Soundtrack of Our Lives Communion

Soundtrack of Our Lives Communion
Soundtrack of Our Lives disappeared during the Swedish pop boon (bad timing). Evidently, the band were busy reading hippie literature, listening to a schizophrenic's iPod on shuffle and writing a bloated, two-disc collection. Beginning a double album with a track called "Babel On" doesn't augur well (wordplay be damned). Featuring a straight-ahead barroom rock stomp, it could be a Black Rebel Motorcycle Club outtake, minus the bravado. Regardless, it's a catchy number, though simply repeating "come on" always hooks listeners, just ask the Von Bondies. "Babel On" typifies Communion: it's a harmless effort that wears disparate influences on its sleeve. There's a decent record buried in Communion but its bulk suffocates its bright spots. Standout "The Ego Delusion" plays like the Beta Band go to '60s San Francisco, yet it's flanked by the cliché-heavy "Universal Stalker" and extraneous 50-second snippet "Pineal Gland Hotel." Similarly, disc two opener "Everything Beautiful Must Die" is at turns haunting, sweeping and excitingly bellicose, but its promise vanishes in the mostly staid 11 tracks that follow. With Communion, Soundtrack of Our Lives show little originality. Still, their diverse influences (save for "Thrill Me," which nods to Poison's "Nothin' but a Good Time") work fairly well together. However, all the Nick Drake evocation ("Fly"), unexpected blues riffs ("Distorted Child"), and "Golden Brown" brass concoctions ("The Fan Who Wasn't There") in the world can't justify its heft. (Yep Roc)