The Veils- Nux Vomica: Review

Friday, September 29, 2006

If you weren’t already a fan of the Veils after 2004’s The Runaway Found, then hearing Nux Vomica should quickly convert you. I’ve recently been converted and have to admit, this latest effort from Finn Andrews and the crew has me very excited. Andrews song writing has matured so much in the past two years that he could claim to be New Zealand’s number one songwriter (Sam Flynn Scoot and the Dave Dobbyn might claim otherwise). The ten songs on this album tell of Andrews’s struggle with life, deeply surrounded in chaos and tragedy. His vocals are delivered so perfectly achieving a deep sorrowful feeling, much in the vein of Pete Doherty.
Combined with Andrew’s lyrical maturity is a band full of experimentation. On one album the Veils have managed to record songs that would fit easily on records by TV On the Radio (‘Jesus For The Jugular’), Nick Cave (‘Under The Folding Branches’) or Gomez ('Pan'). Pulling together such structurally different songs puts the Veils at the leading end of musical fashion.

Groove Guide

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Finally the Groove Guide website is up and running. Check it out for the latest happenings on the New Zealand music scene. It contains a comprehensive review section plus heaps of cool gig photos, including the Arctic Monkeys, Dresden Dolls, Mint Chicks, Shapeshifter and many more. I've posted the 'Groove Guide' link along with a link to 'Music Slut' on the side bar.

Phoenix Foundation (Live) Review

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Phoenix Foundation with Cassette- Friday 15th of Sept at San Francisco Bathhouse, Wellington
Wellington’s favourite indie sons returned home last Friday to play a one off show at the Bathhouse. The gig was part of the biannual Phoenix Foundation/ Cassette tour. More importantly it was Phoenix Foundations last gig at home before heading to New York to pursue a record contract.
First observation made as we stepped into the Bathhouse was that of the older crowd that had gathered. Oh my god we actually felt young. That feeling didn’t last long, when Cassette took the stage at around 10pm younger people appeared in droves. Cassette played a good long set, running through most of the songs from their debut album. I was very impressed with their polished sound, it made for very easily listening (I had a bout of the flu so wasn’t in the mood for anything too wild). The only thing that let them down was the constant crowd banter, sure they were playing to their home crowd and probably had heaps of friends on site, but they talked way too much, saying "Fuck" more times than really necessary. That aside, Cassette went down great, if they were playing with any other local band they would have headlined.
Phoenix Foundation took the stage and immediately showed why they are New Zealand’s premier indie group. Greeting the crowd and announcing they would be using this gig to introduce a number of new songs, all ready to be recorded on the bands upcoming third album. The new songs went down extremely well with the crowd. Being more guitar driven than their previous work, they sounded very stripped down and raw. Of course they still played the crowd favourites ‘Slight Shift in the Weather’, ‘Gone Fishing’ and the Luke Budda original ‘Freaky Dance’. My personal favourite from the set was an amazing rendition of the instrumental track ‘Hitchcock’. There is something about keyboards that make me blush, and Luke Budda’s keys on this song were mind boggling. The Phoenix Foundation live experience was something very special; the guys performed an intimate set for their home fans. Sam Flynn Scott’s charismatic personality lead the group perfectly and it was great to see a band looking so relaxed on stage. Hopefully the new songs we got the privilege of hearing sound just as good when recorded.

CSS- Cansei De Ser Sexy: Review

Friday, September 15, 2006

I've decided to can the idea of 'Free Day Friday'. I can't guarentee I'm going to get around the music stores every friday. So I've decided to just post reviews as often as possible.

CSS- Cansei de ser sexy

CSS are the latest sensation bought to us via Sub Pop records. The Brazilian group translated into English meaning ‘Tied of being sexy’ has become the first South American band ever to sign with the Seattle based record label. And what a signing CSS could prove to be. Famous for breaking new innovative bands, Sub Pop has again hit the jackpot with such an original energetic group.
While there is the slightest bit of irony between the bands name and their musical creation, they remain tongue and cheek. With songs like ‘Meeting Paris Hilton’ where lead vocalist known only as Lovefoxxx sings about meeting the bitch, and ‘Music Is My Hot Hot Sex’ it’s obvious to pick up on the bands sense of playfulness. Electronic dance pop, call it what you like. There hasn’t been a band this exciting in a while. With this much energy and sex appeal, CSS could be the band in everyone’s bedrooms this summer.

