Ah, Splendid Suns - there are so many pleasant things to say about this band. The permenantly added presence of Brittany O' Neill is a game changer. Having her as a "back up" singer is comparable to having Jimi Hendrix on board as a rhythm guitarist. Frontman/songwriter Andrew Elijah Bayne has a finely honed ability to write deftly dynamic progressions. His chords move evenly, and at the end of the progression, I have the feeling of completion and closure, always with a feeling attached. Dean Pollard's trumpeting serves as a sort of adhesive to the music; if there were cracks in the floorboards of the songs, the trumpet fills space exactly where needed. There's a definite punk element to the Splendid Suns, almost like someone turned up the tempo on a Tom Waits album. I love watching stand-up bassist Owen Housden switch from bow to fingers and back again, acheiving fluidity with every structural change. And Neko, well, shit. He may be the best performing drummer that Richmond has to offer right now. Splendid Suns are unstoppable. I cannot wait for their debut album - coming out later this year.
Dan Mulrooney - www.rvamag.com
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