Has it really been three years since the Soundtrack of Our Lives unfurled their
tasty debut, Behind the Music? As much of a sky-faller as that first stab
was, it didn’t break things open for these Swedes the way many expected, at
least not here in the States. Enter the new Origin Vol. 1, a hokey-titled
sophomore endeavor that picks up very much where Behind the Music left
off, brimming with obvious strengths but undone by its similar shortcomings.
TSOOL still can’t seem to shake the conspicuous comparisons to the Kinks or
Oasis. Such a tag doesn’t kill the project by any means, but it does tend to
hamper it. “Transcendental Suicide”, all six and a half minutes of it, is a
celebrated piece of work with larger-than-life Noel Gallagher-like riffs and
glowing melodies. “Cause we need new songs to sing, and it feels like we know
everything,” goes a long way to explain the good and the bad of this band. It’s
hard not to fall for the hook-heavy “Mother One Track Mind” or the funky
giddiness of “Heading For A Breakdown”, so don’t resist. If you told me
Cracker’s David Lowery stole guest lead vocals on the toxic “Midnight Children”,
I’d believe it (though it’s not the case).
In the end, these guys are too far from setting new gold standards to even worry
about it. If expectations remain in check, then Origin Vol. 1 should be
accepted for what it is: a decent, though not legendary, project.