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Pop / Rock 24/03/2017

Facing The Music With Av Super Sunshine On "Bass Face"

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New York, NY (Top40 Charts) Let's face it, by prima facie, AV Super Sunshine appears to be like any other band birthed in a garage. Typical line-up on the instruments, they sing songs about love and angst, and value a not too lo-fi, but a not too hi-fi, balance of production. So on face value alone, "Bass Face" (on the Victor House Records label) by AV Super Sunshine is the embodiment of the garage band sound and creed. But with additional listens and further evaluation about "Bass Face" I've come about face on my earlier prima facie assumption.

On "Bass Face" AV Super Sunshine exhibits a level of sophistication not normally associated with garage rock music. Compared to past releases from this Wisconsin based band the direction and departure from their precious sound is totally unexpected. By this I mean slicker production levels (perhaps because of their collaboration with Michael Bradford on "Bass Face"), smoother melodies, stronger performances and more daring experimentation in concocting the AV Super Sunshine formula than on the earlier recordings I found on their Facebook page.

In my book there's no way for an artist to lose face by pushing the artistic envelope and thinking outside of the box with their work. I have more respect for those who try and fail than those who play it safe in their careers by simply recapitulating and artistically traversing over the same ground again and again with their creations. That stomach muscle tightening we experience when someone takes a possible career killing chance is akin to watching a tight rope walker cross above the center ring of a circus on a wiggling wire. As an audience it makes our metaphorical palms sweat bullets.

As mentioned earlier, I believe this about face from their prior styling may be credited to Michael Bradford. If you don't know who that is then please allow me to make the introduction. Bradford is a well known producer, engineer, multi-instrumentalist and digital music program who hails from the Motor City (Detroit, MI). He's worked with everyone from Anita Baker to Madonna to Uncle Kracker. His trademark touch of employing room acoustic and specific microphone placement as opposed to post production tricks is felt and heard on the tracks throughout this "Bass Face" project. He's known to work quickly and concisely. Those who've been fortunate enough to work with him often quote one of his favorite aphorisms, "If it takes too long - you're doing it wrong".

Perhaps I'll have egg on my face with this suggestion, but the more I've heard "Bass Face" I believe that the cuts contained there within could be turned into some amazing dance club remixes. Don't get me wrong, the thirteen tunes work well the way they've been presented, it's just that at the same time they're structurally strong enough to not only maintain their integrity, but to also shine with a brightly different sparkle under the sonic scalpel of some DJ re-mixer. From excited accelerated tempos to chop and screw techniques to post-production signal processing. It's something I'd encourage the AV Super Sunshine camp to explore with some of these numbers. Who knows? Maybe it would be the face of great new things to come for AV Super Sunshine.

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