SUNBLOC

With a constantly growing gig resume that includes Drug Church, Dazy, Screaming Females, Gel, Public Opinion, Destiny Bond, and more, Albany, NY’s Sunbloc has become a known quantity over the last few years, and for good reason. In the frenzied rush to identify and commodify the next “it” band to break out from the underground, authenticity can sometimes feel as if it’s in short supply, but Sunbloc’s post-everything hardcore meets alt rock is as real as it gets. Where other bands aim to replicate a bygone era, Sunbloc is firmly planted in the here and now, rearranging old formulas into a sound that’s genuinely novel. Where other bands pay lip service, Sunbloc commits. 

The band’s self-described “Evan Dando Hardcore” is just what the name implies: Equal parts Righteous Jams, Superchunk, Husker Du, Lemonheads, and Oasis. In lesser hands, a mashup like this could easily come off as confused and disjointed, but Sunbloc has instead crafted an immediately recognizable and endlessly listenable sound that stands head and shoulders above the weak genre-exercise practiced by an ever-expanding sea of fakes.

On their 2021 self-released debut EP, Wither World, the band emerged fully formed, with their genre-bending post-hardcore defying convention from the word go. Their 2023 follow up, Sunday Music, was both a continuation and an expansion, refining and intensifying the sound established on their debut. On their third EP—and first for Really Rad Records—Sunbloc has once again upped the ante. 

Movement is the band’s most concise and focused work to date. Clocking in at only four songs (all but one of which are under two minutes long), Sunbloc is once again going left where you might expect them to go right. Instead of grasping at the straws of mainstream appeal, the band has grown even more idiosyncratic, emphasizing the hardcore and trimming the fat. On the record’s lead single, “Crashing Your Car”, the band somehow manages to glide back and forth between early 2000s Boston hardcore stomp a la Mental and melodies that evoke the best moments of 90s Britpop. The result is a sound that is genuinely peerless, never sacrificing its edge for accessibility, and totally unafraid to undermine expectation.

For all the qualities that make Sunbloc singular, the most important is this: They couldn’t care less about being next up, even though they very well might be. From chaotic live sets that are replete with classic hardcore covers to increasingly brief records that get harder and stranger with each successive release, your enjoyment is always secondary to their vision. And in a world of sycophants and tryhards, there’s no more righteous quality than that.

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sunblocny@gmail.com

 

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