Album Review: Sunset Sons – Very Rarely Say Die

Interview: Sunset SonsVery Rarely Say Die

shareReleased 1st April 2016

Words: Nick Jacques

With sold out shows coming up in Exeter, Manchester and London, Sunset Sons are certainly not here to play games, and shows sold out ahead of this release too. On the strength of this evidence there is plenty for Sunset Sons to get excited about. And boy do they know it! Very Rarely Say Die plays with all the enthusiasm and passion that some bands take their whole careers to replicate!

They actually started life as a twosome in Hossegor, France, a beach town renowned for its laid-back surfer vibes. The band members are made up of Australians and English folk and toured the club scene there before recruiting 2 further members soon afterwards. If you like your rock music with a dose of Sunkist and several layers of surf wax then Sunset Sons are the ideal wave for you to ride!

There are heavy nods to Maroon 5 and Kings of Leon throughout. Tick Tock displays the band’s tendencies to flirt with the Maroon 5 sound and this acts as a sign of things to come on Very Rarely Say Die. It has those signature guitar hooks with irresistible bubblegum production smothered all over it. Elsewhere on the album, Remember is a strong piano-led track, mixed in with exceptional and lucid guitar strumming and gutsy KOL style vocals which all come crashing into your hemisphere – impressive. Bring The Bright Lights is similar in this way too.

The album’s opening track is Know My Name.  This is great indicator to the free-wheeling guitar antics which Sunset Sons cook up on their debut. It’s filled to the rim with strident guitar riffs, galloping piano theatrics and impassioned vocals – you will not be forgetting this song in a short while.

Throughout the album there is an omnipresent sense of clean and crystal-clear production that enables the band to shine on all fronts and unleash their strong and upbeat songs. Each member of the band sounds galvanised and wanting to go for the jugular and get their infectious melodies across to the listener.

For me, Gold  is a particular highlight on Very Rarely Say Die. Again the piano plays a key role in showing how songs are shaped and how anticipation builds up within each song. The build up to the chorus reaches for the skies before it suddenly collapses leaving you wanting more.

The track Jam (interlude) sees the band play out brief most loose and free – this track reminds me of Kings of Leon before launching into a third eye blind tinged track called September Song. The production on here is pretty impressive and sets up a pleasant reflective mood. The flow of these two tracks work particularly well with each other.

Elsewhere there are call to arms moments and fist pumping aplenty on Somewhere Maybe. While in opposition,  Loa is the most chilled out track on Very Rarely Say Die. Imagine gentle waves, palm trees and sunny picturesque visions on here. The playful piano adds a nice layer to the proceedings.

On The Road draws further comparisons of recent Kings of The Leon albums. Pounding guitar and piano theatrics. They play with great passion and enthusiasm which conjures up images of a band who can’t wait to hit the road.  Meanwhile, Lost Company really sounds like its laying the foundations for the band. There’s an uplifting and almost euphoric feeling to this song. A sound of a band coming together and finding their feet.

Last track I Can’t Wait starts off as a sombre piano ballad. It’s the most stripped back track off their otherwise sun-drenched anthemic guitar/piano laced debut. The track evokes the sun slowly disappearing over the hills and the last of the ambers of a bonfire cooling down after the last beach party goer has left the scene.

A fitting end to an album that brims with freedom and wave after wave of joyful and feel-good vibes.

Listen to Know My Name here:


ALSO ON POPPED MUSIC: Read our interview with Sunset Sons.

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