The Great SOCIO is a Philadelphia-based rock band which was formed in 2010.
The band tours extensively around the Philadelphia area and has developed a loyal following of fans through their energetic live performances. In fact, their 2014 EP release, Find the Time, was funded by fans through a Kickstarter campaign, as they had done with their previous 2013 release, Modern Grip. Since their founding, the four-piece group has forged a unique sound that they refer to as the “socio-sound”. This consists of a unique musical arrangement led by powerful bass and drum rhythms, synthesized sounds, poetic lyrics and the occasional trumpet, played by lead vocalist Berto Muñoz. Unusual for a rock-based band is the fact that they have no actual guitars in the mix, relying heavily on the bass lines and flourishes of trumpet and synth sounds to carry the melody.
“The World’s Alive” starts off the EP with a driving anthem set in motion by the drums of Drew Bernier and bass by Craig Stenger that will have you grooving along before the end of the first verse. The vocals flow seamlessly from quasi-rap to a classic bluesy rock sound. The theme seems to be that there is lots to see and experience here if you can “find the time”. Next up is “Criminals”, an angry sounding song and a sort of antithesis to the opener, with excellent effects laid down by organist/pianist/synth-master, Monty Scienceist.
“Let Go” begins with a quirky, albeit catchy. synth organ and more rapping that morphs into a measured marching rhythm highlighted by the horns. The lyrics encourage letting go of the past so you can look to the future. “Paradise” and “Anything Everything” are accented by the additional vocals of Tess Emma who adds another layer of interest to the eccentric vocal style of front man and trumpeter Muñoz. Closing out the EP is “Vultures”, which contains a cool meshing of horns, organ with a syncopated vocal and bass line. The song explores the “need for us to be as one.”
Overall, this EP is creative, fun and a greatly entertaining listen. The group cites some of their influences as The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Faith No more and Rage Against The Machine, but upon listening to this odd but highly interesting blend of sounds that the band has created, it is apparent that this sound belongs to the Great Socio.