One of the greatest aspects regarding the recent resurgence of vinyl is the fact that great albums from our past can finally see a pressing. A slew of fantastic records were released in the time when the vinyl medium was presumed dead, and for those which never witnessed mainstream popularity, a pressing seemed like a pipe dream. The 2005 debut album from Socratic, Lunch For the Sky, fell directly into this category, especially since it was released through Drive-Thru Records, a label not exactly known for vinyl cooperation. However, Broken Heart Records took the leap, announcing the surprise decision as one of their first projects.
Early on, it’s evident that Socratic is not your everyday pop band, integrating multiple genres into their sound. Take the album’s first track “Theme From Your Mother’s Garden,” as an example. The piano-heavy song slowly builds up to a full band jam session, mixing in elements of classical music along with a heavy does of full band indie-pop. In a time when piano rock was truly taking off, Socratic served as one of the best examples, despite album sales that weren’t exactly monumental.
The band also used their debut to stand out through lyrical work. Sophisticated, humorous, and at times, confusing lyrics combine to tell a story in almost every song. In “The Dense Indents,” lyrics such as “He puts the dense indents in the bed” show off a bit of the humor, while, “Every wind that takes me home drags me further out to sea/ Further out to make mistakes cuz I know I’ve found me” from “She’s The Type of Girl” is a bit more serious.
Where the album really hits its stride, though, is when they decide to slow things down, as is the case in “U and Left Turns.” The slower tempo is combined with the group’s patented and unique lyricism, as frontman Duane Okun sings “I’m just like a tree, I’ll grow roots underneath you” and “Your lips are a sunset that sets over me and only me.” “Spots I’ve Been And Go” is another track which begins slowly, eventually giving way to several tempo changes over its 6+ minute epic.
At the time of the album’s release, Lunch For The Sky received high praise, putting Socratic on the map within a crowded pop-punk scene. A record which has an incredibly lasting appeal, the vinyl pressing was a welcome announcement, breathing new life into an album which should be heard by all.
Sound Quality: The album sounds excellent on vinyl and is an impressive feat considering it was the first project released from Broken Heart. The music and lyrics of each song are really amplified coming out of the speakers. Thankfully, the pressing added depth to an already excellent sounding record.
Packaging: The horizon blue and horizon green are perfect colors to match the album art. Also, the lyric sheet is a good addition. The album art also looks much better on the larger vinyl jacket than the small CD booklet. The only criticism (of the pressing in general) is that two songs from the initial release had to be cut due to the time constraints of the format.
Extras: The extras are non-existent, which is pretty commonplace among older releases.
Summary: Broken Heart Records has done a great job with pressing an album I thought would never get released onto vinyl. Lunch For the Sky helped break Socratic into the scene in 2005, combining a unique style of lyricism with the piano influenced rock that helped make their sound different than the norm of that day. Seven years later, it remains an excellent album.
Make Sure to Spin: “Tear A Gash,” “U and Left Turns” and “Lunch for the Sky.”
You can still pick up the album from Broken Heart Records.