SOM - The Shape Of Everything

20 Jan 2022 - Simon

Doom-Pop / Shoegaze | Pelagic Records | Release date: 22 Jan 2022

Facebook Bandcamp Shop

The eagerly awaited album by SOM delivers exactly what you want from them. It’s a carefully crafted heavy gaze album with real heart.

I’m guessing that when it comes to forming a band, getting established musicians together to form a band is one way to guarantee that everyone knows what they are doing - or at least you would hope so anyway. So, when the band SOM sprang to life containing former and current members of such luminaries as Constants, Junius and Caspian, you can put a hefty wager on the fact that these guys all know what they are doing. So, what they have come up with? The answer is a rather splendid selection of songs which have been labelled ‘doom pop’ which, with me being the childish individual that I am, always makes me think of the Hanson song mmmbop whenever I hear it (sorry not sorry).

The album is a tale of two cities, and by that I don’t mean that the album is split into two distinct entities, more the fact that you have two very different styles seemingly at odds with each other doing a fantastic job of cosying up in front of the fire with a mug of cocoa and seeing what happens. The whole album does an incredible highwire tightrope balancing act of having gorgeous ethereal vocals sat atop thunderingly heavy riffs. Fans of lighter Deftones songs and the Loathe song “Two-Way Mirror” will find a lot to like here.

The album kicks off with the utterly beguiling and gorgeous “Moment” which does a brilliant job of letting you know what you are in for with the rest of the album. It’s a stunning clash of styles which never strays too far in either direction. The synth work helps to bring a nice counterbalance that acts like a fulcrum on which the distinct styles each hang off.

The next couple of songs, “Animal” and “Center” are a continuation of the themes and sounds laid out in the first song but with a more pronounced shoegaze vibe and it’s not until the arrival of the song “Shape” that the band decides to pick up the pace. The vocals still have that air of lackadaisically shuffling along a path watching the world go by but it’s as if the rest of the band have decided they are late to a party and need to inject some momentum into proceedings.

The song “Clocks” starts with some gorgeous ambience which soon gives way to the crashing tsunami of the three-pronged guitar attack, it has a lovely ebb and flow to it and makes for some rather lovely push and pull which elevates this song above some of the others and is a real stand out.

Overall, this is a lovingly crafted album which should go down well with fans of the lighter side of metal, sure the guitars are crunchy and heavy. However, this is offset by the overall ‘feel’ of the album which puts it much more in the shoegaze camp than anywhere else. The vocals are beautiful and ethereal sounding but never deviate from their core sound, and quite frankly, you wouldn’t want them to as they bring so much of what makes this album so stunning to the table. This is a highly recommended album.