PHOTO RESTED CHEMISTRY
SONG TO DOWNLOAD: "My Sugar Cane"
WHY THEM: Back in April when the Sunshine Factory made their New England debut at Deep Heaven Now, we immediately declared them the best thing to emerge from Alabama since Zelda Fitzgerald. And now that last year's Sugar EP has been expanded into a proper full-length, out last month via Texas's fledgling Saint Marie records, we're supporting that claim even harder. The Sunshine Factory's skyscraping sound is a head-trip daydream that combines early-'90s shoegaze textures with crisp modern electronics, weaving a noisy aural cocktail that can be at times ethereal (the sparkly, cavity-causing "My Sugar Cane") but also sprawling, sludgy, and coolly disaffected ("Twisted and Clover"). We're now two decades removed from My Bloody Valentine's Loveless and the UK's shoegaze revolution, but the template for amped-up, wall-of-sound guitar rock remains intact. The Sunshine Factory aren't a throwback novelty act; they're the evolution of a meticulous sound that's a welcome respite from the usual racket emanating from the Dirty South/
ALSO CONSIDERED: The Handsome Scoundrels — The gritty streetpunk of this working-class trio reminded us of Boston's finest, but in the end the shoegazers won out.