Brooklyn’s newest tuneful towering trio Sunflower Bean, had a huge sold-out show at the Bowery Ballroom that was the record release show for their first full-length album Human Ceremony. These young musicians fresh out of school are clearly still in the learning spirit and on the rise, growing out of Brooklyn’s DIY scene into a diverse and powerful unit that is hard to deny as nothing more that pure rock magic.
The Brooklyn quartet FUTURE PUNX opened the show swimming through some heavily psychedelic projections by artist Heather Strange. Their sound is both futuristic and rather retro, both in the best of ways, definitely bringing on the visions and sounds of the post-punk/new wave scene of the synthy and beat-driven late 70’s and early 80’s sound of bands like Devo and Talking Heads, while also finding their own forward-reaching sonics. It sounds like they have some new material since last year’s excellent This is Post-Wave, so things is clearly going to get a whole lot crazier as time goes forward.
Switching gears, you then had another Brooklyn foursome in whole other polar zone by the name of Honduras, who are like a lit match next to a barrel of pure explosive punk juice. Every time I’ve seen them they’ve always come out strong and aggressive, yet playful and fun, and stagger off the stage sweaty, bloody, and exhausted. Their sound is somewhere between the moody harmonics of Deerhunter, the wack of Parquet Courts, the high-energy of Thee Oh Sees, and a bit of bloddy classic punk bands like Ramones and Richard Hell and the Voidoids thrown in the mix. They have a new EP coming out March 3 called Gathering Rust, and you shouldn’t miss out on their delicious sound.
Falling somewhere deep in the ocean of grand influences, Sunflower Bean are band still formulating their potent brew. They are as diverse as they come, one second chiming through an ethereal and winding Cure-like soundscape, to stomping through a Black Sabbath head-banding jam. Their overall presence is somewhat like some kings of unpredictable modern rock like Sonic Youth or Pixies, but never forgetting their softer side with angelic harmonies of bands like Ocean Blue or Lush. To this point, I had only seen them open for modern shoegaze kings DIIV a couple times, but those sets were so wildly impressive, I knew I needed to hear more. Both singer/bassist Julia Cumming and singer/guitarist Nick Kivlen trade off fronting duties, while drummer Jacob Faber drives some insanely tricky time changes that can almost feel priggish at times. So yeah, it turns out you can be shoe gaze and nu gaze, new wave and no wave, and even metal and progressive, all in the same breath without passing out. Bravo Sunflower Bean, you have done a damned great job thus far, just keep pushing those limits.
Article: Dean Keim