Sweet Soul - So Far No Further (Cover Artwork)

Sweet Soul

So Far No Further (2021)

new morality zine

California’s Sweet Soul’s debut LP, So Far No Further, vibes out with great melody, and lo-fi pop punks vibes. The record, released on New Morality Zine, boasts ten songs that are at once reminiscent of the early 90s punk intonations of Jawbreaker and a modern twist on more eclectic alternative sounds.

The music cuts through with just enough aggression to avoid coming off too whimsically. The simplicity of the rhythm guitar tracks is complemented really nicely with grooving guitar leads that don’t overpower any other aspects of the songs. The bass guitar and drums similarly don’t go too far out of bounds of the band's overall aesthetics. They pop when they need to, and they lets the vocals and leads do the work when it makes sense.

So Far No Further’s fourth track, “The Moment,” stands out for its catchy vocal cadences and dynamic guitar sounds. The song bounces between clean and distorted guitar tracks that do well in emphasizing the midtempo vocal patterns. The song’s similarly midtempo lead during the bridge lulls the listener just enough before coming back to the song’s catchy chorus. And clocking in at two minutes exactly, the song does nothing to overdramatize itself.

“Diggin’ Your Grave” is one of the LP’s speediest tracks, and is a fun nod to the band’s more aggressive punk influences. The fast-paced drums and guitar leads balanced against the more laid-back vocals brings out an immediate Lifetime comparison. Even the punchy background vocals give the song a fun and clever vibe, especially for those who like a bit more attitude in their chill music.

The record’s closing song, “All The Same,” is the band’s most ambitious on the LP. There’s a grandiose mood to the track, especially with the well-placed background vocal melodies. The recurring melody of the guitar leads isn’t all that surprising here, but there is something completely infectious about the song’s closure. The repetition of the guitar lead complementing the repetition of the vocals just makes for a wonderful end to the record.

Sweet Soul have a really strong first LP in So Far No Further. It’s a welcome shift for those who take their punk with typically aggressive tones and lyrics. It’s a modern twist on the Bay Area and Jawbreaker sound cultivated in the early 90s. And, frankly, So Far No Further simply stands on its own as a fun cohesive full-length record.