Sonny - A Temporary Remedy (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


A Temporary Remedy (2002)


Youth means nothing if not potential. That's what I hear when I listen to Sonny's debut full length "A Temporary Remedy." The defining characteristic of this band to me is that the members are (at the time of this release) all 18 or younger. That's pretty impressive since nothing about their music suggests they're any less experienced than many more established groups. They sound mature and have demonstrated the ability to write some competent tunes. Despite his age, lead vocalist Matt Liebel (to my great amusement) is one of the few pop-punk singers who in fact DOESN'T sound like a pre-pubescent child.

Unfortunately there's nothing here you haven't heard before. The first few songs on this album are very reminiscent of the Alkaline Trio. Sonny plays a good deal of moody post-Jawbreaker punk like that popularized by the Trio. Liebel even sounds at times like a young Matt Skiba. Unfortunately there's simply too much material on here that feels like its been included to market to the crowd following the current emo trend. The middle of the album is bogged down with too many mid paced tracks of "sentimental" dross. They even throw in bit of that oh-so popular anguished background screaming in "The Reflection."

It's a shame though, because on tracks like "A Southern Belle" or "Open For Suggestions" the band proves they can play really catchy rock songs. When the band speeds things up there's little vocal moments where Liebel shows potential to be a much more powerful vocalist. Hopefully that'll be the direction Sonny takes things in, since momentum seems to be what is making or breaking each song on here. At 18 years old and already a competent (but derivative) musical unit, you're sure to hear something great from this band in a few years. They're just not quite there yet.