As promised by the previous outing, the Mule EP, 71 Sunsetís debut LP, Bitter Earth, is a deluge of tight riffage in their signature throw back to old school 70ís Hard Rock and 90ís alternative style.
Where Mule was a short, heavy hitting mix of four tracks showcasing the bandís best pieces and techniques, just long enough for a single attention span, Bitter Earth spreads the awesome over an entire album. Hard hitting from the start, there is a more Progressive element in a lot of the songs, and even the album itself seems to get heavier as it progressed.
Being a full length, there is more room to explore different influences and different techniques. Iím hearing pieces of Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Pantera, Mike Patton, and other 90ís legends close to my heart. Iím not saying itís experimental; 71 Sunset sound like they know what theyíre doing, and that is escaping the pigeon hole and providing a wide array of styles and genres. But this isnít a tribute album, or a cover band, in the same way Nirvana wasnít a Led Zeppelin tribute band. This difference is the way 71 Sunset have taken the sounds that influenced them and used them to build their own unique sound.
Bitter Earth is a raw record, not to the point of sounding like itís recorded on a tape deck in a prison, but enough to sound like a true performance. In a lot of places itís heavier than the preceding EP, and in others thereís more of an Easy-listening classic rock motif.
While Bitter Earth may not provide the next big New Zealand rock hit, this is in no way forgettable album. 71 Sunset have amalgamated the best of the nineties into a cohesive album that is worthy of a place amongst the great bands of that generation.
You can download and stream Bitter Earth from the Seventy One Sunset Bandcamp Page.
71 Sunset are an alternative-rock band based in Auckland, who have drawn on a vast range of influences to create their own unique sound.
Signed to AAA Records late in 2013, the self-produced Mule EP (recorded with Andrew Buckton at studio 203) was released on the label early in 2014. The EP's title track and video received strong radio and TV play, as well as receiving critical recognition both inside and outside New Zealand.
MetalMusicArchives.com said "There is a real honesty about this music, it feels 'real' and grunty in an era when music often feels false and manufactured" while Muzic.net.nz followed that with "The music of 71 Sunset has been described by the Rock FM as "great hooks and solid riffs". An apt description of what can also be described as a throwback to seventies Hard Rock with a modern twist. Hard and fast, an EP just isn't enough. I can't wait to see more released from these guys."