Oakland-based sextet, The Pleasure Routine have released their debut album ‘Sugar Mountain’ today and after a couple of listens I am delighted to report that it is well worth the wait! Paving the way with their golden sounds, singles ‘Wires’ and ‘Walk the Dog (Backwards) were released earlier this year, for which ‘Sugar Mountain’ is a mighty continuum.
Forming in 2012 by high school classmates Kevin Sofsrud, guitarist Eric McDonald, and bassist Kirk Jacobs, the band also consists of Nate Tang(Lead Guitar/Vocals), Chase Bonifay (Drums) and Lauren Kopp (vocals/Tambourine). Together they create a songs contrasting between optimism, realism, doom and darkness where the shared lead vocals of Kevin and Lauren offers a sense of balance, their tuneful layering delivering their emotional tales of awkward youth, coming of age and disaffection.
I asked Kevin from the band how their collective forces come together when it comes to songwriting and this is what he said:
“The collaboration on the album song writing wise is Ruins (written by Lauren), Wires (written by Eric McDonald, Lauren Grace & Kevin Sofsrud), Walk The Dog (written by Eric & Kevin). The rest of the songs are Kevin Sofsrud’s but I wouldn’t understate the huge effect on our rhythm section from our producers, Ricky Maymi and Greg Ashley. They pushed for the best out of all of us with brutal honesty. I will say Kirks bass lines do determine the mood sometimes on a particular tune, while Nates Lead guitar is just outstandingly melodic, Eric is really the rhythm as he only plays rhythm”
This has got to be one of the most original albums I’ve heard in a while, from the sultry lulls of ‘Ruins’ to the blues-led, psych-driven ‘Wires,’ the pounding upbeat delights of ‘Me, The Narcissist’ to what originally captured my attention, ‘Walk the Dog (Backwards)’ (now that is one outstanding track!).
‘Sugar Mountain’ comes together perfectly and it’s plain to hear how each musician compliments one another, fusing past and present sounds with hints of The Velvet Underground, Nick Cave, Talking Heads and whoever else you may detect amongst this wondrous blues-psych, punk sound!
I strongly recommend that if you like what you’ve heard so far you should go hear the rest of this album, starting with today’s song ‘Two Artists,’ a rolling rhythmic, tuneful roller coaster of thrilling vocals and
Grab your copy of ‘Sugar Mountain’ from here