Sunshine And The Bad Things
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Sunshine And The Bad Things

Arden, North Carolina, United States | SELF

Arden, North Carolina, United States | SELF
Band Rock Psychedelic




"Sound Track web extra: Sunshine & The Bad Things"

Sunshine & The Bad Things CD Review

By Alli Marshall

Sunshine & the Bad Things is the latest project of vocalist Valerie Phillips and guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Justin Lee. The two met in The Curious Crandalls and went on to form part of Jeff Markham and The Last Call before embarking on S&TBT about a year ago.

The band (with Heather Martini on keys and viola, Michael Thomson on guitar, Joseph Massie on bass and Chris Carter on drums) calls its sound "a chewy pop rock nougat wrapped in a creamy psychedelic shell." The band name works pretty well, too, with Phillips' sweet sometimes-lead and sometimes-background vocal as the sunshine; Lee's darker growl paired with fuzzy guitars and shadowy textures as the bad things.

Not that much about the hooky, melancholic-yet-energetic power pop of S&TBT could be called "bad." All five tracks on the woefully brief self-titled EP are imbued with bittersweet restlessness. "I'll Be Nowhere," an intoxicating standout, crackles with glitchy synth, long guitar notes, pretty angst and Phillips' and Lee's voices doubled on the line, "I'm not myself and I just don't care."

"Kung Fu Boy Scouts" is a sucker punch of post-new wave and alt-rock, somehow edgy and dreamy at once. "Fire Dancer" descends into the murky goth of Joy Division, though Carter's drumming lends a snap and dance-y pulse to what could otherwise be a narcotic soundscape. Well, the drums and the buoyant psychedelic break.

Though S&TBT's EP varies widely in style from track to track, each offering is fully-formed and polished. And this is a new band, still finding its footing. Time will no doubt see them honing a sound — any of the EP's tracks would work, though my hope is for something along the lines of "Traces" (check it out, below) and "I'll Be Nowhere," where the band finds an instantly likeable groove yet still manages to slip in a few surprises. - Mountain Xpress

"CD Reviews: Sunshine And The Bad Things - EP"

CD Reviews: Sunshine & The Bad Things


Rooted in frenetic, driving wildness, Sunshine and The Bad Things is a fast-paced, five-song EP. The voracious nature of these songs leaves the impression that the musicians were stranded on some desert island with no instruments with which to express themselves, and as soon as they could get rescued and into a studio, the tunes that burned inside them all came tumbling out in a fit of creative expulsion. "Traces" is a neat little pop song with traces (ha ha) of 311, Scott Weiland and The Grateful Dead. "I'll Be Nowhere" is somewhat stranger — a Cranberries-esque fusion of psychedelic keys mixed with an Americana-style progression. "Kung Fu Boy Scouts" (a great name for a band!) is a punkish synthesis of the styles of The Dead Milkmen and The Ramones, with a little Weezer thrown in for good measure, with the only vocals being an upbeat but indistinguishable chorus chant. The aptly named "Fire Dancer" throbs and writhes with a hypnotic beat and a creepy, distortion-heavy riff. It closes with "You're a Storm" — a quirky and pretty song, focusing on the sweet female vocals. It ends the EP on a happy note, and is the song on this recording most indicative of the "Asheville Sound." This is as eclectic an album as I've heard in some time. Sunshine and The Bad Things certainly can't be pigeonholed as having a definitive sound or style, and that's a good thing. They have tons of energy, and it shows. The songs are distinctive, exciting and express a musical sensibility that exudes a sense of originality and independence. I haven't seen them perform live, but I bet it's a lot of fun. We all get our chance to do just that on September 30th, when they'll be at Mo Daddy's in Asheville. - Bold Life


Sunshine And The Bad Things - (self-titled) EP - July



"Sunshine and The Bad Things certainly can't be pigeonholed as having a definitive sound or style, and that's a good thing. They have tons of energy, and it shows. The songs are distinctive, exciting and express a musical sensibility that exudes a sense of originality and independence." -Brent Fleury / Bold Life-

Sunshine & The Bad Things is a band that plays infectious pop psych-rock paired with a creative aesthetic. They first took form when lead songwriter Justin Lee and vocalist Valerie Phillips met while playing in the bands, "The Curious Crandalls" and "Jeff Markham and The Last Call". One day Justin presented some songs he had written for Valerie to sing. Instantly realizing how well they worked together and how energetic, unconfined and fun this sound was, the fire was lit! In late 2010 they played their first show as a three piece with drummer Chris Carter and immediately following Heather Martini, Michael Thomson and Joseph Massie joined the ranks to make it a raging 6 piece.
The band spent the following months honing in their sound and recording their debut self-released album, which was selected as a standout local release of 2011 by the Mountain Xpress. Currently, S&TBT is very active playing shows, networking with bands, gaining press and recording material for their sophomore album due to be released fall of 2012.

Sunshine And The Bad Things' sound has been described as power pop psychedelic rock with bits of mountain charm. Influences include, but not limited to: Queens Of The Stone Age, Robert Pollard, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The New Pornographers, The Jesus And Mary Chain and The Pixies.

Band Members