Formed in 2014, the “beach blues” cruising, southern rock, party anthem sounds are what the Asbury Park band, The Soul Compound describes their music style as. Pulling influences from G. Love and Special Sauce Soul, Arctic Monkeys, The Black Keys, Kings of Leon and the bluesier tunes from the third Led Zeppelin album, The Soul Compound’s latest release Loose Ends was recorded in stereo at the Insidious Sound Studio in Neptune, New Jersey. In short, some fabulous old school sounds done up refreshingly well can be heard on this follow up to their 2015 debut Slow Play.
“Night Owl” starts things off with a catchy guitar melody and later a disco-esque beat in between the main groove and sing-a-long lyrics. My impression of the singer’s voice reminds me of a young Paul Rodgers. “Simple Man” begins with slide guitar distortion, shuffling beat and harmonica accompaniment – a genuine, toe-tapping kind of song just right for the dance floor. The bass guitar is clean and dry leading the way for the drums to follow suit on “The Stakeout.” The guitar is spacious with drawn out notes and also follows the bass in other parts in this all-instrumental groove.
“T. Rex” starts with a low down beat with an echoing guitar and funky bass playing off each other. This one is part psychedelic mixed up well with a fast beat midway through. “Doorman” has a nice, full sound with distorted vocals, harmonica and slide guitar – a great example of southern blues-rock. “Lonely Alone” sways like a slow dance and croons like a good old fashioned sad tune. I loved how “The Prowler” starts off with a creepy sounding bass and sinister chills from the guitar – did I mention I really loved this one? – Another fantastic instrumental in my opinion.
“Calling All Demons” feels like a good old party anthem/car cruising kind of tune that deserves to be cranked up – a very tight number. Of all the songs on Loose Ends, this one sure sounded like it had Led Zeppelin III influence. “First Instinct’s Right” starts with a brooding bass line and then a great swinging groove by the guitar and drums. This one seems well suited for those slow, sensual dances with your significant other. “Let Me Go” has tight drumbeats and jumpy guitar riffs within a swinging off beat.
“Hot Carl” has got a hot, live sound and catchy guitar rhythms – another fabulous instrumental from this trio, not to mention the shortest one. “Head High” really shows off the slide guitar chops well. Harmonica comes in shortly after along with drums after a couple of verses. This one has a good mix of positive lyrics and solid old school blues that was made for the open road. The last tune “Derailed” has a sound as if it was recorded live on stage and I’m guessing it was. It’s a stripped down song with just vocal, guitar and tambourine. Background voices can be heard as well, especially at the end.
If you’re interested in blues-infused and solid rock sounds that keep the spirit of rock and roll alive, The Soul Compound has what you’re aiming for.
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