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7 out of 10
Quirky Yes-ism's, Muse's epic-pop sensibilities and the experimental explosion of Omar and his band of jamsters - this is Sound & Shape.
Is this the beginning of a New Wave Of Pop Prog Rock? The cows are finally coming home.bands are actually starting to actually "try" now. Unlike bands like Stiletto Formal who have photocopied Volta's bombastic sound and soaring vocal deliveries, but turning off the "Add Something New" button. Sound & Shape on the other hand manage to add a more accessible tone but still provide enough noodling and time changes to make it "The Love Electric" a rewarding listen.
Jerry Pentecost's Pridgen-style drum work and Ryan Caudle's noodly guitar and warm voice keep the beard stroker entertained and with tight musicianship like this they must be a great live band.
Opening with title track "The Love Electric" which starts with a rapid-fire introduction and changes themes several times never quite settling on a direction, giving the quick introduction as to what's about to happen. Concluding with a huge ending, it sounds like many weaker bands efforts at an "epic" song.and it's only the first track.
"The Space Between" is soaked in Dredg, but Ryan's voice is a little less "O.C." - but then it just stops.oh well. The beat and riff are wasted - one of those "could've been" songs.
"And The Clouds Begin To Part" starts off slow, but works its way up into an epic whirlwind of a crescendo. "And We Began As Two" is more hero worship - with saxophone solos and latin flavoured beats.
Sound & Shape have a great ability to craft exploratory music - but stop short, when they could jam out and leave us squares behind. The final track "The Solitary Journey" is where they really shine - this should be the blueprint for the next album. Constantly begging the listener for attention. 11 minutes of driving rhythms, drum solos, Santana/Rodrigeuz-Lopez guitar workouts, stadium sized guitar solos and ending in a "call and response" swordfight.
Plagiarism at its most innocent and well meant "The Love Electric" is one of those albums that when you listen to it you realise that at 28 minutes this is the first offering before something clicks, the comparisons stop and Sound & Shape become truly amazing - keep your ears to the ground for the Sound.. & Shape (ahem).
1. The Love Electric
2. The Space Between
3. And The Clouds Begin To Part
4. And We Began As Two
5. The Solitary Journey