For such a syllable heavy name, Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam rolls of the tongue quite easily. In some way, the Birmingham quintet picked the perfect name for themselves. Bright, quirky and fun, but with complexity hiding in plain sight. Turning out over 100 tracks since their inception, Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam have been putting out quality material at an alarming rate. Beginning life as a trio, early offerings came in the form of two lo-fi EPs and a self-titled album. With the addition of two extra members, the band then moved away from the lo-fi aesthetic it once adhered to. Releasing their second album Blackout Cowboy November 6th on By The Time It Gets Dark, Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam have crystalized both their sound and their writing. Arriving at eight solid and concise tracks that give this second long player all the feel of a newly arrived debut.
Kicking off with Running From My Ghost, its tongue in cheek lyrics, blasting riffs and complex melody will draw immediate Weezer comparisons. The opening of All The Way Over The Edge (Bros Don’t Talk About Anything) brings with it a feedback soaked, psychedelic wig out, before pulling back to full on catchiness. Its dark edged and humorous lyrics address the importance of communication in mental health. Of which, lead singer and guitarist Pete Dixon is an advocate. Recently publishing an article in the NME for World Mental Health Day on the importance of opening up.
Second single to be released from Blackout Cowboy, Meatloaf To The Camera is a great encapsulation of Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam. On its face, it’s straight up infectious power-pop. But its intelligent changes in time and insightful lyrics show you there’s so much more to this band than virulent, crowd friendly indie bangers. Dixon said of the track:
“It’s about a doomed relationship, like a love song but where things just get worse from the moment it starts. Kind of the reverse of the usual love ballad, it changes key at the end which I like to think represents that optimism of picking yourself up and trying again.”
There are a few references on Blackout Cowboy that might escape even the most ardent Anglophiles of a US audience. None more than the title of Mrs JR Hartley. But getting lost in the riffs of this album is the more likely pitfall. With each listen, something new draws your attention. There’s always something interesting happening in the not so hidden recesses.
MK Ultra evokes the spirit of Devo with a formidable outro that will whip audiences to frenzy and Blackout Cowboy’s closer Mind Control almost acts as a retrospective of the previous seven tracks. Bringing every element of this album into a single number that covers more ground in four minutes than most LP’s do in eight tracks. Complete with a cheekily little ending of the same riff that started the album.
There’s enough familiarity with Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam that you slide right in and feel at home. However, there is always a surprise that brings something new, something interesting and something to make you smile. Blackout Cowboy is like the musical equivalent of slipping on an old pair of jeans and finding a fifty in the pocket.
Blackout Cowboy is available November 6th and can be Pre-Ordered here.
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