Those familiar with the name Alex Sears will no doubt know him as the frontman from Bath-based pop-punk outfit, Decade, a band who have been emerging steadily on the UK rock scene for the past year or so. Those who delve a littler deeper will discover he’s more than just that, and during a week long break from work, Alex has created a little side-project: Sophomore.
‘Teller’, the debut EP under this moniker, is a 3-track effort that is short and sweet. Undoubtedly, those who hear it will be more than inclined to make its comparisons with main project Decade, which is inevitable. Admittedly, in parts they do have strong similarities, but Sophomore manages to maintain itself as its own separate entity and character throughout.
Though still upbeat for the most part, Sophomore doesn’t hold the same chunky brotherhood charm of Decade, but instead stands more like its more well read and intellectual brother. Take the EP’s opening title-track, the guitar is shiny and crisp yet a little disjointed and far from generic, trundelling along to a commanding snare. Before long, Alex‘s vocals come in and tell of more personal-esque messages than that found in his main musical outlet, “Sit with me / And tell me your stories” signing out the first few minutes.
More so, closer ‘Park Street’ is way more stripped down and resembles more toned down Circa Survive sound than anything found in the Decade catalogue. What’s most impressive about this effort though is the whole DIY package. Everything in relation to the EP, aside from the artwork, was done by Alex himself. That includes the instrumentation, vocals, lyrics, mixing and mastering – all within a week. The end result when considering this is hard for just anyone to replicate.
Sophomore may just remain as a side-project and maybe even just as a one-off, but what ‘Teller’ has provided is another outlet for Alex to display his other musical influences and that he’s more than just the singer for a pop-punk band. This EP is definitely worth all 7 minutes of your time.
Written by Zach Redrup