We don't get to hear too many albums by Spanish bands on SoT, but if the quality of The Soulbreaker Company's third album Itaca is anything to go by, then we want to hear more please!
One of the aspects that comes over most strongly when listening to this excellent album is the sheer joy of the music – it's strange that you can hear that coming through, but you can. It's as if the whole band just had a ball making this music. It's unashamedly retro-rock, rooted in early-seventies, but when it's played with such joy it's really irrelevant – the vibe here is enough to pull anything through.
"It's Dirt" provides a great start with its long instrumental sax-driven section justifying the "soul" in the band's name. The song develops into a more typical sung rock number, without losing its interest and verve. Great stuff!
That opening section is slightly atypical in that the sax, played by guest Kike Guzman, is not a permanent feature of the music. Guzman turns up again, with flute as well as sax, later on, always to good effect.
The soundscape highlight for me – always a lover of piano/keyboard – is the emphasis given to the Hammond sound in the mix, giving this joyous rock overtones of classic bands such as Deep Purple. The use of Oscar Gil's keyboards throughout is excellent, making a very warm sound. The music is always full of melody and very catchy. There is enough variety to carry the CD through: for instance, the female duetting voice adds refreshing textures to "Colours of the Fire" and "Where Mermaids Sing Loud" forays into southern-rock territory.
The other players are strong too: Dan Triñanes and Asier Breaker between them deliver some fine lead guitar lines and the rhythm section of Manzanedo and Domingo carries plenty of punch. Jony Moreno's English-sung vocal is strong.
An excellent album of retro-rock, spiced up with occasional sax and flute. It's enjoyable music, whatever the age.
1) It's Dirt
2) Oh! Warsaw
3) Sow the Roses
4) Rude Perfume
5) Colours of the Fire
6) Where Mermaids Sing Loud
7) No Way Back Home
8) Hail While She Leaves
9) Take a Seat on the Moon