A horrible hack

Sonny & the Sunsets

Tomorrow Is Alright

Year Released: 2009
Format: LP
Label: Soft Abuse
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Dec 10, 2009
I picked this slab of vinyl up on a whim after hearing a few songs courtesy of the ludicrous wonder that is Spotify, and it sneaks in as a very late chancer for some fictional top 10 list of the year that I am too lazy to write up. Sonny & the Sunsets drift through the 50s, 60s and 70s with a blindingly good album of mellowed out pop / soul / folk, or something. Yep, this is another of those LPs that I am woefully ill placed to review due to lack of reference points, Velvet Underground is the closest I am going to get - the only other one I have is that it sounds like something a bit bloody good. I am not really sure what track is which as there is no formal tracklisting, just a bunch of titles in stars in no obvious order on the back of the record. I can pick out a couple from matching the titles to the lyircs. "Too Young To Burn" is the opener which glides along on a bed of harmonies, hand clips and simple percussion. It conjures up a sound that is persistent through out the record, retro without overdoing it. There's a clear appreciation of the style of music they are going for, yet it stands out amongst contemporaries by easing away from the lo-fi angle - giving it more vibrance that fits the poppy nature of the band to a tee. Generally when I hear a band making good modern music that's heavily influenced by several decades ago, it can bring to mind Fred Thomas, and that's definitely the flavour they have in places here. The main male singer is not a million miles from the Fredster either. It should also come as no surprise to learn that two peeps from the Fresh & Onlys appear on this record, as this is a good companion for that band's debut LP. Most bizarre song on here is the vaguely calypso folk (erm, maybe), pulp sci-fi of "Planet of Women" with it's amusing conversational lyrics - "Gonna walk to the river and throw myself in it" "Bye Bye". Wasn't sure of this at first but hey, I roll with it now. You get this again on the flip side on a killer, strummy song that I am not sure the title of. "Greetings young earthling". So good.

Although this music may at first brush seem resolutely summery, US west coast type shenanigans, there is a real resonance here for home alone drinkin' at Christmas, especially on the calm, 50s stroll of "Strange Love", again with the hand claps and mixing it up with some gently swaying piano. It's a slow dance at the disco or a slow sip of whisky in the dark. And there you have why Sonny & the Sunsets are worth a listen, in a nutshell. Fantastic LP, give it a whirl if I have made sense to you at any point in this review.
Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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