Jun 14, 2010 Issue #31 - Spring 2010 - Joanna Newsom
Hearing "Save Your Love for Me," the opening track from Suckers' debut album, for the first time, one thought in particular will probably strike more than one listener: Hopefully the rest of this album is just as audacious.
It is. Sporting three singers/ multi-instrumentalists in Austin Fisher, Quinn Walker (Fisher's cousin), and Pan, along with drummer/ keyboardist Brian Aiken, there's a kaleidoscopic twist of fresh ideas throughout Wild Smile that offers something new with each trip through these tracks.
"Save Your Love for Me" is a perfect example of how the band can peel away a number of layers within these songs, sometimes adding new facets to one theme while completely shifting gears and detouring from others. Its peaceful opening, with chiming guitars and group vocals, blasts wide open after several minutes with a harder rock sound, capped with some positively stratospheric falsetto singing.
Between the skittering cymbals and menacing electronic buzz, "Black Sheep" attacks like an unlikely pairing of Franz Ferdinand and TV on the Radio and highlights the various contributions at play. Regardless of who wrote a particular song, each one feels like a true group effort, with vocals, drums, and other instruments taking turns and moving things forward.
The band has learned to mesh amazingly well to have gotten their start only a couple of years ago in Brooklyn. Their self-titled debut EP, released last year on IAMSOUND, was produced by Yeasayer's Anand Wilder, and its catchy group-sing single, "It Gets Your Body Movin'" (also included on Wild Smile, in remixed/remastered form), attracted widespread attention. Considering Wilder's involvement with Suckers on the EP, Wild Smile sounds like the work of kindred spirits to Yeasayer, in terms of freewheeling invention.
A few months on the road should turn these songs into real treats to catch live, followed by a few months where Suckers consider how they're going to top Wild Smile. (www.myspace.com/suckers)
Author rating: 8/10
Average reader rating: 8/10