Release Date: Oct 12, 2010
Record label: Secretly Canadian
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, New Wave/Post-Punk Revival
What’s really in a name change? Canada’s [a]Suuns[/a] were called [b]Zeroes[/b], but rechristened themselves on discovering a bunch of old Cali punks who traded on being “the Mexican [a]Ramones[/a]” way back when. Luckily for them, no-one over here gave a flying fuck until they ripped CMJ to shreds a couple of months ago – which is handy, because in a niftily timed dollop of musical fast food, we’ve now got ‘[b]Zeroes QC[/b]’ to contend with.Straightaway, what’s so appealing about this album is the double-barrel hellfire tactic the four-piece employ on almost every song. We’re talking half-dirge rock, half-glitchy electronica, split 50/50 and pushed full throttle.
A little while back when the new Clinic album was released, I made a comment that I wished they sounded more like they did 10 years ago, a sentiment that is neither here nor there. But imagine my joy when I first heard Suuns. I knew nothing about them, and soon found out they originally went by The Zeroes, but were ultimately forced to change their name when the 80’s band with a different spelling apparently complained.
Plenty of bands have ambition; Montreal's Suuns have their sights set on the brass ring. Zeroes QC, their dank, oily, frequently metamorphosing debut LP, is one of the more industrious first goes I've heard in ages-- sleek, moody space-prog, self-assured, meticulous, and foreboding. More than anything, Zeroes QC sounds like the work of a much older band, the kind who've earned a few months in the studio to tool around, rearrange their pedal boards, try out literally every idea that comes to them.
They’ve warped and perverted their electronic base Suuns are yet another of those Canadian bands who’ve clearly spent many a long, cold winter stuck in front of a laptop, programming beats. Everything here starts with digital rhythms and the search for newer, weirder sounds. But what makes ‘Zeroes QC’ so satisfying is the way in which they’ve warped and perverted their electronic base.
Though I think we’ve gotten over most of our sillier stereotypes about Canadian musicians, it is, nonetheless, somewhat startling the debut album by Montreal's Suuns kicks off with the sort of fearsomely lascivious groove Josh Homme used to bash out before he went out to kill his breakfast in the morning. The song is called ‘Armed for Peace’ and it kicks like some sort of demonic mulebeast, all louche electronic groove and alternately swaggering/staggering guitars topped off with Ben Shemie’s oddly high voice. It then promptly steamrollers into the ice cool, psychedelic malevolence of ‘Gaze’ and you know… COULD we be on course for the birth of a Canadian Queens of the Stone Age? A FRENCH Canadian Queens of the Stone Age? No, no.
There’s two sides to the sound from Montreal’s Suuns on their new record, Zeroes QC, and the make themselves known right off the bat on opener “Armed for Peace”. Like the contradiction in the title, the song builds on two distinct, and disparate, feels. It starts with a blippy, groaning electronic beat that quietly, but ever so insistently, builds in intensity.
Canadians reveal an effortlessly enjoyable debut that revels in its own weirdness. Mike Diver 2011 Recognised as ones to watch in 2011 by quarters of the music press with ears pressed rather closer to the underground sounds emanating from the other side of the Atlantic, Montreal quartet Suuns are a beguiling group that take wonderfully immersive, transfixing, repetitive electro elements and fuse them to quasi-stoner rock grooves and shoegaze atmospheres. At times Zeroes QC, their debut long-player, simultaneously stirs thoughts of Cluster and Comets on Fire, of Suicide gate-crashing the first studio sessions of a reformed Slowdive.
Secretly Canadian has a known track record of putting out solid releases, and Suuns has now issued its debut on the label. This one’s a little warped, a little strange, and intriguing in its meshing of styles. It starts right away with the opener “Armed For Peace,” whose languid and simple electronic beat doesn’t sound too promising. It takes the song half its duration to break into something stirring and alien: falsetto vocals, stuttering drums, and psychedelic guitar riffs converge into a messy but catchy whole.