Glam shock ‘n’ awe.
Sunflower Bean’s Human Ceremony arrived wrapped in an attractive package. This Brooklyn outfit looked the part. Their album cover was screaming to be part of your vinyl collection. But just one thing. I didn’t hear it man!
Let’s not get hung up on the past. Follow-up Twentytwo strikes a different chord. Tight, compact and kinetic rock, it’s a different take on what came before. This new iteration of Sunflower rock like Bolan, Bowie and Milk ‘n’ Cookies rolled into one but carry the immediacy of the present. They’ve found their pulse.
‘Burn It’ kicks off before a marvellous segue into ‘I Was A Fool’. Sequencing is becoming such an afterthought any record that does it well can really stick. Julia’s voice is silken. Her thin but melodious timbre wraps around the low low-end rumble of ‘Crisis Fest’. This cut is pure glam boogie meets vaguely political rocker. Paired with Cumming’s, Nick’s guitar heroics hold themselves in check, bristling with energy but never going too far over the top.
‘Memoria’ acts out glossy Fleetwood Mac fantasy. ‘Puppet Strings’. cruises coolly past. A spacious doo-wop waltz ‘Only A Moment’ spins evocative teen idol imagery in the same way as Twin Peaks. Nick’s vocals feature less prominently this time around. But he still takes lead for closers ‘Oh No, Bye Bye’ and ‘Sinking Sands’.
Sunflower’s second casts glossy romance, but it’s no schlock. Not only is this energy rush of a record speaking with more personality and colour, so too is the band. Chunky bottom end and head hitting riffs, there’s enough here to light a fire inside.
Words by Riley Fitzgerald