Monday, April 16, 2012
THE SUN ELECTRIC BAND Want To Feel Like
The Sun Electric Band were mixing two tracks from their first EP right up to 36 hours before last Saturday’s release day. Studio perfectionists or just a band enjoying a game of brinksmanship with themselves? Either way, the five tracks here are unshowy affairs without bells-and-whistles, big bucks production values. Instead on offer is a set of solidly crafted, homespun numbers in the vein of classic West Coast 60s and 70s rock. Lacking any tricksiness or à la mode trend-surfing allows the subtly catchy melodies and plush harmonies to be the calling card for this four (sometimes five)-piece band of camera-shy, Manchester-based thirty somethings.
Opening track ‘In The Clouds’ is surely lifted straight off an early Byrds album. Two and half minutes of Roger McGuinn jangle and soft-but-soaring soaring three-part harmonies. ‘Orange Grove’ combines acoustic and electric guitars in a happy-sad song of falling in love (and regretting it?) with a solitary, wistful lead vocal that feels quite exposed compared with the rich accompaniment elsewhere. The band’s gentle country-psyche-rock gets more chunky for ‘Want To Feel Like’: heavier guitars and a hefty rhythm section give a 90s indie-rock feel – think Teenage Fanclub or The Posies – with vocals kept to a minimum to allow some lovely chiming guitar interplay to take centre stage. ‘Looking For A Girl’ is summery, good-times country-rock about, no surprises, looking for a girl. It is so formulaic it could easily tip into cliché but the band turn the familiar into a toe-tappingly authentic and warm-hearted spin around the block. The slower, more reflective ‘Round The Bend’ rounds off the EP with the return of those rich harmonies and some gently climactic guitar frazzle.
Earlier songs, all released in sporadic, singular isolation and with minimal accompanying information, retained a greater sense of mystery than this heart-on-sleeve set of more recent songs all presented as a group. ‘Want To Feel Like’ also has a stronger connection to the past – as hinted by the title itself? But The Sun Electric Band are building on earlier foundations, not simply re-laying them, and in doing so are crafting some fine, fresh and slow-burning jangle-pop grooves.
The Sun Electric Band Want To Feel Like [BUY]