Suuns’ “Zeroes EP”

“Zeroes is definitely a great chill-out, bob-your-head-quietly kind of album. . . .” -VP

Luke Goddard

out of 10

Zeroes EP

Suuns, formerly Zeroes, of the Montreal area has come out with this free EP (to be followed up by a full-length album) which is a collection of six rhythmically interesting, though droning tracks.The EP has a bit of electronica, shoegaze and dub. I’m usually an eager ear when it comes to two out of those three genres, but when I hit play I felt my mind getting uncomfortably abstracted.

Upon first listen I was bored. I felt too distracted and too impatient to wait for the music to pick up. It took too long to get started and so I skipped through the songs and listened to whatever 10 seconds I could muster—and those 10 seconds were usually the very first and the very unexciting.

I set the album aside and realized I wouldn’t be able to write anything decent (or fair) about the album until I distanced myself from it.

After two days, I tried again.

The first track, “Disappearance Of The Skycraper,” starts with a steady scream of humming, electronic beats. It’s rhythmic, sure, but it’s also a bit monotonous. I let my mind relax for a moment and brushed aside the idea of taking an Adderall to keep focus. Instead, what happened was the least of what I expected—it got interesting.

Lyrics like, “I killed a man when I was 11-years-old/ I killed a many when I was 11-years-old/ But I’m innocent” got me to listen. The percussion started kicking in and I could feel the drums pulsating inside my frontal lobe—region of rational thought was out the window.

My mind sunk into the sensational that each repeating noise was making. And then it suddenly stops, like a drop-off. The next track, “PVC,” picks up with a similar rhythmic beat, but the vocals instantly kick in and the soft humming of the tired voice leaves a settling peace on the eyelids.

Not bad.

The rest of the album seems to follow this same rhythmic pattern. It’s calming, in a way, to be able to just listen to the same tone beating over and over as other instruments are added to the mix.

Where the quartet seems to pull me out is track five, “Nnnnnnn,” where it starts off with a heavy “alternative rock” sound. It threw me off-guard, but once the random buzzing beeps and sharp, short instrumental hums started kicking in I felt less confused.

Suun’s Zeroes EP definitely grows on you. It reminds me a tiny bit of Radiohead with more of a dub-plus-rock feel. So, it’s O.K., but I wouldn’t be reaching out to this album every chance I get.

Zeroes is definitely a great chill-out, bob-your-head-quietly kind of album, though it will take more than one listen, some patience, and an ear ready for art rock to really get drawn in.

Editor’s Note: Secretly Canadian is offering a free download of the Zeroes EP here:
–Victoria Phetmisy, August 19, 2010