Short cuts (6)by James Belfield
James Belfield reviews new releases from Wavves, Jono McCleery and Tomorrow People.
If you like your punk with more bounce than snarl, then Nathan Williams and his brattish south California comrades in arms, Wavves, have produced a fifth angsty outing that revels as much in the hangovers as the drunks.
Even the hardest, filthiest most discordant moments of Redlead, though, can’t bury Williams’s trick of sounding as if boredom and nihilism are actually really good fun – and in surf-rockers such as Heavy Metal Detox and Way Too Much or mosh-pit grand slams such as Pony and Flamezesz, the vibe’s positively joyful.
V, Wavves (Rhythmethod) •••
Jono McCleery’s mesmerising voice is the strong focus of this quiet, understated album – the third solo offering from a man who was deaf for his first five years and who forged his career among the OneTaste Collective’s Little Dragon and Portico.
The production is as smooth as a late-night single malt, with stylish flourishes of piano loops, strings and minimalist beats – but McCleery’s vocals steal the show as he slides, croons and soars his way through soul, jazz and folkish influences to create an utterly beautiful, occasionally dark, quiet classic.
PAGODES, Jono McCleery (Border) •••½
Family-friendly beach, barbecue and bikini reggae from a Wellington eight-piece that saw their 2012 home-recorded debut One spend three weeks at the top of the charts and spawn enough hit singles to get them on the Kiwi summer festival circuit. Tracks such as Train to Nowhere are timeless pop reggae backed by loungecore-smooth sax, whereas Independent Girl, Get It Back and Carry On tend towards R&B. Highlights include This Feeling and the pop-bounce rhythm of Off My Mind – heartland Kiwi hits designed to have you kicking off your jandals for a groove.
BASS AND BASSINETS, Tomorrow People (Warner) •••
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