The Don’ts and Be Carefuls – Sun Hits EP

By Devin Morse

Sun Hits is stormy and subdued, yet quietly upbeat and pop-sensible. The seven-track album is an indie-rock Frankenstein stitched with a synth threading. One may glean bits of The Strokes, Modest Mouse, The Shins or Death Cab for Cutie.

From amidst the driving beats and ambivalent, angst-laden vocals flows a certain post-modern sentiment that suggests tight jeans, Wayfarer sunglasses, and general hipsterism. The songs rely heavily on the playoff between chunky guitar chords, and simple, catchy synthesizer riffs to strike a careful and pop-savvy balance between noisy chaos and cookie-cutter conciseness.

The track “Last Show” is exemplary of the album’s overall sound. No instrument overplays its part, and no part outstays its welcome, but they all lead into the next with a clever use of crescendo and pregnant notes. Where there may be nothing so exceptional about the individual riffs, or about the vocals tying them all together, their arrangement in terms of one another creates a certain catchiness.

This is also evident in the album’s titular track, “Sun Hits,” where a constant, driving beat lends support to muddy guitar distortion and a vocal motif that is easy to grasp and hold onto.

Overall, the Sun Hits EP is well conceived and excellently recorded. Still, there is a pervasive lack of complexity, which, depending on your taste, is either a good or bad thing. In its stripped-down way, the music doesn’t allow for any instrument to stand out or fully express itself, but instead, to only contribute to the idea of the song as a whole.

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