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No Sun No Shadow

Sunbirds

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Album Review

The Sunbirds were a short-lived project formed by Cole Marquis and Mike Cloward shortly after the breakup of 28th Day, and while Larry Crane was taking a break from Vomit Launch. They reportedly played no more than a few gigs in their hometown of Chico, CA, and left behind a six-song demo tape that earned them few shows and no recording offers. No Sun No Shadow features that original 1986 demo in its entirety, as well as another six tracks the trio cut during a brief reunion in 1997 (which repeats three songs from the original sessions), and listening to it, you have to wonder what was wrong with the people who heard this, for No Sun No Shadow presents the work of a band with considerable promise and obvious talent to spare. Blending a dash of R.E.M.'s jangle with the Meat Puppets' dusty Western psychedelia and the Feelies' facility for the rhythmic, non-hippie jam, the Sunbirds sound gloriously hypnotic on these recordings, with an elusive but very real melodic beauty lurking within Marquis' rich chordal guitar sound and an equally alluring menace weaving its way through their songs. While these recordings sound very much of their time and place, No Sun No Shadow doesn't sound dated so much as the testament of a band that got lost in the shuffle and deserved a lot better; the Sunbirds' ghost town fusion of trippy energy and ambitious relaxation is powerful and infectious, and Paisley Pop is to be congratulated for ensuring that this band's small but vital recorded legacy is preserved for the ages.

Biography

Formed: 1986

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s

On paper, The Sunbirds were a band more interesting for what the members did before and after the group's brief lifetime that what they accomplished while they were together; only after their recordings received a belated release did it become obvious that this was group whose gifts far outstripped their public recognition. In 1986, after 28th Day had broken up following the departure of Barbara Manning, guitarist and singer Cole Marquis and drummer Mike Cloward decided to form a new band, and joined...
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No Sun No Shadow, Sunbirds
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