Sunrise Highway – Windows (2014)

Before getting to the meat of the matter, please believe me when I say all it takes is one listen of Sunrise Highway’s new album Windows (Kool Kat Musik), for the songs to be permanently tattooed onto your brain cells. Pure pop crusaders, Sunrise Highway not only deserve to be commended for keeping the genre alive and breathing, but they also have the ability to retool such sounds into presentations dripping with vitality. The band’s execution is fresh and sincere, and they’re constantly operating in a serendipity-dappled zone.

Stuffed to the cuff with blankets of bright and breezy vocals, curtains of creamy harmonies, and firm and fat hooks, Windows reveals Sunrise Highway’s fabulous flair for writing, arranging, and performing compact and tidy tunes to dazzling dimensions. The band really pours their souls into their songs, and their stamina and energy reflect a contagious passion.

The title track of the album projects a lonely and distant mood, as it swims and swirls around in a film of psychedelic-enhanced illusions, while “She’s Got Me Buzzin'” and “Peter Pan” attain a harder rocking approach marked by crunchy distorted guitars and muscular rhythms. Sunrise Highway’s attention to melody and delivery is effectively amplified on the utterly irresistible “Cinnamon Eyes,” and the juicy jangle pop of “Foreverland” is a great ode to rock and roll glory.

Popping and rocking to a perfect mix of power and polish, Windows acknowledges the masterful works of acts like the Beach Boys, the Byrds, Badfinger, Shoes, Ride, and Teenage Fan Club, but as noted, Sunrise Highway is gifted enough to wield their own special magic. Spellbinding, optimistic, and fueled by smart and crafty moves galore, here’s a disc where quality and consistency go hand in hand. Sunrise Highway is an amazing band, so here’s hoping they retain their brilliance and continue churning out choice creations. No improvement necessary!

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 on the national charts with "Stand By Me" - which is ironically one of her favorite songs, especially the version by John Lennon. She has also contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as associate editor of Rock Beat International. Paterson's own publications have included Inside Out, and Twist And Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.