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Socratic - Just Turn EP Album Cover

Socratic - Just Turn EP

Reviewed by
8.1
SocraticJust Turn EP
Record Label - Drive Thru Records
Release Date - December 5th, 2006

I wouldn’t call Socratic’s previous piano-pounding pop a graceful composite, not like their newest attempt, Just Turn. Free for download, it’s a dainty 5-song wrap-up of the band’s cute but insightful pessimism. You’d think, following the muted drums, piano melodies, and adorable whimpers of vocalist Duane Okun, Just Turn would only sport heartbreak and other such fluff. You wouldn’t expect to hear Okun croon odd bits like The next living thing was a pigeon/Sitting, shitting on the heads walking by/What the fuck? (“Blend In”). I dig this paradox, and sometimes Socratic is even a bit loopy (see “Turn”), which I enjoy even more. Here are these happy-go-very-lucky arrangements and Okun has no qualms dropping four letter words like they are flowers and candy, behind-the-back attacks on Hallmark conventionalism. His vocals - timid and wide-eyed – are throaty whimpers, yet relaxed and convincing in their messages.

These keys are lighter, lead with conviction, and are very worthy of their place. A couple factory-made twang riffs on “Turn” and “Blend In” pickup right after The Early November’s recent triple disk, but it’s still well placed. Just Turn is laidback and lightheaded. Simple but layered, slicing but ethereal, the instrumentation and production create bigger metaphors without being attention whores. I am reminded of bands like The Format and The Early November, where kooky, almost nerdy pop-punk teeters with it’s cooler cousin, Indie Rock.

Ultimately, Socratic’s youthful philosophies are farther along than I would have expected, but I’m struggling with a couple things, one of which is pretty significant – lasting power. It is a toughie because I’d like for Socratic to really own my ears, but I get a bit nervous at the idea of a full-length. Yeah, it’s fun but fun without some risk can turn stale - and fast. Structurally, Socratic is too routine in contrast to their aloofness, and the same goes with Okun’s vocal patterning and rhythm. There are only a few notches left before Socratic gets in my brain and steals my indie pop ideologies, and this can easily be done with a rehash of the Ted Leo discography. Just Turn is already a fantastic cuddler; let’s get to second base.

RIYLThe Format, The Early November, Ted Leo
AP Profilehttp://www.absolutepunk.net/socratic
Myspacehttp://www.myspace.com/socratic
Download Just Turnhttp://www.purevolume.com/socratic
This review is a user submitted review from Julia Conny. You can see all of Julia Conny's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 59
11:05 PM on 01/09/07
#2
thatwasamoment
RICH GANNON WAR WAGON
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definitely a good cd to chill to.

it being free also helps.
09:55 AM on 01/10/07
#3
elscorchette
current addiction: rock band
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yeah, i'm so glad i downloaded this :)
11:04 AM on 01/10/07
#4
NJUNDERDOG
I HAVE RECORDS FOR SALE, PM ME
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these guys deserve alot more attention and credit. so many people overlook them, its a shame.
11:17 AM on 01/10/07
#5
shaki324
likes songs with clapping
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that was an amazingly insightful review. thank you! that was actually really interesting to read [unlike most]. i think you hit the nail on the head. great job.
11:21 AM on 01/10/07
#6
IAmAmazing
I want to beLIEve
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I'm going to see them on sunday, cant wait!
11:22 AM on 01/10/07
#7
Blake Solomon
Leave a one-way note.
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i have to disagree with you on this one, i dont think this release is very good. I must be missing all these smart philosophies and quarky phrases because the music is sub-par. Still, if I hadnt heard this, you would have made me want to check it out. Well done.
11:23 AM on 01/10/07
#8
Throwback
The Swordsman
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I loved Lunch for the Sky and I love this as well. This band gives me high hopes.
11:35 AM on 01/10/07
#9
bankrom
breakin' up.
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good review.
i'm interested to see where the next full length goes.
11:37 AM on 01/10/07
Snails
see the benefits.
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Great review Julia. I really dig this EP.
12:21 PM on 01/10/07
I was Brad
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real good ep
12:27 PM on 01/10/07
Branevember31
Eric
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good ep...i like it a lot
12:29 PM on 01/10/07
permanentdan
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sweet review. though i liked your last few lines though the most.

its "a fantastic cuddler; lets get to second base." haha its that kind of wit that makes your reviews stick out in peoples mind. i can really appreciate your style of writing like that :)
12:31 PM on 01/10/07
Julia Conny
"Julia HurriConny"
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definitely a good cd to chill to.

it being free also helps.

Some definite stoner pop we've got here.
12:53 PM on 01/10/07
Julia Conny
"Julia HurriConny"
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i have to disagree with you on this one, i dont think this release is very good. I must be missing all these smart philosophies and quarky phrases because the music is sub-par. Still, if I hadnt heard this, you would have made me want to check it out. Well done.

Thanks.

I'm not normally a lyrics person, but there were some lines that i couldn't resist, like I wanted something sweet, then we be just a treat/But I don't eat humans on "Turn." Stuff like that sold me, but they could definitely step up their arrangements.

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