Sommerset - Fast Cars, Slow Guitars (Cover Artwork)


Fast Cars, Slow Guitars (2003)

Deck Cheese

So a few months back an album review of a band called somerset was published on this site. The response was that many of the comments posted referred to another band with a similar name, sommerset. This therefore is a review of the New Zealand sommerset and not the perky American band. And boy they couldn't be more different.

So got that? Yes you have.

First things first, sommerset are punk. This will most probably mean they wear Atticus clothing and appear on trl to many readers. But nay they do not. Instead the four piece from New Zealand concentrate their efforts on creating a hardcore sound with enough pop sensibilities to ensure the songs stick in your head for days. Think of mid nineties bands such as lifetime and jawbreaker mixed with sing along lyrics of the bouncing souls and you will have a pretty good idea of what they sound like. This of course is only an indication of their sound and should not be seen as a lack of unoriginality on part of the band.

Each song is delivered with powerful guitars and intense drumming combined with clever lyrics that obviously come from the bands love of music. Standout tracks such as ‘clutter', which is an angry two-minute attack on today's media, and ‘coming home', showcase the pure excitement that the band gets from playing. If you have caught these guys live then you will understand what I mean. For those who haven't then the best way to describe it is by taking the best parts of a band playing live, the emotion and tension of playing, but without the fat guy in front of you spilling his beer all over the place.

What is disappointing is that the album was released in 2001 in the bands native New Zealand yet it took two years for it to catch the attention of a record company in the UK (where I live). This just shows the sad state of today's music industry when manufactured carbon copy bands can easily put crap out, but these guys can't even get a record out of their own country. Anyway that's enough ranting, if you like punk, or any of the above mentioned bands you'd be crazy not to pick this album up, trust me its one best of this year (or 2001 if you live in New Zealand).

*Released on Phyte Records in U.S. and on Trial and Error Records in New Zealand and Australia in 2001