Sundressed

A Little Less Put Together

Written by: TL on 14/05/2017 15:15:11

If you find yourself missing some of the 00's Chicago pop-punk flavour, following the demise of bands like The Academy Is and Motion City Soundtrack, consider checking out Arizona's Sundressed, whose first full-length album "A Little Less Put Together" came out recently via Animal Style Records. While its cover art may be something to look past, the promise of the catchy band name is delivered on an eleven track album of charmingly wordy, angsty pop-punk, that might still be a bit raw around the edges but where there's obvious potential to make note of.

With vocals sounding somewhere in between TAI's Will Beckett and Relient K's Matt Thiessen, Sundressed delivers lines like "I learned how to love from all the wrong songs, so it's hopeless, self-deprecating monologues", following the great emo tradition of cheekily tearing yourself down. And the songwriting prominently has a clear drive forwards, in the way that good pop-rock tunes instantly make you feel at home as the listener, and frequently a good base song is topped off with a stand out bridge section. Take here, for instance, tender piano-backed refrain in "Autopilot" or the soulful guest vocal spot by Charles Barth in "Limelight", plus the horn-boosted break towards the end of "Mill Ave. And Broadway" that should put a smile on the face of even the sternest ska-hater.

As mentioned, however, the talent on display here is a bit raw. The production is clear but unspectacular, and the absent feeling of "mmm, this or that instrument sounds nice here" is probably a sign of a bit of a budget job, which is unsurprising considering the early point in the band's career. And while the songwriting is generally tight and riddled with good ideas, it feels like things could've been shined up and framed even better, to a point where the songs would go off even more than is already the case. That being said, Sundressed put their talents consistently on display on this debut, even if the last third of the record drops off in impact compared to the first seven tracks, doing enough to merit a spot on your "keep your eye on" list. Here's to hoping they stay hungry and ambitious, however, because it feels like they have the potential to make some MCS or TAI calibre albums, but that what's missing is a bit more experience and a slightly richer sound.

Download: A Little Less Put Together, Autopilot, Mill Ave. And Broadway
For The Fans Of: The Academy Is, Motion City Soundtrack, Relient K
Listen: facebook.com/StolasOfficial

Release date 24.03.2017
Animal Style Records

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