Shout Out Louds “Work”

Merge 2010

“1999”, the first song on the third full-length release from Sockholm’s Shout Out Louds, is not a cover. I didn’t really think it would be, but with all these bands out there doing covers these days, it wouldn’t have surprised me all that much if the SOL’s had chosen to open “Work” with a Cure-and-Smiths-influenced rendition of Prince’s classic party tune. To my satisfaction, it turns out to be a really great rock song that shows Shout Out Louds balancing out their beloved influences and working to integrate them into a greater whole all their own.

As they point out in the album title, this really is a lot of work, and I’m not sure Shout Out Louds have achieved such lofty prospects. They did, however, make a great record full of simple, natural melodies that easily surpasses anything they have done before. It’s easy to tell they were really trying to make as good of a complete record as possible, because it’s easy to listen to “Work” without skipping a track, even if it’s apparent some are better than others.

It is evident on “Work” that the endless, um, effort Shout Out Louds have put in has paid off ten fold–they are a much tighter unit, and have learned to harness the anxious enthusiasm that came to fruition on 2007’s spotty “Our Ill Wills”. This could have something to do with the fact that Phil Ek is in the producer’s chair this time around. He really has become one of the top 3 greatest producers of the modern age. Ek’s production is completely distinctive, yet he is able to successfully produce a variety of different types of bands (The Shins, Fleet Foxes, Modest Mouse) and still give each one everything they require to shine.

On “Work”, Ek went over everything with a fine-toothed comb. It seems almost completely free of error, yet totally organic. Each song on the album contains concise little hooks from guitar or keyboard that play around with sparse yet immediate vocal melodies, a precedent set by the aforementioned opener. The simple guitar climbs on “Show Me Something New” are particularly infectious, especially when paired with the welcome familiarity of its chorus. The haunting jive of “Candle Burned Out” is also a high point, with its Johnny Marr-inspired lead lines and breathy vocals.

Shout Out Louds put a lot of work into “Work”, and it shows. Much appreciated, guys and gal–thanks for giving me, and so early in the year, another record I can listen to all the way through. See how this works, people? You get what you give! ****

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One Response to “Shout Out Louds “Work””

  1. Record Geek Heaven: Shout Out Louds “Work” « The Dead Girls Project Says:

    […] “1999″, the first song on the third full-length release from Sockholm’s Shout Out Louds, is not a cover. I didn’t really think it would be, but with all these bands out there doing covers these days, it wouldn’t have surprised me all that much if the SOL’s had chosen to open “Work” with a Cure-and-Smiths-influenced rendition of Prince’s classic party tune. Read the rest of this entry […]

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