Coming from the always overlooked U.K. scene, Sona Fariq introduce their faces to the world with one hell of a business card in the form of their self titled album. At this point, while still being limited to only the European audiences, after listening to this effort, one can't help but feel that it won't take long until Sona Fariq's music breaks the boundaries of America's prejudice for foreign bands, allowing them to expand their fan base throughout the United States. At least, that's what will happen if there is any justice in this world, and I certainly hope there is. After all, what would be of humanity without hope?
From an overall view, Sona Fariq sounds like a less technical, yet more versatile Rage Against The Machine sans the political content, with a big ragga influence (especially in the vocals), but that would be a really vague and unfair description, as the band brings elements of funk, dub, punk and rap to the table and sometimes, even a bit of britpop. When putting it all together, the music somehow ends up fitting in the Ozzfest mentality, even though the band's sound is way beyond that or any other category for that matter. Sona Fariq's music carry hints of bands such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Clash, Bad Brains, Dub War, and perhaps even Sublime and Asian Dub Foundation, but they cleverly use those influences to create a very straight forward and danceable sound that at the end of the road, winds up sounding like nothing but themselves.
Singer Michael Frankel's voice would instantly remind you of Asian Dub Foundation's Deeder due to it's strong foreign accent, though he does seem to speak English a little better than Deeder, and you can notice it by the way the words flow much more smoothly in Sona Fariq's music. Vocal duties are also shared by guitarist Dom Bouffard, who, besides providing some perfect and melodic background vox, also sings himself at times. His voice is much cleaner, and not as ragga influenced as Michael's, so both voices compliment each other very well. Lyrically, this album is pretty much weak. Verses such as "baby, baby, I'm on fire, tonight the night you gotta taste my desire" or "you're like a fucking car crash, girl give it to me" are not exactly what one could call brilliant. Still, its easy to overlook the lyrical problems when listening to this band's music, because you don't really worry about anything else other than the groove of the guitars, bass and drums, while feeling the flow coming from the singers' mouths and all the other factors that grab at your attention.
The intensity that Sona Fariq were able to capture on a studio recording is literally breathtaking. Producer Chris Sheldon (Therapy?, Feeder) was definitely clever with his production duties, as he made each song sound as vibrant and energetic as a live show, yet precise and tight enough to not sound disjointed or messy.
Sona Fariq's debut album is almost a wake-up call for the current heavy music scene, as the pallet of audio shown on it is enough to make every other band in the business jealous; and it's also concrete proof that the heavy music scene is not as stagnant and dull as some people like to think. The uniqueness, yet easy digestibility of this band's music make it a perfect soundtrack for every situation, being it a barbecue with all your friends, or alone in your car for a 6 hour trip. This album might be just what you need if you're looking for anything other than what the great majority of today's bands are willing to offer.