The Sounds – Crossing The Rubicon
Release Date: June 2, 2009
Record Label: New Line
It’s always enjoyable to be the life of the party. You dance, you laugh, and you make sure everyone has a good time. But there comes a time when you need to stop the dancing. At least take a break from it. And that’s exactly the step The Sounds took on their third album, Crossing The Rubicon. While the Swedish quintet’s first two albums where very fast and energetic, straddling the line between indie rock and dance, their latest album slows it down a bit. Diving head first in a new wave sound with just a bit of dance, Rubicon boasts tantalizing guitar riffs amongst Maja Ivarsson’s peppy vocals.
First single and album opener, “No One Sleeps When I’m Awake,” is a sizzler. Guitar riffs from Felix Rodriguez soar while Ivarsson’s stark vocals command your attention. “4 Songs & A Fight” features piercing riffs and keys, and “My Lover” focuses on some thick tones in the vein of the electronic game “Simons Says.” It’s like a blast back to the 80’s dance floor, and Ivarsson is the star of the show.
“Dorchester Hotel” bleeds a vintage sound, paced by the steady drummer of Fredrik Nilsson. The chorus is absolutely huge, making this one of the highlights of the album. “Beatbox” busts out the funky grooves, while “Underground” brings a lot of attitude. The title track works as an interlude somewhat, as the tone lingers throughout. It’s hauntingly intimate, as the piano keys pluck in and out.
“The Only Ones” is a wonderfully constructed ballad, rising and crashing beautifully, as Rodriguez rips a nice riff near the outro. “Home Is Where Your Heat Is” reeks of cheesiness, but somehow works as the penultimate track to the instrumental closer, “Goodnight Freddy.”
Crossing The Rubicon showcases a focused and matured band; one that doesn’t have to rely on the dance trend to show off its musical chops. The Sounds have released an album that covers a variety of their influences. While the lyrics can come across as generic and dull, Ivarsson’s vocals more than make up for that. Crossing The Rubicon proves that The Sounds can still dance, only this time they’ve refined their moves.