Calling their sound “bedroom rock”, the band Sour Widows have released their debut six-song self-titled EP. Made for small listening spaces, these songs sure do showcase a strong case for listening for the masses – Sour Widows have crafted six tracks that stir up lots of emotions, masked with walls of percussion, rhythm guitars and vocal harmonies.
Sour Widows is Maia Sinaiko (guitar and vocals), Susanna Thompson (guitar and vocals) Max Edelman (drums) and Timmy Stabler (bass guitar). Home base for the band is Oakland, California.
“Tommy” is the opening track and it’s drenched in guitars and percussion. Sinaiko and Thompson combined voices and give the song a beautiful and warm feeling. While their harmonies are strong, the guitar and rhythm tones are stronger. This is one of the more vibrant songs on the EP.
“Whole Lotta Nothing” also has laid back vocals, and the story seems to center around grabbing a ride, or a cab in this case, and getting high. As a listener, I felt much more engaged with the music bed. The next track, “I Wanna Be Like Johnny” repeats the lyrics “in my mind” quite a bit and the changeups in the mood of the song make for an interesting sonic journey. The drums in “Whole Lotta Nothing” are substantial and oh-so-good. This song also seemed to have the heaviest amount of guitar; as the guitars raged, so did the emotional connection.
Track four, “Pilot Light” is definitely a keeper. “I wonder how the light get through, wonder how the light gets through, wonder how the light gets through – oh, oh, it’s coming from you!” Sinaiko and Thompson have this little lift the word ‘you’ that is kinda cute. This track is probably the most pop rocking sounding of the bunch.
Track five is “Open Wide” and things start to slow down again – a bit sadder. “A part of you wants to be soft, a part of you wants to be soft” sing Sinaiko and Thompson before they transfer the emotion to a heavenly “aw…aw…aw….uh.” It’s very early in the song and the stage is set for an emotional rollercoaster of a song, dripping with guitars and channeled percussion. Those vocals are gorgeous! After a few listens, “Open Wide” took its way to the top for my favorite track. Even more dreary is track six, “Low Doser”. The guitar work in both of these last two tracks is perpetually exciting. Sour Widows seems to come up with unique twists and turns.
Overall, Sour Widows score high marks for their debut effort. It’s an artistic achievement and while one might compare the sadness or dreariness to The Cure or even R.E.M., the Sour Widows have a carved out their own path in indie rock that is absolutely worth exploring. It’s a big world out there and there’s plenty of room for this band to take their place. The bedroom doesn’t seem to be able to hold this powerful sound. Special note again to “Open Wide” and “Pilot Light”.
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