Soma – New Life

SomaNew Life

Even if Soma pulled their name from the Strokes song off Is This It? while also hailing from New York, the band gains some reprieve for not sounding like another garage rock knock-off. Actually, the young group owes more to The Verve, New Order, The Cure, and Joy Division than to any fashionably un-fashionable “it” bands of the moment. Their debut EP, New Life, aims for a sound directly centered between the aforementioned influences and shows potential; but it also sounds na├»ve. It’s obvious that they need some experience and growth to sharpen their skills.

They say one of the faults of young writers is that they spell everything out boldly; the lack of subtlety questions the audience’s ability to read between the lines. Soma’s singer Skye Nicolas does the same on the EP’s four tracks, straining his voice to make evident the emotions he’s trying to convey. Instead, the band would be better served to hold back and let whatever message is being expressed unfold more slowly—the songs themselves are strong enough melodically, proving Soma has ability. The EP’s large, echoic production and brooding atmosphere put Soma ahead of the young pack of indie bands who don’t quite understand the nuances of recording, and the fact that the band recorded the EP mostly live with few overdubs makes the production even more impressive.

A proper full-length will give a better indication of what type of a band Soma really is. For now, they’ll get an incomplete, with an “A” for effort.

This EP is only available as a free mp3 download from insidesoma.com.

15 thoughts on “Soma – New Life”

  1. They might’ve taken their name off the Strokes song (it wouldn’t surprise me in the least), but it’s a Brave New World reference. Not hatin’, just fact checking.

  2. I would invite the reviewer to hear Soma’s first EP. A song like Samet, in which the subject slowly shifts attention from the strained relationship with his lover to the infinite power of the sea, is brilliant for its subtlety. The music over a four minute stretch adds layer upon layer and builds in crescendo, making me think I am snorkling off a tropical island paradise. I’ve been following them for a couple years now – the reviewer should come to a show and hear a broader range of what they do.

  3. Raw Power, it’s also “an intoxicating or hallucinogenic beverage, used as an offering to the Hindu gods and consumed by participants in Vedic ritual sacrifices.” –[url=http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=soma]American Heritage[/url]

  4. It’s also an acronym for South Of MArket (San Fran-specific). It’s also a song off Siamese Dream. But given the seeming druggy atmosphere of the music, I’d second Jake’s or raw power’s reference.

  5. They are way better than most bands today and i love how they sound different from most bands. and to people who think their name is from a stupid strokes song your an idiot!

  6. “The young group owes more to The Verve, New Order, The Cure, and Joy Division than to any fashionably un-fashionable ‘it’ bands of the moment.”

    In New York, the ‘it’ bands have been mining The Cure/Joy Division territory for months. Sounds like these guys are just the latest to jump on an overloaded bandwagon.

  7. Soma’s sound is beautiful and atmospherical. Chock full of emotion. I highly doubt that they got their name from a Stroke’s song as they have no reference in sound, image or style as the Strokes, would everyone agree? They are origianl (which is rare these days) and extremely talented. Songs like “Eutectic” which you may not have heard are rare genius. Pry your ears away from “what’s going on in music” and listen to something REAL… Listen to Soma.

  8. derek: months, yes. when did that rapture record come out? last fall? those guys are practically a cure cover band, and now all i seem to hear are rapture knockoffs. nyc has been steadily falling under the spell of this neo-post-punk thing since the time interpol broke. the stench has become rather oppressive.

  9. i have to agree with Pancho on this one, Derek. the stench is strong indeed. makes me wonder, Derek, are you from new york? do you listen to music much?

  10. I’m pretty sure that Derek was suggesting that New York City ‘it’ bands have been mining The Cure/Joy Division territory for years.

  11. months, years, the days all blend together and the point is simply that these influences are nothing new; in fact, they’ve become quite old. particularly over the last year. every time i go out now, i feel like i’ve been transported back to some eighties new wave dance party. maybe i should just enjoy it while it lasts; next thing i know, we’ll be in the midst of a hair-metal revival or neo-grunge or something.

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