Thursday 15 October 2015

Sofy Major - Waste (Album Review)

Release date: October 29th 2015. Label: Solar Flare Records. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Waste – Tracklisting

1. Waste
2. Wee See Fire
3. Turning Point
4. Slow Everywhere
5. Infinite Pill Case
6. Black And Table
7. Iron Butt
8. Devotion Man
9. As Happy As*
* Les Thugs cover

Band Members:

Mathieu : Drums
S├ębastien : Guitars
Mathieu : Bass & Vocals


Do you really enjoy the self-loathing, hate and anger filled lyrics and tone of sludge and noise rock but also really want to pump your fist like a jersey shore maniac chugging a PBR? Then boy, do I have a band for you. Sofy Major are everything you want in a sludgy, noise rock outfit with the added bonus of some of the most anthemic riffs and melodies the genre could ever hope for. Their newest album, WASTE, is one of the catchiest records of the year.

Opening with the sounds of snoring and what sounds like water, we're quickly woken up by dirty, driving, noisy harmonics in the title track, waste. Vocals kick in with the drums quite suddenly, and then that previously mentioned fist pumping begins. Seriously, I don't even like beer and this makes me want to pound one while screaming along with the chorus “YES I'M THE WASTE!”
There's enough power and hook in this track that I could easily see massive mainstream appeal, yet there's also so much noise and dissonance within the music that it never comes off as anything but genuine.

Continuing, Wee See Fire, doesn't let up from the momentum. Guitar lines punch the speakers with squeal and fervor, splendidly repetitious yet never feeling long winded or dumbed down. The one two punch of this song with the previous sinking hooks into you like a rabid dog would its fangs. I don't know why I am writing a full review, when really this could all just be summed with “SOFY MAJOR: RIFFS AND HOOKS AND RIFFS AND HOOKS” *note to the band: you're welcome for the sweet ass t-shirt I just gave you.

Sofy Major show their influences with Turning Point and Slow Everywhere, which would be at home opening up for The Melvins or Unsane in the early 90's. The main riff and focal point of Turning Point lumbers and heaves without relent until around the two minute mark, when it quickly clears out of the way for an oddly uplifting melodic break. Some nice harmony work and lead breaks rising towards a positive climax by songs end. Even the feedback gives a satisfied smile.

The main riff in Infinite Pill Case is straight out of a 70's muscle car in the desert, cruising fast and lean. The break around 1:48 clearly just a minor pit stop to allow for a quick catch of breath, with a staccato guitar lead swinging us back into gear, ramping us back up to speed and beyond quickly building to an intense car crash smash against a wall ending, followed by Black and Table's slow crawl to the hospital. The feedback that weaves throughout the track sounds like needles going into your skin. It's no less powerful or strong a track, but feels like waiting in the ER compared to the rest of the album, and while Iron Butt picks the pace of the record back up, it feels like it spends the entirety of the song building up to something that it never quite gets to.

Thankfully, Devotion Man brings us back on track. No fancy riffs here, nothing to complicated, just a solid rock song with a solid hook and chorus. This song feels like it could have been co-written by Stone Temple Pilots, and yes, that IS a good thing.

Closing out the album is As Happy As, whose opening moments build up to a dirty song that resembles if Depeche Mode went grunge. It's a weird choice for a closing number. Overall, I love this band. I really like this record, and want to like it even more than I do. There are very strong songs, and those songs are some of the best that have come out this year. There is also too many songs that feel like just filler tracks taking away from the overall success of the record. If they cut those tracks and released this album as an EP it would easily make my top 5 for album of the year. That said, this is still an extremely solid record and deserves a listen.

Words by Billy Myers III

Thanks to Mathieu at Solar Flare Records and Earsplit PR for the promo. Waste will be available from October 29th 2015 on CD/DD/Vinyl from Solar Flare Records.