Cologne, Germany quartet Soda Frizzante brings us their debut EP Troubled Waters. The band, consisting of Louis (guitar/vocals), Lukas (bass), Jan (keys) and Theo (drums), developed the four tracks over repeated jam sessions. The result is a tight set of groovy soul tunes.
For the three vocal tunes (“Blurred,” “Troubled Waters” and “Free Myself”), the band uses a common recipe. Lukas’ moving bass and Theo’s in-the-pocket drums lock down a soul-inspired groove, while Louis drapes sparse, rhythmic guitar comping over the top. On the verses, Jan keeps it clean and simple on the keys, while filling out some higher spaces on the choruses with electronic, almost fizzy sounds, reminiscent of their band name. They use a verse/chorus/verse/chorus arrangement, then downshift to finish with a more urgent outro jam. Lukas’ vocals are smooth and understated, fitting the soul vibe.
That’s not to say that every song is the same; each has enough variation to keep your ears engaged. Jan twists the keyboard inputs a few different ways to dial in some cool tones. Louis’ guitar solos and falsetto on “Blurred” work well. Lukas works a little slap bass into “Troubled Waters.” Theo’s drums hit their most funky on “Free Myself,” as he adds in extra hi-hat taps to give a bit of sizzle to the hip-shaking timekeeping; if the track had a few bars of solo drums, rappers could sample it to freestyle over. The outro jam on “Troubled Waters” was the coolest of the three with some fun jazz-tinged chords and nicely effected guitar parts.
“Interlude,” a forty-second instrumental, is all Jan, layering away with the keyboards. He releases himself from the confines of the verse/chorus structure, and it hints at where Soda Frizzante could go next. For now, though, Troubled Waters is a fun spin for your old-school soul-jam needs.
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