An Irvine band have revealed the details behind their hotly anticipated sophomore record.
Soldier On are set to release the follow-up to Eggs for Breakfast on March 1 with a four-track EP that might raise some eyebrows, says their frontman.
Lead singer Jordan Bastock said: “I think this EP will really catch a lot of people out, and people will really start taking us seriously.
“This EP is riddled with a lot more dimensions. We’ve got elements of brass and keys littered around and we’re really thick-on with the harmonies – we’re really going for it.
“We just want to get as many people’s attention as possible.”
The four tracks on the EP are No Man’s Land – set to be the first single, Get Up – written by the band’s guitarist Stephen Hunter, Signs of Life and Bookmaker.
Recorded in one week at La Chunky studios in Glasgow, Jordan says the band’s studio time has been a different experience from the last time around.
“It feels a lot more full-on this time, because we took a bit of a gamble – we haven’t rehearsed the tracks.
“I spent a lot of time in the studio improvising parts, coming up with things and changing the dynamics in the songs so it was a lot more fun.
“For the first EP we knew what we were doing and we rehearsed it and we’d been playing that set of songs for six months to a year so we were incredibly tight and we knew how it was supposed to sound.
“If you could compare a sound to an aesthetic we wanted that raw sound.
“This time we wanted to go in and polish it a little bit. We want to maintain the live element but also be a beautiful piece of art.”
Despite a different approach to the recording process, Jordan also says the band could move away from the sound that earned them a mod tag when they first started out.
“The first EP was very mod influenced and quite specifically targeted at an audience. But obviously it’s an art and we write it, not for the pleasure of others, but for ourselves.
“The stuff we’re doing just now, you could easily fit into the rock genre.
“It’ll still have your feet stomping and still be soulful, rugged and rock ‘n’ roll.
“No Man’s Land and Get Up I think sound like T Rex tunes. It’s a lot more – not mainstream – but pop.
“Bookmarker has the potential to be a Northern Soul floor-filler. It has that beat behind it; it starts off like most Northern Soul songs: the four-bars and the drums doing a simple four-four on the snare, hi-hat and the kick – just leading you in and enticing you to shuffle your feet - similar to I Am the Resurrection by the Stone Roses.
“Signs of Relief, which is a beautiful piece if I do say so myself, is another ballad similar to Knots and Crosses but I think this one’s a lot better.
“It’s something that’s special to me, it’s something that’s important I think it could be featured in a theatre production because there’s so much depth and meaning; the trumpet solo and outro and how the dynamics matter, the piano behind the melodies are just beautiful.”
In the same month that their forthcoming EP is released the band take to the road for a six-date UK tour, with half of those dates under the banner of March of the Mods – UK-wide shows to aid the Teenage Cancer Trust.
The band take to Liverpool’s Cavern on March 1, Edinburgh’s Voodoo Rooms on March 6 as part of This Feeling club night, Manchester’s Band on the Wall on March 8, Blues Kitchen in London on March 12, Perth’s Green Room on March 12 and finishing on March 14 at Glasgow’s ABC 2. The Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow dates are all part of the aforementioned March of the Mods.
Soldier On look set for another busy year but Jordan will be take it all in his stride, insisting he’s just happy things are back to normal.
“It’s been a while, our last gig was November we’ve had a lot of time out. I’m looking forward to the arguments and fighting with the guys. I miss that.”