"It's Time to Get Weird" (Bloody Bat Records; 2015)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Sunflower Dead and their CD "It's Time to Get Weird" was a tough album to review. From the very first track to the very last, I kept thinking, "Who do they remind me of?" The music sounded familiar but I could never quite put my finger on why that was. Finally, after what had to be at least the third listen-through, I realized it wasn't that the music reminded me of someone else, it was that the music was so catchy, so packed with irresistible hooks and driving guitar melodies, that it only seemed familiar but, in fact, was something original on its own.

If you saw a photo of the band before you heard them, you might just assume they were a nu-metal band. There may be a hint of nu-metal here and there but, more than anything else, Sunflower Dead are a rock'n'roll band, a hard rock band, with a sinister edge, kind of in the vein of Alice Cooper or Marilyn Manson. The songs on "It's Time to Get Weird" have a little bit of circus horror in them (there's an accordion on this album, for God's sake!) but it's never goofy or overwhelming.

Earlier I mentioned that I kept thinking Sunflower Dead reminded me of some other artist but I couldn't think of who and, although I still stand by that statement, I guess the band that comes closest is Mushroomhead. Sunflower Dead have that same ability of writing and performing songs that are a little avant-garde but never inaccessible. The vocals range from evil growls to smooth singing and the pairings are always dead on.

Every track on this CD is strong, but my favorites are "Just a Little Kiss" and "The Rain." The quietest track on the CD, "Nothing," is a ballad-y track that's a little too slow for me, although I get the sterility of the music here fits the lyrics well (and the guitars kick in eventually, anyway).

I keep hearing all this bullshit that rock'n'roll is dead but Sunflower Dead and "It's Time to Get Weird" just gave that sentiment a big middle finger. This is one CD I heartily recommend.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2016 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.