AV Super Sunshine’s latest single “Frankenstein” is not too dissimilar from the titular monster itself. It’s a mad sonic dash of descriptors from sunny locals to car pieces to even how a vehicle operates. If this sounds like a bizarre concept, let me be the first to say that it oddly works. AV Super Sunshine has always had this brand of off kilter sounds that makes it wildly memorable and in some ways downright experimental, and it’s equally on display here. For some context, the last time I looked at an AV song, it was for their single “A Wedding Song”. which almost felt like a song by the band Sparks in how it’s so deceptively simple to the point of saccharine that it somehow even bounces against that and becomes painfully sincere again.
Frankenstein is more disparate in its themes, starting with synth plucking that evokes less of the 80s and more the experimental and poppy hits of the mid to late seventies. Something AV has always excelled at is combining multiple sounds from various timelines together and having it shockingly coalesce. Here, the softer acoustic in their previous single is instead traded for a grungier electric guitar with a two-step clap and steady drum beat. The first impression I think many will have is that it sounds like something you’d hear in a Rob Zombie movie, or something adjacent. It doesn’t have a “spooky” atmosphere in the traditional sense, but it’s unnerving and lurching much like the monster it’s named after.
The lyrics are their usual irreverent and tongue-in-cheek self with lines like “I’m your Gaga, but not the radio kind”, which in itself could be a reference to Lady Gaga, or the hit Queen song “Radio Gaga”. I think that line gets to the heart of what the song is, it’s about being indescribable in your own qualities. When the group croons about the details of the lead singer’s fathers’ Rolls Royce, it’s twinged with nostalgia and an almost fetishistic quality when going over the minutiae of the parts, but it’s not something that can be duplicated. It’s certainly an untraditional Halloween song if it even aspires to be. Beyond the mention of the monster occasionally, it’s really a demented kind of surf rock song with many shout-outs to LA and Malibu. I think if you’re someone with a very built in listening repertoire, the sounds of AV will only delight and never deter, but I think for the novice to the band’s discography, they owe themselves the chance to work up to this release.
The band has only gotten more and more experimental as the years go on, and it’s something they pride themselves in. It’s a winner of a song that’ll stick with you like a ghost haunting the night and a true testament to the bands abilities is that their lyrics are repetitive, but can unveil many different interpretations over various listens and I look forward to any listener’s own personal dissection of this monstrous jam.