J’s Review of Kelly’s Olympian 3/2/12 Show

Published on March 6th, 2012


Sundaze loves to make new friends and we’re excited to announce our first (and glowing) review of the last show at Kelly’s, thanks to J! We’re glad you found us and are grateful for your kind words. An excerpt from J’s review can be read below:

I came across Sundaze in a very random manner – i was looking for info on the recent Left Banke re-issues on the sweet archival label Sundazed Records. The first thing i noticed was that we shared a common enthusiasm for early, excellent shoegaze bands like The Jesus and Mary Chain and A Place To Bury Strangers. I always get excited when i discover a new ‘gaze band, especially when they’re still active. Delving further, i noticed that we knew A LOT of the same people, and that they seemed to be acquainted with a number of the venues around Portland. Turns out they were playing in a couple of days at Kelley’s Olympian, and they were nice enough to put me on the guest list.

Kelley’s is a red neon glare in SW Portland. The southwesterly quadrant was bristling with early spring energy, everybody was out. I was quite adrenalized as i walked into Kelley’s warmth, and to my pleasant surprise, ran into my friend Made as soon as i set foot in the door. Its always fun to have a conspirator; i love to pick people’s brains, to see how they react to bands. She tends to be kind of close-minded, i was interested to see how she would react to the bands of the evening – she mostly prefers old school thrash metal.

Sundaze were playing when i arrived, although it took me forever to figure that out. Two guys and a girl; two Fender guitars, a synth, and a drum machine, kicking out a cross between Spacemen 3’s garage psychedelia, with their repetitive hypnotic synth organ lines and Oneida’s pillowy wall of gravel and mist, toppling down on yr head. They’ll make yr eyes roll up back in yr head, they’ll make you see silver stars. Made observed they reminded her of The Cramps, which i found to be an interesting observation, but i could perceive the ghost of Lux Interior in Sundaze’s quiksilver twang. They have the wistful romantic etherealness of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game, but without the melodrama and cocaine shimmer. This music is bruised, bleeding from the mouth, heart-rippingly passionate, fierce, and damaged. When they finished, i was disappointed; i wanted them to go all night. The tone was fucking out of this cosmos, truly some beautiful guitar wrangling happening, on this Friday evening, and the antiquated drum samples had just the right amount of grit, that beautiful analog CRUNCH! These guys live here, and have a whole bunch of live dates coming up, the next one on Thurs., 3.8.12, at Backspace, so check out their webpage for live dates, and go check ’em out. Its a pleasant surprise to find an excellent shoegaze band in the neighborhood, one that should not be taken for granted. They told me they were about to send the finished tracks for a new EP to be mastered, due out soon, so expect to hear more about Sundaze in the coming months.

Thanks again to John from Sundaze for corresponding with me, giving me an EP, getting me on the guest list. I am a fan.

Photography credit: Autumn Andel


Read the rest on J’s website here.


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