The Happy Loss
Son of the Sun
Release Date: Jun 22, 10
Many bands try to smash together all of their favorite things and make a mess. Let’s face it, as much as a person can love Neil Diamond, Public Enemy, and Justin Timberlake it’s hard to find a cohesive stylistic link between all three. It takes a good band to find what works for all of them and construct a style that they can all operate in and still enjoy. Buffalo’s Son of the Sun has adapted all of their favorite genres into one massive wall of sound. On their latest full-length album The Happy Loss one can hear 50s pop, So Cal surfer, indie rock, alternative country, psychedelic rock, and even a little bit of shoegaze permeating through ten tracks. Better still, all of these things combine perfectly together.
The Happy Loss exudes a sense of warmth normally heard on vinyl records. Lead singer Zak Ward’s vocals positively soar over the slow ballad “How Can it Be?,” each bass note ringing smoothly over the sounds that they’ve built themselves over the years. With music like this, this warm vinyl sound really pays off. Each track crackles with vintage intensity without pandering to keeping it strictly old school. Tracks like “Leopard Print” sound like they’re right off of some hip soundtrack. From “Leopard Print”’s opening alone it’s hard not to imagine watching a scene of you and a significant other zipping down a desolate road in a car, the sun setting behind you. This recording style seems to be getting more and more popular as people are starting to realize how bland mp3s and m4as can be. For some it doesn’t add anything to their recordings but for Son of the Sun it makes The Happy Loss go that extra mile.
Son of the Sun keeps their love for surfer music on The Happy Loss but adds a certain twang that wasn’t present on their previous EP Before the After. Production-wise this album sounds much more like an alt-country album like Cardinology meeting the new/old style of Brian Williams on Smile. It’s something that’s been done before but Son of the Sun adds something that puts them apart from the pack. The problem is I can’t pinpoint it. Where many rocker/country acts find themselves in Nashville and neu-surfer bands in California and Brooklyn, Son of the Sun hails from Buffalo, New York. If you’re not familiar with the musical history of Buffalo don’t worry, most people aren’t. It ranges from Ani DiFranco to the Goo Goo Dolls to Cannibal Corpse. How the hell did Son of the Sun find their sound amongst so many odd bands? Either way I’m glad they found it. Son of the Sun is a band that has a defined style but is ready to rewrite it at any time. Listening to The Happy Loss is like listening to a melting pot of my music collection – soulful songs, hard-hitting guitar riffs, and that “little surfer girl” sound washing over everything.