The Sun Explodes… Emergence


Expect heavy rock with an experimental style from new band The Sun Explodes. Though band comparisons can be annoying, Muse fans may find much to savour in the Emergence album…

Emergence is an album best played chronologically, like a set piece, rather than on shuffle. It’s usually difficult to read a band’s intentions when they release an album: do they intend you to listen to it in a certain way, or do they leave it up to you to decide? In my opinion, it’s definitely the former with this album. The eponymous first song opens with a Muse-esque flourish, and I rather enjoyed the lengthy instrumental: most songs today are all about the lyrics, so it’s nice to see the music itself celebrated.

From then on in, however, the quality and originality of Emergence deteriorates. Honour Bound is an extremely whiny song which I found difficult to endure, and lyrics like ‘Your voice is not your own’ smack of Evanescence or Limp Bizkit. There’s nothing wrong with being inspired by successful bands, but when you don’t do anything different with your own music, it all becomes a bit pointless.

Second Sight was another song designed to showcase the vocalist’s love of shouting, apart from a pleasant interlude where the music became lighter and somewhat reminiscent of JJ72 (remember them?). But unfortunately, Resplendence marked a return to the album’s favoured emo screeching, albeit with snatches of softness. Ignition is particularly repetitive and unoriginal lyrically, Line One is dull and Dead/Alive has rather more Alive than Dead, with clich├ęd lines which are sung almost manically.

Emergence’s best song has to be We’re Not Soldiers. It’s much catchier than anything else, has a certain anthemic quality to it, and even, dare I say it, borrows the tiniest smidgen of inspiration from Justin Hawkins of The Darkness fame, with its surprising falsetto moments and twangy guitars. This is certainly a stand-out number to which the festival crowd will want to chant along. It ends beautifully, the simple piano chords fading out marking a strong contrast to the song’s rockier beginnings. The piano returns again in a haunting instrumental called Pandemonium which – for me – would have been an altogether stronger direction for the album to take.

I can’t quite make up my mind about The Sun Explodes. To be really picky, I don’t like the band name and don’t think it’s catchy enough to help their music stand out (and it does need help to do that). But aside from the fact that they mimic Muse massively, they aren’t a bad band if you fancy screaming along on a bad day.