It’s unfortunate that most of the attention put on Sunshine State, will be surrounding drummer Warren Oakes’ former tenure with Against Me! (see, there we go again). The drummer-turned-restaurant owner made the difficult choice of leaving the popular punk band six years ago, but his new musical outlet is interesting enough to make at least some people forgot about Oakes’ former gig and focus on this new one. Sunshine State started as part of a “musical roulette” project at Oakes’ Boca Fiesta restaurant/venue in Gainesville, Florida, and there’s a definite melting-pot-of-influences feel that permeates the dozen songs on Pour, their debut full-length.
Vocalist/bassist Troy Perlman’s melodic yet scratchy vocals and the galloped frolic of the majority of these poppy punk songs give this an immediate placeholder in the No Idea Records catalog—but wait, there’s lots more to come. Things get decidedly ’80s at times; we’re not talking ’80s hardcore, but rather poppy, new-wave-tinged rock in the vein of the Cars and Gary Numan (“Friends Of The Deceased” is especially John Hughes soundtrack-worthy). But things get decidedly ’90s as well; the wonderful flavor of the much-missed Bay Area pop-punk band J Church hangs over the whole album, but there are also select tunes, such as the harrowing “Summer” or the riff-tastic “Long In The Tooth,” which could have come out of Portland in 1995 (see: Pond, Crackerbash).
Then there’s the rollicking melodic pop-punk of “Heroin,” which sounds like a song Crimpshine should have penned in 1988, or the straight Replacements rock of opener “Sour Mash.” While Pour is an album that, from start to finish, evokes memories of great eras and bands of days past, its most impressive quality is that it’s unmistakably Sunshine State’s album once you delve into it. They are a band who will surely have more and more people taking notice as the strength of their debut album spreads through the underground. There’s a definite can’t-stop-listening quality to Pour.
No Idea http://www.noidearecords.com