After seeing the eclectic, electrifying up-and-coming SomeKindaWonderful perform last week at the Bootleg Bar, I knew I was catching an early glimpse at soon-to-be rock stars. Their set previewed their self-titled debut album, and each new song only got me more excited for what sounded like a solid release. Now that SomeKindaWonderful’s debut has officially dropped via Downtown Records/White Clover Records, I have been playing it nonstop and am calling it as one of the strongest and most well-produced debut albums of 2014.
Frontman Jordy Towers is no stranger to Los Angeles. After a solo career at a label that didn’t quite fit, Towers left LA, heading to Ohio to re-examine his path. In what can only be described as fate, Towers met Matt Gibson (guitar) and Ben Schigel (drums) at a bar. The duo were seeking a lead singer for their band, and the magic of SomeKindaWonderful began.
The group’s debut single “Reverse” has caught the attention of local radio station KROQ and has been rapidly making waves across the country. While it is an undeniably catchy song, with its stuttering kick drum and smouldering chorus, the rest of the musically diverse album is just as impressive.
“It’s an R&B soul rock record,” said Towers in a statement. “It sort of mirrors my move from LA to Cleveland. That path is reversed from what you’d expect. Nothing is deliberate. Just like how we met, it’s natural and all about the music. I still can’t believe I met my musical soul mates at a bar in Ohio.”
SomeKindaWonderful pulls influence from across the music spectrum, and common threads run through the album, mostly notably the trials and tribulations of love. The synth-heavy “Police” and “Caveman” are bouncy and upbeat, while “Hard For Days” makes use of clever wordplay and an infectious pop-rock hook underscored by R&B rhythms. “Cornbread” is an explosive rock song, while “Burn” leans more into the group’s harmony-driven, folk influences.
Gibson’s guitarwork perfectly complements each song, be it the reggae-reminiscent chords of “Police,” the soulful Southern rock of “Cornbread,” or the wailing rock of “Laugh Out Loud.” The topics of religion and spirituality are infused into the slow-building “In Chains,” and subtle nods to those themes pop up in several tracks.
While multiple musical styles are represented on the album, R&B and rock influences can easily be heard in each song, make it stand as a powerfully cohesive debut. As “Reverse” is quickly gaining the group local notoriety, this debut album will undoubtedly help SomeKindaWonderful find their place in the rock spotlight nationwide.
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