Score! Music Magazine
cerebral avant-garde indie rock
Ok, if you're into short, fast songs, then forget about Suntan.
You will not find that style here. However, what you will get if you
invest time into this Boston-based four-piece's debut record 'Send You
Home' is cerebral avant-garde indie rock that culminates in long,
complex compositions (the most lengthy offering is the finale, which
clocks in at just under thirteen minutes). And the album may only
consist of seven songs, but it still manages to last an admirable fifty-plus
minutes, full of arty, experimental music.
The record is characterized by Nick Holdzkom's vocals enmeshed in
a dense, dynamic, layered wall of sound. Holdzkom's and Scott Endres'
dual guitar work is inventive, as they each do their own thing while
Dominic Mariano's drums and Lindsay Arth's omnipresent bontempi organ
hold all the composite pieces together. The dreamy first song, "Rising
For You," is a seven and a half minute track that sees Holdzkom's vocals
cut out at about the four-minute mark and for the remaining time, we're
treated to a jam session of guitar overload until they fade out and we
experience more drums and organ. On the following track, the placid "The
Next Ones," many different things occur all at once. It maintains its
calm quality partly due to the soothing vocals, but at a lengthy 9:44,
it's a little too long and repetitive. Likewise, "Every Night" is very
slow and soft, and quite frankly, rather boring even though it gets a
little heavier as the song progresses.
In contrast, "I Can Only Give You Everything" - which is a
relatively short 4:31 - is the best offering on the entire album, as it's
more uptempo than the aforementioned tracks with cannon-like drumming
and a riotous guitar breakdown, making for just an extremely vibrant and
lively song. This song is followed by a light instrumental piece that
flows nicely into the dreamy, psychedelic-tinged number, "King Felix."
On this track, the tempo speeds up mid-song and the organ is pretty low-key
until it's featured more prominently later on, after which the song
reverts to the slower tempo as seen during the first three minutes as
the vocals are reintroduced. The last song, "Send You Home," is a
rather emotional and powerful (and long) closer.