Folk/rock from New Jersey? Really? The one summer I spent on the Jersey Shore (Seaside Heights…to be exact) all I ever heard was club music and hip-hop. Musically, it was the worst three months of my life! Not that there is anything wrong those genres, I actually dig them…just not 24/7. Needless to say, being able to listen to band as digable as Sunflower and the Seeds would have been a welcome change to Lime and The Cover Girls…although my roomates at the time (Pauly “The Gooch” Gaccione, Joey Tut and John “Mulch” Vilotta) would staunchly disagree!
However, having listened to their 4-song EP entitled This One’s on Us about a gazillion times I must admit I’m quite smitten with their sound. The music of Kyra “Sunflower” Schenck (vox/acoustic guitar), Bob Schenck (keys), Alex Denney (bass), Teddy Owen (electric guitar), Jovan Mann (electric guitar) and Joe Huster (drums) exhibits a certain degree of honest purity that is not always easy to find in today’s commercial/mainstream music scene. I find myself being drawn as much to the melancholy moodiness of “Jellyfish Sunrise” as I am the dark guitar laden jams of “Apocalypse” as both tracks showcase the band’s range and versatility. This versatility of which I speak is further exemplified in “Rain or Shine” which sounds a bit like Edie Brickell fronting the Alman Brothers band while being backed by gospel singers from U2’s “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” Way cool. The coolest, however, in my humble (but accurate) opinion is “Sweet Escape.“ It’s bouncy. It’s folksy. It’s soulful…and it rocks. The keys (which sound a lot like a Hammond Organ) really make this song for me, not because they are way out in front but because they provide a colourful backdrop for some wicked guitar work and a vocal element that is truly inspired.