>> Music close to my heart, from a city close to my heart. What more could I ask for? Utica-based experimental, math rock artists, Sun Colored Chair, produced a behemoth of a record at the tail end of July - their first release as a collective.
The Good: 'The Birth of The Sun' sounds as mythic, imposing and profound as its title would have you think. Sun Colored Chair did a number on me here. The Uticans did not mess around on the sheer magnitude of sound on this album and spared no expense on their understanding of the experimental. All the classic tenants of your standard instrumental math-rock album are present: odd time signatures marked by heavy impacts, incredible detail in the balance of loud versus soft, instrument proficiency and technique that rivals a jazz fusion record, ever-changing moods and themes throughout one track, a deluge of layered countermelodies and percussive elements. Bells, whistles, organ, odd tones and pitches, even what seems like a theremin are involved in the wonderful chaos of this record.
In between the intensity of the mythic moments are also soft and precious ones. Sun Colored Chair allows on occasion through this record to be vulnerable and expose its listeners to a plethora of moods. Guitar harmonies and those bells, placed in the right places lead to incredibly tender moments here and there, splitting up the din, and they are very much appreciated.
A record with this many things going on simply cannot lack production quality - too many elements compositionally would be obscured and lost upon. So naturally, the group had to deliver here, too. They did not disappoint. It’s rather amazing that everything can be heard and that everything heard truly sounds in place.
The Bad: It is scarcely an issue for me when a record has an incredibly long track for a finale, but this record does have some truly arduously long tracks in the beginning and middle of the record - “The Birth of the Sun,” 12:28 minutes; “Sun Melt/Elated Bump” 10:38; and “Sungasm,” 8:45; which, I feel break up the flow of the overall record. If you as a listener are experiencing these tracks as separate from the overall body of work, the time goes by quickly as there is a lot for ears to latch on to.
The Review: It is impossible for me to come at this record void of bias. Music is subjective as it is to start, but further, I went to the very High school that some of these artists graduated from, immersed in the impact of the scene they left in my hometown. So, with that, it is needless to say that the existence of this group and this record give me a ton of excitement. Knowing music like this is made at all is a thrill, knowing that I can brag about who made it is even more fulfilling. I am ecstatic to see what lies in wait for these artists in the future. 4.3/5 <<
Favorite tracks: "Sungasm," "Hand Castles."
Listen to 'The Birth of the Sun' HERE!
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