Modern Female Rockstar

The Sonder Bombs

Take It To Heart Records, 2018

http://thesonderbombs.bandcamp.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 12/28/2018

Though Cleveland, Ohio's The Sonder Bombs began not even three years ago as a duo with Willow Hawks and Jimmy Wilkens, these days the pop-punkers are a full band with socially conscious wordplay and a daring spirit that even brings in ukuleles to their gritty formula. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Atom” starts the album strong with jangly strumming and heartfelt, powerful singing from Hawks before the tune speeds up somewhere between pop punk and folk rock, though the occasional yelp hints at a rougher avenues. “U(ke) Ain't Enough” follows with a similar approach and swift instrumentation that recruits ukulele in a playful manner, and the softer, acoustic “Pot & Kettle” gets even more playful with shuffling tempos that illustrate how unpredictable this band is.

The middle of the album gets a bit more reflective and mid-tempo with the forthright “Title,” which builds into walls of distortion and noisy melody, and the ultra-quick (in both duration and pace of the song) “Shoot 2 Kill,” a 30-second blast of feisty punk sounds. “Wild” then has the band moving more into pop territory with a cautious and lush instrumentation that's undeniably memorable.

Near the end is where some of the best tunes reside, such as the dramatic alt-rock of “Something I Said” before the emotive pop tune “Dimly Lit” where Hawks' soaring vocals really shine and call up similarities to Paramore. The album ends on the lyrically strong and musically varied “Twinkle Lights,” which is yet another fine example of how skilled this young band truly are.

Modern Female Rockstar might be their debut album, but it certainly doesn't sound like it. Even though it clocks in at under 30 minutes, the quartet leaves an indelible mark with solid songwriting and assertive lyrics. Certainly brazen enough for the punk rock crowd but also tuneful and relatable enough for mass appeal, this will likely be a band taking big leaps in the very near future.

Rating: B+

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