Although a frequent visitor to the Birmingham gig scene, I have to admit I was a little late to the party where Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam are concerned. I was pretty taken aback by their loud poppy-punk set supporting Girl Band last year and have been an avid fan since. With over 100 songs, a handful of EPs, a self-titled album and last year’s astonishing double album Sink or Swim / The Mirage, it’s no wonder this band have earned themselves the title of hardest working band in Birmingham.
Punky vocals kick off album opener “Running From My Ghost” with an upbeat and catchy melody chaffing against a dark humoured theme lyrically. It’s bouncy and fun with an early 90s indie feel – think Weezer, Ash and the like. I love a track that can make me laugh out loud and twang the heart strings at the same time, making me feel an instant connection with the words and music.
Fuzzy psych guitar sounds lead the way on “All The Way Over The Edge”, hyper drumming and contagious hooks almost bury the vocals, but not quite. Lyrically, struggles with low mood and difficulties talking about it swirl around in this shoegaze number. Their energetic live sound shines through this track giving us listeners an insight to what we may experience at one of their shows.
“Meatloaf To The Camera” is sublime, melodic indie rock. With the most infectious chorus “everything’s alright ’til we kiss” the emphasis being on “kiss” and you can already hear the crowd drowning out the band at a show. Anthemic “Adult Memory Oww” is frantic and accelerates with punchy vocals and hard rock riffs.
Title track “Blackout Cowboy” is a passionate ride and sees the band really experiment with their sound. Starting off upbeat and poppy it’ll have you dancing along to it’s alluring hooks. An eerie bridge midway catches you on your toes, it builds with emotion and trippy soundscapes then the drums are slayed with intent, the guitars thrashed and the lyrics screamed, constructing an intense sound storm.
This heavier, frantic theme seems to roll seamlessly into “Mrs JR Hartley” and then “MK Ultra” yet each track standing out exquisitely from the next, its faultless outro hears ‘mind control’ screamed repeatedly fading out then bleeding back in perfectly to open album closer “Mind Control” with all it’s post-punk glory.
Take a bow Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam, an exuberant triumph!
Blackout Cowboy is out now