Sullivan

Cover Your Eyes

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Slowly building from a duo to a quintet, Sullivan's lineup reached its current form earlier in 2007, when guitarist Jeremy Stanton enlisted. Needless to say, then, Cover Your Eyes, the band's second album, sounds a bit different from its first, not least because of the grand production values James Paul Wisner brings to this set. The sound is big and incredibly dense, the atmospheres glittering, and the arrangements so action-packed that there's barely any open space within, as every bar brims with instrumentation. Even "Olive Branch," which begins with acoustic guitars, is quickly fleshed out with a brushing of bright synthesizers and quickly starts building toward a grand crescendo. The dynamics rule on the downtempo "Dig Me Up," whose sparse, evocative verse is juxtaposed against a huge rock-styled chorus. And big choruses swamp this set, with the grandest waving "Goodbye, Miss Havisham," a suitably discomforting song that enfolds goth gloom, hard rock undercurrents, and glammy vocals. "Florida Queen" is its polar opposite, the verses jittering while its angular rhythms counterpoint the exuberant '60s-styled pop chorus. Ringing guitars chime across the alt-punk "Tell Me I'm Wrong" and raw emotions are the fulcrum of the quivering-with-anger "The Process," while the band showcases its best rock licks on the creepy "Great for My Collection" and ends with style on the smoldering "Fire Away." It's an eclectic set, but the stunning dynamics, explosive guitars, infectious choruses, and pop/rock-styled vocals provide continuity throughout. A long time in the making, Sullivan now sound ready to take on the world.

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