"BRUISES" the debut album makes Top 20 NZ Local Albums in its first week of release at number 19, and number 8 on Heat Seekers Fastest Rising Chart. A monumental achievement for the band. It also rose to number 11 on the Independent NZ Albums Chart.
Also, The Solomon Cole Band have made the list of nominees for this years Taite Music Prize 2017 for 'Bruises"- the band are also in the nominees for best album debut of 2016.
SOUL POWER 2016
13th Floor Interview with Marty Duda
Solomon Cole & Miss Sophia opening for The Animals recently.
ELSEWHERE - Graham Reid
The Solomon Cole Band: Bruises (the solomoncoleband.com)
Astonishing! For many years, much more than a decade, Elsewhere has written about how paint-stripping singers like Janis Joplin and more recently the stunning Beth Hart must scare the bejezzus out of all those bedroom-bound sleeve sucking young women songwriters whose best line seems to be a whine about having their wee heart broke.
Well, welcome to the thunder-dome of guitars, wall-shaking intensity and the nail-hard vocals of Sophia Fa'alogo (see Bonfire Baby below also). This is rock'n;roll for men and women who like it turned up to 11, who have their meat more on the raw side (but with subtle seasoning) and who've dragged some interestingly dark pasts into their present survival. Music by and for adults then.
Facts: The Solomon Cole Band are out of Waiheke Island (and most definitely are not old slack arse hippies or the new vineyard-habitué rich) with Cole channeling Jim Morrison/Butler of Psychedelic Furs and Fa'alogo – a bit under-utilised given her astonishing firepower – pulling in Grace Slick/Janis/Merry Clayton et al.
There's also the terrific, Stones-in-72 piano-rock'n'roll boogie on Doors of Perception (it feels like it's just a kiss away, a kiss away) and their original Little Sister, the downer-thump AC/DC, . . .
Can't think of another New Zealand band who could so persuasively sing, “Take the gasoline and pour it on the Limo” on the thrilling Fighting Fires.
That's heroic . . . and the Solomon Cole band are all that . . . and more.
Jon Spencer/Akadaka/Fat Possum blues/Big Brother . . . and more.
Turn this up to eleventeen . . . and someone give that Fa'alogo gal her own album. Unleashed.
Graham Reid 2016
All Photography by Peter Rees, Blair Quax & Graham Hooper
The Solomon Cole Band
With the release of their debut album 'Bruises' receiving rave reviews ( one of the years best releases by Mike Alexander Sunday Times) and reaching No. 19 on the NZ Local album charts, and number 11 on the Independent NZ Music Albums, and nominated for best debut album in 2016 for The Taite Music Prize, The Solomon Cole Band gathered a rock'n'roll momentum.
'Bruises' unleashed the band's full arsenal of blues with a melancholy, raw and ethereal sonic power and the infectious trance like stomp of redemption and soul power. Mix that with the formidable kick drum swagger of one of NZ's sexiest drummers, Dione Denize, and this quartet (all the way from the lush bohemian setting of Waiheke Island) are the most dance worthy rock'n'roll band in the country bar none. The ultimate blues crossover, they've opened for Martha Davis & The Motels, My Baby (Europe), The Animals and more.
Their aim was to create a set of explosive and exalted indie-trance driven swamp blues that NZ Blog 13th Floor referred to as "hearkening a cross between QOTSA , The Black Keys and Tina Turner". The band also cite somewhere between artists like The John Spencer Blues Explosion, Howlin' Wolf,Mark Lannegan, Massive Attack, various electronica and Led Zeppelin, adding that trance type boogie in a modern take on traditional music.
Graham Reid from Elsewhere recently wrote: "Astonishing! For many years, much more than a decade, Elsewhere has written about how paint-stripping singers like Janis Joplin and more recently the stunning Beth Hart must scare the bejezzus out of all those bedroom-bound sleeve sucking young women songwriters whose best line seems to be a whine about having their wee heart broke.
Well, welcome to the thunder-dome of guitars (Stevie Ray!), wall-shaking intensity and the nail-hard vocals of Sophia Fa'alogo ( Co-lead vocalist for The Solomon Cole Band)"
The Bruises Tour extended through to April 2017 with dates in Australia as well as strengthening their connections to European soil, then the band will be back in the studio with engineer Nick Abbott (The Datsuns, Goldenhorse) to start work on the follow up record.
Here's what the reviews said:
"With a tight rhythm section that has the elasticity of a bungee rope, The Solomon Cole Band have hit the motherlode" ****
Mike Alexander, Sunday Star Times
"Raw and evidently talented, let them Ring Your Bell."
