The new sound of The Sounds

Robert Checkal

Band is catchy, surprising and better than ever

Back for its third studio release, The Sounds spent the last few years touring while in a nasty battle with its former record label, New Line. The result of which was a clean break and full freedom to do what it wants creatively.

“Crossing the Rubicon” is the perfect progression from “Dying to Say This to You,” and it’s only appropriate that the album dwarfs the two albums released by New Line. Not because the other two albums were bad, however, but because “Crossing the Rubicon” is just that good.

1. “No One Sleeps When I’m Awake”

The latest single and first track on the CD from the Swedish rock quintet is an optimistic start to the album. An ambient electric riff presence mixed with light synth-loops and solid drum work creates a really fun atmosphere.

2. “4 Songs & A Fight”

Instantly catchy and poppy, the beat grabs your attention and doesn’t let go. Vocals kick in for a few verses and then an ambient guitar build-up to another astonishing guitar loop that keeps you hooked. This song is the right amount of edgy rock and a perfect cocktail of lyrics, guitar and drums. This is, without a doubt, the breakout song of the album.

Real Quick:

THE SOUNDS

Crossing The Rubicon

Released by: Original Signal

Release Date: June 2

Stater rating (out of five): ★★★★★

3. “My Lover”

A low-paced synth beat jumps in, very “Sounds-esque.” Then, all of a sudden, Ivarsson starts spitting rhymes like an emcee and slows it down for the chorus. The chorus starts off with “I know you wanna be my lover.” Right after the second chorus a completely synth bridge plays as a high energy pick-me-up and then a digitized voice starts in with perfectly timed “Oh’s.”

4. “Dorchester Hotel”

Nilsson’s high-paced drums and cymbals are in perfect rhythm with the bass. A small guitar line drops in, and Ivarsson starts singing. Then all of a sudden the song jumps into an up-tempo chorus. At this point, the surprises are endless, but pleasant all the same.

5. “Beatbox”

Ivarsson does kind of an 1980s-style rap for the verses, then starts the chorus by singing for everyone to “bring the beatbox back.” Anderberg turns up the synth and claps to enhance the tight drums. A guitar jam jumps in and an arena chant floods the speakers screaming “Yeah” in agreement to bring the beatbox back.

6. “Underground”

A call to go back to the way things were at 17, the band reminisces about the best of times in a methodically-mixed timing masterminded by the group. This song sounds very much like an upbeat Tegan and Sara cover.

7. “Crossing the Rubicon”

For sure the heaviest and most defiant track on the album, it has the most intense vocals, guitars and piano. In too short of a span, the song is over, but the deafening shrill of Rodriguez’s guitar will stick with you for days.

8. “Midnight Sun”

This track starts off with piano, shifts into synth and then a solid drum beat and vocals join in. The fast-paced instrumentals doesn’t match the slow-paced vocals until the chorus. But once the chorus begins, you know “Like a midnight sun/You’re the only one who can set me free” attaches itself to you like a feeling you’ve had before.

9. “Lost in Love”

This is the one track on the album that maintains a certain classic Sounds feel. You’ll recognize it in sort of the same vein as tracks from “Dying to Say This to You.”

10. “The Only Ones”

Anderberg flexes his piano skills, and Ivarsson flexes her vocals to an almost barebones intro verse for what seems to start out as a slow-paced ballad. It slowly picks up to a moderately-paced timing with an edgy guitar lining. Toward the middle of the song, the drums come in to create a faster tempo and a finale buildup with an all-out jam session. The song finishes up back to the barebones structure it came from to top off the rollercoaster ride of your life.

11. “Home Is Where Your Heart Is”

This song is all about the message: “Home is where your heart is/Find where you belong/Start to take control/Show a little soul/Then you feel who you are.”

12. “Goodnight Freddy”

This is an all-synth and piano lullaby wrapping up the most enthralling and surprising release from The Sounds to date.

Contact all reporter Robert Checkal at [email protected]