With their surprisingly well formed sound for a debut LP, Somos’s “Temple Of Plenty” is a comforting pop-punk and kinda-something-between-genres release. Overall, the album is short, direct, and instantly likable. There aren’t many subtle technical elements presented, and the production sounds as if it’s been worked to a high gloss, but what the album lacks in depth and grit it makes up for with choruses that will stay buried in your head.
The album is generally tagged as “For fans of the Menzingers and Polar Bear Club” which I feel is pretty disingenuous. The Menzingers have something messier, rawer, and more ragged than Somos display here. The vocals soar, the guitars pump away in memorable hooks, and the drums stay steady and leading. This leads to an album which is, at its core, smooth. However, that’s not a bad thing; the resulting work is catchy.
On “Dead Wrong”, Somos sings out about hating everything that growing up seems to entail, from jobs to corporate culture. “Before you Merge” closes the album with a solid, pounding kick drum that carries the song into a near anthem quality with sing-alongs of “too long.” While young, the lyrics have a biting wit, reminding the listener of their own flaws. For example they prod us, the listener, that ” We could talk about anything. But we talk about the weather.” Later, questioning “Could you watch your friends turn into your enemies?” Somos relies on one-liners and bumper stickers scrawled on the notebooks of lost teens, while still remaining endearing.
A half-hour wave of sound, without much diversity, Somos has released a likable first major effort. If we make it to the end of the year without this band blowing up, I’ll be completely shocked.