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SPIHA are back! - Uhm, aha, ok... And what has that to do with the Sonic Roots? - Well, itīs quite simple: Both bands have the same singer - Henry. His SPIHA name is `Lee Rock` and the one for the Sonic Roots is `Lee Roots` but it`s the same person and with TheWeedAmigos he even has a third band now... - Hey, stop, just tell me more about the Sonic Roots now!
Ok, so the Sonic Roots have just released their debut album "Kill Street Blues", which is opened with some oriental sounds that turn into "Pharaohs Don`t Sleep Tonight". It continues with "Sound Of My Mind" on which, the guitar sounds are a bit more memorable. Basically, Henry just rocks with the Sonic Roots like he is doing it with SPIHA, whether with songs like "Pusherman" or "Angel In The Dark". Itīs getting a bit more quiet then with "Poison Wine" usually that means quite often boredom or at concerts, "I just quickly order another cola!" but here itīs the first moment of surprise. Ballads seem to be one of the Sonic Roots` strengths. It`s not cheesy at all and although it starts smooth and dreamy, the e-guitars will join in later on. Apparently, the Sonic Roots want to avoid being labelled as one of the numerous "Yearning lads from Finland with kohl" bands right from the beginning. This was partly the case with SPIHA back then and so they continue with their rock attitude on "Obscene Medicine". On "Junkie Girl", especially the singing at the beginning reminds me pretty much of Dave Wyndorf. Well, as an avowed fan of Monster Magnet it doesn`t really bother me and it`s well done anyway.
The biggest surprise for me is "Shadow In Your Heart" `cause I knew that Henry once again got vocal support from his famous buddy Jyrki69 for this song. But the version with the backing vocals of the The 69 Eyes frontman has been released on a separate single CD only; they are not on the album. It seems that Henry is meanwhile confident enough to say: "People would buy my record even without the voice of my famous friend." Self-confidence he can afford `cause "Shadow In Your Heart" is a cool composition whether with or without these certain backing vocals, even though the beginning of this song is quite identical to the one of "Poison Wine" and also "Shadow In Your Heart" won`t remain a ballad till the end.
Actually, it`s a pity that almost all the songs that start like ballads end up in rock songs `cause indeed Sonic Roots are able to rock but what maybe counts a bit more: Henry can really sing - as you can hear it for example on "Take You High" - but unfortunately the few vocal lines get lost over and over again because of that rock attitude. So from my point of view, "The Power Of Need" is the best song of this album by far `cause this smooth-melancholic ballad will remain exactly that until the very end. Henry uses his vocal skills a bit longer than usual and so "The Power Of Need" is a composition that would certainly work well on the radio, too. A very beautiful song! "Trashy Morning" once again renders homage to the rock attitude and then the record is already over.
"Kill Street Blues" doesn`t contain any moments of boredom and what you canīt accuse the Sonic Roots of, itīs simple song structures. There is only thing left to wish for, the already mentioned increasing use of Henry`s singing qualities in terms of real vocal lines. Many musicians rock to cover that they can`t sing but here the case is different: The frontman is definitively able to sing. Therefore, the Sonic Roots have much more potential than it`s shown here on this record.