Given the band and track they covered, and having known nothing about the band prior to hearing said cover, I had to ask myself, was this a potentially new, up-and-coming alternative goth pop band? Can I look forward to some modern post-punk? Hell I’d settle for some retro dark-pop! In this instance…we sadly do not get any of those things. Yes the duo who make up Before Sunday; Nick Basis and Stella Panteloudi are a straight up pop act that just happen to appreciate a little rock ‘n’ roll influence here and there, and quite frankly I’m feeling catfished. But seeing as we’re here, they released their debut album recently entitled “Anticipation”…let me just tell you that mine has gone through the floor as opposed to the roof.
The album opens up with “Living In London” which to be fair is quite a catchy little piece of social commentary; highlighting the living conditions of living in the British capital, with the general ignorance of society leaving you feel alone in a population of millions…the generally overpriced day-to-day living and the often shitty weather. They paint a pretty bleak picture but I’m sure very many can relate. The track itself is a guitar driven piece of soft rock with ample swagger and a certain vocal drawl that in some ways finds itself between JOAN JETT and MILEY CYRUS…it’s a decent opener. “Big House” then follows up and the direction changes somewhat to say the least. The rockier guitars are replaced with more of a light, soulful funk aesthetic which coupled with the core pop delivery could pass for some, KYLIE MINOGUE or ALPHABEAT.
Even though the album is only ten tracks in length, it still manages to find itself book-ended with the better tracks at the beginning and the end, with the middle sort of just, existing. “Obsessions” for example is a wonderfully heartfelt, sombre piano/synth led pop ballad with a soaring vocal chorus. “Goddess” combines those gentle ballad qualities but brings back the funk-rich guitars and marries them with some innocently sweet vocal notes, before “Devil” rounds the album off on another guitar driven, rockier high note. It’s got a certain surging urgency to its delivery when it’s in full flow and the up-tempo intensity is welcome…they left it late but we actually get some of the slightest hints at more metallic instrumentation here that could be tied in to that Ghost cover.
As I said the middle of the album is generally generic pop music…the vocals on “Unconditional” are well produced and fine, “Gone” gives off Eurovision power ballad vibes and “Closed Doors” adapts more of a random country-pop aesthetic. While there’s nothing necessarily bad here, it’s a fine pop album with some good quality clean production, I can’t get that Ghost cover out of my head and can’t help but be somewhat disappointed by this album, which is a shame because there’s nothing wrong with it for what it is. It’s got its charm and does highlight a variety of genre influences all streamlined into one collection of quirky pop, but I was hoping for something more. I don’t even know what…maybe even like, OF MONSTERS & MEN or a SHINY TOY GUNS or something along those lines, which, sadly these are not. Before Sunday? More like never in a month of Sunday’s.