After transitioning themselves from post-punk to indie-pop with their third record, My Bloody Valentine weren’t really going anywhere despite gaining a small fan base through live shows in London. The band decided to record another EP for the Lazy indie label that was finally released in March of 1987. The record was another record where the band was still flirting with indie-pop while trying to refine their sound with the EP Sunny Sundae Smile.
Produced and performed by My Bloody Valentine with songs written by vocalist Dave Conway and guitarist Kevin Shields, Sunny Sundae Smile show the band progressing their sound with a more focused sound that has Shields experimenting more with his guitar sound. The sound that would later become a standard for the shoegaze scene that later defined the band as they still flirted with more of the twee/indie pop sound of the mid-1980s. With drummer Colm O’Ciosoig and bassist Debbie Googe providing a steadier yet focused rhythm section, the result is a very good nine-minute plus EP that shows the band still trying to find their sound.
The opening title track is led by Shields’ blaring guitar noises with washy riffs that is accompanied by a bopping rhythm and Dave Conway’s twee vocals as he sings very upbeat and imagery-laden lyrics. Paint a Rainbow is a fast, upbeat track with swift, melodic-driven guitar swirls that play through with its pummeling beats and driving bass. Conway sings the song’s pop-laden lyrics with his calm yet playful vocals.
Kiss the Eclipse is another upbeat track with a slightly mid-tempo rhythm that is driven by Shields’ jangly guitar work that flourishes through with Colm O’Ciosoig’s walloping beats and Debbie Googe’s swooning bass. Conway sings the song’s esoteric lyrics as he maintains a twee presentation to the vocals. The closing track in Sylvie’s Head is led by O’Ciosoig’s speedy yet warbling drums and Shields’ driving guitar noise as he pummels through with Googe’s heavy bass. Conway sings in a rapid vocal to play along with its fast rhythm while singing quirky lyrics to close the record.
Sunny Sundae Smile is a very good EP from My Bloody Valentine and of the four early records from that period with vocalist Dave Conway. This record is their best though it pales in comparison to the records they would do much later when Bilinda Butcher joined the band. Thanks in part to a balanced yet sparse production, the record has some moments where the performances are great despite Conway’s vocals. In the end, Sunny Sundae Smile is a nice EP that showcases the band at their best in their early years.
My Bloody Valentine Reviews: Studio Albums: (Isn’t Anything) - (Loveless)
Compilations: (Ecstasy & Wine)
EPs: This is Your Bloody Valentine - Geek! - The New Record by My Bloody Valentine - (You Made Me Realise) - (Feed Me With Your Kiss) - (Glider) - (Tremolo)
© thevoid99 2011