(All Album Reviews by Reginod)
The Sunny Era is a 7-member outfit hailing from Minneapolis. If you take a glance at the bands' website (www.thesunnyera.com), they are compared to Mojave 3. Being that I've never heard Mojave 3, I didn't know what to expect, but I thought that The Sunny Era might somehow fit under the umbrella of post rock, which is an area of modern music that I have explored very little. Quite simply I've been curious and thought that this might be an interesting listen.
Anywho, The Sunny Era's new album is called Connection Lost, and it was recorded by the band at Saturn Blue Studios. The lineup consists of Eric Stainbrook on guitars and vocals; Patrick Zampogna on guitar; Tony Zampogna on bass; Laila Vojoodi on violin and organ; Matt Knipple on cello; Kristin Irving on flute; and Chad Neudecker on percussion. The music is mostly confined to shorter songs, in the 3-5 minute range, and the lyrics seem largely to consist of introspections on living, loving and relationships in the cloudy and uncertain world of young adults.
Here's the part where I have to be brutally honest: this CD bores the ever-lovin' piss out of me. Almost every song here plays by the same soporific rules: weak vamps consisting of two chords (literally) repeated over and over and over, annoyingly cheesy, metronomic snare sound, plinking, wuss-ly bass, no engaging melodies or instrumental passages, no interplay, no compositional dynamics.
The band does flirt with an interesting chord change or two on "Rules Of The Game," and "The Casual Fix and the Shaped Wrong" is actually a 10+ minute instrumental. Whatever. The pickin's are still mighty slim.
Almost all of the focus here is on atmosphere, but in this case it isn't nearly enough of a draw to make things interesting. Some care was taken to balance the array of sounds (actually the use of the violin is kinda neat in this context), and obviously this music isn't trying to be anything other than what it is.
I guess there's an audience for this sort of thing, maybe in college towns, on the indie/alternative circuit, so by all means these guys and gals should stick with it. But I can pretty well guarantee that us jaded, 40-and-over prog geeks aren't gonna be in that audience. Then again I don't suppose we were meant to be.
Connection lost? Naaaah, connection never established. Nnnnnnnnext . . . . . .