07 May 2009 // A review by lukefitzmaurice
A word of warning – on the whole, Sun Gangs seems pretty slow. And to be fair, it’s true that the album contains one or two tracks that are indisputably subdued, title track Sun Gangs being one that immediately springs to mind. When I first heard the album, I was tempted to judge the whole thing on the perceived weaknesses that this track, and others such as It Hits Deep and Larkspur, created. BUT, and believe me this is a big but, once I listened to the album a few more times through, I began to change my mind. I began to warm to the rich, melancholic voice of lead singer Finn Andrews, and now I really quite like the album.
I think what put me off the album at first was the fact that I couldn’t help but be struck by the haunting quality of Finn Andrew’s voice. Don’t get me wrong, he really is a talented singer/songwriter, but because the vocals are so dominant in almost every track, it led me as a listener to dwell on them just a little too much. As a result of this, the album began to feel a little one dimensional. It seemed to me as though The Veils were unable to produce anything more than a series of vocally driven ballads, an act that was wearing thin by the time I had listened to the album twice through.
However, by the time I had listened to the album a few more times through, these perceptions had begun to change. I couldn’t figure out what it was at first, but I think it boils down to the fact that Sun Gangs is a very layered album. So while all at first all I heard were the vocals, as I listened to the album more I began to appreciate it on different levels. I began to enjoy alt rock/pop tracks such as Sit Down By The Fire and The Letter, I found myself cheered up by the refreshingly light-hearted The House She Lived In, and I simply fell in love the penultimate track on the record, Larkspur. The last track in particular, an eight minute long beast of a song driven by an eerie guitar riff and a fantastic beat, really grew on me as I listened to it more and more, and the fact that the band were able to sustain the song for its entire length its an impressive feat in itself.
The album continued to get better and better as I listened to it more and more. It certainly wasn’t perfect, even after listening to it multiple times I couldn’t bring myself to enjoy Killed By The Boom, but on the whole, I now really rate the album. So if you haven’t bought it already, I would definitely recommend giving it a listen. If you have bought it already but was a little disappointed, maybe it wouldn't hurt to give it at least one last chance. Who knows, you might be pleasantly surprised at how much it grows on you.