By The Somatics
The melancholy guitar swirling and reflective lyrics of The Somatics' eponymous debut album quickly evoke thoughts of aspirations unrealised and of opportunities spurned. It perhaps comes as little surprise, then, to learn that the band are fronted by Richard Green, former guitarist of late 90s indie hopefuls Ultrasound, who seemed to promise so much but imploded after the release of just one overblown and overlong album. However, this first offering from The Somatics is a far more understated and gentle affair. The fragile vocal harmonies of Green and wife Stephanie are put to good effect on a series of songs which offer a downbeat but nonetheless starkly beautiful slice of inner-city Leeds life. Stand-out track 'LS2 9LZ' delivers an atmospheric and sombre reflection on the stagnation suffered by many "from Burley Park to Woodhouse Moor", whilst recent single 'Lemonade' is a melodic, wistful ode to forsaken ambition. Tracks like 'Come On Heal Me' and 'Guilt Trip' wallow in feelings of pain and sorrow, while 'Urban 45' reflects on the anonymity and loneliness of life in a strange city. Through the gloom, 'Quietly' offers a flicker of hope with its portrayal of unquestioning love and devotion.