I believe it was the Friday before Christmas 2012 when I received a padded envelope from Spain. I had completely forgotten about it, the bigger was the surprise when I opened it and found a rare copy of The Soulbreaker Company’s first record “Hot Smoke & Heavy Blues”. The band generously offered me to send me a copy of their debut album which is unfortunately not available anymore on the market. I do hope though that more copies will get in print and made available in the near future. But I digress, because today I actually want to talk a little bit about another one their CDs, called “The Soulbreaker Company – Itaca”.
I on purpose waited a little while to write this review because I wanted a fresh and unbiased mind. I had previously shared with you my thoughts on “The Pink Alchemist”, but I wanted some time to pass before I actually dove into “Itaca”. Primarily because I feel that too many people make the mistake of qualifying or perhaps even judging a new release by comparing it to the previous one. In retrospect, I believe I made the right decision.
Itaca is not just a compilation of songs. As a matter of fact, too me it’s one cohesive story with many chapters. I wouldn’t go as far as calling it a “concept-album” – I guess only the band would be able to make that claim and to be perfectly honest with you, I still don’t know what that term actually means. But anyway, my point is, Itaca makes the most sense to me when listening to it “a whole”. This obviously is solely based on personal preference and not a written in stone statement. Another way to describe it: it would be impossible to me to pick any favorite tracks as the whole record, the musicianship and production is at such a high level, I just wouldn’t make any sense. I’ve been listening to Itaca a few times now and usually I can come up with a couple of tracks that stand out to me, and also a few ones that I may not consider my top picks. But I found this to be extremely difficult with this one. From the first to the last track, The Soulbreaker Company managed to keep the bar high – exeptinally high, in my opinion.
The reason why I like this band is there seemingly effortless endeavor of combining pure hard rock with rather complex and sophisticated arrangements. I know I made a similar statement as I reviewed “The Pink Alchemist”, but that to me is the “stand-out” factor and I am just amazed how these guys can just sustain that presence, authenticity and intensity throughout the eleven tracks feature on “Itaca”.
Lastly, it is only natural when listening to a band that you compare it with other things you are already familiar with. Sure, there are certainly elements that do remind me of acts such as Deep Purple, King Crimson, etc., but that is ultimately up to you and what you hear as a listener. My point is, though, I believe that this band too actually deserves to be recognized in its own right as what they are, a multi-faceted rock ensemble that is open and capable of incorporating all the ‘ingredients’ that make music GOOD!
Here is a link to buy The Soulbreaker Company – Itaca directly via Amazon as well as a list of all the band members, plus some resources to learn more about them and their music:
The Soulbreaker Company are:
Daniel Trinanes: electric and acoustic guitars
Jony Moreno: vocals, acoustic guitar and backing vocals
Andoni Ortiz Domingo: drums and cymbals
Jose Javier Manzanedo: bass
Oscar Gil: hammond, synths, piano, keyboards and backing vocals
Asier Fernandez: electric guitars, acoustic guitars and vocals