09 Sep 2022 - Dan D.
Mathcore | Dark Trail Records | Release date: 02 Sep 2022
Sunflo’er sure can make a racket. And I mean that as a compliment of course. These Potsdam, New York-natives effortlessly combine elements of ‘The Wave’ bands such as Touche Amore and La Dispute as well as Converge and, at points, the sorely missed The Chariot to create a heady cocktail of ‘core’ goodness. I’m not a drinker but one whiff of what the band has blended on All These Darlings And Now Me I know that the mix sure is potent enough to get the party started!
All These Darlings And Now Me is Sunflo’er’s third release and the first for Dark Trail Records. It’s also their first with the Jeff Lyszczarz on vocals. This addition really pushes the band forward and makes the band sound more cohesive than ever before. I first became aware of Sunflo’er from their excellent cover of Helmet’s ”Unsung” on Magnetic Eye’s Meantime (Redux) album and checked out their back catalogue afterwards. In total honestly, whilst I enjoyed their previous releases, I wouldn’t class myself as a fan. That has changed with this album though.
Opener ”Straight To VHS” starts with lyrics lifted directly from Doobie Brothers ”Give Me The Beat Boys”, the band are not shy of wearing any influences on their sleeves, before hurtling into a full on good time punk rock assault. ”A Bombastic Return To Form For These Bay Area Rockers” is a 73 second rager not a million miles away from Every Time I Die or Cancer Bats in sound. First single from the album, ”Cryptfucker” is catchy as hell with a corker of a breakdown towards the end. ”Brand New Everything” has a more mathy feel but does not sacrifice the hooks. The ending of the track is absolutely majestic. Instrumental track ”Here End The Roads And Days” really mixes things up bringing a healthy dose of emotion which wanders in to American Football territory. Don’t be lulled in to a false sense of security though as ”Big City Shotgun” really cranks things up again with its just under a minute and a half of hard rocking fun. 7 Trumpets In Astoria” twists and turns for its first half before transitioning to some extraordinarily emotional distorted drones which shouldn’t work but absolutely do and is absolutely my favourite track on the album. ”Someday You Will Control The Birds” is the band at their most The Chariot with a vocal delivery very reminiscent of Josh Scoggins. At no point does it sound like imitation though. More like a loving nod. The closer ”All These Darlings And Now Me” is probably the heaviest and most outright ferocious track on the album for the first 90 seconds or so and finishes off proceedings on a high when it melds into a track which wouldn’t sound massively out of place on Brand New’s ”The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me” (not sure if the band will thank me for this comparison but I mean it with the utmost respect). It would be remiss of me not to mention the excellent production throughout from Urian Hackney and Zack Weeks’ mastering really does aid in elevating the overall sound.
All These Darlings And Now Me is an extremely engaging listen both from a musical and lyrical perspective and I would recommend to anyone who has an interest in the more experimental side of hardcore. I’ll most definitely be keeping an eye on Sunflo’er.