Shannon Wright Over the Sun

[Quarterstick; 2004]

Styles: indie rock, experimental rock
Others: PJ Harvey, Cat Power, Sunny Day Real Estate

The first time I heard Shannon Wright was on Rachel's 2003 album, System/Layers, though I didn't make the connection until a week after jamming out Over the Sun. With the Rachel's track ("Last Things Last"), Wright displayed a rather soothing, controlled voice, enhancing an already soothing album. Here, she gets a bit more rugged. And when I say 'a bit' I mean a lot. Over the Sun is a straight rock album by my standards, and as such, the guitar and drums have a tendency to lay it down. A soft to loud dynamic is definitely in place, along with Wright's melancholy lyrics and rough around the edges delivery. That might not sound very appealing in writing, but what saves this recording from being passable is a group of tight compositions.

The punchy guitar riffs and minor key rants give the album a cohesive mood, yet each song out of context can still give any PJ Harvey fan an instant hard on. The tunes are especially accessible if you're into this kind of basic moody rock, and actually, one of my only complaints is that things don't get experimental enough. So there's some piano wankery on "Avalanche," the only cut without drums, but for the most part, the selections are pretty straightforward. If the Postal Service is all you've been listening to lately, I would suggest getting a hold of Over the Sun as soon as possible. It would do you good. On the other hand, if you've been loving your newest Melt Banana album or whatever Techno Noize Core album came out last week, this might set you back a few years.

1. With Closed Eyes
2. Portray
3. Black Little Stray
4. You'll Be the Death
5. Throw a Blanket Over the Sun
6. Avalanche
7. If Only We Could
8. Plea
9. Birds

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