Music » Rhythm & Views

Suuns: Zeroes QC (Secretly Canadian)

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Just so you know, Montreal-based band Suuns is managed by a friend of mine.

That disclosed, we can get to the brilliance of Zeroes QC, the band's first full-length, an homage to their former name. With drums, bass guitar and minimal electronic effects, Suuns create an energizing monotone universe. Rarely has one repeated note sounded so brilliant, mostly because Suuns know how to combine droning vocals, drums, bass and guitar parts to create a resonating chord.

Advanced techniques lay just under the surface, like the syncopation on "Up Past the Nursery," or the key changes in "Armed for Peace" and "PVC," or the squeaking guitar chords in "Sweet Nothing"—there are just enough tweaks to keep things engaging while the low end holds.

Zeroes QC's strength is not just its hipster dance style—"Arena" is ready-made for dance floors—but also the blatant disruption of that style. Some songs move around the fretboard, like the opening track, "Armed for Peace," while the last two tracks, "Fear" and "Organ Blues" (a T. Rex cover), are much quieter and melodic. The combination of tricked-out vocals and handclaps at the beginning of "Pie IX" is too creepy to dance to without taking on a goth persona.

Another interesting disruption: The songs vary widely in length. "Marauder" is less than two minutes, while the next track, "Sweet Nothing," is seven. Just as Suuns seems to lock into a groove, things flip or tilt. The name makes sense: Suuns means "zeroes" in Thai, and the breaks in patterns are a kind of zeroing out, a reset, a refresh.

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