Last year was a rough one for Sofy Major. They made a trip from France to the States to record Idolize at producer Andrew Schneider’s (Keelhaul, Cave In, Unsane) brand new studio in Brooklyn and tour. Unfortunately, their trip coincided with the arrival of Hurricane Sandy and the studio was wiped out just a few days after they landed, nary a track recorded. It’s hard to imagine a more devastating blow for a band or studio to endure, but both parties persevered. They found recording space and the band cobbled equipment together and teamed up with Schneider to finally lay their record to tape.

While the tone has largely stayed the same, Sofy Major’s self-described noise hardcore has shifted a bit toward the noise rock end of the spectrum. Idolize is nestled steadfast in their careening noise rock wheelhouse, it’s more stylistically tangled with the likes of Unsane and Helmet, but mediated by shades of Kyuss’ stoner rock. The songs are more kinetic, bouncier, and with more angular riffing, and even catchier. The wide emotional swath cut by Permission to Engage is fully shaded here. The pummeling is matched by a wealth of hooks and a variety of vocal styles. The songwriting is more mature and the songs are more cohesive and compelling.

“Aucune Importance” marries the familiar Keelhaul-style swing of Permission to Engage with Helmet’s clobbering staccato guitar. Unsane’s Dave Curran makes a guest vocal appearance on “Steven the Slow” to add extra heft to some already mountainous riffing. “UMPKK pt.2” nails a laid back bending groove bordering on grungy stoner rock. Sofy Major have sussed out a recipe, not unlike Torche or late period Cave In, to balance their noisy roots with ear catching punk and stoner rock. The album’s only hiccup is “Seb”, a track of drifting guitar and noise laid atop a rambling female voice that’s used as a segue to the last third of the album.

Idolize is an impeccable album of noisy rock. Full of grit and nuance, pissed off and catchy as hell, it’s a testament of the determination and hard work of the band and their producer. That the record was completed is an amazing feat in itself, and for them to come through in such excellent fashion… Well, gentlemen, that’s just balls.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Chuck Kucher
July 4th, 2013

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