Say Sue Me's new album is like a retrospective on surf-focused rock and roll.
The first piece we ever published as Keun Soli was a very complimentary artist profile on Busan-based surf rockers, Say Sue Me – such is our love for this band. Now, only 8 months after the release of their debut, Say Sue Me have returned with their follow up; the six-track album Big Summer Party.
It’s clear this album aims to show a bigger range of styles than they did on We Sobered Up. As well as the fuzzy-warm, Yo La Tengo meets Best Coast alt-surf that the band have become known for, Say Sue Me have used this record to explore a bunch of different sounds. Album opener Fight The Shark is an obvious tribute to the kind of Wipeout-esque surf rock you don’t hear enough of these days. Neither this or the last track, Spy on Motorbike would feel out of place on a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack. The latter is a perfect album closer, chugging along like a sinister version of Link Wray’s Rumble.
This is an album steeped in history; Say Sue Me’s personal tour through their creative influences signposted by familiar guitar techniques, beach memories and the same level of classic songwriting that have seen them become one of the most popular indie acts in Korea.
In an effort to cover the full array of surf-based genres, the band also shows some calypso, lounge-esque influences on the track Summer Night. Their trademark melodic sensibility is twinned with a slackened groove not dissimilar to Beach Boys Kokomo.
The lyrics here have the same level of frank, dry humor that added so much character to the first album. This is particularly true on album high point One Question where lead singer Sumi Choi questions an unidentified female about sleeping with her boyfriend and proposes to murder both them and their families if she finds out. One Question is the sound of a band having fun and the results are an absolute joy.
While Big Summer Nights builds on the sound of their inaugural release, it does suffer from a lack of length coming in at a mere 6 songs. While this might seem like a criticism, it’s also an indication that this is so good that it leaves listeners wanting more. The light style of Say Sue Me’s songs makes this such an unlabored listen and 6 songs goes far too quickly to be leave you feeling completely satisfied.
Say Sue Me have added new sounds and styles to their repertoire and also stayed true to their iconic summer breeze brand of indie surf. As a result this album will no doubt please their loyal fanbase while acting as a declaration of growth to any skeptics left.