“What do you get when you mix the ancient music techniques of the East with a strong grunge influence? Most people’s immediate response would be ‘a mess’. Well prepare to be surprised, as the result is a great deal better than you may have thought.
“Poetic, edgy and unique, the EP highlights the band’s ability to not only tell a great story, but to play them out like instant classics.
“Great sound, great story tellers and great cover art, what more can a person ask for? My suggestion, get on this bandwagon before it gets crowded.” – from a review of their EP “The Sunpilots”, by Mediasearch
The Sunpilots comprise frontman/manager Raj Siva-Rajah, guitarist Bob Spencer, Tom McGirr on drums/percussion, and Adil Baktir on bass. They released their debut album, “Living Receiver” to rave reviews, a MusicOz Award, an ‘Indie Album of the Year’ and two ‘Indie Album of the Week’ awards from the Australian street press. Their single ‘Spotlight in the Sun’ became the most added song on Australian radio and Apple featured two tracks as iTunes Singles of the Week. The band also became a North American college radio favourite and won ‘Best International Artist’ at the Toronto Independent Music Awards and ‘Single of the Year’ at the LA Independent Music Awards.
They are fiercely independent, and are known in the business as one of the hardest working independent bands in the world. Fed up with the ridiculous distances required to properly tour Australia, they packed up their kit and relocated to Berlin in order to be closer to their primary audience ahead of the release of this album.
Raj says (from their website):
“When we’re on the road, we do an average of 4 to 5 shows and 2000 to 3000 kms of driving a week… and we’ve spent most of the last 3 years on the road.
“We did our first European tour in a 20 year old van with no airconditioning. Yeah, that was fun in summer! We run our own record label too. It’s been intense.”
“King of the Sugarcoated Tongues” is a concept album, with guitar and soaring vocals reminiscent of Led Zeppelin. There’s more than a hint of Muse and Pink Floyd to their sound – add a touch of Justin Hawkins with a sprinkling of Jeff Buckley and you may well have some idea of what to expect.
It’s therefore no surpise to hear that all this is not by accident, as prior to recording the album, the band immersed themselves in rock opera:
“I think we’ve finally started to figure out “our sound” – and it’s pretty different to Living Receiver. We’ve been listening to a lot of 60’s and 70’s rock opera – The Who’s ‘Tommy’ and ‘The Wall”, that kind of stuff. So that probably gives you a bit of an idea.” – Raj, in an interview with “The Newcastle Post”
Strong bass lines and expert guitar playing throughout, combined with superb drumming and the gorgeous voice of Siva-Rajah make “King of the Sugarcoated Tongues” the sort of album you want to listen to all day. And not just listen to while you’re doing something else…really LISTEN to it.
It opens with the grungy “Three Minutes to Midnight”, lively enough but when you listen to the lyrics you begin to understand this album isn’t going to be one of sunshine and lollipops.
Instead it’s a story of a 1984-esque world, in which the King holds the future of the world in his hand.
My personal favourite from the album (on an album full of highlights) is “Chapter V: Rain.” The bass overlaps the pitter patter of the guitar, and Raj’s vocals roll in like thunder to a storming crescendo, which drops, and rises again at the end.
Listen to the whole album. Then listen again. And again.
‘King of the Sugarcoated Tongues’ is available as a free download from the band’s website. You can also find them on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, SoundCloud and Google+ .