[Album Review] Sunshine & The Blue Moon - Welcome to the Future
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Release Date: September 16th, 2016
Label: Independent

It seems that Sunshine & The Blue Moon set out to craft an album of woozy, pysch-inspired groove-folk tunes, but ended up instead with some rootsy blues-rock, with a touch of southern boogie. The lead singer even has the husky voice and the ne’er-do-well demeanour to fit the bill. Despite the band’s ability to craft tunes that will worm their way into your head and stay there, and despite all of the bells and whistles (e.g. blasts of Chicago-style horns, slinky female backing vocals and reverberating steel guitars) there’s no denying the fact that there is nothing original here. It is far from dull or uninteresting, but do not look here for anything other than old-school roots rock done with a good helping of flair.

The eras that S&TBM mine are solid gold, to be sure. “Welcome to the Future” is somewhat reminiscent of The Allman Brothers, “Anything But Sweet” could have been recorded by Traffic, and “Tear Me Up” starts with some faux country and western twang before easing into classic blues-rock territory. And, yes, the band does have its idiosyncratic moments, such as the slightly odd “Buffalo Child” with its garage pop feel and quirky vocals, and the fantastic “Sunshine & Lucy” with its own engaging take on psych pop, complete with a sampled narrative passage about “pizza and love”. However, these moments seem fleeting and the tunes don’t quite reach their potential.

To be fair, the band probably isn’t setting out to blaze new trails into the musical future, so we should probably not focus on what the album isn’t and appreciate what it actually is. What it is is a great feast of stylish and infectious throw-back roots/blues rock, and sometimes that isn’t so easy to come by.