A Hard Rock Broadside From Soundside

By Mark Kirby, MusicDish e-Journal

If I had the power, I would change the title of the new Soundside CD from “Seconds to Sunrise” to “Working Man’s Soundside.” No, not as some type of homage to the Grateful Dead or their album of the same name, but because in today’s segmented music scene dominated by generic suburban pop, ring tone rap for real and fake ghettos, and indie rock for the college-educated hipster, there is a definite dearth of good honest rock and roll. The kind of rock that gets you through a day of loading boxes onto palettes or house painting. Rock for the unpretentious, for folks that work in delis or hang sheet rock. Soundside brings back the old school rock sound – hard but not metal, melodic but not Justin Timberlake, and with a touch of grunge, minus the tortured angst.

If this Seconds to Sunrise had come out twenty-five years ago, they would have been hailed as the new gods of power pop or new wave by way of Cheap Trick. In other words, it’s chock full of hard rock hooks, pop sensibility, and pogo-beat rhythms along with sensitive, low key, acoustic guitar-laced moments. “Back To The Beginning” kicks things off with a radio friendly two chord rock anthem that has a danceable groove, over which Rich Arcati sings nostalgically of all night partying fun: “I reminisce the time I made us, it’s been awhile but how could I forget… who remembers what time we got home? / It’s just another morning that I can never wake up… Back to the beginning of our lives.” The music here is kick ass rock and roll, with a crisp backbeat and bass and guitars hitting all the right marks.


“With You” starts out softly with acoustic guitar and voice. When the rest of the band comes in it’s on a lower intensity musical plane, mixing the emotional sincerity of a ballad and driving rock. This and most of the CD are carried by front man Arcati, with his vocal mix of Eddie Vedder and Robert Plant (at his least screechy), and guitarist Dan Reardon. “Living in the Rain” flips the script on the classic rock song form of soft to loud by giving a heavy metal blast of an intro followed by low volume acoustic guitar and voice. This gives way to a section of melodic, country-tinged rock that would fit in between Sheryl Crow and Nickelback on a VH1 set. Its companion piece on the CD is “Beautiful Life,” a straight rock ballad with touches of violin and cello and a simple piano riff underscoring the vocal line.

“Creepin’ In My Mind” is another example of full-on rock intensity, with a heavy, guitar-driven groove straight from the old Detroit rock city sound of Alice Cooper and Iggy Pop. This song, and the others on this filler free CD, is locked and propelled by Karina McMahon and Matt Fox on drums and bass, respectively. “Stuck In A Memory” rocks in a loping hard rock, headbanging almost-waltz that nods to Led Zeppelin. This changes into a power pop chorus that is at once sweet and savage yet tasteful and true. In fact, this could be said about the whole Seconds to Sunrise. Soundside draws from the wellspring of guitar driven, kick-out-the-jams rock, giving the listener the musical equivalent of an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. No bones about it, Soundside is definitely maximum rock and roll.


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