Sonic Templars are a relatively new band who has already supported The View, Steve Cradock, Alabama 3, The Buzzcocks and Echobelly. September 19th saw the release of their third EP Weapons of Mass Distrust.
The EP starts with ‘Lay Down Your Guns’ which features a lovely little guitar sound that instantly draws you in. By the time the chorus comes along I admit to expecting something soaring and was a little underwhelmed by it on first listen. Although that soaring chorus doesn’t exist, what does is the subtleties of a slowly building track with that lovely little guitar refrain permeating throughout. The vocals and music are strong, with some excellent little snippets of genius peeking through, though it does feel a little like there are too many ideas in one place resulting in the song itself not quite hitting the sweet spot.
The second track ‘Death and Taxes’ is stronger, and has a great chorus, screeching guitar (without going overboard) and a sound and feel which is rich and inviting. One thing about Sonic Templars which I enjoy is that even in a relatively short song such as this, they are not afraid to push sound between the traditional verse and chorus and the middle-eight. Those little musical interludes give great insight into the diverse influences and sounds of the band.
‘Trigger’ has a 80s electronic sound to it, without, erm, actually sounding electronic. When it starts the tone of the bass and drums with the style of the vocal provides a rich landscape which reminds of some of the top-tier pop bands of that era. This is a good thing. ‘Trigger’ showcases the musicianship of the band better than the tracks which have come before with a musical interlude about 2:30 in which begins with a bass and drum moment before a fantastic – and understated – guitar solo ensues.
‘Funhouse Mirrors’ is a straight ahead rock song, sounds great and then is over leaving little to comment upon. It’s simply a good song. In contrast, the last track, ‘The King of the Ocean’ is way more than simply a good song.
‘The King of the Ocean’ is the longest song on the EP – though not by much – and feels like an epic whilst still coming in at under 5 minutes. The song starts slow, has a gorgeous harmonious vocal that creates a sound scape you can’t help but be enveloped within, as the rhythm of the drums and bass pace out a relaxing and comforting tempo. Don’t be fooled into thinking I am describing a slow or plodding song, the guitar-work from Stephen Crawford is exemplary, punctuating the lyrical content with aplomb. Without question this is the stand out track of the EP, and I can just imagine it as a live show closer, extending out into a longer and longer track each time it is played.
Weapons of Mass Distrust EP is a very strong EP, from a band who I believe have a lot to bring. I for one am looking forward to the opportunity of seeing Sonic Templars on the live circuit. Check them out below and pick up the EP at their Bandcamp page now.