a little while and I am so happy to feel that way about a piece of music again.
We’re then given When You Pass. With a backbeat that literally begs for the audience to clap along, another chorus that just soars, and a bridge that is sure to get a crowd going. Sing alongs and hand claps will be all too common with “I’ve been wondering/Is it true?/You get five years/then the rust sets” right back into that explosive chorus. I can already feel the energy this track is going to bring to live shows. Following this is Strangest Example, which has just as much movability and fun as the last track.
But then Lifeline starts, and it is one of the most unrelenting and driving songs on the whole record. This song will without a doubt become a live staple. The lyrics will most likely hit home for a lot of listeners, and the energy that I seem to have put my entire focus on will get kids moving…I mean, really moving. Up next is the third and final single released from Temple of Plenty, Distorted Vision. The beauty of this track is that it will definitely have your head bobbing and your toes tapping, and the lyrics are so biting that they almost take you off guard. Still, incredibly easy to see why this song would be a single. It’s hard to deny just how catchy the song really is.
The record closes with Before You Merge. Another song with such a clap-worthy backbeat, with instrumentals that just soar so effortlessly less than thirty seconds into the song. Showing off once again what Somos does best. Create tracks that sound so polished, so worked for, and doing so effortlessly. The only complaint I have about this song is that ends so abruptly. Before you know it, it’s over and you’re going back to Familiar Theme to start it over.
This is a record that is hard to label into one genre. In one breath I want to call it an emo record, in the next breath I want to say alternative, and in the following I want to say indie or pop. It’s the complexity that these tracks have to them that make trying to stick a genre onto the record so difficult. Which has beauty all on its own, as it very clearly can transcend genres, giving it a heck of a lot more mass appeal than some records have.
It’s safe to say that with the release of this record, Somos is going to be doing big things. There is an undeniable pop sound that will draw listeners in, and with a catalogue like this one, there is no reason for them not to stay. I cannot wait to see this band blow up. Mark my words, this is going to do big things for them.
You can also stream the record over at BrooklynVegan! Check that out here.