The Forgotten Souls of Antiquity flat out say that “There A’nt No Surf in Cleveland USA,” but they forgot to mention how they managed to write a few kick ass surf rock songs from that location! The diverse Ohio band consists of Jay on drums, Shack on bass and vocals, BillMike on vocals and whatever else he can get his hands on, along with Norm Tischler contributing his fantastic horn playing. Through this mix of talent, Forgotten Souls of Antiquity have written an adventurous record that conjures up rock of all types from all times.
Forgotten Souls of Antiquity proudly proclaim on the album cover that their record was recorded in glorious low fidelity; they weren’t kidding. The recording lacks the clean digital polish that is expected from a modern day recording. It’s intentional and brings out an incredible amount of character from their music given its old rock feel. The self titled album is comprised of ten gritty, Southern barroom-esque tunes that seem to be pulled straight out of a rock time machine. The beauty of the album is its familiarity; while these are mostly new songs, they fit right into a great rock comfort zone that many music lovers will settle right into.
In ten songs, Forgotten Souls of Antiquity cover a lot of ground in terms of rock genres. As they start off on a surf rock kick with “Belly of the Beast” and “Highway Pifpeline”, they thump along with a heavy bass line that screams Summertime. These songs are packed full of cymbals and offer an authentic, nostalgic feel. The same would also be true of the prior mentioned “No Surf in Cleveland”, the only difference being that this song is considerably edgier than the two openers as it screams out its anti-surf message.
As comfortable as the Forgotten Souls are in the surf they are equally up to the task of playing a fast paced, piano infused gospel song. “Down by the Riverside” is a reworked Civil War era gospel song that the band tuned up for their debut record. As it swaggers along, you can’t help but feel as if you are in a saloon getting ready for a brawl to break out. It’s a century old song that they managed to fit perfectly into the album, and it is in good company with these two great rousing bar songs: “Rum Runner” and “Price of Wine” which fit right in with the saloon sound.
Of everything on the album, where Forgotten Souls of Antiquity really shines is when they sing the blues. “Lawn Avenue Blues” is a song that lead singer BillMike wrote based on a guy from Lawn Avenue that lived in a van and played the ‘meanest blues’ he had ever heard. While the song was originally written for his solo record, the version on the album packs a great punch and sounds incredibly deep musically thanks to the addition of Norm Tischler’s sax.
Through all the rock genres that Forgotten Souls of Antiquity cover on the album, the song that stands out above the rest is the lightning quick track “Lost in Translation”. It is pure rock n’ roll from start to finish. Anchoring down its status in what I feel is the best song on the album is the superb guitar work; especially the two solos. Positioned squarely in the middle of the album, “Lost in Translation” is perfectly placed to break up the many different styles that make up this musical journey.
When Forgotten Souls of Antiquity first stopped by Rocksposure, I liked what I heard, but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Having only “Down by the Riverside” and “No Surf in Cleveland” to go off of, I knew they had talent, but given how different the songs were I wasn’t sure how the album would fit together. Now that I’ve heard the finished product, I am more than impressed at how well they pulled in all the different influences and styles. Whether you’re a fan of the blues, or just need some fresh tunes to catch some waves to, don’t pass up this album.
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As the Webmaster and Founder of Rocksposure.com, Chris Brach is always looking for new music from up and coming rock bands. You never know, they could be our next Artist of the Month! If there is something you think he should give a listen to, email him at GetRocked@Rocksposure.com