Sobs - Air Guitar Music Album Reviews

Sobs - Air Guitar Music Album Reviews
The Singaporean indie pop trio’s second album sparkles, but under all the glitter, there are somber truths about love’s uncertainties.

Sobs are a sunny oasis in the melancholy landscape of Singapore’s indie scene. The trio’s debut album, Telltale Signs, exuded defeatist languor and ended with an exasperated sigh, capturing the frustration that emerges when a relationship lacks direction. While their scuzzy guitar-pop was reminiscent of Frankie Cosmos and Jay Som, underneath their lush dream pop arrangements were snappy hooks and danceable sensibilities. Even then, Sobs’ pop ambitions felt larger than anything their bedroom stylings could ever hold.

Sobs’ second album, Air Guitar (and their first for U.S. indie rock label Topshelf Records), is a full-fledged realization of those pop aspirations. During a period of burnout in the four years since Telltale Signs, vocalist Celine Autumn briefly stepped away from her guitar and instead embraced the effervescence of hyperpop. Although guitarists Jared Lim and Raphael Ong had brought some sheen to Sobs’ music in the past, Autumn’s self-titled solo EP as Cayenne was pure pop gloss. Co-produced with Lim, Cayenne was a sugar rush, replete with carbonated synths, glitchy distortion, and magnetic hooks. Sobs blend that same fizzy pop production with their summery indie rock on Air Guitar—the album glitters without blunting the trio’s sharp edge.

Sobs don’t just offer a snapshot of Singapore’s indie rock scene on this record; they also sketch a history of guitar-driven indie pop. The narrator comes smartly prepared for inevitable rejection on “Last Resort,” but the ‘80s new wave shimmer evokes the teenage nostalgia of obsessing over a kiss in your bedroom. The song is a rosy fantasy, even as its protagonist anxiously awaits abandonment. Elsewhere, frustrations on “Lucked Out” are masked in the sweetness of compact, jangly arrangements that recall acclaimed Japanese indie pop group Advantage Lucy. The fuzzy static of “Burn Book” evokes Singaporean shoegaze band Cosmic Child—whose frontman Zhang Bo plays bass and guitar on a few tracks here—but adds a spark with a twinkling riff straight out of Midwest emo.

Bedroom pop’s intimate sensibilities still inform Sobs’ lyrics. Across the record, Autumn plays a passive character, trapped in a relationship that should have ended long ago. On the bright bubble-grunge of the title track, she comes to grips with the romance’s shortcomings: “Your lips don’t taste the same, you’re no longer mine/You’re not worthy of the fight,” she professes. Gutless to properly end things, the song buries its remaining sheepish confessions like whispers under a distorted guitar. The spirited guitar line at the end of the song makes Autumn’s last attempt at escape feel even more momentous, despite her resignation. “Friday Night” recounts a similar predicament: Autumn drifts through a cramped house party, her nervousness fading to disappointment as she laments yet another emotionally unavailable partner. In a flash, “Friday Night” conceals her despair as the saccharine power pop transforms into an electric drum’n’bass breakdown.

One painful realization after another, Air Guitar is candy-coated without dulling the pain of heartbreak. If Autumn isn’t surrendering to the reality of an absent and thoughtless partner, then she’s helplessly pleading for someone more reliable. “Please don’t call me back, ‘cause I don’t want to hurt you,” she begs on “LOML,” exhausted from the fatigue and uncertainty. But there are also clear moments that disavow that pessimism, like the earnest and tender power pop of “World Implode.” Sobs translate the cyclical feeling of falling and out of love into gleaming, guitar-led confections across Air Guitar, exuberantly delivering on the promise of going big.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Sobs - Air Guitar Music Album Reviews Sobs - Air Guitar Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on November 16, 2022 Rating: 5


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