When I Couldn't Breathe

Written by: PP on 14/01/2013 22:58:49

What do you get if you seamlessly fuse together indie and punk in one sound? Normally the answer would revolve around bands like Smoking Popes, Lemuria, maybe even Weezer, but Sundials offer a more credible argument on their sophomore album "When I Couldn't Breathe". It contains all the smoothness and perfect polish of 90s indie rock, with elements of original emo thrown in for good measure, while also integrating a laid back punk vibe in the vein of Smoking Popes. You could even compare them to The Bouncing Souls if those guys played a little bit slower.

The guitars have a similar, halfway melancholic ring to them as Tigers Jaw, but with nuances of garage flavor helping to distinguish their sound. It's best described as really, really laid-back and chilled out, even in songs where the tempo is increased to punk levels, mostly because of how fluid and effortless the interplay between guitars and vocals is throughout the record. Soothing, now that's as good of a word as any to describe their vocals. Basically, they should come across as bland and boring because of the monotone approach to them, but the unusual pitch has the opposite effect, resulting in quirky songs that win you over through their cheeky polish vs garage dynamic.

Well that, and the fact that the songs are really catchy, in a subtle way. I realize that sounds like an oxymoron, but even though the melodies stick on first listen, they open up more and more on repeated listens because of the subtle melody layers hiding just underneath the surface. It's a grower type of album, but not a complex one at the same time, which is why it's so enjoyable. It's easy to get into, but rewards effort simultaneously. It's probably one of the more different-sounding albums falling underneath the 'punk' tag from 2012, so if you've ever enjoyed records by bands like The Thermals and Lemuria, Sundials will be just the right kind of quirky for your tastes.


Download: New York Crunch, Seventy-Five, Untitled
For the fans of: Smoking Popes, Everyone Everywhere, Tigers Jaw, Lemuria, Weezer
Listen: Facebook

Release date 25.09.2012
Asian Man Records

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