Friday, December 22, 2006

Under Review: Sondre Lerche // Phantom Punch

Sondre Lerche // Phantom Punch // Februrary 6, 2007 (Astralwerks)

6.5 out of 10

In 2000, he couldn't release his debut album Faces Down yet because of academic requirements. Sondre Lerche (Pronounced San-Dre-Ler-Ke) was still a young man. He went on to release two albums after his debut. Both being top sellers at Starbucks and played to an extensive count at Barnes & Noble.

Sondre is 24 now. He's a man. His music shows it. Where his first three albums were melodic with lots of acoustic and minimal, Phantom Punch, which I believe is named after Muhammed Ali's famous picture of him standing over a layed out Sonny Liston, is an attempt at a rock album. The Swedish-quality melodies are still present, but a newfound talent has entered the scene. Lerche is now delivering bombastic choruses with a wall of electric guitar and splashy drums. The Arctic Monkeys would be an obvious comparison (The Tape, Face The Blood).

Energetic songs like "The Tape" and "Face The Blood" do put Sondre in victory lane. Also, opener "Airport Taxi Reception" is what Sondre does best. It makes you wish a foriegn woman was by your side, because if you have this playing you got her in the bag. Sondre also plays retro Phoenix great in "Say It All".

The same obstacle seems to drag down Lerche time after time though. His music is good, but it's too nice and sweet. He doesn't stretch his ability too often. I'm not begging for Kid A, just something new. Well, some might say the rock inside Sondre is new. For him yes, but I've been hearing this 'new sound' from other bands for the past 5 years.

1. Airport Taxi Reception
2. The Tape
3. Say It All
4. Phantom Punch
5. Tragic Mirror
6. Face The Blood
7. John, Let Me Go
8. Well Well Well
9. After All
1o. She's Fantastic
11. Happy Birthday Girl

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