All intent on announcing themselves, Suuns have let their determination point them in the wrong direction. Their debut, Zeroes QC, although glowing in a refreshing urge to experiment and transgress genres, comes off as a little naive, expressing too much at one time and giving the listener a royal headache.
Admittedly, that summary is of slight disservice to Suuns’ efforts. They show ambition and colour, an almighty effort to produce something of genuine originality. Their electronically-inclined songs pay homage to an early-day Liars or a more sombre HEALTH; experimenting with the aim of finding one golden nugget. Unfortunately, Zeroes QC, although basking in idea and invention, is bereft of that single gem.
Second-track ‘Gaze’ comes closest. Ironically, as the most simple, streamlined effort on the record, it’s the one that suits the band best. A sore, thumping bassline gives no mercy to your earbuds, relentlessly plugging away, with Ben Shemie’s contrastingly soft vocals giving it a psychotic edge. Similarly effective is ‘Up Past The Nursery’, which sees Shemie’s snarling, spitting lines placed above a sharp, minimal backdrop. But surrounding these rare glimpses of inspiration is a messy bulk of scatterbrained thoughts, they sit side by side like Nick Griffin and Graham Norton on a night bus.
The retrospective closing pair of ‘Fear’ and ‘Organ Blues’, shrouded in melancholy and wooziness they may be, add a much needed dose of cohesiveness to the record. They bring a sense of togetherness after eight rather off-handed, out-of-control efforts. Also notable is their ability to sound like a proper, complete and fully-formed song. The rest of Zeroes QC lacks this. Melodies trail off, the band get too indulged in what they’re doing and forget they’re supposed to be keeping the listener interested. And eventually this begins to grate.
So whilst Suuns have their priorities sorted, they need a refined perspective on how to make their records. You can tell from the off that within them is the ability to produce something special and whilst this whets the appetite, you’re unlikely to persist with it for more than a couple of weeks.