Of late it seems that any music that has really caught my imagination and got me all excited (in the way that only good new music can) has tended to have been shipped across from America or Canada. Seemingly most of the new British Made bands rising to the top seem to follow the same unremarkable formula. However, happen as it gives me great pleasure to say that this sterling album from Soe’za has only been and gone and been made by a large bunch of fertile minded people from the South West of England.
Judging by their stats the band get two thumbs up from me: 7 or 8 people (since seeing Broken Social Scene live again I’m convinced that more is more), two drummers (name me a bad band who has two drummers), a pleasant blend of his’n’her vocals (harmonious), a cello (hello), the usual bass and guitars (check), and – best of all – a French Horn that rounds the sound marvellously (nice brass).
The album has a vital and urgent intensity throughout (shown best on ‘Don’t Bother Coming Home’) which is nicely balanced by a couple of warming instrumentals with the French Horn taking centre stage. They’ve been compared to Fugazi and Deerhoof, but if that means nothing to you then what you’re looking at / listening to is, simply put, your Alternative-Art-Rock-Improv-Noisy-Punk-Indie-Post-Hardcore genre. Which sounds a lot better than it reads.
Now then, I’ll admit that I don’t always pay close attention to lyrics (I can easily like a great tune with poor lyrics, but great lyrics over a rubbish tune might well pass me by), but some of the pleasantly odd rants and rambles did stand out here. Such as on ‘Any Road’: “Peering through the glass / there is an old dear / scrutinising the cream cakes / how long will they last?”. Sadly they never reveal the sell by date, but happily there are several more moments of bizarre lyrics which, with the occasional hint of that West Country lilt, they ably pull it off where others might not.
7 Obstacles confirms that brass is underrated and underused and that there are some really interesting British bands out there drawing up their own musical blueprints. All told, happen as I think this album is tip-top and one of the most interesting I’ve heard for some time.