WE REVIEW THE NEW SINGLE BY THE SUNSET RADIO – THE HARDEST TIME
York’s ‘The Sunset Radio are in a transitional period. They’ve recently acquired new members and to their own admission, have been studio-bound for longer than usual during recent recording sessions.
The result of this industriousness is something that falls between punk and indie rock. That’s a dangerous mix – fewer two genres have been combined so ubiquitously in contemporary music’s extensive landscape.
It gives bands like The Sunset Radio a dilemma. How do you write music that is familiarly catchy without sounding like everyone who’s preceded you?
It’s a difficult one. The Sunset Radio’s attempt is ‘The Hardest Time’, and it’s a sound if imperfect attempt.
Its greatest success lies in the band themselves. They’re consummate musicians and the recording is tastefully balanced. The vocals are soulfully gruff and the band’s extra time in the studio is audible in the tightness of their playing.
Perhaps less successful is the melodic foundation of ‘The Hardest Time’, which relies heavily on a vocal melody that, albeit well sung, is a little too predictable. That said, it excels at catchy. The simplicity of the chorus may be relying on common musical ideas, but those ideas are common for a reason.
The hard work and toil that produced ‘The Hardest Time’ is The Sunset Radio’s greatest strength. It’s produced a mostly successful result – but more than this, it’s produced a single that is prophetic of even more successful results if their work rate and musicality continue along these encouraging lines.