Album Mini-review: Sunn O))) – Kannon
File next to: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Earth, Glenn Branca
It’s easy to dismiss the pummeling, sludgy, drone-rock of Sunn O))) as noise; even fans of the group might happily admit that noise isn’t an unfair word to describe the group’s music. But behind the dense sonic curtain of their non-tempo music – there’s nothing in the way of a beat to establish a tap-your-foot baseline – there are clear hints of nuance and sophistication. The avant-garde work of Glenn Branca, with its intentional creation of overtones (i.e. the sonic suggestion of instruments and textures that aren’t really there) is a clear precedent for the three epic-length works that make up Kannon, the group’s seventh studio album. It’s malevolent music, to be sure, but sitting at home and absorbing Kannon is probably a safer and more rewarding endeavor than subjecting oneself to near-certain ear and/or nerve damage at a live show.
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.