Dylan Sires, singer, guitarist, frontman of a band called Sires –which just so happens to be composed of rock virtuosos. If you’re not sure, if you haven’t heard of them –no worries. Their debut Soul for Sale is the first leap at gaining more recognition outside of their Iowa-homebase. Truthfully, there’s something special here.
Sires really comes out as an oldies-esque, dreamy, boy wonder type of gig in Soul for Sale. The band creates a series of swaying, swooning melodies. Sometimes doo-wop, usually rock ‘n’ roll, and sometimes the band pretends that they’re backing the next Buble. No matter the song, the Sires is always charming.
Part of what makes Soul for Sale so loveable is just how palatable the album is. Soul for Sale is just outright listenable. This isn’t exactly the kind of debut you keep coming back to, but Sires pulls you in across eleven poppy jams. Nothing too memorable but the band makes a fantastic first impression.
The album begins with one of those oldie-inspired tunes, “My Everything.” The song is both a great handshake and a tremendously domineering way to kick things off. On one hand, Sires is up front –they’re going to serenade you with carefully constructed, highly textural, and thematic rock tunes. On the other, they get into groove a bit much, the fawning and chorus of, “you are my everything,” is a bit cheeseballish and when contrasted against the following track –a bit much.
“She’s Into Me” is the charged up rock tune that the album really calls for. It’s radio-worthy-accessible rock with a catchy rhythm and tiny guitar riffs. It’s a bit predictable and doesn’t put forward anything too stylistic. It’s a happy middle ground for the album but at this point you begin to get a funny feeling of, “well what am I listening to?”
Most of Soul for Sale caries out in energetic ups and drops, sprinkled with 70’s imitation rock. And that may sound like a bad spin at first, but Sires seriously rocks their groove and they rock it well. The guitars are energetic and the percussion keeps things moving. The vocals are the anchor to the music and they manage to stay where they need –putting in that extra layer of goodness without reaching too far. Still, there’s always a bit of nausea in the album. Soul for Sale isn’t just eclectic but outright a handful of candy from the house that decided to buy mixed chocolates and lollipops for Halloween.
Despite the eleven flavor twist, Soul for Sale maintains a level of quality amongst each song and individually –they’re all pretty damn decent. For a debut, Sires really makes a splash. “Hands Are Shakey,” really stood out as a personal favorite –a sort of return to 90’s alternative with some painfully –but in a good way –lyrics. The vocal melodies are catchy and flowing alongside some ominous and emotional backing piano. All in all it makes for a great track. Keeping with the alternative vibes, the eighth track pulls through as another star.
“Feeling Right” is a bluesy-poppy menagerie of powerful vocal lines and some gentle guitar chords. It grabs your attention with the off-kilter leaps into choruses, it’s the small things that really make the track. As a note worth mentioning –another non-too thematic tune that manages to get the point across without seeming too inspired. Personal preference or a better creative choice –hard to say.
That said, the only caveat of Soul for Sale is the degree of atmosphere. Sometimes, it’s a lot –and it changes, a lot –making it a bit hard to endure at times. But when Sires drops the act and focuses on their more generic alt rock vibes, they really exceed expectations, and it’s a great way to keep the entire album fresh. If Sires doesn’t become the next big thing, I’d be a bit disappointed. For all those looking for a refreshing listen –a series of emotional lines mixed with a variety of inspired alt rock melodies –look no further. Few albums are so universally palatable and yet equally fun to listen to. I’m sold, on Soul for Sale.