Somatics Somatics

"Soma" means sleep, and a band has not had a more accurate name in a long time. Half-an-hour after popping this puppy in at work, I awoke to my boss shaking me, mumbling something about "lazy ass" and "drool." Now, whether or not the slumber-inducing qualities of this Leeds band's hypnotising, atmospheric guitar rock are a bad thing is a matter of opinion, but if you got the insomnia bug, this might help - their name don't lie. The lilting angelic female voices (provided by bassist Stephanie Green) lift you onto the chugging, repetitive strumming of Richard Green (formerly of the harder rock band Ultrasound) and the lulling rat-a-tat rhythm of the drums. And it pretty much continues this way for ten songs. Admittedly, the lacing together of all these elements turns out rather prettily, yet somehow there's this feeling that they could potentially provide just... more. Hints of anything more are shown in the skilful harmonising, respectable guitar work and well-crafted pop melodies of "For Claudette" and others. But for most of the album, you're left hanging with the expectation that each song will progress into something more, rather than hovering on the edge of a cliff of repeated slow guitar lines and bored vocals, especially on "Last Days In An Old Town" - six minutes that feel more like 12. (Beggars Banquet)