Listening to Somos and how they have changed up their sound over the years has been fascinating for someone who’s only recently discovered them. With their new album ‘Prison on a Hill’, you’ll find a synth-laden rock album for the everyday human.
For those also new to Somos, the band create driving rock anthems that often have lyrics that chime in about the ingrained systems of the world. Combined its a potent force and with this album the move to include gritty synth layers with the guitars uplifts the message. ‘The Granite Face’ and ‘Farewell to Exile’ open the album with radio hits in waiting. Both have big drums, big hooks, power chords and soaring vocals. It turns what is a depressing message to one of acknowledgement and potential empowerment.
It is difficult to pick out standouts as each track has its own variant of this vibe. ‘Untraceable Past’ is three minutes of hook rock hedonism whereas ‘Mediterranean’ captures symphonic 80’s pop-rock perfectly. ‘Absent and Lost’ then pushes towards punk edges but with a synth-rock twist. ‘Ammunition’ allows the bass to take over with quickfire chord changes and catchy Offspring-like bounces. ‘My Way To You’ is the albums token ballad across the twelve tracks. Somos infuses every track with energy though and that makes the two final tracks ‘New Blood’ and ‘Dreamless’ in particular stand out.
One of the unsung things about ‘Prison on a Hill’ will be the production. The way how the guitars and synths merge together is critical to albums drive. Sometimes it is difficult to know where the keyboards end and the guitars start – and vice versa. Often everything comes together, backed by huge drums and Americana vocals, to just power-blast the message through. It’s moreish and very singable at high volume!
Somos has really caught my ear and my mind with their power charged rock. It is anthemic. Arousing – a call to arms at times too. I really connected with how the lyrics called at looking at wider systems for change rather than going for the obvious ‘urgh this sucks’ approach. Thinkers lyrics and spontaneous riffs – Somos has found a fantastic potion.
Recommended track: New Blood
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