Release Date: May 19, 2014
Record label: Lovers
Since they are essentially the only musical export from my rural hometown of Telford, I have perhaps had a heightened awareness of The Sunshine Underground, from their nu-rave, mid-Noughties beginnings and beyond. They played an early free show in an HMV, for which we were thoroughly late due to an unforeseen cider-in-the-park complication. Their debut album Raise the Alarm was subsequently widely played through deplorable speakers in said park.
Leeds based band The Sunshine Underground first appeared in 2006 when debut Raise The Alarm thrust them into the indie rock spotlight. It was fairly well received too, garnering mainly favourable reviews with comparisons to New York’s The Rapture as well as London’s Klaxons being a couple of obvious peers. Follow-up Nobody’s Coming To Save You in 2010 attracted a more diverse reception, sounding akin to early The Killers before they went down mediocre street, SU finding themselves tagged with the New Rave label in the process, their indie dance numbers making it cool to be seen pulling shapes on the dancefloor again.
As Leeds’ premiere jerk rockers, The Sunshine Underground could lay claim to paving the way for Foals and Two Door Cinema Club, but on this third album they largely ditch the guitars and bask in the prevailing neon fireball of ’80s electropop. They’re late to the party, but immaculately primped: ‘Turn It On’ and ‘Nightlife’ are the sort of suave, melodic Human League homages that Hurts think they’re playing, and there’s real invention in the seven-minute game of poltergeist ping-pong that is ‘Battles’. Besides ‘It Is Only You’ and ‘Here Comes The Storm’, the mountain-shouting bravado of old tracks like ‘Borders’ and ‘Put You In Your Place’ has been dampened, but ‘TSU’ is an intriguing new sunrise.