Too many bands play it safe on their debut, preferring to regurgitate the direction of their own musical heroes rather than risking the pitfalls of honest inventiveness. The bravery shown by UK five-piece The Sun Explodes in creating such a distinctive, potent and occasionally quirky album in Emergence deserves to be admired and rewarded. Musical comparisons are tricky: they fall somewhere between Muse and Coheed And Cambria, with a hint of Queen’s dramatic grandeur enhancing things further.
The title track is a startling opener that lulls you into thinking the band may merely be emo pretenders, before an electronica-inspired keyboard section catapults the song in an unanticipated direction.
We’re Not Soldiers is similarly stirring, possessing an endearing pomposity and including the first original use of a vocoder effect I’ve heard for years. The beauty of Pandemonium also shows that they’re comfortable stripping things down to a solitary piano melody.
The only criticism is that they need to avoid their use of hideous ‘screamo’ vocals, as that clichéd sound will only destroy the reputation they’re rightly building as innovators.