"Operations of the Unseen"

(Self-Released 2002)Sonafield - Operations of the Unseen

Modern rock with pop and grunge influences would probably best describe Sonafield. On their debut album, "Operations of the Unseen," the Seattle band tries to pull you in with distorted guitar effects and melodic choruses.

Using the distortion as the beginning of the opening track, "Melody of Freedom" has a grunge-tinged chorus with the vocals by Sonafield's Jason Lackie do not sound completely unlike Our Lady Peace's Raine Maida. "Gone" reminds of the Foo Fighters' "Everlong," in parts of the instrumentation while the more aggressive and interesting "Just For Now" on which Lackie, almost too calmly, asks "Do you wonder why/I never fight just/lay back to die/Don't get me wrong/I don't like this cage/I want to scream/Lash out in rage/That's not the way/And I'll be okay." The band gets a little harder and sounds to try to get catchier riffs with "Breathe," whose lyrics are mostly just a list ("Purposeless/Emptiness/Naked frame/Nothingness") before getting more melodic and poppy on "Washed Away."

"When all the starving are made kings/The rich salute the suffering/The helpless made celebrities/On Beggars Day," Lackie sings on the mid tempo "Beggars Day." Sonafield change slightly for the harder "The Drowning" and "Never Tried," on which the whole song seems to stand out. "Speak" seems to have audio problems with weird popping noises and, assuming that you are not supposed to hear that, the song otherwise goes into a melodic sounding "jam" pushing the song to six minutes in length. Sonafield close the album with "Perfect Love," a melodic ballad.

After a few listens, songs on "Operations of the Unseen" stand out more and seem more memorable than they did on the first listen where they seemed to run together. And while there also are not any songs that grab you and refuse to let go. Sonafield have a well done debut and plenty of time to develop their style. As it is, "Operations of the Unseen" is a collection of songs easy to listen to that get better which each listen.