Back in the fall when Chicago wasn’t the cold, slushy, mess it is now MWA premiered the wonderfully sunny track “Slice of Life” and it surely brightened many a day. Well, the band is back with more than just a slice of life, but the whole damn pie. Let’s jump right into SUPER UNIT by The Curls.
If you missed all of the kind words we said about the album’s opener “Slice of Life” then just take a moment to give into its infectious groove. Frontman Mick Fansler has struck pop perfection in this catchy little tune.
For the next track “Do It Right” vocalist Anna Holmquist (see also: Night & Gale) takes the lead in this warbly ’80s tinged jam. It keeps the energy up early into the album and has a bit of a Roxy Music meets Blondie vibe that is hard not to love.
Keeping the momentum going after an already strong start to the album is “Prickly Feelings” —a horn driven romp with some gorgeous vocal harmonies and groovy guitar work.
“Violence” poses the existential question “How will the sunrise if I don’t?” an increasingly relevant quandary in the increasingly fucked up world we live in.
The B-side of the album continues into more space-y synth-y territory in songs like “Dark of the Sun” and “Birdland”. Both of which are delightful.
In between those sits a saxophone laden jam called “Bing Bong”. It clocks in under 3 minutes but is more than worthy of a 12″ extended dance mix.
Closing the album is an atmospheric and cathartic epic aptly titled “Release Me” proving once again that The Curls are a hugely versatile group of musicians.
In a world of reheated pop melodies and YouTube “stars” this album is a breath of fresh air and a feast for the senses. The Curls are bringing “art-rock” back in a very exciting way. It’s hard to place a label on it but when taken at face value this album is just a damn fun collection of songs that aren’t asking to be pigeonholed into one genre.
Super Unit is a truly sophisticated melange of musical styles and raw talent that is too well constructed to be ignored. Incredible musicianship, thoughtful songwriting, and some gorgeous production has resulted in an album that will stay in your head (and your tape deck) for months.