Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Performer Magazine Reviews 'The Happy Loss' October 2010 Issue

RECORD REVIEW: Son of the Sun
The Happy Loss
By: John Barrett
With a timeless sound that both modern and nostalgic, Son of the Sun combines classic, Beatles-esque melodies with distorted, reverberated guitar layers that recall the likes of Brian Jonestown Massacre and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. For the most part, the songs that comprise The Happy Loss stand well on their own and are ambitious on their own terms: concisely arranged and driven by simple, attractive chord progressions, yet still stylistically elusive, often culminating in a chaotic, polyphonic crescendo of sound.

Another consistent element that pervades The Happy Loss is lead vocalist Zak Ward's reverb-soaked, impassioned vocals, which channels The Black Keys in terms of timbre and lends the music an unpretentious air of raw emotion. His contemplative lyrical style draws upon themes universal enough to make them instantly relatable, such as loss, deceit and learning to make the most of an unfavorable situation - reflected in the album's title.
Some of most captivating tracks include the bouncy garage-rock of "Get Together," raucous rocker "The Franklin," which recalls the sparse piano-guitar interplay of Spoon, and opener "The Good Ole Days," which begins with drumbeat a la Gary Glitter's "Rock & Roll, Pt. 2" but dispels that similarity with its psychedelic-shoegaze guitars.

Of the mellower material, "How Can It Be?" stands as Son of the Sun's strongest ballad, sporting doo-wop vocal hooks replete with airy, celestial harmonies. "April Fools" rides on its gorgeous slide work married to an appropriately slow, somber musical framework. (I Blame Yoko Music)


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