Still feeling all hopeful and optimistic about the New Year, and those resolutions that you’re totally, 100%, going to stick to? Well, wipe that naive little smile off your face, because the Suuns are out, and they’re casting a great gloomy shadow over the start to 2011.
Don’t let their sunshiny name fool you, this Montreal-based four-piece have decided to paint their debut album very black indeed. ‘Zeroes QC’ is a dank swamp of sludging rhythms, eerie wish-washy vocals and squelchy electronica. And, unsurprisingly, it’s difficult to warm towards.
But don’t let me put you off. The way sinister opener ‘Armed for Peace’ comes crawling into existence bodes well, the first few seconds akin to the sound-effects that herald the blue ghoul’s arrival in Japanese horror classic The Grudge. Then comes ‘Gaze’, heavily reminiscent of first album Interpol, before giving way to squealing trumpets ala Radiohead’s ‘National Anthem’. So, they’re ticking all the correct moody influence boxes.
There is a commendable will to experiment here, and the sound is deliciously honed and polished. But their stubborn resolution to polish only in thick shades of black is, for me, holding them back. They don’t allow themselves to break out of these dark shackles, and give their sound the freedom to just run riot.
Of course, this is no fault in itself. After all, the likes of Interpol and Death In Vegas have produced highly acclaimed debuts of brooding intensity such as this. Unfortunately with Suuns, they milk the black stuff to such an extent that some of these tracks brood without ever really going anywhere, leaving me feeling like I’m trapped trying to wade out of dark and sticky treacle. This is especially true of 7 minute epic ‘Sweet Nothing’, which just builds into a whole lot of not so sweet nothings. But PVC is great, the sh-sh vocals on ‘Up Past the Nursery’ are fabulous and ‘Pie IX’ gives me flashbacks to the indecipherable genius of The Knife’s ‘Silent Shout’.
All in all, better things to come from Suuns me thinks.
- Fantastic Track – PVC
- Ch-Check it out if you’re partial to – Death In Vegas, early Interpol, The Knife, The Grudge (Japanese version), mood swings, and creepy, indecipherable vocals