Sunshine explores melodic, murky art rock in a vein almost too similar to Public Image Limited. Velvet Suicide surfs precariously close to mimicry at times, but its jumpy, staccato darkwave pop becomes increasingly compelling as the album nears its conclusion. Vocalist Kay wails a bit too much in the opening songs, but settles quite nicely into the role of moody expressionist. Song titles such as "Porn Orchid" and "The Picture of Anorexic Beauty" give insight into the subject matter and general tone, as Kay and company sometimes linger too long in aggression and forget to supply hooks. "Moon*Love*Gravity," for instance, sees the Czech Republic-born Kay struggling with his accent a bit comically to sing, "Gonna f*ck you up." It comes across like Alec Empire's happier younger brother fronting Girls Against Boys. "The Stardust Angel" and "L.I.P. [New Model]" sound so much like PIL that one wonders if even John Lydon and Jah Wobble would be fooled. "Adventures With Her Stereo" mixes Ian Curtis vocals with hip-hop vibes. Velvet Suicide is ultimately quite fun, whether or not it was Sunshine's original intent to amuse, though one gets the impression that each song started with a blueprint and a list of influences, from the Birthday Party to Dream City Film Club to, of course, PIL. Sunshine has a pretty decent mastery of sonics and style; if they had charted their own course instead of trying to mimic their idols, they'd have crafted a more interesting album.
Velvet Suicide Review
by Tim DiGravina