Canadian group Suuns latest album Zeroes QC can be described in many different ways. Words such as broody, menacing, disturbing and confusing would all be perfectly adequate, however they don't quite sum up just how much this album messes with your mind. The sheer volume of drastic changes in tone, texture and sound throughout this record should not be underestimated and it just simply impossible to categorise music such as Suuns into one genre (not that that's necessarily a bad thing). The best thing about this is it comes completely as a surprise. Upon settling down and listening to the first couple of tracks, 'Armed For Peace' and 'Gaze' it would not be unreasonably to believe that Zeroes QC was a scuzzy, noisy guitar record in the vein of Smashing Pumpkins. But once you get to the pulsating and experimental 'Arena', you start to release what a mind-fuck of a record this really is.

'Sweet Nothing' is a prime example of this. The song is but one second over seven minutes long and it must be said that on first glance this particular writer was dreading what was inevitably going to be an exercise in prog-rock indulgence. However, after you start to get into this track, it becomes evident that it's taking you on a journey from minimalism through shoegaze and then finally settling some good old-fashioned heavy guitar riffs. Then you get to the fantastically rhythmical 'Up Past The Nursery' and it's very hard not to find yourself tapping along to the angular guitars and pumping bass drums. This is also a track that displays chief vocalist Ben Shemie's vocal skills best and actually in many ways sounds more like a minimal house record than anything else which is even more astounding considering the albums scuzzy beginnings. 'PVC' is similarly brilliant, converting to a more stereotypically "rock-y" format whilst keeping a sense of rhythm in a way that Josh Homme would be proud of. 'Pie IX' is a more broody, thoughtful effort that, in what is a common feature of the record, uses muted guitars to build suspense over a background of thumping drums and static.

It's very hard to pinpoint any weak elements in this record. Each song is brilliant in its own separate way and in many aspects, Zeroes QC is like a good thriller, taking you on different musical adventures and bringing up new surprises when you didn't think there could possibly be any more. It stops short of taking you away into another world, it's not atmospheric enough for that - but the fact is that almost every track is an incredibly good listening experience in itself whilst keeping your brain interested at every new twist and turn, and for that Suuns should be respected and highly commended. The other wonderful quality that Zeroes QC has is it that every time you listen to it, you pick up something new, and that is a very rare quality indeed.

Photobucket