SOS – SOS, the Mob, and the Limo Love Scandal

SOS, the Mob, and the Limo Love Scandal

The album cover art with the accompanying title (SOS, the Mob, and the Limo Love Scandal? Either it’s a concept album or an inside joke, I don’t know which) led me to expect a Fun Loving Criminals-style experience. I was wrong. The opening track made me think I’d be hearing a metal/hardcore album, but it isn’t that either. Immediately upon starting the disk, there’s a big distorted New York-style sound that brings to mind fellow New Yorkers Prong. Their Beg to Differ album sounds like an inspiration for the production (and some of the guitar licks) on this record. Although we get some hard and heavy production, things don’t stay heavy for too long.
There are many different styles utilized here, from metal workouts, club sing-alongs, pop-punk numbers, straight-out rock numbers, and many points in between. There’s even a ska number on here, which sounds very strange considering the grinding production is used throughout the record. This could be a recipe for excitement, but the vocals come in and grind things to a halt. The vocals won’t stay out of the realm of annoying Creed/Pearl Jam-style “Woah, yeah yeah” maneuvers, and I don’t have much of a tolerance for that sort of thing. The occasional screams and grunts made by the band sound out of place, but give you the distinct impression that they should have known better.
I have nothing against bands genre-jumping on a single album. Variety is good and can make for a more complete and interesting listening experience. However, the bands that do so successfully have a home base, a sound they respect and work within. In the case of SOS, it sounds like the band is throwing out several styles of music just to see what sticks, without spending much time to perfect any particular style. As a result, nothing really sticks at all, and the melodies aren’t that memorable.
The next time out, these guys should consider a little bit more focus. The band sounds fine, but the vocals sound as if they were an afterthought. Since SOS seems to try to avoid hardcore screaming (which is admirable), they should consider getting a vocalist who really cares about crafting a good melody. A singer who understands the music and the vision of the band would inject some much needed life into the songs. The genre-jumping would be much easier to swallow, and they’d be well on their way to making a great record.