Music Review – Black Coffee Sigh

Album: Black Coffee Sigh

Artist: Sunshine Riot

Formed in Boston in 2011, rock band Sunshine Riot has been passionately promoting their music as they tour across the United States. Their music has been described as rock infused with a southern blues sound, although they seem to have tried to develop their own style of music that defies any genre.

Their first album, A Fresh Bottle and a Brand New Day, is available on iTunes and on their website, where you can download their song “Natural Causes” for free.

Described as Johnny Cash meets Kurt Cobain, Sunshine Riot is back with their second album Black Coffee Sigh. With an expected release date of January 13, 2015, Black Coffee Sigh is produced by 16-time Grammy nominated George Dussault, founder of Galilee productions.

Upon first listening to their music, I can definitely understand why they have been compared to these musicians, but I also find that they remind me of Dropkick Murphys and Sum 41. In songs like “Liz Stone” and “Get High”, Sunshine Riot’s music has a punk flare, which I think just adds to the entire genre defying image.

Although I have come to really like this band, the first song on this album was not what I had expected. “Black Coffee Sigh Side A” is a mismatch of sounds combined with harsh throbbing drums. In fact, it sounds like the type of music that you don’t want to listen to until after you’ve had your morning coffee. I found it grating and irritating.

But the next song captured my attention. “This Is A Raid” has an upbeat tune, compelling and entertaining lyrics, and an injection of humour that pervades several songs on the album.

“Liz Stone” is fantastic. The song is well composed with soulful rhythm and fantastic vocals. I really enjoyed it, as I felt that the band plays this style of music the best. Sunshine Riot may be trying to create their own sound, but it seems like they are most comfortable in the rock genre, with the occasional country and punk sound tossed in.

“Drunken Love” reminds me of songs from the band Sum 41. The heavy rock sound and loud, overly-masculine vocals make me think that this song would be perfect to listen to while partying with friends, whether at a pub or in the backyard at a barbecue. In fact, this song makes me miss the summer and times spent with friends, whether on the road, or sitting around sharing stories, laughs, and good times.

“Black Coffee Sigh Side B” is a vast improvement over “Black Coffee Sigh Side A”, but the song is just the band members singing and clapping their hands. The southern inspired sound is great, however, the song lacks the robust sound that I had come to expect from the band.

Overall, I wasn’t a huge fan of this album. The songs that I mention are the tracks that I liked the most, but I found that the other songs on the album weren’t the best examples of the bands’ obvious talents. I really enjoyed Sunshine Riot’s previous album A Fresh Bottle and a Brand New Day, which has more of a rock and punk sound, so I really hope that the band’s next album will feature more songs like “Liz Stone” and “Drunken Love”.

Editor’s Note: Last week, this column mis-spelled the name of Bela Ferreira from Menage as “Bella”. Our apologies.

Samantha Stevens is an aspiring writer who loves combining her love for literature with photography, painting, music, and all creative pursuits.

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