Center of the Sun is a five-piece band from Charlotte who sent us this fun little record. It kicks off with the depressingly titled We Are All Going To Die, which is just under a minute of out-of-focus drone and half-heard female voice.
And then, suddenly, strong drums kick in and guitars grind away. A bass rumbles by, and vocalist Ally Hoffman's comes further into focus as she sings quietly. The song is called Cease, and it is a monster of a shoegaze tune, just a powerful overdriven rocker, like early Purrs with a female vocalist. These two tracks are a great way to open a record: just come out meandering and lightly ambient, then tear into full throttle.
On Home, Hoffman sings even more clearly (like her voice has drifted forward in the mix over the first three songs). The guitars whirr and the clear female voice combined with the guitars reminds me of Transvision Vamp, if you remember that band from the mid 1980s. This is a great pop tune, and i bet it's blistering in concert.
Turnabout starts with Hoffman singing hazily while guitars chime under layers of echo, an effect that reminds me of the Field Mouse cover of Falling (Theme from Twin Peaks). But then it kicks in, the guitars moving from shoegazery to grunged-out fuzz, all just whirring along with Hoffman in layers over top.
On Reckless Sea the band get their goth on, the guitars kind of dark and swirly as Hoffman channels Mira's Regina Sosinki. Not bad, but not their best work either. They follow this up with Take Me to Your Dealer, which is like the first track in that it is a short interlude of feedback and echoed voice. It fades into And I Am Left With Ludwig which has a similar layer of gothy swirl to it, only with truly thunderous drums! Whoever the drummer is, he really goes all out here.
And then finally things wrap up with Pull and Drag, a decent song that grinds along to the end of the EP, kind of doing what they have been doing all along. It is not the best track here, nor the weakest.
From what i read online, the band appears to be on hiatus, which is a shame. However, they have two more songs on Bandcamp -- covers of Slowdive and Mazzy Star, which, given this EP is probably what they were shooting for. The press material also states that most of the band appears to be people who play in Charlotte based metal bands. That makes sense in a way -- there is heaviness to this music, especially in the percussion.
Overall though, if you like distorted guitars playing mid-tempo pop, then this is an excellent choice.