Solids – Else (2016)

else-ep-artworkSolids are an alt-rock duo from Canada, with an impressive following on social media, toured relentlessly throughout 2014/15 and are back with a new EP to release.

The four track EP, Else, released this month starts with the track ‘Blank Stare’; feedback and the sound of sticks together are the introduction. As soon as the other instruments come in, I can tell it has a soft grunge style. The guitar sounds as though it’s played through a cheap old beaten amp, very dirty. This reinforces that grunge style. The track itself is very soft and quite relaxed particularly towards the end. I think this is emphasised by the vocal, which is quite steady throughout.

The second track ‘Wait It Out’ is another quite chilled out song, I’m getting some 90’s flashbacks from the overall tone of the EP so far. There is a nice little guitar part just over 1 minute in, which gives a bit of a break from the continued dirty guitar if you can focus in on it. This song doesn’t really have all that much going on; it’s quite similar to the previous track and while there is a solid beat and tune, it is quite repetitive.

‘Blurs’ is the next song in and has a little bit more excitement to it, more complex drumming and much less of that dirty guitar which gives your ears a bit of a reprieve. This track definitely has more about it. There is a little bit of a pop-punk vibe to this one, which is where I think this new burst of energy has come from; however, I don’t feel the vocals are complimenting the new buoyancy, they remain steady and relatively monotone regardless of the harmonising. Just over half way through it drops into a break, but when it builds up but never really hits that satisfaction point, which is so infuriating!

‘Shine’ is the finale, and like the previous track you can sink your teeth into it, at the start. With a groovy bass line and upbeat drums it’s almost psychedelic but by the time you’re halfway through the song nothing has changed, there are a few more instruments but it’s all following the same pattern. The vocals again don’t match the feel of the instrumentation. The ending is just noise; I don’t feel there is any merit to it. It doesn’t add anything to the track, well except maybe some ambiguity.

I can get into parts of this EP and I love the post-grunge soft punk vibe that comes with it, but I don’t feel the whole thing. There are too many parts I’m unsure about, too many things that just don’t sit right. Aspects of this EP are great, the bass line in ‘Shine’ has an amazing groove to it, the guitar part in ‘Wait It Out’, the newfound life in ‘Blurs’. It’s just not there as a whole yet and therefore not for me.

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