You know that feeling when you pick up your cup and take a drink of what you think is water, but it turns out to be soda (and you get that oddly confused look on your face, spit it out, but then continue to drink it anyway)? Well, that's how I felt while listening to Sondre Lerche's newest release, Phantom Punch.
This album was not what I was expecting - it was a definite break from what I'm used to hearing from Sondre and his gang, the Faces Down Quartet. At first I was a bit miffed; I was expecting to hear a flurry of slow love songs featuring his fantastically smooth vocals that made me fall in love with him at "hello." But I have to say that as confusing as it was to hear Phantom Punch with chords that I could actually move to; the album is shockingly good. Seeing Sondre last year at Hiro Ballroom gave me a slight taste of what was to come in this release, but hearing the record in its entirety makes it clear that as different as this album is from past efforts, fans will love it.
Eleven songs - many featuring upbeat electric guitar and tons-o-drums - truly do showcase his songwriting talent as well as his ability to please audiences. Songs like "Say it All," and "Face the Blood," will be fun to see live, not to mention great on repeat. After a mish-mash of awesome songs to dance to, he closes the record with "Happy Birthday Girl," which will calm you down, put you to sleep, and generate dreams about what his next album will be like.