Sound: Sunna was an Alternative/Industrial Band that formed around 1998, and after one brilliant album 'One Minute Science' in 2000, They toured with A Perfect Circle and many other bands to wide audiences, and had a couple of hit singles in 'Power Struggle' and 'I'm Not Trading'.
Then all of a sudden, nothing was heard from them. Until now.
Nearly 10 years later, Sunna return with its 2 core members, Jon Harris (Vocals/Guitar) and Ian MacLaren (Guitar). Rumours of a follow up album began late last year online, and after months of speculation, arrived 'Two Minute Terror', a batch of material recorded from around 2002 - 2009, during initial recordings for the second album, and then recordings by the remaining members during the bands demise.
After nearly 9 years, I was anxious to hear new Sunna, as there is truly nothing like the definitive Sunna sound. Nobody ever thought we'd hear from them again. I bought the limited edition copy of the album, which recently arrived in a beautiful metal box, really nice looking. The Impossible had happened, so I proceeded to immerse myself in some long overdue Sunna.
Track by Track:
1. Spider: this song was supposed to be the Spiderman 2 Theme Song before Sunna split, It begins with an electronic refrain before going into a bassy electronic line, I was thrown off at this, but when it kicks in, play it f--king loud. Great offbeat riff welcoming the familiar vocals of Jon Harris, Sunna are truly back. This was recorded around 2002, but still sounds fresh and futuristic. Cryptic lyrics masked by effects continuing into the driving riff, capped off by a sweet guitar solo which descends into chaos, then a fade, Great opener.
2. One Of A Twin: the first single, the comeback. Couldn't have had a better comeback song, dark ambience followed by one of the most menacing basslines, a very dark song, my personal favourite off the cd. Creeping along at a steady pace, with distinctive lyrics, the song just gets better and better until a loud climax, which fades out. Great music on this one, absolutely immense.
3. Know Who They Are: another Bassy Intro, very minimal song, a nice clicky bass and drum line, sounds like dripping water at times, with moody singing, the chorus is louder, overall a sort of trippy song, if you will. Great cryptic lyrics here. Another one recorded before Sunna split in 2002
4. Ashes To Ashes: a Bowie Cover, Probably my least favourite, but only because I'm not a big Bowie fan. Still a great crack at the song, Sunna really made it their own with synth work and heavy guitar sounds that enhance the tune, I do like the chorus a lot, a valiant effort from the guys.
5. Rebirth: lots of vocal effects here, sounding awesome. A bit heavier than most so far, especially the chorus, More quality lyrics, the title refrain is particularly catchy.
6. Sex Glue: wasn't too mad about this one at first, the verse vocals weirded me out, never heard Sunna vocals like it, but the chorus is pretty sweet, lots of ambient noises going on during the verses which I like.
7. Eyes: another heavier one, with a catchy as f--k chorus to boot. Trippy vocal effects used in the chorus, makes it another great tune.
8. God Says: an acoustic number, recorded around 2002, Nice change of pace, with strong vocals, especially in the chorus. The ambient effects behind the guitars sound real spacey, not a bad song at all.
9. Heaven Sends: Menacing Bassline again, with background noises that sound like a reverb unit being kicked. This one is just pure Sunna, dark sort of mood, with a strong chorus. One of my favourites.
10. You Had To Steal: beginning with a Banjo by the sounds of it, another change of pace, the sound builds with vocals until there is a calm verse with singing, then a second verse with guitar kicking in. It just gets heavier from here in, with the last minute being a huge effects laden guitar solo, a really good built up song.
11. Empty: another track done around 2002, An electronic loop opens the song, to somewhat light verses, which burst into heavy choruses, this sounds very much like a demo of the song, given the quality, but it's still great. The middle of the song is a paticularly strong point, great singing and lyrics.
12. Alice: a short acoustic number to end on, nice vocal work here, I especially like the 'Know More' part at the end, a fitting closer to a fantastic album. // 9
Lyrics: With Sunna, the lyrics are always based on singer Jon Harris' life experiences, and with his experiences after the demise of Sunna, he's clearly had a lot to write about. The lyrics are often cryptic, sometimes hard to make sense of, but I quite enjoy that factor.
01. Spider: lyrically it's hard to make out what the song's about, I'd guess about not following trends and not being told what to do.
02. One Of A Twin: as read in an interview, these lyrics are about the opposite realms of Reality, and Dreams. I never realised this at first but checking them out after finding that out, you can very much relate them.
03. Know Who They Are: I can't really make out what this song is about, it's mysterious.
04. Ashes To Ashes: we all know the Bowie story with this one, referencing Major Tom, now as a Junkie.
05. Rebirth: these lyrics do relate with actual death and rebirth, which fits.
06. Sex Glue: yep, lyrics about sex.
07. Eyes: this one's about, at a guess, the emotion that you can read and sense through someone's eyes.
08. God Says: Jon harris portraying himself as God, looking down on the human race at what they have done and become, I'd guess that much.
09. Heaven Sends: more mysterious ones, obviously relating to heaven and hell, but in a mysterious way.
10. You Had To Steal: I'd take a guess in saying it's a warning to musicians who try to steal Sunna's sound by the looks of it.
11. Empty: also explained in an interview, Jon Harris tells of how this song is about him pouring his emotion out to someone and getting drained, emptying his heart. Powerful lyrics in this one.
12. Alice: I cannot for the life of me work this one out, puzzling lyrics.
The lyrics match the mood of the songs perfectly in my opinion, especially in Heaven Sends, One Of A Twin, Know Who They Are & Spider.
Jon's singing skills have obviously not deserted him, as he's sounding as good as ever on Two Minute Terror, He has a grungey sort of voice, comparable to a few singers but identical to none. Great lyrical work overall. // 8
Overall Impression: Well, it was worth the wait. Although the production values aren't as huge as the first Sunna CD, This one doesn't suffer at all. It compared brilliantly to the first cd, this one is darker, and more ambient, but there couldn't have been a better change in direction in my opinion. My favourite songs would have to be One Of A Twin, Heaven Sends, Spider and Know Who They Are.
I thoroughly enjoy the atmosphere the CD provides, at times meditative, and at times cathartic. Although 'Sex Glue' and the Bowie cover are not really my cup of tea, they aren't insufferable, and I will probably end up warming up to them.
I love the packaging, it's a great piece of kit, nice metal tin with a cool little booklet with all the lyrics in and some artwork, at first I thought the artwork was a bit underdone, but looking at it in its case just seems right.
Overall, Two Minute Terror is a very interesting listen, with lots to discover. It's one to be heard through a big pair of headphones, to get all the atmosphere and mood. If I lost this, I'd order a new one straight away, it's a real collector item. Fingers crossed Sunna stay around this time! // 9