By Katelyn Ankney
Montreal natives Solids are back with another contribution to their discography in the form of Else. This newest addition is a heavy, energetic collection of punk-esque jams is a solid layering of instrumental compositions and pleasingly monotonous vocals defining the EP, and the result is winning.
The journey begins with “Blank Stare.” The general tone is immediately reminiscent of Nirvana with the heavy guitar sound and unchanging vocals. Though there is an underlying optimism, this coupling of the gloomy grunginess and poppy foundation certainly works here and continues throughout the length of the album. What a solid introduction. “Wait It Out,” which served as the first single off of Else, starts off more stripped down and gradually eases into their trademark heaviness. With the addition of vocals, their sound becomes more robust, balancing out the layers of instrumentals. Though “Wait It Out” was the first pleasing taste we got off of the new album, it’s overshadowed by the remaining two tracks.
“Blurs” jumps right in with catchy drums and guitar, and the result is energetic and melodic. “Blurs” evokes a more pop-punk sound that sits nicely amongst the line-up. Around the halfway point we find a lull, which is cushioned with hypnotizing guitar strums and a slow buildup through the rest of the song. The final song, “Shine,” proves to be another energizing listen. The initial repetition of the instrumental melody works well, paired with an interesting drum sound. Almost two minutes in, we’re graced with familiar vocals, breaking the trance. There is almost a level of theatricality with “Shine,” evoking a 70s-era rock band vibe. The outro is trippy with a slow ascension up and out of the record.
As someone who was not at first overly familiar with Solids, Else was a great introduction to a talented band. Certainly, this will spur repeat listens, not only for me but most definitely for their inevitably growing fanbase.