Anthony Sobak’s band bears his last name and there’s no question when listening to his new release A Little More Time that Sobak stamps every shred of his personality on the songs. The album’s ten songs largely swear allegiance to a hard rock sound, but Sobak and his collaborators vary the approach enough that no one can accuse the release of ever being too predictable. The imaginative turns he builds into each arrangement never take the songs into alien territory, however, and he even manages to spice up the familiar with inventive additions to the material.
The dominant factor deciding the album’s success, however, is Sobak’s voice. His rough-hewn voice is especially effective on songs such as the third track “A Little More Time”. The collection’s title song is a ruminative reflection on how fleeting our lives are and the commonly shared desire to pack in as much as possible in our allotted time. Combining acoustic and electric guitar pays off handsomely for Sobak’s song as it gives the performance added layers it would otherwise lack and enviable gravitas.
“All My Tears” pursues the same general mood. The heightened melodic muscle he flexes with the track’s songwriting gives “All My Tears” a fevered, brooding quality that’s impossible to ignore. Sobak matches it with an equally committed vocal that never backs off for a second; he throws the full weight of his emotions and skill behind this performance. The sense of shared experience behind “Together We’ll Find” has a near-anthemic feel thanks to the song’s furious pace and Sobak’s lyrics. His singing certainly achieves an exhortative peak, as well, that few of the album’s other songs reach. The drum introduction for the song sets an immediate tone as well for everything that follows.
The single “Like Heaven’s Wings” is another peak moment for the release. Light and shadow play a significant role in the song’s development as does the insistent presence of acoustic guitar. He punctuates the performance with a strong, though never constant, electric guitar presence that further ratchets up the passion. “All Alone” begins with a simmering intro before shooting out of the blocks with jagged riffing aggressively pushing the song forward. The general clamor of these songs may obscure the deeply personal nature of Sobak’s songwriting, but closer inspection should solidify his talents for listeners.
“Help Me Be Complete” reinforces his mastery of hard rock fundamentals. The lead guitar, for instance, never embraces empty noodling but, instead, manifests abundant melodic worth throughout the track. This second-to-last song likewise makes dramatic use of heavy and light passages to connect with listeners. It also focuses even more strongly on Sobak’s distinctive style of mixing seemingly intensely personal lyrics with powerful hard rock force. “To Find a Way” begins like its predecessor does. The synthesized introduction soon evolves into a steady riff-laden chug that rolls over any resistance you have to its authority. Sobak, for his part, unleashes one of his most vigorous vocals to conclude this release. It’s a crowning touch that makes A Little More Time difficult, if not impossible, to forget.