Somos
First Day Back


4.1
excellent

Review

by Atari STAFF
February 21st, 2016 | 35 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A shedding of the skin

Last year, Turnover made quite the impact when they gave their sound a complete makeover - abandoning every remaining trace of pop-punk elements in exchange for a dreamy, shoegaze aesthetic. It was a completely different Turnover, but it worked surprisingly well due to the strong songwriting and careful attention to detail. In a similar manner, Somos have begun a glorious transformation with their sophomore effort. They aren't completely tweaking their formula, but First Day Back is certainly made more potent with some fresh ingredients thrown into the mix. Lush melodies and tender vocals permeate through much of their latest venture into more expansive territory. It's only been two years since they dropped their unexpected debut, and yet they're already beginning to shed their skin with their enthralling sophomore effort on Hopeless Records.

What makes First Day Back so special are the alluring new components the band have incorporated into their sound without compromising their identity. Take 'Problem Child' for example - it starts out with the expected enthusiastic guitar-intro, but as soon the poignant vocals take hold it becomes something else entirely. With a steady pace and crooning that's as arresting as it is haunting, it's just a glimpse of the fantastic vocal approach that makes this album so intoxicating. 'You Won't Stay' is perhaps the most unique track here, with hypnotizing electronic flourishes and vocalist Michael Fiorentino sounding like he's singing to us through the depths of an abyss. There's something about the vast echo of his voice on this album that seems removed from anything they've done in the past, and it works astoundingly well. Rest assured, the aspects that made Temple of Plenty such a treat remain prevalent on several tracks here --you can still expect booming choruses and flashy guitar-work glittered throughout the album. The main difference is that this time their sound feels less limited, with influences of shoegaze, electronic, and indie rock melding together in a hazy and satisfying flurry. If there's a downside, it's that the album's often gentle and subdued approach doesn't allow it to reach the cathartic emotional highs the genre is capable of. Instead, it relies heavily on its atmosphere to reel the listener in; hook line and sinker.

In just a couple short years as a band, Somos have already proven themselves to be capable and innovative songwriters. Temple of Plenty was an emo-rock treat, but First Day Back is a different monster entirely. Whether it be the captivating beats that kick off the album or the subtle influences of shoegaze and ethereal pop that add extra depth, there's a lot to love about the band's sophomore effort. It's an album that takes its sweet time, utilizing a relaxed pace and meticulous instrumentation to create an exhilarating listening experience. At such an early stage in their career you'd think they'd still be getting their footing down, but Somos have already evolved into one of the more promising bands in the genre.





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user ratings (80)
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Atari
Staff Reviewer
February 21st 2016


25797 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

couldn't get the embedded track I wanted, but here are links to 2 of the best tracks (album is just lovely)



https://somos.bandcamp.com/track/problem-child



https://somos.bandcamp.com/track/you-wont-stay

Digging: Paysage d'Hiver - Im Wald

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
February 21st 2016


25747 Comments


ooh cool a staffer reviewed this. excited to listen

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
February 21st 2016


6901 Comments


if it's on soundcloud you might have an easier time grabbing a specific track

3waycrash
February 21st 2016


259 Comments


I enjoyed their debut, and even though you described it as being something different than that I'm interested in listening to this.

Thanntos
February 21st 2016


360 Comments


Loveeeeed their debut, but all the songs I heard from this so far were very bland with no heart it felt like...on my listen list at some point but I'm in no rush.

henryChinaski
February 21st 2016


4358 Comments


I was wondering if you were going to review this @ Atari. Glad I checked it out after your recommendation in the Turnover thread. Really enjoying this thus far. Nice write-up!

Digging: The Ghost Inside - The Ghost Inside

Atari
Staff Reviewer
February 21st 2016


25797 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cheers henry, always a pleasure and glad you're enjoying it!



@Johhny, yeah I didn't see this on soundcloud ;/



@Thanntos, I personally thought the singles they released were slightly underwhelming at first, but sounded SO much better within the context of the entire album

SteveP
February 21st 2016


99 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

really like this record so far. Not as immediate or hooky as the debut but this album is def more complex and has a lot of layers to uncover. Good review

JS19
February 22nd 2016


7632 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Very excited to hear this

Digging: Rafael Anton Irisarri - Peripeteia

JamieTwort
February 22nd 2016


26988 Comments


Great review, Atari.

Listening to some of this now (the songs you rec'd in my shoutbox) and it's sounding quite pleasant.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
February 22nd 2016


25797 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cheers man! glad to hear u like what you've heard so far. I have a feeling some of the songs might not be your kinda thing, but definitely let me know what u think of the rest of the record if u get around to hearing it all. I could see u enjoying the closing track as well, and maybe violent decline :]

Thanntos
February 22nd 2016


360 Comments


@atari - that's a good thing to hear, so I'll definitely have to bump this up the playlist soon.

VheissuCrisis
Emeritus
February 22nd 2016


1387 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm a sucker for this sort of thing. Well recommended man.

oisincoleman64
February 22nd 2016


2388 Comments


This might be the most boring emo album ever

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
February 22nd 2016


25747 Comments


yeah their first record i listened to recently and its prob around a 3 or 3.5...starting to see reviews that say this is not as good.

oisincoleman64
February 22nd 2016


2388 Comments


Like, just sounding lifeless as fuck doesn't count as emotional

Atari
Staff Reviewer
February 22nd 2016


25797 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Glad u dug it Dan, any favorite songs?



And I can see how this could be perceived as boring with the more laid back approach on a lot of the tracks, but I thought quite the opposite. I wouldn't really classify this as strictly an emo album though

pepster50
February 23rd 2016


418 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

instrumentation is great but the vocals are REALLY lacking. Maybe i'll learn to like it. I had the same problem with their last record. Production is real tight on here too.

JS19
February 23rd 2016


7632 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Oh

andrianoc
February 23rd 2016


156 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Atari's getting a little too generous with his ratings. Pretty disappointed in this release to be honest. The best songs on the LP are the singles "Thorn in the side" and "Alright I'll Wait". The album lacks vocal variety and ultimately it lacks the energy that made Temple of Plenty a fantastic album that was my AOTY in 2014. Hope these guys return to form on their next release.



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