Artist: Sofie Jell
Album: Beauty Lies in the Eyes Pt.2
Label: Banana Atômica
Release Date: 24/09/2021
Anyone who says grunge is dead clearly hasn’t listened to Sofie Jell‘s latelst offering Beauty Lies in the Eyes Pt.2. This is an album that sounds like it could have easily been released in the early to mid 90s in Seattle. However it was actually releases last month in Brazil on Banana Atômica with the help of our good friends at Bruxa Verde Produções.
The band is Lucas Laudano (voice/guitar), Marquinhos Menezes (guitar), Leonardo Guimarães (drums), Bruno Mendes (bass), Jorge Luiz Marques Filho (guest piano and orchestra). They state that their inspiration comes from Helmet, Soundgarden, Silverchair and Queens of the Stone Age, all of which are very clearly present. However, I also feel some very clear Nirvana, Alice in Chains and early Pearl Jam influences here. Basically, if you like any of the grunge classics, you’ll find plenty to love here.
Lucas Laudano perfectly embodies both the vocal style and the energy of a grunge front man. He possesses that gruff tone and presents it with that perfect mix of emotional pain and apathy that makes grunge so distinctive. Lyrically he covers topics of emotional pain, failed relationships, being unhappy with the direction that life has taken him in; and does all of it in a way that feels very genuine and believable.
Instrumentally speaking the album has quite a bit of diversity as far as atmosphere and energy goes. From smooth relaxed parts to upbeat and heavy segments. Musically the band match whatever direction Lucas takes them in or vice versa. Either way there’s a solid connection between vocals/lyrics and instrumentals.
To break it down slightly further the guitarwork is solid and should be well received by any fan of grunge or hard rock in general. The bass work is fantastic and does far more than is required of it to expand the sound and overall depth of the album. The addition of piano and orchestral elements really adds to the overall sound of the album and helps to re-enforce the sense of maturity that the band espouse. The use of acoustic guitar alongside piano on tracks such as Down works extremely well (If you’re an Alice in Chains fan you’re going to love that one). The violin is particularly effective on Insidead and adds plenty of emotional clout to the track.
Overall, this is a solid album and one that caught me by surprise. While I like the album art it doesn’t prepare you for what the band is going to present you with on the release. So, if you’re a grunge fan in any capacity I’m sure that you’re going to find plenty to love about this album. Do yourself a favour and don’t sleep on it.
Listen to and order the album: