Saturday, September 19, 2020

The Suitesixteen- Mine Would Be The Sun

When I first heard the album (CD), Wanna Smash Sensation by Victoria, BC's, BUM, it was love at first listen. The songs were catchy, the guitars were crunchy and the songs were amazing, not just a few, but the whole album! It really was a revelation, I regard this album as one of my favourite records of the 90's, maybe even of all-time. Whenever I listen to the album (which I still do consistently), it never fails to put a smile on my face. During the next year, I saw the band twice, bought their 7" singles and their follow-up CD's, I Am Superwoman and Shake Town- Live! and the band broke up. Actually, co-founder, guitarist vocalist, Rob Nesbitt left the band within a year of Wanna Smash Sensation's release and the band limped along briefly without him and released their final record the little known (and underrated), Make It Or Break It released in Spain (vinyl only) with Nick Thomas from the Smugglers on guitar. 
Purchased Wanna Smash Sensation through Popllama's mail order. That and The Smugglers CD.

Thanks to Scott McCaughey for the advice! Excellent show!
 After Nesbitt left the band, life went on. The band has reunited a few times since reuniting in 2014 for the Rifflandia festival in Victoria, guitarist Andrew Molloy released a great record with his band Budokan and Rob Nesbitt has been writing and recording material for a new project. Nesbitt's "project" is 25 years in the making and 16 years of work that was finally released this January. Mine Would Be The Sun is a concept album of songs he had written about a girl he spent his teen years obsessing about, a one-sided romance, call it self-therapy. This proved to be an epic obsession!

What we have is sixteen tracks from The Suitesixteen, Rob Nesbitt's career defining moment comulating on two discs of vinyl packaged in an incredible presentation. For the full experience, you must get the ultra-deluxe limited edition of this record and apparently, there is only 500 physical copies available. I can't honestly say I've even seen (or owned) such a lavish package with a triple gate-fold housed with two LPs, 45 rpm for the finest possible sound quality and a 52 page full colour book. The book and the gatefold is the highest quality and with it's meticulous detail it's obvious no expense was spared to make this a very special and one of a kind item. The book includes 15 pages of handwritten lyrics and photos taken at the sites where the events occurred on the album beautifully shot by Nesbitt's wife, Wendy. The package reads a lot like a coffee-table sized (autobiographical) memoir with a very cool soundtrack. The album is also available digitally on The Suitesixteen Bandcamp page that includes a high res pdf version of the book and you can sample the tracks before purchasing.

The album speeds fast out of the gate, side one could easily be mistaken for long lost tracks from BUM. It shouldn't come as a surprise the melodic pop-punk sound of BUM is evident throughout, which is a good thing because if you're a fan like me I've long missed the sound of this great band. It's an updated version of BUM with perhaps a more mature sound, depth and wider musical range. A Very Well Known Secret and My Wife, Doom, Singular, Fate are pure power pop, That Sweet Ache is a great pop song and Us In Pure Sound is pure punk and all the songs sound fresh and crisp. This isn't a lo-fi vanity bedroom project, the album sounds great, you can hear the attention to detail in the sound recorded at the JC/DC studio in Vancouver and Nesbitt's house with Rob doing all the vocals and most of the guitar work. He had help in the studio with several musicians including the likes of David Carswell from the Smugglers on guitar (who co-produced) and John Collins and Graham Watson (from BUM/Smugglers) on a couple of tracks. This album is completely an independent release. No record label, no grant money or fundraising, this album is completely funded with Nesbitt putting most of his life savings into the project. It's interesting how you change the way you listen to something once you realize what the subject matter is all about. Normally, I rarely listen closely to the lyrics of songs, but after reading the book and reading more about this project, I can't help listening to this story in a whole different way. Nesbitt claims that 98% of his songs even with BUM were about her.
For more insight about The Suitesixteen (aka: Rob)/Mine Would Be The Sun, I recommend this excellent article, "Why It Took Musician Rob Nesbitt 25 years To complete His New Album", written by (Smuggler/CBC-er) Grant Lawrence for the Vancouver Courier which includes an interview with Nesbitt. This album is clearly a leading candidate (personally) for the "best of the year" for 2020 and hopefully more people actually hear this record. I know there are fans of BUM that read this blog and trust me this is one of the best records I've heard in years and you won't be disappointed! Please spread the word and share this post.

To purchase- The Suitesixteen- Mine Would Be The Sun
*Digital album (FLAC, mp3...) @
*Ultra-deluxe limited vinyl edition (is not available in stores!) - contact Rob directly @ 

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