The German shepherd on the cover of the Solids EP Generic Dogs instills a thought within me that I might be about to hear something loud and fuzzy. Thank the bands Turbonegro and You Dead! for those Alsatian musical associations. Presumptions about fuzz turn out to be accurate, but Solids are a slightly different breed of animal, or perhaps more accurately, a cross-breed. Yes, there is some fuzz present here, but only after the pretty little instrumental ditty of a title track opens proceedings. And, crash! Here comes some rock music. Rock music of a perplexing, pulsing variety – that meaning that it has some life to it, and for that reason it has my attention.
Cymbals and riffing kick in with the first song “Whatevers And Neverminds” and I can hear ascension. The music is moving, riffing and crashing as it’s punching up for air, to the message that ‘I won’t, try to make you change your mind’. The vibe continues into something akin to heel-kicking through muddy puddles with Five Works (Just Fine). The music is dissonant, but not a din.
I’m towards the end of the CD when it dawns on me that there is no bass. That’s a compliment to Solids, because for just having guitar and drums the music has width, and is encompassing and expansive at the same time; trapped in their own little bubble of sound. A bigger question though, is why have Solids seemingly recorded this record with their singer locked outside the studio? The vocals are there but rather muffled in the mix. Records sound better when the singer isn’t locked in the bathroom. Maybe that’s the desired aesthetic and more true to the live sound, because after reading the one-sheet I discover that Solids are just a two-piece; two gentleman called Xavier Germain and Louis Guillemette, from Montreal. I find the production of this EP to be off, or maybe it’s just that I’m hoping for something better. Much better. Regardless, by the time I reach the fifth track “Distant Faces” with its mesmeric repeating hook, I find clarity and the best delivery of their music yet – a broody anti-anthem that shows Solids at their best, with the vocals, guitar and drums no longer fighting against each other for attention but achieving a clashing harmony. For a moment, perspicuity is found. It gets me coming back for more, repeating; wanting something more or something better, again. And repeat.
© Brian Banks, Editor, Music Vice
Stream Generic Dogs from Solid’s Bandcamp page