Dedicated Birmingham five-piece Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam (they’ve released over 100 songs so far!) are the latest signings to By the Time It Gets Dark Records (Spielbergs) and their latest album ‘Blackout Cowboy’ combines moments of lo-fi genius with aluring math rock hooks.
‘Running from My Ghost’ opens the record with an injection of passion in the very first second. Intense shouts covering a fear of rejection and lack of self belief are bedded over huge-sounding Guided by Voices guitar hooks before harmonies take over and the band shout how ‘I never get letters from a hainted house’. Following this is the emo-fuzz of ‘All the Way Over the Edge with a statement that will strike a chord with so many: ‘I just get all drunk and emotional’. There’s a sense of humour running throughout the record, especially in the title of ‘Meatloaf to the Camera’, a slice of classic indie covering regrets over past hook-ups: ‘Everything’s fine until we KISS’.
There’s a jaggedy edge to the band’s sound that recalls everything from Braid to JetPlane Landing and even the more experimental side of Britpop – often all at the same time. ‘Adult Memory Oww’ is a frenetic blast that has both a positive message about making new friends and tongue-in-cheek musings on memories that are perhaps not so fond: ‘Don’t mess with the bitches, we can’t afford the stitches’. The title track is inventive and melodic as the words are shouted in stop-start fashion. It also offers some chilling warnings: ‘Everything looks bad if you remember it’; ‘Six of one, half a dozen of the other. Spent all night in the bottome of a gutter with me, not taking advice’.
There’s a reference to a classic Yellow Pages advert (do the kids even know what a directory is nowadays?) in ‘Mrs JR Hartley’; a song that opens drenched in feedback and soon moves into quirky pop movements a la Tiny Moving Parts. Following this is ‘MK Ultra’ has the same kind of candour in its lyrics that Los Campesinos! specialise in so well – ‘She’s a right-wing girl and I’m a left-wing boy’; ‘I relinquish control, place a number on it, ‘put it all on red’, that’s what she said. Just because you like Frank Black, you can’t do that’. It closes with the repeated mantra of ‘Mind Control’ which perfectly segues into the album closer of the same name – a song that has a spoken-word plea about not giving in to negativity.
With ‘Blackout Cowboy’, Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam have released a record that’s positively glowing with passion and potency.