Album Mini-review: Suuns – Hold/Still
File Next to: Cocteau Twins, Clan of Xymox, Depeche Mode
Though there’s a dark and doomy undercurrent to the songs on Hold/Still, the group adheres to the basic tenets of melody. Suuns (pronounced “soons”) are clearly aiming for a krautrock-ish vibe on the eleven tracks, and that hypnotic aesthetic comes through loud and clear. But amid the left-field electronic squawks and jagged, droning guitar textures, there are hooks to be found within the music. The guitars on “UN-NO” sound like air raid sirens, and singer/guitarist Ben Shemie‘s half-spoken vocal style is alluring in its own way. The tension builds from the start of the unrelentingly stomping “Resistance,” and it’s both a surprise and a relief when – two minutes in – the piece reveals itself as an actual song. Producer John Congleton (Swans, St. Vincent, The Black Angels) helps give the group a focused sonic approach that is both eerie and inviting.
About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.