Album Review: Sunshine Underground – Nobody’s Coming To Save You

by Tony Butterworth on March 8, 2010

What do you get if you cross The Kaiser Chiefs, Kasabian and The Killers? Apart from an excited album reviewer with a weird fascination for the letter “K”, you get Sunshine Underground.  At times sounding eerily similar to The Killers (especially the vocals) but also evoking the beat driven rock of the other K-bands mentioned.  The Sunshine Underground were formed 2005 and Nobody’s Coming To Save You is their second album, following 2006’s Raise The Alarm.  The album was released Feb 1st 2010 in the UK.  I could not find a US release date at this point.  The last trivia point before I get going is that the band is named after a Chemical Brothers song.

The album opener is “Coming to Save You,” a fairly unremarkable start to the song really makes you wonder what you are in for, pounding drums, synth pulsing bass, after all the hype I had heard I was starting to be disappointed. Then at 1:47 the promise arrives, an absolutely POUNDING!!!, anthemic chorus.  Great stuff.   Next is “Spell It Out,” which has the same powerful bass but the feel is nicely different (though the initial vocals are similar and starting to sound like the Killers Brandon Flowers on a regular basis).  A similar approach to the last track, it simply bounds into life at the chorus. Another recommended track.

Second single “We’ve Always Been Your Friends” is the third song. Once again the pounding bass, tricky guitar and analog synth sounds are all in place.   In this song the anthem arrives at 58 seconds, it’s not quite rousing as the last two but it’s just as likable of a song (see the acoustic version below).  “In Your Arms” opens a little differently, rattling cowbell and a funky beat, but the vocals are still very Killers like. Perhaps the weakest song so far but still interesting, and different enough to change the feeling somewhat.

“A Warning Sign” comes next. Starting with a very simple beat that plays for about a minute before the rest of the track arrives.  This song’s verse is really similar to The Killers “Joyride”, and then the chorus reminds me of something else (I remembered later that it’s The Shiny Toy Guns, “You Are The One”).  It’s a good listen but sounds too familiar for comfort.  “Change Your Mind” is actually the name of a Killers song, but this is an original. Another long intro with some raw vocals.  The formula is maintained on this one, but it’s a formula I am really loving.

“Any Minute Now”  is the slowest paced song on the album and pleasantly, for a change of pace, lacks the huge anthem chorus of the other tracks.  A nice mood changer. “Here It Comes” features some wonderful falsetto on the chorus which sets it apart from the rest.

“One by One” pounds right in with that beat and the fast strummed guitar. Again there’s a feeling of where are we going before a HUGE Muse like chorus arrives.  “The Messiah” finishes us off, it’s a much quieter song with more of a standard melody and more stripped back, this one uses the power of the music more than the vocals.

As you can tell I love this album.  It’s probably not for everyone. It’s kind of a sub Muse (of whom I am not really a fan) featuring more melody and more to grab hold off and less of a feeling that the band thinks they are smarter than you.  It’s reminiscent of some of the Shiny Toy Guns songs and that’s alright with me.  Definitely recommended to lovers of anthemic powerful indie rock.

Coming To Save You

We’ve Always Been Your Friend (Acoustic)

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Straight Outta Albion is a continuing series of reviews of albums that are available in the UK, but won’t be in the U.S. for a long time, if ever.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Gordon Elgart March 10, 2010 at 7:29 pm

This album has been in heavy rotation since this post was submitted. Glad you chose it!

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