Zeroes QC Zeroes QC

Álbumes

Suuns SuunsZeroes QC

7.5 / 10

Suuns Zeroes QC SECRETLY CANADIAN

Suuns’ first stigma: being compared excessively with Clinic. In reality, their copying of the English surgeons is only really over the top in one specific song ( “Up Past The Nursery”), but what we can see in this daring debut is a marked similarity to the group from Liverpool when it comes to extracting the lowest common denominator from rock. Is this similarity that has been so heavily commented on in the press something that does the band more harm than good, or is it one of their stronger points? It depends on how you look at it. On one hand, there is something in it that is as unusual as it is revealing, and this is the fact that it is a Canadian band that reminds us of a British band, when you might expect it to be the opposite way around. And on the other hand, the comment is still a burden for them if we think of Suuns as a group whose only aim is to be different from the rest, to sound original above all else. This group from Montreal wants to be something new at all costs, but they especially want to be themselves. Previously called the Zeroes, the fact that they managed to keep their name by translating it to Thai when they had to change it (“suun” = “zero”) says it all.

The art-rock music the Suuns make may have more to do with TV On The Radio, where the permanent search for and conquering of difference are one and the same thing. More opaque than the latter group, Suuns are equally daring and disturbing. They don’t write such well-rounded songs, although this radical letter of introduction raises them up like an island in a flood of anodyne references. Their singularity lies in their use of half-dead voices and melodies, of beats that are at times blazing hot and at other times freezing cold, in Lynch guitars, and the pinches of electronic minimal that singer Ben Shemie learned when he was living in Berlin. The cook for the entire stew, producer Jace Lasek, member of Besnard Lakes and a sort of mentor-godfather for them, gives the proposal a continuous feeling of chills running up and down your spine. Freeing himself from the misty origins of the mother band, here he prioritises a sound that is as spare as it is frontal, in which the songs twist themselves up on their own, continually crossing the lines between the organic and the digital. This is another point to be appreciated, as is the approach to noise, or claps used as a gloomy resource—one that ends up overcoming the sporadic flaws in the composition of their de-boned synth-rock. The thing is that although you can’t stop thinking that “Zeroes QC” conquers territories thanks to valiant ideas and impossible balances, in the end it falls closer to congestion than to fever. To say it in a meta-dangerous way, it is an album-warning that questions itself constantly. For better or for worse.

Oddness is becoming more highly prized in such young groups as the one at hand, although finally, as always, the definitive key in this bundle of aspirations, nooks and crannies, and fixations can only be provided by the songs. Some songs are overcome by the problem of wanting to sound multi-directional all the time, but in several of their skeletons, we find areas to dig into that are potentially rewarding. If we turn our eye a bit, the rusty “Gaze”, one of the best songs, seems like a cross between Autolux and James Chance, thanks to that final bit of bursting no-wave. The contrasts make “Marauder” seem murderous, “Fear”, innocent, and “Armed for Peace”, guilty. There are more hooks that confirm “Zeroes QC” as a bizarre album, valuable for this very reason: an inevitable kraut influence in the steamroller of “Sweet Nothing”, traces of the disinfected violence of Fugazi (and also the hint of vintage of another of their idols: Black Angels) throughout the whole thing, a pleasant Tyrannosaurus Rex cover to end with… The device is as toxic as it is hypoallergenic, and in the end it only ends up being crushed by the same problem that (can you imagine?) Clinic suffers from—the wound bleeds, but it closes up right away.

Cristian Rodríguez

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