Exposé Online banner

Sweeney Straddles the Sun — Tarantula
(Boffo Bear Records, 2017, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2017-01-24

Tarantula Cover art

Sweeney Straddles the Sun is the solo project of Glaswegian artist Jason Sweeney. A very strange performing name as straddling the sun can be extremely dangerous, plus I do not fully appreciate how this name relates to his music. Sweeney released his first album Erect in January 2010. Then he took another five years to compose and record his second solo album, Tarantula. Whereas Sweeney put some effort into the artwork for Erect, the artwork for Tarantula is amateurish, reminiscent of the cassette culture, and totally unrelated to the music. Tarantula contains 13 tracks of retro lo-fi New Wave plus some experimental moments (e.g., the 59 seconds of pulsating noise of the opening track “Espousal”; “Modern Super Peeper” uses of vintage sound bites from a self defense class against peeping toms laid over clashing electronics; “Never Been Kissed” with its odd take on Germany’s Der Plan; and the title track with its vague Frank Zappa ambiance that ends up being too long for a 2:12 song). The rest of the album features analog synths and sequencers churning out pop-synth that could have been recorded by The Human League, Heaven 17, Ultravox, or John Foxx. But unlike these groups, Sweeney’s lo-fi approach and his pleasant vocals mixed way down in the music lacks their edge and sex appeal. Most of the songs are too repetitive and over long. Probably the best song on the album is “Veganism Begins at Home,” an off-the-wall love song.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Jason Sweeney (Sweeney Straddles the Sun)

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the ago of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band - Live at Bickershaw Festival - North West England 1972 – The front of the package proclaims "Joe Strummer's favourite concert." Well, I'm sure it was great to be there. The Captain and his crackshot '72 touring lineup (Rockette Morton,...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues