steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"Operations of the Unseen" CD


Genres: alt rock, indie rock, modern rock

Aug 25 - 31 2003

Sonafield are a modern rock band from Seattle who record songs of the alternative rock sort - music that's infectious enough to penetrate mainstream radio, but probably won't because of a lack of major label publicity. Their debut album (following a couple of compilation appearances) is Operations of the Unseen, a ten song taste of independent rock similar to that of Lucy's Fur Coat. We can only hope Sonafield won't fold after two records, though, as this debut suggests a very promising future for the Seattle trio.

With that said, this album has its good moments and its not-so good moments. "Gone" is a fine tune, with some nice riffs characterizing the verse and a chorus that really feels like a gust of fresh air. "Breathe" has a pleasingly loose stream-of-consciousness vibe and really pumps up the volume on the chorus, meanwhile "Beggars Day" is pure Lucy's Fur Coat, with a slight touch of Americana present.

On the other hand, there are a few duds. "Melody of Freedom," unfortunately the first track, sounds a bit too glossy and bland; it's catchy, but sounds just like any random tune off of "alternative" radio. It isn't a bad tune itself, but some listeners might want a more inventive first track. "Speak," meanwhile, is too long for its own good; it might fall out of favor with listeners due to its lengthy ending, which seems more suited to a live show than repeated listening. "Perfect Love" also suffers from being too lengthy; its droopy mood doesn't fare well over nearly five minutes.

Altogether, Sonafield's Operations of the Unseen is a solid album and one that may be worth picking up for fans of solid, melodic rock. Don't expect anything out-of-the-ordinary, just let yourself embrace the hooks.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 tracks, distributed by the band, released 2002]