SOS: Strength And Conditioning (2014) – Album Review



Artist SOS Album Strength and Conditioning Year Released: 26 July 2014
Label None Genre NYHC | Hardcore | Punk

Trying to control chaos is tough. Especially when the influence derives from the hectic pace of New York City. Luckily SOS have been harboring their hardcore-punk grit into self-released albums to allow people to let loose. Easy going and thrashy, Strength And Conditioning is the band’s newest release, again coming from their own 316 productions.

Order SOS’ Strength And Conditioning at their bandcamp page.

SOS have combined punk, lounge rock, and hardcore into 14 tracks. At 48 minutes, Strength And Conditioning is one hell of an exercise. The songs take the listener through a variety of styles, rarely allowing one to settle in before taking a swing at a new genre. This keeps the music interesting and distinguished, even if “Run It Down Into The Ground” to me is referred to as that “heavy Pantera song.” The track takes a heavy beat and howls, screams, and even barks over it. The vocal range is very impressive as the riff comes to a close. Immediately after, the band switches to a more ’70s thrash style on “None More Black,” and pull it off effortlessly. The hilariously titled “What Ever Happened To…?” pulsates like an early ’90s punk song licked with power/stoner metal.

Across this entire record, the vocal range is the most impressive aspect. Mike SOS turns his voice into shrieks, growls, and guttural pitches frequently, without ever seeming to lose pace. This helps spark each song with an interest while also giving tracks more depth. At times the random variations can make the music stutter, but more often than not the flying voices are fun. The rest of the music is good, but never really spirals off into anything too crazy. It is distinguishable to hear the band switch styles frequently, and they deserve props for being able to hold it all together with 14 conscious breaths.

The Verdict:

It has been six years since the last SOS release, and for Strength And Conditioning the band went all out. It is a solid album, full of tracks laden with personality. Even if only for one listen through, any metal fan should get a kick out of this record.

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