Psychedelic soul is something we can get behind, and Something Like A Monument are doing it just the way we like it.
The Philadelphia foursome is a force to be reckoned with thanks to their latest release, Silhouettes. The five track EP is their first output since 2014, and while it's been a long time coming, those years having given S.L.A.M. something to brag about - an EP that not only shows off their mind numbingly incredible talent, but also proves that some things do get better with age. Two years, three recording studios, and ten tracks later, Silhouettes is the first of two five-track EPs the band has planned for the next year, and gosh darn it, we are excited.
Check out the tracklist below to follow along!
1. Crimson Smoke
2. Tree of Doubt
4. Hours Believe
5. The Fawn
I have been complaining for a little while now that often bands who tout such a heavy and vintage genre like 'psychedelic' often have a habit of falling into a space that can feel overused or tired. Something Like A Monument have avoided this by incorporating the fundamentals of soul and psychedelic in their instrumental rhythm and melody, while their lyricism and vocal performance often hinges on a more new age indie rock - and this feels exciting in Silhouettes.
Just imagine Brendon Urie sang for Queens of the Stone Age and you've got S.L.A.M.
Opening track "Crimson Smoke" persuades the listener into the EP with the familiar vibration, the echoing voice of singer Jamie Shemanski. The twanging guitar, distorted and fuzzy from Jeff Lucci, while the constant nature of the bass, thanks to Don Custer, keeps time. The heaviness of the drums feels like the perfect amount of edge fueled by Josh Aptner. This track is only the gateway into the spiraling trip that Silhouettes makes.
"Tree Of Doubt" hits a bit heavier, flexing on "Crimson Smoke" with a vigor and prowess that pushes the EP forward. This track is one of my favorites, the culmination of sound makes the listening experience plain old enjoyable. I want to drive along a tree lined road in warm weather, windows down to this song. Six minute long giant, "B.L.T.B." is a great transitionary track, bringing it back down from the high before, while it pushes the listener vocally with a more rock & roll vibe, it fits in nicely on the EP.
"Hours Believe" and "The Fawn" close the EP out, and I don't want to say I feel a little disappointed by them, but I do. As two closing tracks, the EP felt front heavy listening wise. While these tracks excel in technique and S.L.A.M.'s typical bravado, they just feel a bit underwhelming in comparison to the tracks before them. I wonder if this could be resolved by a better EP tracklist setup, or if the EP is too long for it's own good. Obviously Silhouettes comes from a pair of EP releases, so I guess I'd be interested in hearing the follow-up EP to see if it exhibits the same problem or if this is simply just a calculative error in listing.
Either way, this EP has been on my mind for weeks. Let's get it on your mind, too. Check out Something Like A Monument via their social media links down below to never miss an update, and tune in for their next release hopefully sometime soon.
As always, thanks for reading!