Donny Ross embraces a classic rock with a post punk ethos on the intense darkness of “Souls With No Goals”. The raw, jagged grooves that adorn the tracks recall rock’s essential physicality. A pure joy to behold there is a crazed exploration behind the whole of the journey. Every song builds off the last making the entire thing best taken in as a singular whole. With an atmosphere that feels so alive, featuring flourishes that whisper in and out of the mix, there is a grandeur to the entirety of the experience. Volume is an absolute must for theirs is a live sound.
Vocals here have a searing presence about them cutting like a knife. If Lou Reed was Scottish, he may have sounded a little like Donny. The Velvet Underground reference is quite fitting for they too make sure to explore the rhythm, pushing it right to the very breaking point. Beyond this reference, they delve into post-punk’s experimental yet beguiling brew. On this tact they are not alone, for groups from Fake Fruit to the closer by Dry Cleaning have also expanded upon this sound recently, letting the darkness in right in a fun playful spirit.
A fuzzed-out blast of psychedelic rock takes shape on the tone-setting “Lips of Fire” with its driving rhythm working overtime. Cloudy guitar work reminiscent of Belong’s spacey shoegaze approach is the far-off expansive jam of “S.T.A.G.S”. Great color comes into bloom on the beautiful, rural pastoral garage rock of “Talking Soul For Hours and Singing In Her Sleep” where his voice has a crispness to it. Pure adrenaline flows with “Closing Molly” as the drums have a live physicality to them. Quite gentle “Home from Home” has a delicate touch to it, with a rather pretty tender disposition to it. Nice nods to the dissonance and spaciousness of Sonic Youth’s “Daydream Nation” comes the yearning passion of “Saturday Nights At The Old War Memorial”. On “Auld Timers” there is an ancient appeal to it, with the ramshackle indie rock jangle a little piece of paradise.
Waves of distortion crash over the listener on the urgency of “The Glasgow Necropolis”. Nighttime vibes reign throughout “Don’t Mouth, Don’t Speak” as they touch upon a degree of intensity, clear-eyed focus running through it all. By far the most energetic piece on the album the martial “S.T.I.N.G” stuns, for there’s a great darkness behind it. Easily the highlight of the album there is an intoxicating presence to the verses to the off-kilter riffs. Interesting creative beats underpin “Coinneach Ohdar”. Languid tempos lead “Orchid” forward giving it a reflective presence. Effortlessly closing it out is the freewheeling “Water and Bread”.
“Souls With No Goals” shows off Donny Ross’s thoughtful hooks and clever, surreal lyricism.