Album Review: Black Sunshine – Black Sunshine

Been looking for that new hard gritty rock band that has come out of nowhere? Look no further as Black Sunshine are your band with an overly impressive self-titled debut.

Black Sunshine is the brainchild of extreme sportsman Matt Reardon, one of the top rated free skiers in the world, which be began to work on after a horrific accident while competing in New Zealand. After eleven leg operations, a complicated staph infection and the death of a close family friend, Reardon focused on song writing during his rehabilitation and wrote over 40 songs. With the songs written, Reardon wanted to dive right in and to create his vision he recruited drummer Matt “Toast” Young who has worked with Billy Idol, Ray Luzier, Vinnie Colaiuta and Matt Sorum. After Young joined the band, bassist Christopher Serafini (Pollen) and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Flannery (Van Zant’s) completed the line-up.

Black Sunshine ArtworkTo give you an instant view of the band’s music, they teamed up with legendary producer Bob Marlette who has taken control of albums for Shinedown, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Sabbath, Filter, Seether and Saliva.

Though teaming up with Bob Marlette seemed a logical choice because the album does have a lot of similarities with many other bands in this genre, which people may see as a downside, but Reardon has taken the best parts of bands who influence him, the parts everyone loves, and combined them to create an incredible debut which will certainly give Black Sunshine a lot of attention.

Before listening to this album my big question was how well Matt Reardon could pull this album off but straight into the first song ‘Holy Gasoline’ I had my answer. Matt comes out fighting with dirty vocals as he accompanied by a heavy thick and rough guitars. While the heavy verse is capable of taking the band to great places, the melodic tone during the chorus shows that they are capable of a whole lot than you would originally give them credit for. ‘Once In My Life’ also showcases what they are easily capable of with the vocals taking control over the acoustic build before exploding as they take it up a notch. As the albums lead single, they certainly picked well as this could be a hit on radio.

While the album continues to pick up and create extremely strong points with the likes of ‘Slave’, ‘Tears’, ‘Flying Sideways’ and ‘Psycho Babble’, we are let down somewhat by ‘Hell Yeah’. While it has that strong heavy groove, we are let down on lyrically as the song takes too much out of the Nickelback page by following the route of ‘Animals’.

Fans of bands like Nickelback, Creed, Alter Bridge, Staind and such will all find something in this album to love as the album does shine full of Matt’s influences but as I have said he does take the strong elements of these bands and puts them together which makes this one hell of an album to own.

Apart from ‘Hell Yeah’ which just feels too much like ‘Animals’, Reardon certainly has the ability to write songs and hard rocking songs at that. His voice is perfect for this genre and with the experienced members behind him to make this music become a reality, it is certain that Black Sunshine will be a familiar name within the next year or two. If the band can produce the same level of skill on stage, live in front of fans, then you can be sure that nothing will stop them from becoming the next big name.

Rating – 8


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Michael is the owner and creator of EspyRock. He is your general all round geek; sports fan; TV show fanatic. You can find him sharing his thoughts on his personal Twitter account. Contact Michael on Twitter or via Email.

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