“Ornaments of Affection” BY The Soods (USA)

Stream or buy the album on Bandcamp.

The Soods, a collective of West Michigan musicians gathered around Jason Roy, released this month their latest album “Ornaments of Affection” on GTG Records.

The album is a celebration of jangly and raucous Indie Rock, accomplished by a rotating cast of musicians with Jason being the constant part of the different formations for the different shades of each song.

That variety is key to the album, while the main style is Indie Rock, there are tunes with elements of Power Pop, Dream Pop and so on.

Take the opening track: “Oh, Mersey Days”, for this song, the assembled musicians take the guise of an imaginary forgotten British band from the pre-Britpop days, the jangly acoustic guitar comes to the forefront, with vocalist Shane Tripp’s distinctive lead vocals and harmonies in the choruses, a fitting homage.

Or, in the 4th track “Hard to Conceal”, the fuzzy guitar that goes through the song takes it to a more psych-y direction, without straying too much from the overall line.

The title of highlight of the album, IMO, should go to the 5th track “Morning Harold”, a sunny gem with a Power Pop flavor that exudes fun and joy from beginning to end, from the laughter in the opening seconds.

A more Dreamy direction can be found in the 7th track “Begonias” where slide guitars, beautiful harmonies and piano arpeggios adorn the song.

The last Track “Melancholia” goes even further in that direction, with an atypical 3/4 rhythm and synths, and provided a very creative way to bookend the album.

My main issues with the album can be summed up in 2:

The first one is the mixing, although English is not my native tongue (Hebrew and Spanish are, long story) my English level is relatively above average, and yet I had a hard time understanding the lyrics with the vocals partially buried in the mix.

The second is closely related, as I had a hard time with understanding the lyrics by ear, I couldn’t find any written ones either, it was noticeable especially in the Bandcamp page where it should be first place to go and find them.

Issues aside, the music was wonderful, a great album from start to finish, the variety of styles didn’t felt out of place and felt like a trip through various places instead, I hopped aboard and enjoyed it.

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