Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Sun Blame It On The Youth CD Review

It might just be the worst descriptor of any band that I’ve ever seen when Amazon says that The Sun is “neo-punk”. To give this Columbus act that label is to pigeonhole them into a wholly uninteresting genre and really denigrates their revolutionary accomplishments during “Blame It On The Youth”. This is not a plain album, nor is it a lightly-veiled advertisement masquerading as a movie (The Wall); it is a new fusion of video and music, and shows The Sun as a band that wishes to move beyond the dated CD audio format. Couple this desire with a fresh, innovative sound and one simply cannot go wrong. Tracks like “Must Be You” and “Say Goodbye” really bring listeners back to the middle-nineties, in that there is an intentional amalgamation of the Weezer-like pop-rock present on “The Blue Album” and a post-grunge fuzz. In much of the same way, the video component of tracks like “Justice” looks back to the previous decade for inspiration, with footage that is reminiscent of the “Cannonball” video.

What really made me wonder when I first picked up this disc was the parental advisory sticker that was present on the disc; no doubt the positive sexuality shown during the video for “Romantic Death” was the reason why the label was slapped on. To be honest, the presence of someone who is a dead ringer for the elder Pete (from The Adventures of Pete & Pete) really only makes this video better, even if it does corrupt my childhood more than a tiny bit. “Blame It On The Youth” has just as many strong music videos as it does tracks; that is, hit after hit will confront a listener, whether it be the just plain creepy “2B4” (with newspaper zombies) or the vibrant colors that seem to be a presence during a majority of the videos on the disc.

Before The Sun was signed, there was a major label bidding war; the presence of this dual-media album shows that the label has sunk a decent chunk of money into the act. This might just be one of Warner Bros’ smartest moves, as individuals will be intimately familiar with The Sun by the time the band is done; brand recognition is always important when it comes to merchandise and it only makes sense that seeing the same thick rims and distinctive looks of lead vocalist Chris will make a large amount of loyal consumers. Everything about “Blame It On The Youth” is refreshing whether it be the fourteen different visual views of the band, the simply inspired music that The Sun plays, or that a major label would be behind something so revolutionary. Look for 2006 to be the year of The Sun; hopefully this will herald a new age of audio-visual linkages that will challenge how individuals jack-in to a band. It is not surprising that The Sun has such a unified appearance through the videos on “Blame It On The Youth”; the band honestly is a spiritual descendant of the Dadaist nonsense exemplified Devo in the generation before The Sun.

Top Tracks: Pavement Jive, Romantic Death

Rating: 10/10

The Sun – Blame It On The Youth
The Sun – Blame It On The Youth / 2005 Warner Bros / 14 Tracks / www.thesunwebsite.com / www.warnerbros.com / Reviewed 22 August 2005