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Suuns Set For Chicago Debut

By Kim Bellware in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 17, 2010 9:40PM

Suuns, partially shaded / (via Suuns myspace page)

The forthcoming debut from Montreal-based Suuns (formerly Zeroes) is what you wish scores of less-impressive guitar-flecked electro music sounded like. Much like ‘70s bands Can and Suicide, the heartbeat of the Suuns’ music thumps out in pulses of electro-synth that rolled in the dirt with a few Fenders. It moves from dark, paranoid, droning that’s jolted awake with guitars on one track, only to melt into a repetitious loop of electronic effects that somehow sounds both hypnotic and urgent.

The overall effect can easily play out like musical mush, which is why when Suuns nail it, the music is better not for what’s packed into it but for what’s left out; restraint, more or less, is one of the band's smartest choices (if not always a common one for new artists). The only time it feels like a little oomph is missing is when the tracks stretch a little too long in the droning direction before calling in some actual instrumental change up—and when we don’t get enough vocals. Suuns is spare enough with lead singer Ben Shemie that whenever his vocals—a pitch-perfect match for the music—appear, it instantly bumps up the intrigue.

It takes only a little warming up to get into Suuns debut, Zeroes QC (Secretly Canadian), but after that, a certain buoyancy emerges that assures us Suuns are not metal-cold and robotic. The record shows an interesting but sensible range, one that we expect to play well in a live setting. From their debut at Lincoln Hall next week, the band is already anticipating mixing things up live, calling for saxophone players in every city of their tour. With the Chicago date being only the second stop for the band, an intrepid saxophonist could really set the bar for the rest of the tour. Via the band’s Facebook page:

“SUUNS are looking for a saxophone player to blow a 1 minute sax solo on a song called “Gaze” in each city on our fall tour. We hope we can snag a local sax player to come on stage and blow us all away. In exchange, we can offer you a beer.

If you play saxophone, and want to join us on stage for a ripping solo, respond to

The first to respond will get the spotlight.

We don’t care how ‘good’ you are, and we don’t care what you play, we’ll back you up.”
Send the e-mail to with “Sax” and the name of the city you’d like to play in.”

MP3: Suuns "Arena"

Suuns play Lincoln Hall, supporting Land of Talk on Tuesday, September 21 at 8 p.m.