Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Aloud: The Sooner it Comes

Casey Dorrell

Do you remember that local band that everyone loved? Their live shows were awesome, even those rare times you saw them sober. Yet, they could never quite capture that energy on disc. Everyone swore the band were sure to be really big some day soon. They even released a few EPs locally to some quiet acclaim and subdued critical praise on the peripheries of the national scene. If only they hadn't broken up . . .



Aloud are that band. Except they haven't broken up yet. And, unlike that local band, Aloud know how to market themselves. The Boston locals first release, a 2004 6-song EP titled, "The Sooner it Comes" was self-released by the band, they tour extensively, and, perhaps after witnessing the fortunes of bands like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and the Arctic Monkeys, Aloud, like many other independent bands, are currently promoting themselves through music blogs, sending out their EP for reviews.

The Sooner it Comes has been described as "full of smart lyrics," while the band itself has been praised as "really magical" and "excellent" by different publications. Still, much of the praise they've received rests on their "future", "potential", and "promise". All of which they likely have, but I can't recommend the band solely based on the possibility of future excellence.

Coming off a strong hook-heavy guitar opener, Cup of Tea, the first song on The Sooner it Comes, disappoints as soon as the vocals start. The same can be said for the following five songs. It sounds vaguely like something you'd hear in a pub, or on a local TV telethon. It's not that it's bad, it's just not all that interesting. The shared male-female vocals of Jed de la Osa and Henry Bequiristain are neither eccentric nor melodic enough to stand out from any number of independent releases. The hook-laden dual-guitar and bass songs feel at odds with the "pretty" vocals that accompany them. For that matter, the vocalization itself sounds internally at odds; sweet voices mimicing loud edgy singing. One gets the impression that Aloud could be a great minimalist indie-pop group, but they've built their reputation on being a cross-over hard but harmonious band.

Aloud may yet become a band worth getting excited over, they certainly have the collective talent to do something exceptional. But The Sooner it Comes shows only vague potential, none of it fulfilled. If their EP were a manifesto it would likely read, "So we don't sound that great, but we've got potential". The band has apparently already recorded their first full-length and are looking for a label to release it. Maybe it will showcase what the band seems capable of.

Aloud are doubtlessly extremely skilled and competent. The problem is, so are countless other indie bands, and when you're fighting for buzz (blogger or otherwise), you've got to be more than exceptionally competent.

Band Website
Myspace

Download:
Aloud - (Hey Now) What's it to You?
Aloud - Don't Trust the Radio

Comments on "Aloud: The Sooner it Comes"

 

Blogger kalliope said ... (8/2/06 10:57 am) : 

First of all i have to say that after i got the link from a friend today i flew over the site and archives until march 2005 and: i absolutely love this site. Yes i do. :)

About Aloud: I have listened to the given songs and i am not really sure about it. The stanzas do not really show a great variety (each line repeats the melody for the most parts), but the refrains and bridges tell me they're great. Humm humm humm... gotta listen to them a few more times.

Aside from that: ever heard of Spiraling?

 

Blogger Casey Dorrell said ... (8/2/06 11:42 am) : 

Thanks, really - it's always great to have a new reader, especially a vocal one.

I'd never heard of spiraling - they seem interesting from their myspace though. I'll check 'em out once I get on a computer with audio later today.

 

Blogger kalliope said ... (8/2/06 11:52 am) : 

well, they're a fun bunch of peeps ;) unfortunately "only" friends though, i myself gave up my music projects a few months ago due to university studies *bah*

Oh, and one more thing: I just became a "fan" of The Like Young. Yes. Because of you. :)

 

Blogger kalliope said ... (8/2/06 12:43 pm) : 

I cant really edit my last comment, so i just have to post a new one, because i forgt one thing (for when you get back to your audio-computer):
Emiliana Torrini. Amazing icelandic music... i posted a link to the video of "sunny road" a little while ago on my blog, but here is it again:

http://www.sanctuarynewmedia.com/roughtrade/torrini_ws_hi.wmv

but watch out: very heartwarming stuff ;)

 

Blogger Calum Marsh said ... (8/2/06 2:36 pm) : 

A lot of my friends are raving about this Torrini character, and though I've only heard one or two tracks, I wasn't overwhelmed. It's nice, though; reasonably pretty and all. Maybe I'll give it another chance.

 

Blogger kalliope said ... (8/2/06 2:47 pm) : 

well, i wouldnt really say it is something to have a party with. but - also being a skateboarder - this song makes very well for cruising around long roads on sunny days, be it on the skateboard or on the train or in a car...

just as well as "359" by pondrock (www.pondrock.com), especially as i still prefer 359 to sunny roads in stylistic means.

btw: if i shall shut up, just tell me. I'm simply very very interested in music :)

 

Blogger Casey Dorrell said ... (8/2/06 3:53 pm) : 

I have the mp3 of sunny road - it's made it on to several mix CDs.

Actually, another sometimes contributor, mel, was thinking of doing a review or profile of her a few weeks back.

 

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