Suuns @ Mojos, Liverpool 14.05.11

Being a city steeped in rock history, it is unsurprising to find another corporate rock’n’roll bar in central Liverpool. However, Mojo does stand out a cut above the rest mostly due to its mild indie credibility and, with artsy literature dotted about on the tables, the size of the venue actually did Suuns a favour. Portraying a largely different sound to their record, the cocksure Canadians threw themselves in tonight.

May 14th, 2011 at Mojos, Liverpool / By Jack Sibley
Suuns @ Mojos, Liverpool  14.05.11 After having been blown away by the quartet’s debut album this year, it was in a state of desperation that Bearded waited for them to come to our shores but it was not the synths and computer programmes of their recorded selves that they were entertaining us with today. Obviously the electronic element was not absent and there was a keyboard tucked away at the side of the stage, but the main focus of their show was so clearly the guitars. Firstly they riffed and shredded their way through the first four tracks of their album and then launched themselves into a full blown thrash track that lasted about a minute and a half and left us wondering whether or not it had really happened.

Yes the focus tonight was on the instruments with the voice as no exception. Lead singer Ben Shemie crooned and cried his way through a set that clearly affected him, though perhaps not in the most enjoyable way. In fact all of Suuns were typified by this reaction – showing a strong connection with the music but not necessarily a pleasurable one. Shemie grimaced as he forced out the words and the drummer pounded in a way so unforgiving that it could easily be mistaken for vengeance. These songs clearly meant more to them than was expected.

Most of the show was made up of tracks from the album with only a couple of newcomers but given the dramatic change in interpretation, it still felt fresh. Finishing up with ‘Sweet Nothing’, the band jammed the final riff harder and harder with little variation, grinding and carving away at it until with a final rush of dissonance they came to an abrupt stop and left the stage.

In summary, Suuns took us on a high octane ride through their understanding of the guitar in the twenty-first century. With all the steamy electronics of tracks like ‘Arena’ having been stripped away, Suuns put themselves into their instruments in a way that perhaps they couldn’t do with a computer. Tonight, the electronics of the album were merely a backing for them to Rock to.