Today marks the release of Idolize, the sophomore full-length from French noisemakers Sofy Major. The album is out on Solar Flare Records in Europe and No List Records in the US, and it finds the Clermont-Ferrand three-piece beating out a stirring blend of crunchy noise rock and heavier fuzz riffing, somewhere between Kyuss Big Muff fuzz (see “Comment”) and modern Unsane‘s sense of churning chaos, with — and why not? — a touch of Melvins tossed in for good measure on the jagged, frenetically-drummed “Coffee Hammam” and some melodies peaking through in the punkish back half of “Bbbbreak,” the swaying verses of “UMPKK Pt. 2” and the lead guitar finale of closer “Golden Curtain.” Comprised of bassist/vocalist Mathieu Moulin, drummer/backing vocalist Mathieu Desternes and guitarist Sébastien Fournet, the band is more ambitious even than it might first appear in listening to the album’s 11 tracks.
For example, after having the venerable Andrew Schneider mix their 2010 debut, Permission to Engage, the trio decided it was worth their time and effort to travel from France to Brooklyn and actually record Idolize with Schneider at his Translator Audio studio. A tour was booked for afterwards and the trek was made. Only snag was that Sofy Major came through New York the same time as Hurricane Sandy, which unfortunately claimed Translator Audio as one of its victims, and with little warning, Fournet, Moulin and Desternes had to find a new place to record, and quickly.
Who should step up but Dave Curran of Unsane and Pigs. Curran not only gave Sofy Major a spot to record, but even donated guest vocals to “Steven the Slow,” one of the highlights of the tracklist. But while Curran may be the hero of Idolize, he’s hardly the star of the show, and in their moments of manic assault — the beginning of “Golden Curtain” comes to mind — Sofy Major hit like a stripped-down, ultra-immediate High on Fire, talking heavy elements from a variety of spheres, thrash, stoner, hardcore, and effectively turning them into something of their own.
Check out Idolize in its entirety (even including the Euro and US bonus tracks) on the player below and feed your need for information with the fruits of the PR wire that follow:
Sofy Major, Idolize (2013)
Out of the bowels of the post-industrial badlands of Clermont-Ferrand, France comes SOFY MAJOR, a metallic noiserock trio highly motivated in intoxicating the listener with their energetic and off-kilter attack, than kick your liver in while your hangover is at its worst.
With barely-harnessed off-kilter riffery and white-knuckled percussion, the members of SOFY MAJOR have battered audiences since their 2007 manifestation, having released their debut album Permission To Engage in the fall of 2010. The band has shared the stage with Jello Biafra & The Guantanamo School of Medicine, Baroness, Electric Wizard, Boris, Shrinebuilder, These Arms Are Snakes, Kylesa and countless others. In the past two years alone the band racked up over one hundred fifty gigs in twenty countries across two continents, all part of the diabolical construction of their sophomore LP, Idolize.
In the Autumn of 2012 SOFY MAJOR transports to the Northeastern North American quadrant, bent on hammering out their new opus at renowned Brooklyn-based studio Translator Audio with producer Andrew Schneider (Unsane, Keelhaul, Cave In, etc.) as well as to embark on their first US tour. As luck would have it, they arrived in town at the same time Hurricane Sandy moved in. The loss is 100% — the entire studio flooded beyond repair, and all equipment in the studio including the band’s gear left swimming. The trio bummed around the borough for a few days, hooking up with cohort and labelmate Dave Curran (Unsane, Pigs), who helped set up the sessions they crossed the globe to carry out. The band eventually recorded with Schneider at Brooklyn-based Seaside Lounge and Spaceman Sound studios, and had it mastered by Carl Saff at Saff Mastering, the band then immediately taking to the road on a delayed but steadfast American tour.
Like a demented mesh of the Melvins slamming into High On Fire with undeniable noise/metal influences instigated by the likes of Unsane, Quicksand and Deadguy, Idolize encapsulates SOFY MAJOR’s intoxicating concoction of sludge riffage, stale beer, shattered dreams and perseverance. The album is set for worldwide release on May 31st via Solar Flare Records in Europe (Pigs, American Heritage) and No List Records in North America (Ken Mode, The Great Sabatini), the album to be delivered as a limited vinyl boxset, (three 12” LPs in three colors), digipack CD, cassette and digital download.Clermont-Ferrand, France, Idolize, No List Records, Sofy Major, Sofy Major Idolize, Solar Flare Records