REVIEW: Soul 4 Sale “Dying Hurts”

Personal and deep intricate thoughts can be best delivered when the soundtrack is raucous, pounding, and relentless in scope. Orange County(New York)punk band, Soul 4 Sale, succeeds with admirable results while attacking the status quo and buried personal reflections. Since 1999, the band has delivered their efficiently straight forward form of punk, with passion and poise. Delivering a middle finger to the overly critical and pseudo scenester set, the band is all about giving you the best on their terms only. The results on Dying Hurts, are nothing short of spectacular.

In deed, this is the band’s most personal record to date. Dying Hurts touches on themes of death, loss, and soul searching. With each passing lyrical passage, a new introduction to life getting more complicated through age is introduced. The music is powerful here as well. It never falls short of it’s goal in delivering intensity within the song cycle. The mix is punk based ear candy with a message.

On the opening track, Decorative, front man Brian Lawrence gives us old school flair when belting a great verse like, “In the end, I was no victim of treachery. Just subject to the truth. Where nothing’s sacred, and nothing’s changing.” In their 2 and a half to 3 minute glory, these songs pack a major punch and have much to say. On Dying Hurts, Lawrence wails, “Everything grows, as spring grows into something old. So morose, yet so hard to let go.” An intriguing thought like this is open to interpretation, but screams “aging is death” to me. The band also chose a cover  to tackle for this great selection of new songs. Overkill by Men at Work, is attacked with a great amount of zeal. The framework for that song is perfect within the landscape of punk rock joy. It translates with great ease. I was curious how these guys came to decide on covering a track like that. “I saw Colin hay on Scrubs following JD around with a guitar playing the acoustic version of overkill.” Lawrence added, “I realized in a stripped down way, that’s a pretty cool rock and roll song.”

Each track on the album is just as good as the ones I have referenced. It is a highly appealing cross section of highly energetic “well written” anthems To me it is a great example of the capabilities of the DIY generation being represented with dignity, not hackneyed processing.

The album will be released by 9 to 5 Records on March 24th, 2012. I recommend you go out an get a copy when it becomes available!

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-Erik Jensen

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