Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sunflare - Sunflare [Cubic Pyramid]

This raw debut tape by Sunflare on the up & coming Portuguese label Cubic Pyramid is two sides of fun. Earlier in the year, I reviewed another psych tape by dUAsSEMIcOLCHEIASiNVERTIDAS also on a young Portuguese label A Giant Fern, where the group experimented with different styles and instrumentation; that is not the case with Sunflare, the trio know exactly what competition they're participating in and they go for the gold.
You will be able to decide if you like the first side "On the Red" literally from the opening seconds. There are three elements: 1) relentless, swinging drums 2) a chunky, clutch bassline 3) a free-wheeling, wah-soaked six-string burning rubber all over the goddam place. That right there is all you need to know really. Not into that? No need to bother.
Sunflare goes at it with gusto which I really appreciate. Too many psych bands out there don't have enough balls for me. If I'm gonna listen to your 15 minute jam you had better not waste my fucking time.
The last couple minutes get really good when the dude with the ax really starts to shred and eventually just settles into slammin' out power chords before opening up for some more shredding. The rhythm section is rock solid to the core until they eventually call it quits as the tape runs out.
The second side is titled "Into the City (Night Vision)" and the name is fitting as its much chillier despite still being completely fuzz drenched. After the gutsy energy of the first side it's nice to transition into moodier territory. There's a healthy dose of reverb and whammy bar providing Twin Peaks-esque dark surf moves every so often. The rhythm section kicks in and the jam is in motion all of a sudden retaining the chiaroscuro lighting of the intro. The guitarist goes way off in his own world, leaving it to the bassist to navigate the track through it's various movements and eventually guide the ship home. The back half of the track mellows things out in a really effective manner, building tension before laying on some burned-out psych wreckage before pulling the plug.
The group has a raw knack for this kind of stuff and I think there's a lot of potential to be developed by the trio. They aren't afraid to get wild and really go for it, and that's a quality that can never be valued highly enough.
Cubic Pyramid has since released a 12" by Sunflare but this tape is still available it looks like and it comes with cool paper and vellum overlay artwork. Psych-heads take note

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