By Sean Willett, September 10 2015 —
Toronto alternative rock band The Sole Pursuit’s debut album, Infinite Regress, has been three years in the making. After conflict with the original producer allegedly caused the band to scrap an earlier version of this album, the band rerecorded the album from scratch. Unfortunately, Infinite Regress doesn’t seem to have benefitted from this turbulence.
According to the band’s bio, songs on Infinite Regress focus on conflict. But in reality, they’re about either heartbreak, as seen in “All Aside” and “Ten,” or are just full of slam-poetry-esque rambling, like “Blue Curtain” or “In the Era.”
Both of these approaches are hit-and-miss. When they fail, it’s usually because The Sole Pursuit combines bland lyrics with equally uninspired instrumentals.
Many tracks on Infinite Regress blend together in a haze of standard alt-rock melodies, with vocals that sound like they should be coming out of a radio in 2005. As a result, the album often sounds derivative of decade-old pop-punk and alt-rock bands, and The Sole Pursuit rarely move away from what is expected of the genre.
Despite this feeling of repetition, Infinite Regress is far from a bad album. “You Get the Me I Give You” features a catchy hook and closes with a genuine, raw emotion the band lacks on its more forgettable tracks. Another pleasant surprise comes from “The Depths of Hell,” an ambitious, 10-minute long song with a lengthy, post-rock inspired instrumental break.
“The Light of Day” also contains enough weirdness to stand out, as lead singer Kyle Dawe flexes his vocal range on the song’s pop-infused bridge. But, like the other glimmers of greatness on this album, this spark of originality is all too brief, and is quickly subsumed by more standard alt-rock fare.
If you are a fan of mid-2000s alt-rock bands like Billy Talent or Sum 41, you will find a lot to like in Infinite Regress. Otherwise, The Sole Pursuit fail to do enough with the genre to escape the shadow cast by their predecessors.