ALBUM REVIEW: THE SUNNYBOYS – OUR BEST OF

Sunnyboys-Our-Best-Of

 

SunnyboysOur Best Of sees 17 tracks hand-picked and remastered by the band and released in one tidy set. It is not the group’s first greatest hits and thanks to the quality of the music, it is also unlikely to be their last. The songs are the closest thing you’ll hear to guitar pop perfection and show the genius that is Jeremy Oxley.

This album was actually remastered by Jeremy’s brother and Sunnyboys’ bassist, Peter Oxley. It draws together cuts from the band’s three studio albums, The Sunnyboys,Individuals and Get Some Fun, plus a number of singles and EPs.

It should come as no surprise that most of the songs here come from their debut and undoubtedly, best record. This collection also includes the group’s biggest singles,’Happy Man’ and ‘Alone With You Tonight’. The set is a good one overall, because the big hits sit easily alongside more obscure fan favourites. There is also unreleased material and alternative rough mixes to keep things interesting.

‘Love To Rule’ opens the set and features twin solos by Jeremy and Richard Burgman. Their guitar playing was a driving force for the band. Their overall sound was influenced by a number of noteworthy guitar groups including: MC5, Radio Birdman, The Beatles, Elvis Costello and Iggy Pop & The Stooges. It means that The Sunnyboys flit between being poppy, punky, new wave and even a kind of underground rock.

For ‘The Seeker’ Jeremy said he wanted the song to sound like Garry Glitter’s ‘Rock & Roll’ while ‘You Need A Friend’ was inspired by Talking Heads. The former was about finding out that a girl doesn’t reciprocate your affections and how you have to move on to find a new love. The idea of looking for love and trying to find the right girl is a recurrent theme in Oxley’s work and no doubt a reflection of his headspace and situation at the time, it can’t have been easy to have a relationship in amongst a relentless work schedule.

The 1981 demo for ‘Tomorrow Will Be Fine’ is a quick and energetic ditty. It sounds like a typical Sunnyboys song but is actually a stark contrast to the latter, ‘Comes As No Surprise’. During this later period, Jeremy was battling his own demons and felt like he was traveling in a dark tunnel towards despair. Thankfully the group did manage to overcome this (albeit many years later) when they returned triumphantly and played an awesome reunion show at the Sydney Opera House in 2013 where album track, ‘Let You Go’ was recorded.

The SunnyboysOur Best Of is a great introduction to this band. Their music is melodic, bright, clever, emotionally charged and for the most part, fun. It will get you dancing in the street to its cool rhythms and it boasts an everyman relatability, which will have you thinking that Jeremy wrote this song especially for you. Fans will also marvel at how four men managed to achieve such great sounds, flourishes and textures at such a young age and with such limited equipment. But that just adds more mystery to the talent, power and mystique that is The Sunnyboys.

Originally published on 14 August 2014 at the following website: http://www.the59thsound.com/sunnyboys—our-best-of-14082014.html

Visit The 59th Sound’s homepage at: http://www.the59thsound.com/

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