San Francisco’s Sunless Day’s trippy ‘70s inspired rock means well. Playful as well as heavy, Electric Ahhh… is entertaining with its blatant rock and roll attitude. Sunless Day is having fun, and while there’s little depth to their music, that seems to be their point. Their music is just meant to be enjoyable. Despite all of this, however, Sunless Day is, sadly, pretty tiresome.
Lead by the melodic and sarcastic voice of lead singer Rich Scremaglia, Sunless Day carries on the tradition of the hippie groove of San Francisco. The charismatic guitar and bass work by Aaron Nudelman and John Blackwell, neither of whom know the meaning of “unplugged”, is complimented by the energetic drumming of Jeff Gentry. Their classic rock lineup works well, and all band members have a command of music, but in the end, Sunless Day falls too much into rock tradition to hold the listener’s interest.
The songs all sound similar to each other, but this is almost to the benefit of Electric Ahhh… Instead of trying to draw attention to each individual song, Sunless Day creates a nice overall effect. The album’s cohesiveness is probably its greatest asset, although its even tone does give it a lulling quality. Even though it’s enjoyable to listen to, it becomes hard to care what’s going on, and it could end at any point and the impression would be the same. Strangely, it’s the sort of album you begin to turn down as it continues, forcing it to fade into the background.
The lyrics are almost irrelevant. While Scremaglia is fairly easy to understand, it doesn’t matter what he’s singing about. They make no true impression, and while worse words have been written for rock songs, these don’t stand out in any way, even for some odd subject matters, like abduction and murder on “Wicked King Wicker”. The words are just there to fill up space and don’t provoke thought or emotion.
Sunless Day’s Electric Ahhh… has enough entertainment value to make it worth something, but it has no lasting appeal. While Sunless Day has a great deal of talent, their throwback sound just feels unoriginal. It mostly seems like a waste of these musician’s abilities, despite their best efforts.
// Notes from the Road
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