Thursday, June 24, 2010

Americana UK Album Review

Son of the Sun “The Happy Loss” (I Blame Yoko Music, 2010)
by: Paul Villers

Sunshine on a rainy day

Of chief biographical note with this band is that the two main protagonists used to live on opposite sides of the States, swapping musical ideas over the internet. All of the press and reviews I’ve read in researching them mentions it so I suppose I’d better do the same. No matter – they and their band mates all ended up in New York and they do have a very New York sound which is the oxymoronic feat of being both ‘spare’ and ‘lush’ at the same time.

They’re a guitar band in essence, acoustic and electric, with bits of keyboard thrown in ('Leopard Print' threatens to be a rehash of 'Strawberry Fields' at one point). What they do with those guitars is pretty nice though – by turns they jangle, sparkle and spike but never quite settle on one or the other. Similarly they sometimes stomp about (opener 'Good Ole Days' and 'Get Together') and sometimes relax into a calmer groove ('How Can It Be?' – a song of trouble and heartbreak – is in this vein and probably the album’s standout track).

Despite these stylistic changes, the project does hang together (the vocal helps, naturally) in a melodious moroseness. The overarching feeling one gets is that sunny California pop has been taken to New York and given a very cold hosing down – which is, by all accounts, what happened. Kudos too for calling their publishing company ‘I Blame Yoko Music’ – that’d guarantee a smile every time.

Date review added: Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Reviewer: Paul Villers

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