I first listened to this album on quiet. The scale of the influences and industrious ambition of the it was clear immediately. This is a shot at marketable pop in a credible vein, more artistically viable than most ‘top end PR high fiving’ media outlets account for.
Shades of Hurts are present in places. I consider I might eat my words as the album wears on. Okinawa Channels’ simple synths, although pretty, could do with evolving more, just to make them feel a bit human. Randomness ensues with Atoms and Axes, as randomly triggered notes act as a tool into themselves. Funny blip bloop Casios sound cool, no matter how you play them though. But Grandaddy were doing it a decade ago.
I hear similarities to Twin Shadow’s Brooklyn and psychedelic shouter turned psuedo-80s revivalist front-man George Lewis Jr. Jr went for it subversively however, sonically and visually, cutting closer to the bone.
Base 64 is fun. Sounds a bit like an embarrassed geek hiding his boner from his mum when she walks in on him dribbling over anime of Hatsue Miku. Actually that’s too cool … more likely to be Evangelion or whatever (Google it). I digress. It’s not that it’s necessarily a relief to reach the end, but the journey’s slightly disappointing. We end on a random ‘half bothered’ lack of inspiration track, failing to hold back on giving too much away.
Perhaps having been also involved with another familiar band – Your Twenties – has meant NZCA/LINES spread himself too thin. Maybe it’s working with a variety of slightly cooler than Shoreditch gutter rats, producing a kind of ‘veil over reality’, urging him to artistically wipe clean than stand for any grit whatsoever.
It’s not that it’s bad … it’s just not all that good.