Eternal Summers have gradually built themselves into a respectable rock n’ roll band. Not that they weren’t respectable at any point in their career. It’s just that from humble beginnings they’ve built the band from a lo-fi-ish two piece -which included singer/guitarist Nicole Yun and drummer Daniel Cundiff- back in 2009 to now being the classic rock trio with bassist Jonathan Woods entering the Eternal Summers fold. They’ve gone from K Records lo-fi pop to a muscular rock crunch that SST would’ve gladly put out back in 1987, while never losing that catchy pop center that’s been there ever since their 2010 debut Silver. With the release of The Drop Beneath Eternal Summers and Yun have both honed in and improved on what they began on 2012s Correct Behavior. The catchy hooks, Yun’s Julianna Hatfield-meets-Bjork vocal prowess, and the solid rhythm section of Cundiff and Woods are all there. But there’s also songwriting chops that only come with time and being on the road.
“100” begins the album with a dream pop sound. It floats along effortlessly as a steady bass line and chugging drum beat carry Yun’s dreamy guitar and vocal. “A Burial” sounds like cross between Lush and Liz Phair; that space between shoegaze and early 90s alternative. Something Tanya Donelly might’ve put out back in 1993. “Gouge” is a great track. It starts out with some flanged guitar that would’ve sounded right at home on The Cure’s Head On The Door, then Yun comes in with “Gouge, Gouge, my eyes out/Cut, tongue from my mouth/Cause I’m losing it.” It’s an upbeat track with a darker edge. Eternal Summers are embracing a darker, heavier sound on this album and “Gouge” is the perfect showcase for this sound. “Make It New” is another song that is more menacing that mousy. Yun sounds like Bjork fronting Siouxsie and the Banshees as her guitar squeals and spits feedback. But just as you think Eternal Summers may not get out of their dark mood “Not For This One” comes in like a warm summer breeze. “Deep End” sounds like Cocteau Twins on an espresso binge, or played at 45rpm, while “Until The Day I Have Won” sounds like heartbreak and lament. It’s a beautiful track that shows Nicole Yun offering up true vulnerability. Title track “The Drop Beneath” ends the album over seven minutes of big rock riffs, and then fading into distant noise and tempered feedback.
The Drop Beneath is a step forward for this Virginia three-piece. With each record they’ve grown and expanded on their sound. Nicole Yun is proving to be a songwriter to follow. But more than anything, Eternal Summers are turning into one hell of a rock n’ roll band.
8.2 out of 10