Review: SOWFLO – Such Is Life

Review: SOWFLO – Such Is Life

SOWFLO- Such Is Life
Sowflo_SuchIsLifeTrack Listing:
1.) Burning In The L.O.P.
2.) If You’re Lost
3.) Lion
4.) Pick You Up
5.) Keep Cool
6.) One Good Throw
7.) I Hope You Know
8.) Shot Him Down
9.) You’re Not Alone
10.) I Reclaim Myself

The Pier Album Rating:

Release Date: June 30th, 2016
Official Website: Sowflo Website

Artist Background:
From the sunshine shores of Naples, FL, SOWFLO represents a budding crop of reggae rock bands from the Southeast. The band pays homage to their home state with both their name and their music, effectively embodying the Sunshine State lifestyle in each of their songs. Prior to their debut album Such Is Life, the 5-piece band made waves with 2 well-received EPs, SOWFLO (2010) and Rising (2013). SOWFLO is formed by Jake Dorris (lead vocals/guitar), Christian Yacono (bass/vocals), Daniel Danger (lead guitar), Nick Grim (trombone), and Wes Miztelfeld (drums).

Album Review:
SOWFLO’s debut album Such Is Life captures a classic reggae rock sound with noticeable pop punk influences. With song titles like “If You’re Lost,” “Pick You Up,” and “You’re Not Alone,” the band’s intent to create an uplifting album is clear. Such Is Life depicts both the beauties and struggles of residing in the Sunshine State, but the music is commonly identifiable.

The music begins with “Burning In The L.O.P.,” a light-hearted, ambling Floridian anthem bound to get stuck between your ears. Singing pridefully about SOWFLO’s home state, lead vocalist Jake Dorris boasts, “I am home, home when I see orange grove on the side of the road, like my father and his before. Forever and ever more.” The intro track serves as a convincing hook for anyone getting their first taste of SOWFLO.

After the first track, Such Is Life strings off a number of quality songs, but as a whole the album hits a plateau. Many of the songs begin to blend into each other, and SOWFLO seems hesitant to stray too far beyond a 3 and a half minute song. The band plays tight on songs “Pick You Up” and “I Hope You Know,” but the choruses are fairly run-of-the-mill. However, lead singer Jake Dorris has a passionate and unique style of delivering lyrics, which is able to mitigate some of the songs’ creative shortcomings. There is something enticingly curious about his voice that is hard to put a finger on.

Such Is Life lands its punches when the band turns up the volume and builds suspense with power riffs and blaring horns. “If You’re Lost” and “You’re Not Alone” exemplify this best, proving SOWFLO’s talent for cross-pollinating reggae rock with punk pop. “Keep Cool” is another highlight of the album with its steady rhythm and joyful vocal harmonies. SOWFLO finishes with “I Reclaim Myself,” a distinct departure from the rest of Such Is Life. The song seems to come from a darker place and has a message of personal redemption and defiance, declaring “You can’t tell me who I am to be today and which side of the street to stay.” It’s a stellar song to cap the album off with.

SOWLFO is known for their DIY attitude, but the album is well-produced and crisp throughout. Their debut has a number of appealing songs, and deserves the attention of reggae rock fans. However, Such Is Life does seem like a surface-scratcher. The Naples natives popped out several catchy tracks on this album, but it’s evident they have the ability to take those songs deeper. If and when that happens we could be looking at the new face of Florida reggae.

Written & Reviewed By: Brian Winters

[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, NOT the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]

Watch: Sowflo – “If You’re Lost”