Ania Glowacz, NZ Musician
"These guys have obviously been long time devoted students of the school of rock and in this album they're teaching a master class in how to rock like the greats. "
Solomon Cole (Derek Solomon) is also a published member of Songbroker via Aeroplane Music, has previously released records with bassist Lee Catlin and vocalist Sophia Faalogo under the name Payola ( Gone To Ground via Jayrem Records & Dirt and Stars) and was also vocalist with Auckland stoner-blues rock band These Automatic Changers (alongside bassist Lee Catlin) who released the record Have Mercy in 2014, and recently supported internationals such as Uriah Heap, Ace Frehley (ex KISS) and Pop Will Eat Itself.
Miss Sophia has also fronted popular funk collective The Reputations and Dione Denize also drums for Raglan-based blues trio Good News For Modern Man. Lee Catlin still makes electronica music under the name Ghost Town Museum and is part of the Artisan Project (with Solomon Cole) to produce music for publishing, as they both have their own studio on Waiheke. All four members play in The Waiheke International Soul Orchestra (new brainchild of Solomon Cole that is electronic/funk/soul/r'n'b based, with live percussion, drums and bass).
Together they have combined their respective talents into The Solomon Cole Band that has a growing reputation as a superb live show that takes the raw soul vibe of early Ike & Tina Turner, and lathers it with a hard blues guitar stomp and delivers low-brow, thigh shuddering rock and soul music to full houses wherever they go.
Released 2nd September via Aeroplane Music Records.
Solomon Cole - Guitar/Vocals
Miss Sophia - Vocals
Dione Denize - Drums
Lee Catlin - Bass
Sun Oct 23rd - Peacock Sky Vineyard, Waiheke Island
Sat Oct 29th - The Portland Public House, Auckland
Sat Nov 5th - The Yot Club, Raglan
Friday Nov 18th - The Thirsty Dog, Auckland
Sat Nov 19th - Leigh Sawmill, Leigh
Friday Dec 2nd - Caroline, Wellington
Sat Jan 13th - Kings Arms MY BABY support
Sat March 4th - The Waiheke Summer Sounds Festival
March/April 2017 - Melbourne/Sydney Dates to be confirmed
1) Ring Your Bell
3) Crooked Ways
5) Lazy Boy
6) Doors Of Perception
7) Little Sister
8) Fighting Fires
9) Sweet Ruby
For two years The Solomon Cole Band have played to packed shows wherever they roam. In that time, 10 songs always stood out that connected with audiences, and these songs have made the record. The band made contact with Nick Abbott upon his sudden arrival home after 13 years in LA and the UK. He'd since worked with Robert Plant, Rihanna and numerous international acts in his tenure away. All this alongside local albums previously by Goldenhorse & The Datsuns, Nick was an ideal choice to take the raw bones of what The Solomon Cole Band had, and amplify it in a way the quartet hadn't thought of.
Nick states, "I had been back in the country for a few weeks when Derek asked if I’d be interested in having a go at mixing Ring Your Bell, the first single off what would become the ‘Bruises’ album. Having no expectations is a powerful thing. As is instinct, I wallowed in the raw rhythm section of Dione Denize and Lee Catlin, wrestled the monstrosities of Derek’s guitars and marvelled in the power of Miss Sophia’s timeless vocals. I had freedom and I took chances."
"Why not.Why not surprise and enthral at every turn? Why not turn this on its head?"
"Anyway. I sent the mix with trepidation. I’d seriously messed with this song. But incredibly the band loved it, and we kept moving forward. It’s been a pleasure to work on this record. The natural power of the playing, the timelessness of the writing and oh! that singing is a joy to sculpt. ‘Bruises’ is a monument to a scene, a freedom and independence. Long may it continue."
And so it came to pass, the album we had started had become an entirely different beast. Solomon says, "It no longer became the process of recording songs as they were rehearsed, but continually writing right up until the final mix, as Nick's approach would inspire new things for Lee and I."
'Bruises' includes live favourites like Lazy Boy, with it Zeppelinesque riff and snake-like groove, the Mark Lanegan sounding title track, and the glam boogie of Little Sister. Ring Your Bell has the archetypal ZZ Top guitar figure wrapped up in a story of double entendres and Alimony rounds out the record in fine southern harmony meets guitar crunch.
Mike Alexander (Sunday Star Times) calls Bruises one of this years best releases
Shani Williams discuss The Solomon Cole Band plans
Sunday Star Times 4/5 Star Review
NZ Musician Review
Gulf News delve into Solomon Cole and Bruises
Radio NZ's Jesse Mulligan speaks to Solomon Cole - and Performance
NZ Music Commission