Album Reviews: Origin 1 by The Soundtrack of Our LivesSweden's The Soundtrack Of Our Lives (TSOOL) have been swinging for the rock fences for a decade. Origin Volume 1, the band's second stateside issued full length, offers close, up front proof of the inspiration for perseverance. These tracks are drenched with unabashed homages to TSOOL's heroes from rock's family tree, from The Beatles and Rolling Stones to Love, pre-Tommy Who, The Doors, Stooges, Barret-era Pink Floyd, etc. And while it is true that TSOOL have dipped into the well before, on Origin Volume 1, they immerse themselves in it.
The set opens with "Believe I've Found," a mid tempo rocker. Echoes of psychedelic music from the ages waft through its mix, as Ebbot Lundberg traces through the wasteland of his past, and underscores his new sense of mental and emotional equanimity. With a great hook, a roaring electric guitar and organ chorus and poignant lyrics, its one of the best tunes in the band's catalogue. "Transcendental Suicide" comes right out of the TSOOL's obsession with The Who. "Bigtime," the album's first single, is a bit more problematic. There isn't a riff and the song's hook is skeletal at best. Why it was chosen as a single is puzzling to say the least. "Heading For A Breakdown" is a layered, psych rock tapestry with a barely disguised riff from Buffalo Springfield's "For What It Worth, while the whomping "Mother One Track Mind," comes right out of the band's longtime Stooges worship. "Midnight Children" features a guest duet vocal by Jane Birkin. The Serge Gainsbourg influence on the cut is pronounced, but doesn't carry it off into parody. The hook feels organic and the duet is seamless.
Ultimately, Origin Volume 1 is a look back through the past -- musically, personally, poetically, and culturally-- as a way of moving toward the future, celebrating its influence and shaking free of its baggage. TSOOL has arrived after a decade of carefully and meticulously crafting passionate and compelling rock music that beautifully articulates that which is less than obvious. - Thom Jurek, All Music Guide
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