Sunburst 17
"Sunburst 17"

(Self-Released 2002)Sunburst 17 - Sunburst 17

Sunburst 17's self-titled album is not quite retro enough to suggest the band is in a time warp. Nor is it so grunge that you think they worship Vedder and Staley. Instead, Sunburst 17 use a variety of instrumental sounds -- from memorable lead guitar to thumping, driving bass, to chunky riffs -- with alterna-rock vocals (think today's metal rock meets grunge meets 70s guitar rock) that might be an acquired taste.

Using a dial tone and operator as the opening seconds of their album, Sunburst 17 step back in time with a 70s country rock sound meets grunge as heard on opening track "Caught up," a mid tempo shuffle that stays more on the heavier side of those genres, using guitar effects instead of focusing on guitar solos and the riff heavy "Mysteriously She Moves." Picking up the tempo and creating an interesting rhythm, "Perfect Connection" nearly has too much of the same sound going on, creating a sound more flat than it could be. On "Big Momma Bomb," Sunburst 17 use Red Hot Chili Pepper-ish instrumentation (think bass funk) with the same alternative rock style vocals heard throughout most of the album. A slower rhythmic ballad, with whining guitar keeping it from getting too calm, "Inbetween" offers a slight break while "Cry Anymore" sounds more like popular grunge.

With a nostalgic sound that is quite rough around the edges, "Icarus To The Sun" stands out with funky groove. "I'll Just Run," in a similar vein as "Cry Anymore," has that warm Pearl Jam grunge sound. Leading in with guitar groove, "Miss You" picks up to a fuller, more rock sounds but remains melodic guitar groove at its core. "The Greatest Amount," driven by bass, sounds more like straight forward rock while "Dealings" is slightly slower with fuzzed guitar and vocals. Sunburst 17's bassist and back up vocalist Skup again gets your attention by opening "Save Me" with a short solo before vocalist and guitarist Isaac enters with a lingering, thoughtful guitar part. The album closes with the "bonus track" "Dance Naked in the Rain," an upbeat and memorable rock tune that has character.

While most of the bands self-titled album sounds familiar, generally you cannot pin down specific songs as they have blended their influences. With a few good songs and solid instrumentation throughout, the album is mostly rehashing instrumental and many vocal sounds you have already heard elsewhere.

B-

buy it!