So you know that blissful feeling you get when blue skies and sunlight suddenly appears after months of rain and fog and vitamin D deprivation? Well, that’s the feeling and sound of Vancouver’s latest noise-pop band, Sunshine.
The Astoria’s weekly White Light event hosted Sunshine’s debut album release party, kicking the night off with Big Nothing. The Vancouver grungers played to a small crowd where half of the people were finishing up their round of pool, playing pinball, or arcade games. Big Nothing battled their way through some poor sound levels that made lead singer Brock Allen’s voice barely audible, though from what I could make of it, he had a Kurt Cobain thing going on. The band had their moments, dabbling in some psychedelic guitar solos, but it was drummer Kirby Fisher who carried the set with hard-hitting drumming and intense fills.
By the time second openers Pleasure Cruise played, the black and white checkered dance floor filled up quickly. The four-piece, with guest-bassist Louise Burns, played a set of bouncy, playful jams with melodies similar to the Pretenders or Best Coast. Frontwoman Jody Glenham worked the stage with pin-up girl fashion sense and Chrissie Hynde vocal delivery. Pleasure Cruise’s sunny and summery tunes made for a perfect segue into the headliners set.
Trevor Risk, who is certainly no stranger to the Vancouver music scene, trades in his DJ and music journalism hat for a world of shoegazing, and fronting one of Vancouver’s top new bands to watch out for. It got off to a slow start but Sunshine’s reverb-alicious tunes captured the hearts of the crowd that was full of close friends and supporters.
Highlights the album’s first single “Arnprior” in all its surfy, fuzz-pop glory and, despite technical difficulties, hearing Risk and Burns harmonize on the groovy “French Exit.” For most of the set Risk appeared uber mellow, but the closing number, “Sundays Are For Cats,” got a burst of energy out of him with its rousing build up, leaving the audience with a misty summer glow.
Based on the turnout, especially for a Wednesday night, there’s clearly a lot of love for Risk and his bandmates. So next time you overhear someone begging for more sunshine, you can bet they aren’t just referring to the weather.