Having caught those heavy boys Sounds Like A Storm live at Bingley Festival at the end of August (heavy in terms of guitars, drums, bass and vocals rather than in the classic way of the belly, I should stress) I was keen to catch their new music pending. The resultant EP The Classic Way Of Things offer 4 tracks of pleasing variety, and showcase what this tenaciously Northern (Leeds) band are about.
Sounds Like A Storm are no shrinking violets as their stage preference for big, bright curly hair, zebra print leggings and flowing shirts makes clear, and it was no surprise that opening track Closer would jump out at you from the speaker and threaten to plug a huge Frenchie down your throat.
The song has a huge uncompromising New Wave bubblegum air to it, and the swaggering sneer of lead vocalist Sennen Ludman has something of the feel of Billy Idol or Iceage’s Elias Bender Rønnenfelt. The vocals are not classical but they make you sit and listen, and I admire lads with well placed stage swagger. The lyrics of the track have a class simplicity to it; this girl might be bad news but I’m going to commit and see where the ride takes us. How many times in history are lads swept off their feet by a spiky confident woman? This is Mark Anthony and Cleopatra territory.
An exciting aspect to the song is that it shows how much is still in the tank for Sounds Like A Storm. Closer is refreshingly uncomplicated, the band perform well individually and together, and as the band continue to develop so many new avenues will open.
Second song Corker is also the second track to be released ahead of the EP earlier in the year. Corker has a nice homely Yorkshire feel to it; “our lass is a Corker”. The song itself doesn’t necessarily have a huge uniqueness for me in terms of tune, although its also no filler, but there are some really interesting lyrics –
“she’s getting under my skin, I’m always overthinking, she does it till her fingers bleed”.
I’m grateful to not have too much frantic excitement for my aging and abused heart, so I was pleased the third song of the EP Confessions is a soul wrenching ballad; it rather reminds me of a quiet track that Mick and Keef might have popped out last minute into a class album to change the tempo. This is a late evening, serious cigarette and pint type song and is about how lighter the soul feels if you share your troubles. I really hear this one brothers.
Again, in a few years, Sounds Like A Storm might be tempted to reshape the track, but I adore its slightly rough and ready edge; it adds so much to the vibe and is how it should be.
Title track and EP closer, Classic Way Of Things is an interesting track for its use of pace and phasing; there are both fast and slow elements and words that overhang the tune. Again it helps set the tone for Sounds Like A Storm and which shows this is a band with ambition. The song is current for me personally; its about our lack of creating connections and sharing emotion as more of us work online. I’m actually doing some work on this topic for my employer (a large public organisation). Without personal connections we will continue to treat each other horribly and ultimately feel unfulfilled with empty souls. I wonder what level of hell we are creating for our minds, despite the dizzying opportunities of IT.
I will freely admit it has taken a few plays of the Sounds Like A Storm EP for its simple wholesome goodness to flood out. The 4 tracks offer an interesting diversity, a scuddy hard edge, Zebra print leggings swagger and some thoughtful lyrics. Whats not to like about this band?