SWEDISH POPSTERS THE SOUNDS CONTINUE TO unabashedly embrace their New Wave roots on their latest, Crossing the Rubicon, with plenty of synth work on every cut. But where so many wannabe wavers get it wrong and The Sounds get it right is that they remember that a lot of New Wave music had great guitar work.
The Sounds’ guitarist, he of the very Swedish-sounding name Felix Rodriguez, never lets the synths overpower his 6-string work. Timed delays, reverb washes, and flanged-out solos keep the tunes from ever sounding too processed or canned. The opener sports guitar work that would be at home on a record by Coldplay, U2, or the band that the Sounds get compared to most often—Missing Persons. The guitars support the infectious melodies beautifully and the delay lines might make a new generation of kids explore tap tempo. Despite the liberal use of effects (cool ’80s-era chorus!) the tones are honest and immediate. This record is just plain catchy as hell. Universal.