Today’s review is The Dongo Durango by Sun Club. This album was released on October 16th on ATO records. This is the second release by Sun Club, with their first being 2014’s Dad Claps at the Mom Prom. Sun Club is a recent indie pop band based in Baltimore. They are made up of 5 guys who always wanted to be in a band but never took up instruments. When they did, they shifted through many different genres, starting with metal and shifting to grunge before ultimately deciding on pop-rock. They have many influences, growing up on bands such as The White Stripes, The Beach Boys, and interestingly enough, Devo. This is the second release by Sun Club, with their first being 2014’s Dad Claps at the Mom Prom.
Track 1, Glob, Is a very weird song. When I say weird I mean weird. It starts off with a voice doing a mixture of laughing and coughing at the same time. It all mixes in with this atmospheric and somewhat creepy music in the background. After some time, you start to hear children laughing and playing, and the voices get distorted, it then shifts tone to a driving beat that gets louder and louder and shifts into track 2. Overall it is a very weird and atmospheric piece of music that is a bold choice for an album opener.
Next up is track 2, Summer Feet. It starts directly off of track 1. It is one of the singles off of this album as well. It is a very sunny and happy pop-rock song with loads of guitar, keys, and whimpering vocals. It reminds me of the many mainstream pop-rock songs of today. It has a very carefree and summer-ish vibe to it and I think it would sound very well if it were to be recorded live.
On to track 3, Worm City. This song sounds like surf rock mixed with howling vocals in between. It has a very echoing sound to it. The surf rock sounding guitar and brash drum beats are well complimented, as well as the keys. I love the use of a childrens toy piano in this song. It’s very creative and reminds me of something the Beach Boys would do. If I had Overall a good song with a fun summer vibe to it.
Track 4, Carnival Dough. I love the guitars in this song. It has a very jumpy and atmospheric sound to it, much like this whole song. The keys and the drums are also vey well done on this track. At the end of the song however, it completely shifts tone and gets weird. It changes to a creepy quartet like sound and says “My dog she suffers from a long genetic disease” What the heck?! I’m not sure what it means but it’s a weird inclusion to the track.
On to track 5, Beauty Meat. This song reminds me somewhat of the Beach Boys. It’s complete with a poppy summer rock sound and a fun vibe. In particular I like the accordion at the beginning of this song as well as the clapping. Overall a fun summer song that would sound good if it was live. Why this song is called Beauty Meat however, I’ll never know for sure.
Next is track 6, Language Juice. This song is begging to be preformed live. The opening of the song as well as the ooh-ing and echoing vocals are a nice touch. I love the jumpy bass and the keys in particular. I can very well picture a fun summer party or a concert when I listen to this song, with everyone clapping and singing along.
Next up is track 7, the title track, The Dong Durango. Its only 15 seconds long, so it barely qualifies as a song. The song consists of 2 lines of, “I want you to see me in the flesh,” with a guitar strumming, and then a slowed down voice of the singer laughing, or at least going “hah hah.” Why this was included on here, I don’t know. To me it completely interrupts the pace of the album.
Now on to track 8, Cheeba Swiftkick. It’s an atmospheric song with a nice guitar sound mixed with the keys.It has a nice summer sound that sounds like it could be on some sort of a TV commercial. A fun pop party song overall. I have to say that the music video is pretty cool, with pixelated alligators coming out of steaming volcanoes.
Track 9, Puppy Gumgum. I like the driving drum beat mixed with the surfy guitars. The synthesizer mixed with the bouncy beat and the echo-y vocals are good sounding too. The track of what sounds like wilderness sounds or frogs is cool and goes into track 10.
Track 10, Dress Like Mothers. This song reminds me of something Vampire Weekend would do. I don’t know if it’s the beat or the screeching and climbing guitars but for some reason it does. I love the middle section where it slows down and the toy piano comes back into play. The screeching vocals are well put too, as well as the synths at the end. The end of this song is a change of pace. It slowly goes spiraling up, orchestra and all. I love 60s music, so I find this eerily similar to the Beatles Sgt. Pepper closing track, A Day in the Life. It has that ending crescendo part just like it, leading up to the part where McCartney’s vocals come in. It does it again at the very end of the song, leading to an epic piano key and the runoff groove. Overall, Dress Like Mothers was a fun song.
Last is the closing track, Tropicoller Lease. It is the other single from this album. This is by far the best song on the whole album. The sound is fun, the guitar, drums, and keys are top notch, and It is overall a fun jumpy song, The music video is strange, showing the whole band preforming by railroad tracks and eating food.
Last is my rating. I would personally give this album a 5/10. It’s not bad, but it’s not the best either. Sure it’s a fun pop album, but it has it’s flaws. To me, the songs just sound too similar. Another thing I have to say is about the vocals, they are really hard to understand to me, as they are quiet and hard to make out. Then again that’s just me. If you’re a fan of their previous album, or you if like fun summer pop music, check this one out.