Sundials – First Six Songs EP
90s power-pop/college rock revivalism seems to be on a bit of an uptick at the moment with great bands like Cheap Girls and Failure’s Union rocking awesome melodic rock styles. I’m also occasionally reminded of Weezer… good old Weezer, not shit new Weezer, and with less irritatingly tweenie lyrics. Sundials are walking a similar path though they’ve got a more upbeat sound. Despite this they don’t shy from tackling darker subject matter in their lyrics.
This free download EP opens with ‘Names That Matter Most’, a very mildly country-flavoured tune about a girl… well, of course. It’s about falling for someone and wanting to get to know them better than not at all, a pretty common refrain for power-pop!
Most of the songs on here focus on memories, such as ’It Stands a Ground’ which features the chorus line “I called up my friends to buy me drugs when I was young / these memories protect me from remembering anyone”; a wryly observant tale of misspent youth. The song breaks down for a bridge that, for a moment, focuses on a darker memory, before returning to its more upbeat recollections.
‘Fox Hunters’ is another highlight, a fast-paced tune with jangly hooks and a lot of charm. As far as I can tell it’s about hunting and tradition and, perhaps, is a metaphor about the innocence of youth being confronted with something unpalateable: “it’s tradition don’t you know / it’s taxidermy in your room / you said we always let them go.”
If you like to rock to heartfelt poppy tunes with great harmonies, you could do worse than downloading this. There’s a nostalgic and backward-looking attitude to the record that befits its retro styles, and Sundials rock with aplomb.