Review: Another Etch EP
Artist: The Desert Sonnes
By Mae Anthony
Local Perth blues-rock inspired band the Desert Sonnes released their debut EP Another Etch earlier in the year. The five-track collection of tunes shows the widespread talent of the group: it maintains exceptional ensemble playing, whilst still projecting an overall sense of ease. Incorporating an amalgamation of styles, they’re definitely worth listening to.
The EP opens with the track “Take Me Alive”, a blues tune, with considerable hint of funk interwoven amongst the instrumental parts, those of which exhibit a nice layering of texture throughout the entire song. The EP was mastered by one of the band members – drummer, Marcus Davidson – and is very professional in quality something of which can be heard from the get go. Lead singer Jacob Sartori’s vocals are soulful and grab your attention instantly; you can hear the influence of the local sound infused in some of the vocal lines (Sartori plays drums in Perth low-fi 70s pop psych band, Segue Safari). The tune is refreshing, laid back and, forgive the lazy expenditure of the term, chilled.
The next tune, “Surrender” is sparklingly different: it sounds like something off the soundtrack of a 70s movie. Or at least a film that is trying to give off a 70s vibe. It’s a catchy slow-burner groove, paired with subtle sexy growls in the vocals to lyrics like “My baby don’t mess around”– all of which is stylistically appropriate and executed effortlessly – makes for good listening. This track shows the interesting genre amalgamation that makes up the praxis of the band.
The third track “On the Road” is the least bluesy, and therefore the most unique, of all of the tracks. It is ethereal: something reminiscent of Radiohead’s OK Computer era. It is probably my least favourite of his vocals because it is less soulful, but it presents good contrast and it sits well with the overall tone of the song: it’s better to use a different shade of colour, and shake things up a bit. The guitar solo is brilliant: it amps the mood up and gives the song momentum amongst the surrounding laid-back musical textures. Nice bass and drum work, in fact, the ensemble work in general is rather impressive.
The penultimate song and EP title track, “Another Etch”, is edgier, opening with a dirty blues guitar riff, a change to the vox effects and in the way it evokes moody lyrical imagery. Featuring superb drumming by Marcus Davidson, with a good choice of grooves. Like most of the songs on the EP it contains a rhythmical change-up. In this case, the organ amps up, after it having been a bit background up until now [on this track]. You can hear the characteristic blues sound and similar influences in the solos that lead nicely into the final track, “Walk Out the Door”, the most bluesy tune of them all. Along with the organ intro, the guitar riff, and low earthy-toned bass, it has a nice big belting sound from vocals and probably contains the simplest melody of all the songs on the EP. This works as it suits the blues form of the song nicely, and it is a nice way to finish the compilation of some of the band’s best work.
You can find The Desert Sonnes on Facebook. I recommend you do go find them, and check out when they’re playing next, and get on down to a gig: I can guarantee that it’s always a good time.