Here Come the Girls is more than a sonic continuation from where The London Souls left off in 2011 with the release of their self-titled debut, it’s a reaffirmation of the fact that the soul of the band is more deeper than just its sound. This past year alone being the leading example that true miracles are capable of happening, and capable of healing.
After some restructuring of the trio since it’s last entrance (bassist Kiyoshi Matsuyama exiting the band), The London Souls have returned to present a body of work consistent with strong song structure, rich in harmonies that blanket the listener at times (c.c. opening section of “When I’m With You”) and instrumentally precise with each thought out texture. The layers that expose themselves in the live sounding canvas of which the album was recorded have an immediate synergistic quality. This is largely a product of singer/guitarist Tash Neal and drummer/singer Chris St. Hilaire’s uniqueness to effectively blend their equal parts; a trait also very prevalent in the band’s focused and collaborative songwriting style.
For this project, The London Souls teamed up with Eric Krasno, guitarist of Soulive, who produced the album with the band in New York. Throughout this record there is an awareness and emphasized chemistry to the vocals and lyric progressions. The shared harmonies develop a rich context to the arrangements and it’s this presence that indicates a continued evolving of their writing. On “Alone,” the organ and staccato piano presence especially resonate of Brian Burton’s fingerprints, though he had no involvement to my knowledge. This song drips with mysteriousness and the transparency of both light and dark themes in the story are equally matched in the varying instrumental phases.
“Honey” and “Steady Are You Ready,” the explosive duo of opening tracks to the album, establish the pace for the music’s direction and offer Neal’s overdriven guitar solos sequenced with and St. Hilaire’s tempered drum rhythms. While one of their greatest strengths is their ability to draw from the tap of the raw and blues rock distinctness that the young-adult-years-of-rock produced,
The London Souls switch gears to showcase their dynamic patience on stripped acoustic-based tracks like “Hercules” and “Isabel.” It’s in these songs where Neal’s honesty as a singer becomes more visible and the production of the songs allows for his voice to balance smoothly with the reserved instrumentals. But it’s the balance between these musical qualities and the high-energy, crunch driven melodies that create length to the entire listen and develop a pace to the record. Here Come the Girls includes an amount of experimentation within the core musical setup that The London Souls harbor, one that is strengthening in structure and song style as the band progresses.