This self titled release from All Souls features some names many of you may recognize. Leading the lineup are Tony Aguilar (guitar, vox) and Meg Castellanos (bass, vox) from Totimoshi, with Tony Tornay (drums) from Fatso Jetson and Erik Trammel (guitar) from Black Elk. The sound of these souls finally collaborating after 21 years of discussion feels like a blast from the past. Their sound takes me back to that place in the mid-90s when music was just so damn good. We were in the heyday of grunge, and amongst that beautiful sound were bands like Monster Magnet and Screaming Trees, taking their music in other directions and creating their own sound. All Souls manages to carve a path for themselves in that same vein, bringing music back to a raw form at a time when so much of it sounds the same.
The first song, Party Night, has undertones of PiL, both vocally and the forward pulse of the guitars. From that point on, your ears are treated to a true Rock and Roll event. Never Know is an uptempo song, sliding gracefully into the next track, Money Man, which is bass driven, very deep groove in this track, also present in Silence. I really like Rename the Room, the first slower track on the release. Hard to describe how it makes me feel, but the song was inspired by an incident from Aguilar‘s childhood. It’s darkly beautiful. Sadist/Servant kicks off with the amazingly talented Danny Carey (tool) playing Tabla drums. Reveille is the perfect song to follow, feeling musically similar, then the album ends with Time Bomb, another guitar driven track.
Vocally, the mix to me is a little low. I’d like to hear the voices a bit more, but I understand that some artists like to have their vocals mixed further into the music. It still works. This is a great Freshman album from these 4 longtime musicians and I’m looking forward more. If you like straight foward rock, this is the one you may have been waiting for.