village voice


New York rockers the London Souls have been sitting on their sophomore record, Here Come the Girls, since early 2013. Not because the duo were fidgety or stuck in the studio wasting away energy (à la another Chinese Democracy) — rather, the band's singer/guitarist, Tash Neal, had to heal and recuperate after surviving a nasty hit-and-run car accident on Broadway in Manhattan back in 2012.

Calling in while backstage at the appropriately located Roundhouse (the classic London venue that was formerly a railway depot), Neal recounts those first moments after he awoke from a coma in the hospital following the accident and saw his nylon-stringed guitar sitting in the corner.

"I sort of motioned for it," he recalls. "It was kind of instinctual and gave me really good comfort at that moment. I only played two or three chords, but it felt right and I kind of knew I was going to be all right. It happened to be in the room, and I was like, 'I know that thing.' I didn't know much at the time, but I knew that thing."

Fully recovered and eager to share, London Souls return to their city the night of the record's release for a headlined show at the Bowery Ballroom on April 7.

"A lot can happen in two to three years, and we're so proud of the record and happy to set it off that way," says Neal. "It's kind of perfect and I personally feel very fortunate."

Here Come the Girls is a callback to early rock 'n' roll records where several styles are flexed and explored. Album opener "When I'm With You" is a Sixties rock/pop anthem that could rival anything found in the Hollies' catalog, while "Crimson Revival" recalls cool Seventies FM radio gold in the vein of power-pop kings Big Star. And no rock record is complete without a Zeppelin III–esque acoustic beauty, as heard in "Isabel."

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