Shout Out Louds/Work [Bonus Tracks]

Work is the third studio release from the ever evolving Indie Rock Band Shout Out Louds. The band, hailing from Stockholm Sweden released Work in the US in February 2010.

1999—-As stated in my brief introduction, this band is always evolving and manages to sound different on every release. Where there have been many Robert Smith impressions in the past, they have been replaced by a light and airy vocal that hearkens to folky sounds of the 60’s. This is so damn pleasant, you will be hooked from the first listen. Mid song, the tempo and delivery becomes more electric, but overall this song leaves you feeling remarkably happy.

Fall Hard—-Returning to a musical delivery and vocal that reminds you again of Smith & Co., I am in love with this band all over again. Even the tale will take you back to the mope years of 1987 when everything in life seemed sour and terrible. The gentle drumming on the track sets the entire mood for me…the gentle guitars are allowed to become electric for short bursts that die with a magical ebb and flow. The voices are perfect together as always and the sentiment is one of slight pain and mellow unhappiness. This is fantastic!

Play The Game—-The music begins sedate…the voice just as much. There are gentle swelling strings..but the drums again lead the song. When the jangly guitar enters the fray, you rev up for a New Order style song that never occurs…this is not a bad thing. The sedation that the vocal leads your mind into is hard to shake,,,,I sit and daydream to the pleasant and soothing sounds of heartbreak and unhappiness. This is better than fantastic!

Walls—-Taking on a different persona all together, this song is not a favorite of mine…even though it has been the first release for this outing. Too me, there is way better stuff on this release. I don’t mind the great guitar on this song…the keyboards give the song a sometimes blues tinge and the vocal is utterly predictable and normal. This is nice, but there is more to come guys!!

The Candle Burned Out—-Coming at you as a low hum, the kick drum and the far off guitars create a landscape of utter desolation. Literally Brilliant!!! This is moody, complex and so well-played that you forget even who the band is as you lose yourself in the music. The vocals enter and you are amazed at the gentle and delicate delivery. The emotions that come from this guy are immense yet subtle and natural. This is wonderfully delivered, fantastic conceptually and a masterpiece in the world according to ME!

Throwing Stones—-Again delivering a landscape that makes me think of the folky 60’s, the song is mellow and relaxed. The guitars evolve into that quaint jangly sound of Britain in the late 80’s, but the vocal is laden with a hippy flair you can’t escape. Wow!

Four By Four—-Brought alive again by the drum lead, the song allows for a nice piano and keyboard line that gives the song added texture. This is nice and at times makes you think it may evolve into a sonic sound…then the vocal enters and delivers a line that is so relaxed and mellow, you want noting to break out…it does’nt and the song progresses in somewhat familiar fashion. This is not groundbreaking, but it is consistent and damn pleasant.

Paper Moon—-If you have nights like I do, when the mind nor the body will settle and the racing of thoughts chase sleep away, pop in this release and you will find yourself comfortably floating above those things that trouble you. This release is so consistent, I might get a whole night of sleep out of it. This is wonderful…not a CD for everyday listening…well maybe at first…but something to be revisited like the treasure it is.

Show Me Something New—-Reportedly, the second single from this release, you will find that the mood is much lighter and the guitar delivery again reminds you of that familiar New Order/Cure sound that defined our adolescence. This is wonderfully layered…synth lines that are understated…a poppy drum and a jangly guitar that shines like the sun on a cold Swedish morning. This is fantastic. Lots of energy, but still keeping the mood.

Too Late Too Slow—-Closing out the proper release, this track sounds as if it could be the first. At this point, it is amazing that the release is still as appealing as it is. This is rather consistent, but consistency is sometimes required. This is gentle, breezy and not all together happy. The drums are understated and the keyboards supply a steady stream od emotion. This is remarkable. Bravo!!!

Bonus Tracks:

Show Me Something New [Demo]—-This demo version comes across as even more electronic than the final version. The handclaps [natural or machine-made] become annoying after a spell and the final cut is much more remarkable than this is. I love how bands will allow us just a tad bit of the creative process through cuts like this. I really love the voice, delivered with a slight echo and an even heavier Smith sound. Remarkable.

Walls [Fontaine Rework]—-Heavily layered and much more electronic in sound, this comes off as a weak MGMT musically. I’m not immediately impressed….all of the robot sounds and beefed up beats are not what this band is about for me. I much prefer the gentle stripped and emotional aspect of the songwriting and playing. This is ok, but it just does not go anywhere for me.

****3/4 out of 5


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