18 January 2014

Sonic Boom Six - Sonic Boom Six

Back on the requests we go - as asked from Barry at Alternation I am looking at the 2012 on Xtra Mile, this is the band's fourth album.  After three albums on much smaller labels, they were now on the bigger end of the indie labels.  Formed in 2002 and starting out of the Manchester punk scene, Sonic Boom Six have been slowly but surely making waves up and down the country.  To be honest they were a name I had heard before I even listened to any of their music and this is the first album I have listened to.  This five piece released this album at the high of when dubstep was at the top of the fashion parade and it has a lot of those noises on it, not having anything to compare it to I don't know if this was part of their natural sound.  However, I am not here to look at their career; I am here to look at this album.

Starting with the political protest that is "For The Kids Of The Multicultural" the band are bring the protest record to a new generation by bemoaning the state of Cameron's Britain; so from the outset this band are getting brownie points from me as it is a subject close to my heart.  Mixing an old school punk sound with dubstep and crushing metal guitars make it a brilliant opening song. Following up is lead single of the album "Virus" which has a (and I apologise for this) sonic chorus hook which falls into a social statement reggae style verses.  The cooking pot mentality of the band is truly at the forefront of this record. It is another protest song, but it is such a fun track to listen to as well; protesting has not sounded so fun for years.

"Karma Is A Bitch" is just all out fun from the beginning, a ball of furry, energy and what a beautiful moment of all out lunacy.  It is a tale of the world biting you on your arse when you least expect it due to the things you have done in the past, all tied up in the sort of tune which I imagine will go down really well on a dance floor.  Following up is "S.O.S. (State Of Shock)" which brings the temp down slightly and up's the protest again.  But this is a retrospective protest which could have been wrote about the riots which effected the UK in the 2012, but it also looks at the growth of the Big Brother culture of cameras and staying in line (not the shite TV show).  Whilst not as much fun, still a good song none the less.  "Gary Got A Gun" is about song about the life of a modern solider and what happens to people these days.  Whilst it is the way of the world for people to want to support the troops, this song sings to my soul about my view of the troops - one line says "Of they are brave when you send them out to die", this is what I feel that the troops are being asked to do these days.  The band grow in my eyes immensely with this one song, honestly please listen to it.  It is not against the troops, but the policy and my word is it a powerful statement.

"The High Cost Of Living" is up with a dub/metal overtone that talks about the consumer culture that is the modern world (and the story of the western world since its conception if we are honest), and how it effects the rest of the world.  It is a Jekyll and Hyde moment at it has laid out moment which are full of protest, then the metal kicks in and it just works.  It is really surprising how good this album has been so far.  Afterward "Who Will Survive (And What Will Be Left)" comes on like the start of a Pendulum song and the protest is coming on strong and it is all about the state of the natural world, to be honest it is the weakest track on the album for me.  But with such big hooks and strong statements you cannot doubt the passion behind it.  Then we arrive at "Keep On Believing" which talks about the days of punks gone by, very retrospective and it comes across with a brilliant dose of nostalgia and a pop like sensibility that makes the world a sunny place it a way; it also advises to remember the good times as well, very good advice as not every day is a gray day and it is all about moving forward.

"Flatline" is again a song about the riots again, starting off with samples of new reports and a slow keyboard/guitar it soon hit the metal and goes for the jugular of what the problem is. Society being broken, mis-information and mis-direction; the band are going for it and the sense of fun whilst not being turned off (the music is too good for that), the mood is grime and dark, yet I love this song; it is almost the best track on the record.  Ending the album is the second song about karma called "Karma Is A Lady", with a slow beginning and a very ska movement that gives an alternative view about karma and how it can work in your favour if you let it, the energy might have left the album but this is right as the album has been a bouncing ball of social stand points and it still is on here, just calming everyone down.

When I was asked to listen to the album I must admit I was sceptical about its chances.  I was not expecting to like much of it as I am an old fart in someways, but I have to say it is one of the best protest records I have heard in a long while which does not resort to the traditional acoustic route. On my first listens before I looked at the lyrics in depth it was just a fun hybrid album, and then I looked deeper. The fact it still sounds fun and also have that eye on the state of the world just make it a much more special album.  The band is about to tour the UK again in 2014 and it will be interesting to see where they head to next; hopefully they will be keeping up the good work.  For those people who want to party and want to think as well.

8.5 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart

Top Track - Gary Got A Gun"

You can purchase the album on Amazon here

You can visit the Sonic Boom Six website here

You can listen to the album on Spotify here

Or if you’re a Deezer user you can use this link

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