[sic] Magazine

Sunwatchers – Sunwatchers

There’s something cultish about Sunwatchers. Their name alone conjures religious schism, a dusky tribe forever banished for revering the a different idol. The NYC-based collective’s meditative studio debut, too, is untethered to a time and place. Exotic Thai phin strings jangle alongside heavy alto-sax improv, zoned-in repeats running scales to avant-garde drones. These are nominally instrumental rock songs yet they feel like jams from some distorted jazz dimension, one in which communication, if such a thing exists there, is achieved via concurrent streams of abrasion.

Sunwatchers’ suite of seven tracks also more or less plays as one during its forty Earth minutes, track demarcation a thing of the past … or future. To find Dark Meat maniac Jim McHugh at the helm of this craft is probably its least surprising facet. He leads a seasoned crew of many as well, one of whom has a fiddle, people culled from projects too numerous to mention, each of them under the smothering spell of lush first-wave kosmiche but with the will to bend and shape its structure in a number of directions at once: late-night Parisian jazz, tribal riffs, minimal composition and the messy abandon of free noise all come as standard.

Having honed their craft live, these missives have likely never been played the same way twice. Sunwatchers is a sacred text in that regard, a properly recorded document that nevertheless captures the band’s overflowing effervescence and one to be passed down the generations. Guitar and sax thrive on each other’s existence like God and the Devil. Humid, braying grooves peak out of the exhilarating cacophony, space-rock synth whooshing to fill any accidental space. Tempos rush and wallow, sludgier material run through with classic rock wail while the breakneck result in pure insanity, white hot instrumentation melting deflector shields from light years away and devouring intricate patterns lain down by percussive repeats.

All it takes for a sizeable schism is for one argument to be slightly more compelling that the alternative and Sunwatchers is as compelling as they come. Embrace its warmth on your face, then look skywards and beyond.

~Sunwatchers will be released March 25th 2016 via Castle Face.~