There’s no time like 2019 to really dig deep into any genre and pick up those missed bits that were maligned by poor distribution or unfortunate circumstances. Over the past few years, Shoegaze, in particular, has definitely unearthed a few gems. This one actually rose up on the revived Cloudberry Records in 2016, to sadly little fanfare, but the Bandcamp age gives it a second life. The Sheffield band Suncharms issued two EPs in their active time – 1990’s Sparkle and Tranquil Day a year later. The band was approached by Slumberland in 1992 about an album, but, sadly, they broke up before anything could materialize. They rectified that misstep last year with an entry into Slumberland’s 30 year singles club and now this retrospective from Cloudberry is available digitally for the nice price.
The band occupies some similar earspace with early Ride, Chapterhouse, and Pale Saints. Their sound was thick with fuzz and noise but there were some absolute pop gems riding beneath the fray. More-so than any of those other three Shoegaze gems, Suncharms rarely get their due, even in the retrospective heavy culture of the 2010’s when everyone’s an expert and we all “knew this shoulda been the band everyone should have listened to in the ‘90s.” The comp bags up all the band’s released material along with some demos to give ya some scope. Even after countless iterations of C86 hangers-on and Shoegaze tentpole retreads, these songs still hit hard and leave an imprint. If, like most of us, this remains a hole in your ‘gaze collection then by all means fill it and work forward to pick up that new EP on Slumberland. Recommended this one makes it into your rotation.