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Sun won't set (LP)

After a sensational Demo and an underappreciated EP, Shirokuma from Söderhamn, Sweden just released their debut full length “sun won’t set” on the UK label Dogknight Productions.

The lineup of the Brighton based Label is packed with great bands, such as We Came Out Like Tigers, Old Gray or You’ll Live. But for all that, there is no need to hide for the Swedish screamo fourpiece which was founded back in 2012. In my opinion Shirokuma ranks among the best European screamo bands these days.

“A Cloud Painted” opens the record with intensity and cryptic, ocean related lyrics. The next songs “Cold, Cold Hands” and “To Seek Out My Very Own Sun”, as well as “Okami” fit in seamlessly with the opening track, making up for an awesome start of the LP. „Four Rivers“ is probably the best track on the album. Architecture and arrangement of the track are just brilliant. After an atmospheric intro, the desperate vocals of Jonathan drop in, persisting in the background. But after a while, drums and vocals gather pace, building-up to a sweeping screamo hymn, which ends on a beautiful piano-solo. The poetic lyrics harmonize perfectly with the sad but beautiful soundscape.

“Sometimes we get lost,

Sometimes our lighthouse won’t shine,

Sometimes we have to say goodbye”

The next song on the LP ”Chiaroscuro” can convince with exciting drumming and smart changes of tempo. Cheerful guitar riffs alongside moving drums creating a perfect setting for the heart-piercing vocals. The followup, „Falling Leaves From A Dying Tree“, gives no chance to take a breath, ensuring, to keep the level of the previous songs. Lyrically, the Band is sticking to the point. The record culminates in the terrific “Blue circles turning black”. The second to last track starts with a bracing, indie-ish guitar riff and a sick drumline, which maintains till the end. Even when the lyrics are dark and pretty distraught, the band is able to create a sound full of hope and confidence. The song grows with every single second till it collides and turns into a powerful chorus. At the very end, Shirokuma are serving a calm and dreamy instrumental song, which tops this stellar record off perfectly.

“Lost by the sea

Tied back to back

Blue circles turning black”

In my eyes “Sun won’t set” is the most ambitious and focused release by Shirokuma and with 2014 halfway through, “Sun won’t set” clearly should be a contender for every end-of-the-year-list.

FFO: The Tidal Sleep, Rainmaker, Trembling Hands

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