Album: Sun Organ – Wooden Brain

November 25, 2015

I fell in love with unassuming Philly 5-piece Sun Organ on accident. In the beautiful music community of Philadelphia, it’s not too difficult to find a new favorite band on a tucked unexpectedly between some more widely known locals or touring bands. Just a few nights ago, I saw Sun Organ play on such a four-band bill at Philly DIY venue PhilaMOCA. Two songs into their captivating set, it was obvious that their lumbering, noise rock was something special. A post-set googling revealed my friends at Start-Track and Wake the Deaf wholeheartedly agreed a few months back.

Originally the solo project of Tim Jordan, Sun Organ as a five-person band invigorates tales of apathy and loneliness with a surly heap of fuzz. Their debut album, Wooden Brain, weaves sad songs with primarily deadpan vocals into dynamic compositions. While a slightly unsettling dark tone encompasses the record, it paints a welcoming picture of isolation. Warm riffs clash knowingly into powerful breakdowns that discover something new inside the repetitious phrasing. Between grumbly intensities, the record toys with the former ups and present downs of human interaction in softly voiced recollections and observations.

Getting caught in the in-your-face melody of “Roar of Nothingness” is as easy as succumbing to the listless drone of “Nona Fell.” Packed amongst layers of distortion social trepidation, the refrain passed from forceful ‘da’s to searing guitars in “Gods of Summer” haunts in the same biting way as the blaring chorus of “Other People.” “Ass Kickin’ Rock’n’Roll” showcases the group’s lighter side in contrasting but serene guitar lines that coincide perfectly with the lyrical sense of abandonment. But, no track contains more character than the sullen heartbreaker “Old Tucson.” Pining in punches of crunchy guitar and bass, the forlorn narrative is gripping from beginning to end. As Jordan falls apart, the whole song comes together, effectively steamrolling over his pain with insurmountable walls of sound.

Wooden Brain is out now on Ranch Records in digital and cassette form.

Favorite Tracks: Old Tucson & Ass Kickin’ Rock’n’Roll

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