The Sunnyboys have split up and reformed multiple times since their initial break-up in June 1984 and this album is a reissue of their eponymous debut LP, with bonus tracks at the end of the first disc, and a collection of demos filling up the second. The original album has been carefully remastered under the watchful eye of Peter Oxley, the bassist and brother of lead singer/guitarist Jeremy Oxley.
Remarkably the songs carry through the decades and are still relevant today. The album kicks off with I Can’t Talk To You; a strong track with snare rolls lashing into the chorus. A simple yet sweet chorus comprised almost entirely of the song title for lyrics. It is impressive to note that these songs were recorded with minimal guitar pedals and no electronic effects.
It’s Not Me ramps up the album to a different tone with an upbeat riff and claps. The track drastically changes the mood from what was set by the previous two tracks. The chorus comes complete with la las sung by the band and is a song you can’t stand still to. Happy Man and Alone With You follow: The Sunnyboys’ biggest hits in the 80s, they speak entirely for themselves.
Surf rock Tunnel Of Love is a killer track with a wicked guitar riff barrelling through from start to finish: one of the songs fans crave the most at gigs. I’m Shakin’ closes the original LP in a positive tone, and features possibly the catchiest whistling used in Aussie rock. The first disc of this reissue also features bonus tracks from The Sunnyboys’ EP Happy Birthday, as well as b-sides from the singles. The second CD is brilliant, there’s nothing better than hearing how songs develop from their initial recording to the final product, and these demos are well worth a listen to.
The Sunnyboys expertly composed this album and it’s impressive that the band can come back after more than a two-decade absence, sell out gigs and have these tracks still be relevant to today. It shows a high level of craftsmanship that bands today strive for.