When a song like ‘Someone For You’ by Warm Soda starts to sweetly ring through speakers, one can’t help but be reminded of ye pop rock songs of olde, when rock was gritty but still sweet enough to sing along to. It’s the sweet spot that Oakland, California, pop rockers Warm Soda has successfully hit with their breakout album of the same name, Someone For You.
Catchy, replayable pop songwriting and garage rock morph into it’s own beast, something the quartet call as a potent mixture of “power pop, glam and garage.” The catchy debut caught the indie music world by surprise this year, honing in on great pop songwriting mixed with rock-and-roll guitars, perfecting the retro pop rock of successors like the Strokes, in particular.
With all of the 12 songs under three minutes long, and each one begging for some finger-snapping and head-bopping, Warm Soda has definitely channeled the Strokes and other classic pop rockers in history that has been replaced these days with modern pop punk or folky radio hits that call themselves pop rock. No, Warm Soda has eagerly downed all the right ingredients to be both catchy and nostalgically reminiscent of the timeless hits that have been replayed countless times throughout the years. I have to repeat the Strokes reference, because it’s so extremely strong on all of these songs. If the singer, Rob Good’s voice a little deeper, the resemblance would be uncanny. But his voice is of a softer, sweeter variety, with his higher pitched melodies donning each song and providing the sing along quality that this album delivers in spades.
‘Waiting For Your Call’ especially channels the Strokes, specifically the Strokes’ hit ‘Hard to Explain’, with the same chugging, muted guitar as that twelve-year-old song’s defining characteristic. The move is definitely deliberate, moving at the exact same speed and tone, chugging each verse on, and set to Good’s soulful “oh, ohs” at the end of each line. Despite this sweetness, the song has a bassline that hits after each chorus and keeps the song, like many on this album, heavy-hitting as well as catchy and poppy – a delicious mixture that they’ve perfected. ‘Jeanie Loves Pop’, their next big single besides the title track, is their ultimate display of Pop with a capital P. It has radio hit from the ’80s all over it, with a fun sing-a-long chorus that borders on the stadium rock vibe and balanced with great, almost creeping verses with those muted guitars again.
The album is rich with standouts, most notably ‘Star Gazer’, ‘Busy Lizzy’, and ‘Diamond Ring’, among others. Some of the tracks, a few coming in at just a minute and a half, miss the instantly recognizable structures of some of the stronger songs, blending into the mist of their strong defining style that texturizes each track. But the title track ‘Someone For You’ is definitely their hit, full of the star power of timeless hit singles that have reverberated with so many souls, nostalgically singing along to the sad but sweet lyrics, “You really opened up my world / I had the feeling you were just some other girl / There will always be someone for you”. Warm Soda will really have you believe it, too, as their poppy positivity, doused throughout the entire album, is definitely contagious.
Someone For You is quick to go through and good enough to listen to on repeat, with each short, hard-hitting pop song doing its job seamlessly. It’s a great upbeat summer record, perfect for the lost art of dancing to rock music and reminiscing about how radio pop rock used to be. Warm Soda has a knack for doing it right, and their follow-up, which is already being recorded, is sure to further explore the lost territory they’ve newly rediscovered.
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