I first came across Suuns in a poorly furbished basement in London--appropriately stark and dark environs for this gloomily radiant melodic noise outfit. My friend Bobbie started managing their European tours, and I heeded his notice to come see the new band. Suuns played an absolutely incendiary show that left my ears smouldering in their wake for many days after. The show also turned out to be fuelled by friendship: Another friend books their Europe shows and yet another does publicity for their label, which is shared by Phosphorescent and Nurses (more friends still). Apparently, everyone we like likes Suuns. Luckily, we like them too.
At SXSW, even with so many bands and so little time, I can’t resist catching them again to see if lightning would strike twice with another gob-stopping live show. My hope is hubristic: In the Austin heat and peripheral hullabaloo, it is hard for me to distinguish Suuns’ inherent smokiness in the artificial haze of 3pm smoke machines and other try-hard bullshit--the buzz of two adjacent, well-populated stages blends into the scrobble of their lo-fi sound, and the overly branded barspace competes with their trademark brooding atmosphere.
Still: The songs rule, they’re a young band yet, and that first London show was shockingly mesmerizing. It would be foolish to write them off on the basis of this one less-than-stellar blip in the face of adversity. Besides, how could so many friends be wrong?
Photos happily provided by Team Note Well