The Sound Explosion - The Sound Explosion

Liam McGrady 21/03/2005

Rating: 4/5


If that's not you're first reaction on hearing the bombastic opening track 'Traveller Man' on The Sound Explosion's eponymous debut album then chances are you're clinically dead. In this case, unluckiy, you really don't know what you're missing.

The Sound Explosion are 4 lads from the North East who trade in the sort of life affirming rock 'n' roll not heard since, well, I dunno actually, I'm not sure I've heard a record so damn forceful and exciting as this in many a year.

The aforementioned 'Traveller Man' does exactly what all great opening songs should do; stop you dead in you're tracks and instruct, no, demand that you listen to the rest of the album. But The Sound Explosion don't do things by halves, this brute of a song pins you to your chair and slugs you in the jaw with a massive fistful of gargantuan riffs it won off Iggy and The Stooges in a vicious bar brawl, and then pummels you with a bass drum, until it's killed you; to death.

Once you've been dragged in then I'm telling you, there's no escape. Like a Rolls Royce jet engine, The Sound Explosion drag you in and spit you out. Racing through the strutting 'Street Freak', the deep down and dirty 'Looking At You'(with a bass line so low and growly that it turns all your internal organs inside out), and the bluesy rocker 'Shotgun Of Love' the first half of this record is hi-octane rawk that leaves you battered and bruised but grinning from ear to ear.

The second half, once you've caught your breath, is slightly less frantic in pace but still retains a looseness, and a swagger of confidence.

'Night Train' used to be a song by some band called Guns 'n' Roses, now it's a rollicking, hand clapping, toe tapping riffathon, pitched somewhere between The Buzzcocks and Led Zeppelin and 'In The City' used to be a song by some band called The Jam, now it's the moody, bastard offspring of 'Gimme Shelter' and 'Marquee Moon'.

You'll have noticed that I've made no mention of the lyrical content of these songs and there's a very good reason for this; in general there's nothing but rock and roll cliché to be found here. But it doesn't matter 'cos vocalist, Kit Endean, sings with such conviction its frightening, roaring until his lungs are at the point of collapse.

Actually here are some lyrics worth quoting from the epic 'The Blessing',

“Rock and Roll is a religion and I wanna testify/I want to be drowned in the river of sound/I want to be baptised”

You better believe it people. The Sound Explosion, while never going to change the world, might just convert you and in the words of Mick Jagger,

“I know it's only Rock 'n' Roll but I like it, I like it, yeah! Yeah! Yeah!”