July is the first full-length effort from the solo project of Snog keyboardist, Elenor Raynor; otherwise known as Sobriquet. The album provides a mix of electronic dance and industrial rock influences bound together by strong pop sensibilities.
Sobriquet kick things into high gear with the upbeat and dancefloor-friendly XLS, which showcases a smooth melody and a highly infectious chorus. By contrast, the next couple of tracks, Sarah and In the Beginning, are somewhat more aggressive, featuring what one could dub Raynor's "Pissed Off Voice," and, as could be expected, more prominent guitars (yet without them being too prominent to the point of over-saturation).
Gears are switched yet again with the title track July, which veers into the domain of slow and melancholy. Of course further adventures await the intrepid listener, including a couple of electronic instrumentals (Some Elation and Skyline) and more variations upon the styles presented in the first half of the album (though anger seems to be the predominant emotion of July), all executed with a notable degree of skill and finesse.
With 15 tracks, there is quite a bit of album to take in. Luckily, filler tracks seem to be at a minimum. The Prophesy is the one song, that I can name offhand, that really didn't do anything for me. That and the Harmonic 22 remix of Dreams Burn Down which I'm reluctant to count, as it is a remix of a song found elsewhere on the same album. Similar territory does manage to be retread at least a few times, with a particular slant towards more angry tunes. This will likely please the more industrially inclined, while those looking for more variations of the opening track may be slightly disappointed.
All in all July is a worthy debut, presenting quite a few worthwhile songs and signs of the possibility of greater things to come. I can't say with any amount of conviction whether or not Snog fans will enjoy it (being only mildly familiar with Snog), but it's a certainly worth a listen to any fans of the electronic/industrial pop/rock genres.
Post: Ground Under Productions, PO Box 246, Northcote 3070, Victoria, Australia
Phone: +61 613 9481 1652