WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011 |
Posted by: Joe Puglisi
The London Souls have a reputation for being a rambunctious, difficult-to-deny live act, and many would swear by this description. Capturing the raw momentum of a crowd-fueled guitar solo or a crunchy distortion mixed with crowd noise and translating it to the studio is not nearly as easy as big production and live capture, and that's where The London Souls self-titled debut loses points—the boys didn't try to make an album born in the studio so much as play with the pan and pump up the bass on loud, rambunctious, and tightly arranged tunes they've been playing at shows. The nostalgia they elicit in the live space has been compared to Hendrix and Zeppelin levels of stage presence. But a studio between them and the audience changes the equation in a way that removes this element of elation, and allows for quite a bit of antiquation to become evident.
That's not to say the production doesn't cook eggs on the mixing board; this is a well produced, well crafted bit of guitar/bass/drums that sounds very, very, very pretty. But removing the magic that salt-and-peppers the air from the stage to the crowds, and committing to the tape, something is missing. Fans will enjoy the tunes they know and love, but if you really want to be a London Souls believer, shell out for a ticket the next time they roll through your town. You won't regret it.