Montreal’s Suuns make a particular kind of low-drone heavy but never “drone music” – they walk the fine line between being experimental and being simply loud rock music. There’s never really been the kind of rock n roll vibes you get from other bands walking that line, but instead an industrial synth entrance to many of their songs, especially on their latest album Images Du Futur, which was released this March. It’s clear their past tours have lent them a deeper understanding of their own music making, as they were calm and happy when they took stage at Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop in Austin during our SXSW broadcast, despite their musics melancholic and emotive sound.
The four-piece kicked off our Friday lineup with their meditative set – they glanced back and forth as the synth slowly built before guitars and vocals kicked in, swelling the room with sound. Where a wall of sound usually means going out of control, there was not a single note, vibration, buzz, or loop that wasn’t exactly where it was supposed to be. There were no antics or banter to be found here, just the resounding echo of guitars broken by industrial electronic alarms and sirens. “Sunspots,” and “Edie’s Dreams” stood out for their melancholic cries. They also played “Music Won’t Save You” and “2020” from Images Du Futur, which follows their previous two albums and sets the stage for a more guitar heavy and clean sound. On stage, they may drone into a song but never become boring. Their set felt short for such an intense sound despite the inclusion of extended versions of some songs. If you were tuning in you were in good company, Thurston Moore dropped by this morning (he performed yesterday with Chelsea Light Moving) to catch Suuns’ performance.