Audio Mixer: Steve Wright .
Recording information: 10/2014-01/2015.
Sun Club's charged and (appropriately) sunny debut LP, The Dongo Durango, sets the stage with its intro, "Glob," which overlaps coughing, laughing, unintelligible chatter, and sounds of children playing on top of simple, bright melodic tones before the full band kicks in, as if we're being transported to the shore to listen to a band playing at a busy beach. Sun Club recorded the album mostly live in the studio with hometown Baltimore producer Steve Wright (Arbouretum, Dog Fashion Disco), and it keeps that immediacy throughout, delivering effervescent, punk-edged charmers, one after another. "Summer Feet" introduces Mikey Powers' hyper, post-punky vocals, which lead sweet backing vocal harmonies, fetching, jangly guitars, and gung-ho drums with abounding echo for all -- a blend recalling elements of the Cure, early Spoon, and surf, but with a shot of adrenaline. There's little if any space between most tracks, lending to the sense of relentless energy, from the chugging, organ-sweetened "Beauty Meat" to the stick-clicking, rapturous-climaxed "Dress Like Mothers" ("You've got my attention forever"). The majority of the lyrics are lost in reverb, turmoil, and idiosyncratic delivery, but surely they're buoyant throughout, maybe sweet or romantic, because the music wants to pick us up. The closer, "Tropicoller Lease," proves that melodic percussion, syncopated guitars, tempo changes, and shrieking go great together, and it ends -- as if playing an encore -- in a group singalong. An opening-act set, the record flies by at under 30 minutes with no ballads, and will leave most listeners mid-air drumming, wanting more. Let's face it, so often the opener is the best part of the show. ~ Marcy Donelson