CSS will be touring New Zealand in January 2007 playing Auckland and Wellington

Dresden Dolls (Live) Review

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Dresden Dolls- Wednesday 13th September at San Francisco Bathhouse, Wellington

Last night I witnessed one truly great performance. The Dresden Dolls (Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione) rocked Wellington’s San Francisco Bathhouse with their unique musical style they call punk cabaret.
But to start the night rolling we were treated to another punk fused gothic group the Red Paintings. Hailing from Australia, the Red Paintings are another band that doesn’t easily fit into a musical genre. All dressed in what looked like traditional Japanese clothing, (with the exception of the vocalist/ lead guitarist who wore a suit); they looked like something out of a horror movie. But their sound was amazing; the inclusion of cello and violin gave them an epic sound that really captured your imagination. For a little known band, the Red Paintings commanded a lot of attention and got plenty of people talking.
After the Red Paintings Wellington musician Grayson Gilmour took the stage for a short set. Unfortunately playing after such an amazing act and right before the headlining act his performance seemed to fill in time. This was a shame because Grayson is an extremely talented musician.
What happened next was bizarre; a guy with an accordion strapped to his chest came out on stage and led the crowd in a drinking song. This went on for about ten minutes, and concluded with everyone spinning around on the spot ten times to become dizzy.
Finally the Dresden Dolls took the stage to a huge roar of approval. They went straight into ‘Sex Changes’ the opening song from their second album Yes! Virginia. It sounded great but the band picked up some technical difficulties. They left the piano and drums briefly, playing a guitar track to fill in a couple of minutes. They also took the opportunity to interact with the crowd. After the glitches were fixed the duo went back to business; first playing ‘Backstabber’ then a couple of songs I didn’t recognise before leading into the single ‘Coin Operated Boy’. It was an obvious crowd pleaser and the devoted fans sang along willingly.
The highlight of the performance for me was a cover of Black Sabbaths ‘War Pigs’. I had read the Flaming Lips play it live but never expected the Dresden Dolls to. Something about performing this song struck a cord with me; the band never said why they played it. In a way it was a silent protest, but by god it was the most amazing live song I have witnessed in quite some time. From this point on I was so captured by the band that it didn’t matter what they played. They continued with tracks from both their studio albums before leaving the stage. Returning for an encore, they played ‘Mandy goes to Med. School’ before closing out with a crashing of piano and drums. The crowd was left transfixed by what they had just witnessed. The Goth kids still tried to deny it but they were smiling inside.

David Ford- I Sincerely Apologise For All The Trouble I've Caused: Review

Monday, September 11, 2006

David Ford- I Sincerely apologise for all the trouble I've caused

After impressing a Columbia Records scout during this years South by South West festival, David Ford had found someone willing to release his debut album. Whether or not this person still works for Columbia Records I don’t know, but one thing’s certain I Sincerely Apologise for All the Trouble I’ve Caused will be an album they’d rather forget.
In Britain Ford’s homeland, he’s been heavily compared to James Blunt. Yes that tone-deaf runt who sounds like he’s drowning. Unfortunately it’s not just his voice in comparison, but his overall musical sound. Like Blunt Ford relies on the good old generic clichés, relationships, loneliness and everything we associate with emo’. What’s worse is his attempt to shake off the mainstream tag, by saying ‘fuck’ a few times. He even has a song titled ‘Cheer up (you miserable fuck)’. Someone clearly forgot to tell this guy his music only appeals to desperate housewives and soccer mums.

Free Day Friday II

Friday, September 08, 2006

It's Friday already, and like last week I wandered the music stores. It's been a quiet week for me on the music front, no CD's in the mail to review. I got some tickets for gigs next week though, so I'm looking forward to that. The listening posts were pretty plain today, not a lot of music that interested me got added this week. It was so unattractive that I even listened to the new Mint Chicks album again. Here's a word on the stuff I did listen too.

