S.U.N. – Something Unto Nothing

S.U.N - Something Unto NothingSass Jordan. That name is the sole reason for me checking out this band at all. I first made acquaintance with this rock ‘n’ roll lady back in 1994, when she had just released her brilliant album Rats, an album full of raw and hard rock music, great hooks and brilliant melodies. Jordan also sang with power, passion and feel and had a whiskey soaked voice that would have made Janis Joplin jealous. Also, her collaborator Stevie Salas made the album sound like something Joplin and Jimi Hendrix could have come up with, had they been alive. The follow-up Present, however, wasn’t even close to the greatness of its predecessor, a polished and mediocre pop record that was trying to sell Jordan as somewhat refined, which in my world equals dull so I lost interest then and there. Wikipedia says that she has released no less than three more solo albums – I haven’t heard any of them – didn’t even know they existed. But when I read that former Whitesnake drummer Brian Tichy, now as a guitarist, had started a new hard rock project together with Jordan, I thought that sounded like something that could be really cool. Also, it was very nice news to hear that Jordan was back to playing rock and roll again.

Now, the name S.U.N. stands for, as you might have guessed, Something Unto Nothing, which is the title of their debut album and I’m not really sure if that name means something special or if it’s just a name – I don’t think the name is any good, but hey, what’s in a name, right? If the music kicks ass then it really doesn’t matter what the band is called. And this album sure kicks a whole lotta ass – from start to finish. In fact, this album sounds more or less exactly like how I had hoped that it should. This is classic hard rock, raw and gutsy with the roots way back in the seventies. It feels so damn good to hear Sass Jordan’s raspy voice within its true elements again – and Tichy sounds like an excellent guitar player to these ears. The album starts with “Burned” and “Crazy Head”, two killer rockers that lends a lot from Led Zeppelin, “Nomad” is a brilliant, hard, edgy and groovy and “I’m The One” is awesome, sounds like it could have been off Jordan’s album Rats. In “No Way Home” they bring out the R&B, complete with some cool harmonica playing and a helluva groove and “Wide Ocean” is a brilliant acoustic based rocker with a major Zep influence. There are some ballads on here as well, but fear not, there is nothing even remotely cheesy on this album. “If I Was You” is great and bit more uptempo and full of emotion with a bit of a pop feel, the title track is epic and heavy and one of this album’s finest moments and finishing ballad “Goodbye” is simply great.

It feels so great to hear that Sass Jordan is back with a bang, and not only does she and her band mates Tichy, Michael Devin (bass) and Tommy Stewart (drums) rock like crazy, the songs are also really strong and there isn’t one filler on here, still there are a couple that are just “good” – which is quite impressing. The production is very much in your face, like a punch in the nuts and it feels very much alive and very little studio. I have a feeling this band will go down extremely well live – this kind of music is made for the stage. I dare anybody who loves ROCK to pick this album up, because I can’t imagine any rock-fan out there not liking this. Did I say it kicks ass?

Jon Wilmenius (8/10)

Tracklist:

1. Burned
2. Crazy Head
3. Nomad
4. Did Me No Good
5. Mobile Again
6. I’m The One
7. If I Was You
8. The Beginning Of The End (The Journey of The Phrygians from Madrid)
9. Razed
10. Wide Ocean
11. No Way Home
12. Something Unto Nothing
13. Goodbye

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