The Somatics: Oxford Point

Life after [a]Ultrasound[/a] was always going to be difficult....

Life after [a]Ultrasound[/a] was always going to be difficult. They promised everything – a monumental full-stop in rock history – before ego clashes and internal politics destroyed them. It’s a hard act to follow. But here’s guitarist Richard Green, back already with a new band and maybe a hint at where

the real talent in [a]Ultrasound[/a] lay.

Richard, although capable of spectacular theatrics himself, was always the more considered foil

to Tiny Wood‘s showmanship,

but with The Somatics he’s taking

a more prominent role, sharing vocal duties with angelvvoiced bassist Stephanie Cant. Some of

the old band’s pomp and circumstance is still apparent, particularly as the set progresses and Richard loses himself in indulgent fret abuse, but generally it’s a gentler affair, songs like ‘Ashes To Coal’, with its echoes of ‘Floodlit World’, gliding close to the psychedelic jangle of The Byrds. Stephanie‘s crystalline, almost folky voice, meanwhile, hints at the more rustic sounds of – ahem – Steeleye Span.

It was never going to be about simple pop songs though and the epic ‘Last Days In An Old Town’, weighing in at some six minutes, is reminiscent of the complexity of old. It’s still sharp though, wonderfully hypnotic and bloodyvminded. If [a]Ultrasound[/a] imploded under their own intensity, The Somatics lightweight sparkle might yet carry them to greater heights.

Ronan Munro