Hailing from Long Island and Manhattan, Sunflower Bean released their debut album 'Human Ceremony' on Fat Possum Records last month and TT is here to check out the hype.
The opening three tracks are bizarre to say the least. They don't lay down a marker of what they hope to achieve. The opening moments of title track 'Human Ceremony' provides the only glimpse of what is et to come with. Most of the opening tracks feels like a lacklustre nod to Pond circa 'The Pond'.
Then, finally, on 'This Kind Of Feeling', emerges a sense of who Sunflower Bean are and what they are good at. This first emergence of a Zeppelin style riff ignites the album and when it's spliced with a more experimental style, it provides a great juxtaposition for Cumming's vocals.
'I Was Home' vocally, is akin to the Subways with the back and forth between Cumming and Kivlen. Kivlen's ability to produce magical dirge on the axe a la Queens of the Stone Age gives them more depth than the English counterparts. Again, there are some lush notes of bugged out guitars too. Its a combo that isn't effortless as yet, but it comes mightily close and is clearly a niche they are going to own.
A big section of the album pays homage to The Cure. 'I Want You To Give Me Enough Time' in particular, is sonically The Cure through and through. The production and guitars trickle along like 'Lullaby' which is apt as, Cimming's vocals beautifully dreamlike.
Sunflower Bean's debut ultimately, doesn't live up to the hype. This isn't because the opening three tracks don't add anything. No, its because one minute there is a great blend of Zeppelin and Byrds in the psychedelic phase and the next is a amalgamation of The Cure and Real Estate.
They have recorded both styles well but you cant help but feel that committing to one style soley would achieve great things on record. This is one hell of platform to be springing from though and in Kivlen, they have an x factor with his guitar playing.