Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The SUNPILOTS: "King Of The Sugarcoated Tongues"

Rating: 8/10
Label: HoneyTrap Records 2012
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

The Sunpilots from down under released their debut album in 2008 to rave reviews in Australia including a MusicOz Award, an Indie Album Of The Year and two Indie album of the week awards from Australian press. Doesn't really say too much about the quality of the band as the Ozzies rave about everything from Crocodile Dundee to Kylie, Yahoo Serious, and Oz burgers. Hmmm, Rolling Stone magazine thinks they're a must see live act. Nope. Close but no cigar. Wait, the all live in a small flat in Berlin and have clocked up more than 100,000 kms in their 1996 VW Transporter to play at more than 160 shows and festivals across Europe. Okay, now they have my full attention and respect.

Their sophomore release, 'King of The Sugarcoated Tongues' - a concept story set in a dystopian future where society has collapsed. It's an 8 chapter/song story about the human need for security and the freedoms we are willing to trade in return. Ambitious work and both the story and music had me captivated from the opening track "3 Minutes To Midnight" to the closing of "Exodus". Catchy and at the same time complex music. It's progressive lite, Muse and Coheed & Cambria influences are mixed with some old skool bands such as Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. To be completely honest, I can also hear quite a lot of Skunk Anansie, and more poppy influences such as on the opening '3 Minutes To Midnight'.

Vocalist Raj Siva-Rajah wails like a stormy wind in the trees. Marvelous theatrical singer with tons of soul and attitude. Add to this a metal jazzy/funky rhythm section with the occasional slap basslines, complex guitarwork and you're in for a treat. They combine several different styles in a way that doesn't actually sound quite like any other band, even if you obviously can pick up on the above mentioned influences. The love of melody and complex arrangements sets them apart from most of the pack. Final verdict: The Sunpilots have come up with an emotional inspiring record and it's very much an album effort. You definitely need to be open-minded and enjoy several different styles of music to truly get the best/most out of The King Of Sugarcoated Tongues...

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