Soma High

Soma High are following up on ‘I Don’t Know Why’ with a new release that exposed an edgier side to their song writing. This release also exhibits a more experimental side to their sound.

The record kicks off with ‘The Search’, which is the one song that ties the sound to their previous efforts. The verse holds plenty back for as long as it can while the chorus lets absolutely everything go for a few storming bars, while a decent pumping bass line supplies the main hooks throughout.

With a bouncy British-retro sound, ‘Hanging On’ is a bit more punky and has a vocal that drools over the tinny guitars. A frantic ending sets things up nicely for the piano intro of ‘The Way We Are’, which may well be the best thing Soma High have ever put onto a CD. Some emotive vocals are accompanied by a mysterious throbbing bass sound while the piano floats around the mix like a thick fog, enveloping the ears in rich warm tones one moment and then clearing a little to let you see enough to lull you in to a false sense of security, before doing it all over again. The drums cement everything together rather subtly and show intelligent restraint when other instruments need to stand out.

Final track, ‘The Research Mix’, takes the title track to a dirty electronic level that is absolutely full of percussive spikes and jagged noise. The detuned sound of the guitars adds a sinister element to the chorus and the vocal does another good job of sliding over the top of it all.

The first two songs are fairly memorable rock numbers that are good enough for pleasant praise in their own right. However, its the second half of this record that harpoons your attention and drags it out of the safe waters of the rock pool to show you what might lie in the deep ocean.

Soma High have obviously had a well maintained supply of clever-juice when they made this record.

Smith
Stuart 'Saur' Smith was a prolific writer for The Mag throughout the magazine's lifetime. He combined a day job of temporary office jobs in London with a nightlife of trawling the capital's music venues looking for talent. As well as writing about music, he was a session musician who featured on a number of singles in the 90s. Today, Stuart is a Chief Writer for Phonotonal.