This is a review of "Erectronic" recorded by Soberskin. The review was written by Sam Saunders in 2003.
Identity is a vital thing in popular music. What you sound like is never as important as how the audience relate to your personality. But what you sound like does need to have something recognisably yours, and it needs to be matched in everything else you do. This is a problem with Soberskin.
They make well-played Blue Juice Various Artists style tracks with funky tempos and a lite jazz feel. They even venture towards the funky tabla end of things on "Praying for the Rain". The CD itself (inexplicably called "Erectronic") carries a neat picture logo but the jewel case art work has three different additional visual approaches (and a stupid joke) and the band name itself is presented in different styles. All a bit muddled and confusing.
The Web address doesn't work and the CD itself seems to have been issued in 2001. So I'm struggling to pin it all down. Here goes.
"Energy" is 3 minutes 37 with a hyper hyper one bar funk bass phrase that locks in tight from one end to the other. The words "Voodoo Doll" make unwelcome appearances from time to time and there's some (blush) sub-Isaac Hayes wah wah guitar towards the end. It's tight and good in a technical sense, but if you were bored by Mark King and Level 42, this is not going to improve your life.
"Praying For the Rain" has inventive quality. Vocals are rich and bluesy. Tempo has a loose funk that sounds convincing. There's a good and hooky horns phrase that would have been great on horns but which sounds a bit cheesy as a cut and paste synth part. There's some Doctor Who pitch bending on the black notes of some kind of Casio machine as well.
"Anaesthetic" comes in like Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark or Human League. The tune is not half bad. The famous words "Seems I'll never leave this town" make yet another outing. For Christ's sake, why don't songwriters get issued with electrodes to give 'em a belt whenever they feel a cliché coming on? Best song on the CD, flawed but redeemable.