Sunflower Bean have never been overly aggressive (Unless we’re talking Julia Cumming and Nick Kivlen’s vocal duel on ‘Tame Impala’) but ‘Wall Watcher’ is easily the least energy they’ve ever been. For a band who are prepping their new album (out February) and heavily touring all of 2015, they sound remarkably drained of life compared to the early tracks that spilled out. Everything’s here – an overblown guitar line and a dark, brooding bass, but everything else is utterly limp.
Julia Cumming’s vocals, initially a selling point for the band, don’t raise beyond a softer tone, which could work for a softer song, but this is an immediate single. The lyrics are forgettable and repetitive, but the chorus is definitely the catchiest part of the song, but Cumming’s vocals are so drenched in effects that her voice sounds like the rest of the background instrumentation. For a band that made Led Zeppelin idolisation cool again, Sunflower Bean have done a pretty good job of penning themselves into the classic rock corner and not leaving much room for themselves to carve a position.