Sunshine Riot unleash ‘Electrical Tape’
Recorded with Steve Albini at Electrical Audio, the new EP is out everywhere April 23
EP includes brand new single and opening track ‘Everything’s Going To Be Alright’
“...melancholic alternative rock, brimming with '90s nostalgia.” -- Middle Eight (UK)
BOSTON, Mass. [April 23, 2021] -- Look, sometimes you just need to round up your friends, head to Chicago, and rock the fuck out. So that’s exactly what Sunshine Riot did.
With a rare break, afforded by the pandemic, from touring and playing extensively around New England and the Northeast, the Boston alt-rock band -- negative COVID tests in hand -- flew out to Chicago last summer to record with Steve Albini at the legendary Electrical Audio studio. The result is the apply-named Electrical Tape EP, which is unleashed on Friday, April 23.
“We approached Electrical Tape the same way we approach every session -- we showed up prepared, didn't overthink it once they hit ‘record’, and tried to put out the best songs we had in us at that particular moment in time,” says singer and guitarist Jonny Orton.
The end result, April 23’s Electrical Tape EP, became something as startling as it is authentic: A raw, damn near primal rock record that packs the introspection and dedication one must possess to survive in this day in age. Electrical Tape may come off like an evolution in sound for Sunshine Riot, but after more than a decade in the game, what emits from the speakers is a band finally comfortable in their own skin, playing this damned and deranged game of rock and roll on their own terms, by their own rules, propped up by their own merits and fueled by their own creativity.
Consumed as a whole, Electrical Tape is 17 minutes of adrenalized and impassioned alt-rock. In these early months of 2021, Sunshine Riot have rolled out each of the four tracks on this blistering EP, which UK blog Middle Eight referred to as “melancholic alternative rock, brimming with ‘90s nostalgia.” First came January’s feverish anti-suicide anthem “Fast Train,” followed by the relentlessly whirling grunge sprawl of February’s “Too Old For Love Songs,” a punk song that vaulted the band to global indie radio status. In March, Sunshine Riot took a jangle-rock “Greyhound” for a more introspective songwriting approach, and now the band presents a slash n’ dash gripper of an tune in “Everything’s Going To Be Alright,” a stomp-along jam that opens the EP with a confident fury.
“‘Everything’s Going To Be Alright’, more than any other song on this EP, reflects the heat, and the physical space, and the sensation of the Electrical Audio studio, on that July weekend in Chicago,” says Orton. “I'm not sure it's the best song on the EP, candidly (though, it is my favorite to play live). But -- I think it is a mirror for that moment as a band. And, I think maybe, it was a reflection of what was going on around us. It was a moment of terrific pain, and in some cases death, for lots of folks in America. People found different ways to scream that summer, this was ours.”
Working with Albini allowed the band to explore their own sonic territory, all while taking inspiration from many of the bands that once communicated with the famed engineer from across the board. The songs Sunshine Riot brought with them to Chicago were tailored for the Albini dynamic, and what developed was something that explodes out of the speakers at each razor sliced riff, each consuming hook, and each unabashed melody.
“My impression of Steve is that he actually doesn't want to influence the artists he records a whole heck of a lot,” Orton admits. “He is sort of a scientist -- or more specifically, an engineer -- and he's really interested in capturing sounds as they are played live. If you're in his room, I suppose you're influenced a bit by Steve's own expectation of excellence, both of himself and of the band, and that can shake out a lot different ways on wax.
That shines through on “Everything’s Going To Be Alright,” which Orton says was inspired by “the relentless AM radio-static-headache of livin', of course.” Though its lyrical source falls a bit on the meta side of the coin, with Sunshine Riot tackling that age-old question about rocking out.
“I guess it's a bit tongue in cheek -- it's a song about writing songs, I think,” Orton says. “Can you still write good rock and roll songs when you're happy? Are you ever happy? Have you ever written a good rock and roll song? This song was written, musically and lyrically, before everything. Before Covid. Before George Floyd was murdered in bright, cold daylight. So, the title, which was initially some sardonic nod to the practical realities of being four dudes in their 30s playing guitar-driven rock, kind of became something else entirely. America is a violent ocean, sure, but she's a beautiful crash of foam at that, and she's home, and, if we remember we're all neighbors and need to stop hurting one another, I do think everything is going to be alright.”
‘Electrical Tape’ artwork:
Sunshine Riot is:
Jonny Orton - Guitars, Vocals
Jeff Sullivan - Bass
Mark Tetreault - Guitar
Steven Shepherd - Drums, Percussion
‘Electrical Tape’ credits:
All songs written and performed by Sunshine Riot
Engineered and mixed by Steve Albini at Electrical Audio, Chicago, IL
Mastered by Mark Stephenson at Clean Analog Mastering
EP artwork by Steven Shepherd
Radio play for Sunshine Riot:
Hear new music from Sunshine Riot on the following shows and stations: Karen’s Indies on Belter Radio (UK), Boston Emissions with Anngelle Wood; BumbleBee Radio with Kristen Eck; Laura Beth’s Mixtape Show on Reclaimed Radio (UK); Bay State Rock; WZBC’s Virtual Detention; Monie’s New Music (UK); Only Rock Radio (Spain); Salem State Radio’s Everything You Know Is Wrong; WMFO’s On The Town With Mikey Dee and Rising with Skybar; Christian’s Cosmic Corner, Mike on the Mic, and Original Music Showcase on Mark Skin Radio, and more.
Media praise for Sunshine Riot:
Bursting with an energy and adoration for music, Sunshine Riot are a rare breed. Their talent to seamlessly skip from genre to genre with ease is something to be applauded and their ability to create music not only close to their own hearts, but also forging a connection with each listener is unique… melancholic alternative rock, brimming with '90s nostalgia. -- Middle Eight (Manchester, UK)
"One of the most remarkable live acts Boston has produced in a long, long time." --The Observer (Nashville, TN)
"With resounding drum lines and a set of vocals that are Cobain-tinged, Sunshine Riot keep the tempo quick and inviting to listeners." --Neufutur Magazine
"They’ve been described as Johnny Cash meets Kurt Cobain and their relentless touring across the country is garnering them an ever growing fan base of college students and fans of original music that doesn’t suck.” --Skope Magazine
"Sunshine Riot encapsulate all that can be great with rock and roll if you don't overthink it." --Nanobotrock.com
"This band has it all." -- Feedback Fury