Not ones to mess around, Sunflower Bean return less than a year after 'Twentytwo in Blue', doubling down even deeper into their obsession with the sound of 1970s US drive-time rock. If that record felt like a band closing in on something special, it is clear straight away with 'King Of The Dudes' that they have found it and embraced it. Packing more melodies and banger-level hooks across twelve minutes than most bands do across a whole record, it simply couldn’t sound bigger if it tried.
First single ‘Come For Me’ sounds like a call-to-arms, Julia Cumming swaggering her way through offers (or promises) of alleyway violence, just one of a quartet of tracks of startlingly high-quality. Not here to mess around lyrically or musically, these are four moments that confirm that the New York trio have fully hit their stride. The title track itself is instantly likeable, catchy as hell with a classic Strokes-style guitar line from Nick Kivlen.
‘Fear City’ is Sunflower Bean’s finest moment yet, a fist-pumping chorus of Fleetwood Mac proportions, landing over a ridiculously euphoric riff. It wouldn’t sound out of place on your dad’s “Best Guitar Anthems Ever” compilation, but rather than sounding stale or old, it is alive with vibrancy and life. Before it has even wrapped up with the scuzzy ‘The Big One’, a track that rides on a guitar sound so dirty it needs to be hosed down for a week, you’re already desperate for more.