The only CD out of the twenty or so that caught my eye, was the latest Lambchop release Damaged. My previous exposure to Lambchop is limited, but I'd heard enough to know I might like it. And like it I did, in fact I was blown away by how good it was. The album is full of beautiful ballads. My favourite song was 'Prepared', with it's delightfully driven piano it reminded me of Joni Mitchell. Damaged is definitely an album for those dark rainy night's when you're lying in bed alone. With a bit more listening this could be a contender for my top 10 albums of the year.

I had to search for this next one. What I stumbled across was the debut solo album from Ned Collette (lead vocalist from City City City). Titled Jokes and Trials it surprised me a whole lot. It sounded nothing like City City City at all, which to me is a huge plus. The first few songs are just Ned and his guitar, singing along with some extremely well written lyrics. The second half of the album is a bit more open, with more instrumentation. Overall I enjoyed this immensely, this guy has a lot of potential to develop a good music career.

That's all I've got today, like I said, I ended up listening to the Mint Chicks again. Hopefully next Friday will yield some more exciting albums.

Connan and the Mockasins- Uuu It's Teasy: Review

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Connan and the Mockasins- Uuu It's Teasy

From one of the most exciting live acts on the New Zealand scene today, we now have a new EP. Connan and the Mockasins bring us Uuu It's Teasy , a fine mix of bluesy psychedelic rock that will shake your pants off. It’s no secret these guys are one of my personal favourite bands, but putting any bias aside, I can honestly say the EP accompanies their live show perfectly.
Containing six tracks, the mini album starts with a straight out blues number ‘I Nude You’, a comical love song ended by a brilliant two minute guitar solo. The two radio hits follow, ‘Sneaky Sneaky Dog Friend’ and ‘Naughty Holidays’, both are heavily influenced by Village Green period Kinks. The songs are live favourites and the local crowd often sings along while Connan wanders off on a ferocious guitar solo. Title track ‘Uuu It’s Teasy’ with its haunting shoeshoecome and shoeshoego displays the bands experimental creativity, before sliding into the nine minute ‘Hey Chocolate’. ‘Hello View’ rounds off what is one the most anticipated New Zealand releases of 2006. Now living in London, let’s hope we hear more from Connan and the Mockasins, hopefully a record deal looms.

Free Day Friday

Friday, September 01, 2006

Aaa, Friday, My day off work. Mostly I go to Real Groovy and a few other record stores and listen to music. You know, cose I have no friends to hang out with and all that. So I thought I may as well inform the cyber world about what I listened to.

Firstly the brand spanking new Mint Chicks album Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No!, I absolutely love these guys at the moment. This album is gona be huge, I read a blog today suggesting they could become New Zealand's Arctic Monkeys. I don't think they will get that big, but this album will certainly win some new fans. They already have a new fan in me, I have never really liked their other records. Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No! is way more poppy which sounds awesome. I anticipate the single 'Welcome to Nowhere' to go straight to the top of the charts and stay there for a while. You can download that song from

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Etiquette. Not the first time I have listened to this album, but I went back for more. Normally I wouldn't be into electronica, but Owen Ashworth has definitely made me sit and listen. I first got into this band by accident. Radio Active 89FM have been playing the song 'Scattered Pearls' a lot and I thought it was a Mazarin song. I can recommend this album, Fi if you are reading this, you were complaining to me last weekend about how out of touch with music you are at the mo. This is an album you will definitely like.

And finally the new Bob Dylan record. It's no secret how much I love Bob Dylan, I have a Poster of him on my wall. But I have to say anything he recorded after about 1970 has never struck a cord with me. And it's the same with Modern Times, the genre of music Dylan now fits into just doesn't appeal to me. I even find his lyrics (which is what I love most about his early albums) boring. There are other musicians out there now writing songs just as good. I'm sorry Mr. Dylan, you are still seen as the greatest songwriter in all the world, but you haven't written a great song in a very long time.

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