Static and Silence, by The Sundays
Suggested by Nick Hall
I’ve never heard of The Sundays.
Increasingly, I’m realising that I could start at least half of my reviews with a revision of that phrase. It’s all good, mind. I enjoy discovering new stuff. What is surprising, however, is that The Sundays released their three albums in the Nineties, a decade in which my musical meringue was still sugared and light. I guess their lack of relative success meant they never charted a course through the Stevenson waters.
But enough of this! We’ve more important things to discuss. Namely, can we list a band for every day of the week?
We’ll start with The Sundays. Then we have The Happy Mondays, which likely need no introduction. Next, there’s The Tuesdays, a Norwegian rock group from the early Nineties not dissimilar in sound to The Bangles. These are followed by The Wednesdays, a self-proclaimed “alien-babe runk-pock” band, or Wednesday, who had a hit in 1974. Thursday is an emo-screamo band, and then there’s the American acoustic rock band Friday’s Child, both of which were formed in New Jersey in the late Nineties. Rounding out the week we have The Saturdays, the 21st Century girl group currently on hiatus.
I predict that The Happy Mondays would stoutly win The Battle of the Weekday Bands, but of course your mileage may vary.
So what of The Sundays? Are they restful, like the day, or are they manically overcompensating for the fact that they’ve left their maths homework until the end of Last of the Summer Wine?
Static and Silence is the bands final album, and it’s packed with cookie-cutter jangle-pop tunes that, while perfectly pleasant, aren’t exactly setting the world alight. The best of these is the opening track Summertime, which is both a perfect measure of the band’s ambition and their biggest hit. It starts with a treated guitar and tambourine, and builds lazily with an understated female vocal into a layered chorus that includes some stabbing brasses, before leaving us via a rather ridiculous swooping and swerving guitar solo (of sorts). It’s my standout track, and likely the only one that I’ll remember going forward.
There are other nice songs, such as When I’m Thinking About You and Monochrome. I also enjoy the swelling strings of Folk Song. But overall, this is the aural equivalent of a gentle stroll, while I’m a Route March kinda guy. It’s not without merit, and fills a niche well, that niche being “exactly the kind of music they play at The Bronze in Buffy The Vampire Slayer”. I came as no surprise, then, to discover that The Sundays did feature on the Buffy soundtrack, albeit at the prom rather than the nightclub.
Static and Silence gets a middling 5/10. It was okay, but not what I’m looking for. Like the day of rest itself, I find The Sundays rather boring.