Montreal’s Suuns possess a rare trait in rock music: restraint. They use it like an instrument, which makes their debut full-length 'Zeroes QC' as unsettling as it is wonderfully exasperating. It’s immediately apparent in album opener “Armed for Peace,” a track that starts off like a robot breaking down in a hot desert; the song’s mechanic beat plods like iron-shoed footsteps as the melody of a wheezing synth mirrors the crackling sound of old transistors and circuitry being cooked in the sun. It’s deceptively lulling, the tension almost unnoticeably wrenching up and up until the track unexpectedly opens into a barrage of nose-diving guitar riffs and crashing drums – yet the band still stays locked on the song’s linear, forward-motion direction.
'Zeroes QC' is a warm yet dark, propulsive collusion of pop, post-punk and experimental rock – one that allows the group to musically shapeshift without losing any of the sense of tension and unease that runs throughout the record. During tracks like “Gaze,” tightly wound guitars and bass ring and buzz atop Liam’s metronomic, powerhouse drumming, with Ben’s cool, detached vocals acting as a nervy counterweight as he delivers falsely assuring lines like, “Don’t you be yourself, you are someone else.” Often his close-miced sing/speak is as metronomic as it is melodic; in “Arena” Ben’s rhythmic “What-choo, what-choo”’s are reminiscent of Suicide’s Alan Vega as he leads the band’s death disco groove into a bloodbath of razor-sharp guitars, while his icy, hushed delivery in “Sweet Nothing” is almost as motorik as the song itself. Most impressive, though, is how Suuns effortlessly sculpt memorable pop songs from experimental building blocks, frequently using noise and space as actual hooks. All of this amounts to a great first album – one that is as timeless as it is thrillingly modern.
Cannot put the words together to properly describe how this album affects me. Being something of an emotional and self destructive person I’ve recently learned how to be my own best friend and during this growing phase I’ve discovered yr lovely sounds that always seem to elevate and drive my moods to the edges and keep me yearning.
I got the last CD!! Lucky me ☺️
When are you coming to play Minneapolis???
Update: so I was a teenager in the early 90s when sonic youth, the cure and nirvana became popular and honestly I miss those years so much and when I listen to this album I’m catapulted back to my youth in those days. I’m going to be 45 this year and I have to say I fucking hate it. I didn’t think I’d be alive still but I’m here because having my daughter gave me purpose. I don’t relate to people my age at all. Read up on Zachary and I see a lot of parallels between us. At risk, discipline problems, troubled youth. Didn’t know he’s in recovery as I’ve just discovered this band. No wonder I was so drawn in. All the advice in the world means nothing until you get real with yourself and
decide you want to change and make space for it. Remember who you are!! My biggest advice to anyone in recovery. Remember who you are. And also be kind to yourself. You are incredibly talented and a very sensitive tortured soul. I know it’s difficult to navigate all these feelings and easy to drown them. Every day is a gift. A sacred gift. Once you find that for yourself it becomes so much easier.
🌀🌺♥️ peace kitty meow
Immensely enjoyable to return to. This deserves its share of space to take in at your own pace if you're not someone who easily gels into lengthy music. Whether you come to this album from a black metal, post rock, gothic or benign folk lens or what you may - Anna's Dead Magic resurrects a lasting impression. Lewis' sub-optimal DCR