Single Review: Red Dust by The Suncharms (2018) (Slumberland Records)

French based label, Cloudberry Records, have been on a quest to promote the bands that 1980/1990s time forgot for many years now. One band receiving their ‘retrospective compilation’ treatment was Sheffield based five piece, The Sun Charms, whose entire studio output (consisting of two Wilde Club Records EP’s from the early 90’s) and several demos were released on a superlative compilation.

Perhaps spurred by the critical acclaim surrounding above release, this single represents their first new work in twenty-five years and is undoubtedly perfect timing considering the fact that the sort of jangle-gaze that they perfect(ed) is currently en vogue due to recent releases by bands such as High Sunn, Hater, The BV’s, Seventeen Year Old and Berlin Wall and the Luxembourg Signal..

A-side, Red Dust (see below), deftly identifies all the listener needs to know about their musical  aesthetic within the opening 40 seconds. Initially the opening windswept sparsity of the introduction is interrupted by the sort of beautifully overt jangled riffs that are the hallmark of jangle-gaze. Eventually the naval gazing vocals imbue traditional shoegaze malaise, but its all just that little bit to vibrant, too crisp and ultimately too coherent to be merely dismissed as such.

As the track develops to a brilliant wall of guitar crescendo, late 1980’s My Bloody Valentine becomes the obvious reference point. However after all the subdued magnificence that has preceded, there is a sense that the track deserves to break lose and reach a more raucous conclusion. It just seems a natural progression somehow.

Red Dust

B-side, Film Soundtrack has an altogether different vibe. Of course the shoegaze semi legible vocals are still there, however the accompaniment now is very much more in the fashion of early 1990’s Teenage Fanclub guitar pop, with its multi guitar assault occasionally threatening to go full Dinosaur Jnr, before eventually being stifled by the sheer craft of the underlying melodies.

I am not sure what the future holds for this band, I just hope it involves much more of the same !!!
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