Music from the soul

by Staff

New Orleans may have such bands as Galachtic and Rebirth to call its own, but San Diego’s got Soulcracker to enhance this city’s rich music culture.

What sets apart Soulcracker from many other San Diego bands is its energetic, often acrobatic and full of spark-style performances that transfer directly into the audience, bringing every show to adrenaline overflow. During shows, the band members display a distinct awareness of the audience and its needs. At a Soulcracker show, it’s not uncommon for a member of the band to come out wearing nothing more than his briefs. That’s what keeps people coming back.

Soulcracker is about a complete music experience, utilizing both the auditory and visual senses of the audience. If you’ve heard either of the band’s two CDs (“5.5” and the recently released “Beyond Seven”), you have only experienced half of what Soulcracker is all about. That explains why this band is being constantly booked to play all over the Southwest, from Utah and Colorado to Arizona and New Mexico.

Soulcracker is a refreshing reminder that the music scene in San Diego is alive and blooming. Its original music is clearly rock ‘n’ roll, but the band uses funk, ska, metal and Latin ideas to produce its unique sound.

When asked about the band’s influences, Matt Johnson (guitar/bass/tenor saxophone/vocals) said they’ve been inspired by many artists.

“A lot of bands have affected our style of music,” he said, “but most importantly, I would say The Police and Fishbone, who we recently shared a stage with.”

The group consists of five members: Beastie Ulery (lead vocals/trumpet), Johnson, Sutton Althisar (guitar/vocals), A.P. Murray (bass/guitar/vocals) and Bob Hamel (drums/vocals) ? all friends and former Northern Arizona University students who formed the band three years ago.

Recently the band members decided that San Diego would be a much better place for them as they work their way toward rock stardom.

“We chose San Diego because in many ways Southern California is the musical epicenter of the western United States,” Johnson said.

The move to San Diego has proved rewarding. Soulcracker performs regularly at such places as The G Lounge, Winstons and Blind Melons in Pacific Beach, where it will appear on Thursday, March 26. The band’s debut album sold more than 2,000 copies, while its latest release ? which came out just three months ago ? has already sold more than 1,000 copies.

According to Johnson, “Beyond Seven” is a great compilation of Soulcracker’s blend of different sounds.

“Many of the song titles have nothing to do with the lyrics themselves. A lot of our songs are about killing your girlfriend and getting away with it. I guess that’s a timeless theme, ” Johnson said with a grin.

Currently “Beyond Seven” can be found at all Tower Records, Music Trader and Off the Record stores. If you haven’t been lucky enough to check out a Soulcracker gig, then you are definitely missing out. But beware: You can’t see just one.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email