Microtone is one of those words that makes you think “Uh Oh. Here comes some difficult listening.” But really, all it means is ALL the frequencies NOT right on those familiar piano-key half-steps. SUN YOUNG’s avidly-awaited 1st release BBHUG SHUN is gonna make you LOVE microtones. Guitarist/vocalist Damien Young Scalise’s playful irreverence for semitonal line and standard meter is part of what gives their tunes emotive tension one moment and just plain silliness the next. It’s a dance, where pop sensibility is one partner and jazzy punk fun is the other, like in ’Grease’ only weirder.
First song ‘Faces in The Sun’ is straight-up guitarsturbation marching up the left hand of Tantra to a variety of Kama Sutran plateaux with enlightened expertise. Track 2 ‘Needs’ begins with boppy-poppy finger-snapping stanzas and familiar pop structures, all the while leading you blithely onto the microtone dance floor. Too late, you’re groovin’ now. Just in time, here comes singleworthy track 3 ‘Pinesugar’ with that irresistable bass and guitar-stomp intro. Drum and bass hold this track together expertly as Damien cycles inverted-style through the fretboard alphabet. ‘Bad Dreams’ is the most jazzy-proggy playful of the album and will certainly remind you of old Zappa and Beefheart with a herky-jerky lead-in to a wonderful machine-scene soundtrack interlude before returning you to the nightmare proper. Damien is not afraid to use voice instrumentally as song 5, ‘Ice Cream Girlfriend’, highlights; alternating between lyric and alyric vocal sections. Album closer ‘Miss U’ begins messy, microtonal and angry, then suddenly transitions to heartfelt and upbeat declarations before ending on a question mark. The main question left at the end being “Can we have some more please”?
Catch a live taste of SUN YOUNG as they celebrate their tape release of this album this coming Saturday with friends IAN, SPOOKY DANGERFIELD and FREE PIZZA!!! (not literally folks, we mean the band…which is actually way better).