I have experienced some fantastic music coming out of the Boston/New England area over the last few years. And through it all there has been a common thread rooted in a truly American style. From The Autumn Hollow Band to Slowdim to The Rationales there is a certain air of “only-in-America” that emanates from their respective sounds. Now this isn’t some “Get yer pickups and best huntin’ dawg and let’s go fishun” kind of America but rather an evolution of pure, unadulterated finesse that can be traced back to when Aerosmith pumped out their version of “Train Kept A-Rollin’.”
Now another player has come into the game through the tongue-in-cheek title A Fresh Bottle and a Brand New Day. With a delicate balance, though you may miss it in their aggressive approach, of a 90s rock foundation, a dash of Southern Rock delivery and intriguing vocal decisions, Sunshine Riot encapsulate the all that can be great with rock if you don’t overthink it.
I don’t want anyone to go thinking that this quartet of bad boys from Beantown is some subdued version of a garage band but don’t go looking for a straight rock band either. The consistent rock is not present. What is here is an eclectic sound that is as bold as it is big. Tracks like “Norfolk County Jail,” and “Boxcar Cowboy” roll on a rock sensibility but the likes of “Margaret Mae” and “Old Soul Blues” show a much more expansive blend with slight nod to the 90s. The eleven track debut is the right amount of rock with just enough familiar sound to make it a noninvasive discovery for fans of the genre.
Sunshine Riot begins to sound like something we’ve known but remains something new. This is an exciting album for fans of the post-alt rock era. It is well balanced and thought provoking. Boston can confidently say they have another quality sound and be proud of it.
Greg is a regular contributor and co-founder at Nanobot.