Volcano Suns - The Bright Orange Years
In a surprising but welcome treat, Merge has re-released the first two records by Volcano Suns, for the first time on CD. This is an important treat as well, as the Suns place in history can receive a well-earned notice. One spin of the opener to their debut, "Jak," is to know at least some of the origins of modern, post-rock sound.
Formed by Peter Prescott, drummer for the legendary Mission of Burma after its initial demise in the mid-80s, Volcano Suns borrowed some of that band's volume and dissonance, and added both a punky and brooding melodic sense, making "The Bright Orange Years" a scalding, seminal release.
The melodic crunch of tracks like "(I'm Gonna) Make You Mine," "Balancing Act," and "It's Stewtime" anticipate grunge as well as solo Bob Mould/Sugar sonic explorations. Prescott proves to be a decent singer and writer, both of which seemed unlikely given his small role in MOB.
This re-issue comes with extra tracks, including the sludgy "Greasy Spin" and a cover of Prince's "1999" that almost works.
Volcano Suns are one of many bands from the mid to late 80s whose influence far outweighed the availability of their music. Kudos to Merge for righting this wrong. "The Bright Orange Years" is a blistering, visionary set that, along with "The All-Night Lotus Party," deserves, like the band, a place at the foot of the table. Now if only someone would dig up the early Miracle Legion catalog.
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