Sunflower Bean’s debut album Human Ceremony trades off most of the ethereal vocal styles and drown guitar pedal effects used in previous recordings for a more cohesive and energetic sound fueled by traditional rock ‘n roll tactics. The Brooklyn trio that still navigates in early 1990’s dream pop territory has taken cues from classic rock and early 1970’s proto heavy metal to create guitar moments clean of effects and full of riffs and attitude. Even the vocals are less wistful and more vital. Human Ceremony also benefits from a continuous upbeat attitude throughout most of the tracks, making the album intense and sometimes brief. I particularly enjoy the peculiar emphasis on playing with time breaks, making the songs sometimes have drastic changes of rhythm and melody, in addition to having most of the songs average less than four minutes in length. 2013 is the year and I don’t know why.
RIYL: DIIV, early BRMC, Ringo Deathstarr, The Wytches, and The Cure’s Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me.
1. (4:06) *Human Ceremony – Medium tempo beat. Female/male vocals exchangeable moments. Jangly guitars - stoner mode.
2. (3:00) Come On – Upbeat tempo. Loud guitars, female and occasionally dude vocals. Hipster pit warning.
3. (3:31) *2013 – Another upbeat tempo tune. Psych rock 101. Cool guitar work. Groovy.
4. (3:28) **Easier Said – Medium uptempo track. Dream pop territory. Impeccable guitar/female vocal combo.
5. (2:28) **This Kind Of Feeling – Upbeat tempo rocker. Great bass line and lots of inspired psychedelic guitar moments. Memorable female vocals.
6. (4:16) *I Was Home – Another upbeat tempo tune infactuated by early 1990’s alterative sounds. Loud and energetic. Commanding vocals.
7. (4:57) **Creation Myth – Mid tempo track driven by a faultless guitar riff and an emotional female vocal part built around a beautiful melody almost effortlessly. Then… we get heavy metal! One of my favorite tracks on the album.
8. (2:27) *Wall Watcher – Upbeat rocker with psych rock tendencies. Great vocal melody.
9. (3:32) *I Want You To Give Me Enough Time – Medium tempo ballad with a sweet vocal melody and accessible arrangements. Their “commercial” single.
10. (1:56) Oh, I Just Don't Know – Acoustic track. Kind of hippie, kind of religious.
11. (4:34) Space Exploration Disaster – Upbeat rocker with sci-fi tendencies – lyrical and musical. Psych rock dude vocals here.