Wow, I listened to Sunday Flood’s Advisory and I truly thought the world was going to end! I mean, really, could everything be, like, that bad? Wow, like everything sounds way dark and, I dunno, like such a complete bummer!
Forgive me for that outburst. But I figured if an album was going to drag me kicking and screaming back to the nether regions of my high school music collection, I may as well get in the spirit of things.
Truth be told, the sophomore release from Sunday Flood is more than just a nostalgic romp through the land of power-chord progressions and agonized singing. But seeing past the angsty veneer requires a good deal of soul searching—both your own and that of the band—especially when the album opens with a predictable number like “Why Is the Grass Green Like the Mob?” This number is chock-full of winding triplets, crashing cymbals, and more distortion than a funhouse full of funny mirrors.
But wait, what was that last one called again? It’s titles like that—and “I Advise Red”, or “Myriad”—which hint at a level of lyrical depth that’s lost in the jumble of their raw, inchoate sound. Going back to track one, you’ll discover the lyrics:
“Lost in time we are. All my innocence has
Stumbled. It’s never been a more perfect time.
Don’t close your eyes—this may not last that
Long. I believe that this is meant to be. Where
We run by ourselves this one day,
We could have this night
Outside, far away from all these
Complications. I’ll stay tonight”.
All the songs on Advisory harbor that same pensive, brutal being—simple in its observations, simultaneously ephemeral and forever, as though any specific anguish were as temporary as any specific feeling of joy and were only to be followed by more fleeting, oscillating feelings.
Seen this way, the stuff of Advisory becomes the work of a poet who’s been mismatched to his song, whose visions deserve either much more or much less. A song like “Room 237” falls all over itself in its effort to complicate its melody, overusing chaotic drumming and misleading tempo shifts to make it sound as if the band lacked the technical ability to play everything at the same speed. On the flipside, “Myriad” at times sounds like it’s barely there, the music slowing once the singing comes into play, trying but failing to sound understated and small.
Sunday Flood have the kernel of something beautiful—a lead singer with the ability to belt like nobody’s business, lyrics that stand alone on their beauty—but all of that is missed due to their elementary formula that’s too basic, too similar across the board. To be truly creative, emo-rock has to branch out beyond maudlin lyrics and somber sonic turns. I hope that in their future efforts, they graduate to a more mature sound.
// Notes from the Road
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