Despite what the current weather might indicate, a storm is coming, and its name is Sun Angle. Tonight, the Portland super-trio and Best New Band finalist celebrates the release of its first full-length album, Diamond Junk, at Mississippi Studios. Here's what I wrote about it in this week's paper:
One does not simply record Sun Angle. Feeding psychedelic guitars and pan-global rhythms through punk tempos delivered with free-jazz abandon, the band—a collaboration between three of Portland’s most restless musicians—generates a kind of lightning in its gale-force live shows not easily bottled in a studio.
Good thing, then, that for its debut album, the group bypassed the studio entirely, recording in a cabin near Mount Hood. Even smarter, it hired Menomena’s Danny Seim—a guy who knows something about translating inscrutable ideas for the masses—to produce. The result is a record as free and feral as the group is in concert, except now, the cacophony makes sense. On Diamond Junk, singer-guitarist Charlie Salas-Humara’s effects-damaged needling dives through drummer Papi Fimbres’ electrocuted-octopus flailing rather than blurring into a morass. Once overwhelming, here it’s exhilarating. Seim deserves credit for the album’s dynamism, but Marius Libman’s bass plays the most crucial role. In the scrum of amphetamine Afropop riffing and speedball-merengue patterns, Libman’s tight, circular grooves are an anchor—a weather vane twisting with the storm but never losing its position.
Sun Angle still isn’t big on “songs,” per se, so it’s pointless to pick out individual tracks for highlighting. You have to just stand there and let the full brunt of the hurricane hit you. It’s worth it.
Want to get blasted by that hurricane in person? We've got TWO pairs of tickets to give away for tonight's show. Just shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with SUN ANGLE in the subject line, and we'll alert the winners after the contest closes today at 3 pm.
And now, just a little taste of what the winners are likely to experience:
SEE IT: Sun Angle plays Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., with Nice Nice and Like a Villain, on Friday, May 10. 9 pm. $6 advance, $8 day of show. 21+.