Sunhead EP

Written by: LL on 31/07/2018 11:52:36

The independent guitarist Plini from Sydney, Australia released his debut full-length album "Handmade Cities" in 2016 and since that collection of larger-than-life compositions praised especially by Steve Vai, fans have been eagerly awaiting his return. Now it's here with his fourth EP overall, "Sunhead". As is usual, his music has its own unique flavor of instrumental progressive rock and perhaps even more so than before, the songs here reach out in very different directions. They are very compact and filled with details and yet also flow playfully along, making the EP as a whole a very smooth ride despite the wealth of technical prowess shown. Plini is in charge of writing, recording and producing all his own works and, of course, plays the guitar, while various of his "friends" help out on other instruments - the full list can be seen on the EP's Bandcamp page.

Especially the single "Salt + Charcoal" stands out in its composition, truly bound together by an uplifting main riff that takes the listener on a dreamy journey. It features lots of busy layers of keyboards and guitars as well as background vocals but always keeps the big, swooning melody in front to great effect. It has a happy, twinkly and almost impatiently curious intro that just makes you itch for adventure with exactly the kind of suspense-building vibe that I imagine will draw excited cheers immediately when played live.

"Flâneur" that follows it with a low-key build-up and steady drumbeat has its bass and spacey synths all the way in the front of the sound mix along with the main guitar, giving the song a totally different character than what went before. Later, a saxophone even enters the fray, just further enhancing that delightful jazzy feeling of being stroked gently on your very soul. It evolves into a tour de force that mixes a yearning new riff with more djenty offbeat rhythms before ending on a more classic jazzy note. Together, these two songs show very different sides to Plini's musical universe and as such they stand strongest on this EP to me.

"Kind" that opens the album shines in its own way with a more groovy, offbeat approach akin to what we hear in the second half of "Flâneur" as well. It's a charming song with the heavy bass all the way in the front of the sound but it is also of a more usual variety of instrumental guitar song. The ending track "Sunhead" lets loose with a bit more focus on the distorted guitar and a heavier feel than what has gone before but it also ends the EP on an entirely open note that leaves me with an unresolved feeling.

Luckily, of course, this just makes me want to start the EP all over again as the twenty minutes it fills out fly by way too quickly. Plini is indeed a talented guitarist and he has a great tone in his works although I have a tendency to prefer songs where he pushes his sound furthest from what I'm used to hearing by him and similarly inclined guitarists like Intervals. Still, you should definitely pick this EP up for a spin if you're into progressive rock and/or guitar equilibrists as Plini is most definitely one of the best young ones out there.

Download: Salt + Charcoal, Flâneur
For The Fans Of: Intervals, Scale The Summit, Animals As Leaders

Release date 27.07.2018

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