SULK! These Londoners released an album way back in April this year exactly 3 years after their last album. Which was either planned or very very coincidental which could be the case. SULK are a psychedelic rock/shoegaze band whose latest album No Illusions was released via the label Perfect Sound Forever. They spent a fair few months in the Big Jelly Studios in Ramsgate recording this album that they started working on back in 2014, a year after the release of their debut album Graceless. They managed to produce over 20 demos and whittled it down into the album that you hear and see today. After releasing several singles from September 2015 all the way up to a week before the album was launched the created quite a hype.
Onto the album now! We start as ever, or most of the time, with track uno, Black Infinity (Upside Down). This is the first single they released back in September 2015 and this song couldn’t be more shoegaze if it tried. It’s the song on the album that is able to sum up No Illusions all at once with no other explanation. Its wondering guitar, that creates such a perfect distance between the vocals and the drums, is the key part of this tune. It alone carries you across the shoegaze sea one note at a time in a really blissful way. Its modern but has such clear elements of indie that it’s hard not to like it no matter what you’re in to. What really sells this song is the trick on the middle that brings the song back to basics and then builds it back up to the main spur of noise. It’s pure magic.
Next onto track three, the title of the album. No Illusions is a psychedelic sounding drum and guitar heavy combination of a song. It sounds like a montage of your life should be flashing around your head as you jam out to the very groovy tune. With its steady guitar strums and floaty sounding vocals it really does sound rather wonderful. No Illusions is a song you could have on repeat all day and not realise you were listening to the same song all day. It’s just a never ending song that goes on and on in one of the best possible ways. Generic sounding song with a psychedelic twist.
Following on from track three is obvious track five! One Day I’ll get it right. This track is a much slower and down to earth tune than other pervious tunes on the album so far. It brings the mood back down to planet earth and I really do love its mellow sounding guitar that produces a relaxed yet still psychedelic sound. Every album needs a slower song and this one does just the trick. The steady drum beat makes this simple sounding song so much more elegant and grown up when compared to other slow songs of a similar type of album. Overall it’s a tune for every occasion that gets you right in your heart.
After a racy and in your face track 6, Past Paradise its onto track 7 with Queen Supreme. Now I love the name of this song it really speaks for it in a way. With its high-spirited intro and space out vibes it really feels like you’re just floating along life. Queen Supreme reminds me of Box Of Light who also do fabulous psychedelic sounds. The overly forceful guitar punches through each note one by one in a loud and boisterous manor. Yet when the keyboard comes in everything is all floaty and at peace once again. The vocals and lyrics only add to the overall blend. It has to be one of my favourite songs on this album by far. Very dreamy.
Finally, the last track up for review is nine, The Tape Of You. This was the second single these guys released earlier this year in February. It has upbeat and happy sounding beats but is sung in a sad monotone way which gives it a whole different spin onto it. Its an intense song that really packs all the right punches in the right places. With its beautiful guitar that really makes the track original and out there. The slowing down and stripping of the track half way through makes it all seem so much more. As it leads perfectly into a passionately played instrumental. As second to last tracks go its up there with the greats!
Overall this album is pretty impressive if you’re looking for the ultimate shoegaze and psychedelic sounding adventure. Its perfect for every mood and feeling especially if you need to get down and just do. It’s the perfect long distance album and really can keep you wide awake or fall asleep which is what I did most of the time. I am really looking forward to another album from these guys hopefully soon as 3 years was a bit long. The suspense was good though!
Buy the album here: http://www.sulktheband.com/shop/no-illusions-album/
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