NAMING YOURSELF after The Associates’ finest hour will undoubtedly attract Porky’s attention.
Now, I don’t actually know if Sulk are fans of the electric, eclectic Dundee act, but if it isn’t the case we’ll pass it off as a magnificent coincidence.
Sulk are part of a new wave of revivalist bands, their ears attuned to shoegazing, Madchester and Britpop; the music their dads or elder brothers may have been played to them.
Welcome to No Illusions (Perfect Sound Forever records) their second album following the under-the-radar Graceless of three years go.
From the first minute of Black Infinity (Upside Down) I’m detecting the shimmering guitars and slide effects of Slowdive, which these days is actually a compliment.
The silky vocals of Jon Sutcliffe and the reverb-drenched bass remind me also of Towns, who’s debut album has been reviewed on this site, as well as an act of about five-six years ago, S.C.U.M.
But enough of such spurious comparisons, Sulk are clearly meritorious of their own categorisation. While they take from the above scenes, and beyond, this is less a nostalgia trip but a hand-in-hand jaunt alongside the new psychedelia, or a pioneering mini-genre that, quite frankly, is too esoteric to even have its own label.
One Day takes me back to 1990; Stone Roses had inspired a legion of flares-adorning teens, The Charlatans and their Hammond-esque delights were ubiquitous and The Sundays were breaking out from rotation play on the John Peel radio show. A time where anything seemed possible and an escape from the neoliberal shop of horrors was just a cheap cassingle away.
Rather that focus on individual tracks, I found myself steeped in the overall package, of turning on and delving deep, using it as background harmony while I wrote my shopping list. It would be pointless to dissect the lyrics, they aren’t intended to grab you, it’s the soundscape that matters, dummy.
And while this inevitably leads to accusations of “samieness”, there’s a new pleasure around each corner. Listen down suckers.