FEB ’17: the Bats – the Deep Set

“The Deep Set”, jedini  ovogodišnji album slušan u veljači u web admin kutku,  uklapa se u the Bats pravocrtni tradicionalni pop-rock kanon u svakom pogledu. U usporedbi s prethodna dva “The Guilty Office” i “Free All The Monsters” ne prepoznajem pjesme koje bi odskakale kao iznimne. Možda pomalo sladunjava “Busy”? No nije toliko bitno jer su The Bats danas (od “At the National Grid” nadalje) meni osobno bolji nego ikad prije, a s pauzama u istoj i jedinoj postavi postoje od ’82. Kapa dolje. Hats off to the Bats!

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the Renderers: A Dream of the Sea

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Amidst their stellar discography, The Renderers are best known for their album A Dream Of The Sea, released in the mid-nineties by  Siltbreeze, and now issued for the first time ever on vinyl in a gatefold jacket on the band’s own label. Various forces were at work – a revered label, increased attention towards New Zealand artists – but the greatest achievements were within the band itself. Maryrose and Brian Crook reached a new level of insight and honesty with their lyrics, forming a wave of insight and metaphor that is as forceful today as when first written. Songs draw from ghostly sea tales and personal demons, where the specters as much rise from the waters as emerge from within oneself. The forceful songs are propelled by tornados of guitar play, always rumbling and screeching underneath the singing. There’s a connection to be heard between The Renderers and Dead Moon, both bands dedicated wholly to the music they create, a fact clear in every note they play. When Buzzfeed gets around to making a list for it, A Dream Of The Sea will inevitably be listed amongst the greatest New Zealand rock albums of all time.

 

The Dunedin Sound: Some Disenchanted Evening

Throughout New Zealand, a generation of youth during the 1980s and early ’90s revelled in the fact that something had been created in Godzone that we could truly call our own — the original Kiwi DIY rock form. There was no aping of foreign sounds or looks; this was home-grown music to the max. Meanwhile, overseas, fans of indie music throughout the UK, Europe and the US recognised that something new and very special was emanating from the most unlikely of places — a small city at the bottom of the world hitherto known only (if at all) for its university, its architecture, and penguins.

Volim Novi Zeland i dotični gradić. Kroz glazbu i zvuk, naravno. Bilo da se radi o psihodeličnom pop-rocku ili post-punku suptilnog gotičkog štiha južne hemisfere. Da ne bi bilo zabune, Novi Zeland je puno više od takozvanog zvuka Dunedina. Osobito cijenim avant noise ogranak: Xpressway. Drugi gradovi (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch) i njihovi bandovi su također bitni  faktori u cijeloj priči. Tally-ho!

Već prije desetak godina bilo je potpuno jasno da je i u Hrvatskoj postojalo dovoljno raznovrsnog glazbenog materijala za potencijalnu nezavisnu izdavačku kuću i to na samom početku osamdesetih. Zahvaljujući informatičkom dobu  (i trudu nekolicine entuzijasta iz šire regije) brojne zaboravljene ili zapostavljene novovalne (i kasnije) pojave odnosno njihovi radovi izašli su na svjetlo dana i napokon postali barem djelomično dostupni na jednom mjestu (internetu).  Interesantnih bandova iz Zagreba, Rijeke, Pule, Požege, Osijeka i Splita (uz pojedinačne slučajeve iz manjih mjesta) nije nedostajalo od kraja sedamdesetih nadalje. Ekvivalent etiketa poput Rough Trade, flying nun ili SST, koji bi logistički popratio bljesak lokalnog glazbenog stvaralaštva, gotovo da se i mogao dogoditi u oskudnom socijalističkom uređenju (pritom mislim na nešto organiziraniju verziju od, svake hvale vrijednog, pionirskog kazetnog izdavaštva u Slovenaca). Šteta.