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There's something incredibly comforting about New Zealand indie music of a certain pedigree. Just seeing how popular The Clean and The Chills remain after so many years is most heartening; I've been a raging fan of The Clean since finding a vinyl of 'Vehicle' for three quid in my local Our Price as a youngster. I bought it mainly as I thought one of the guys on the back kinda resembled my half-brother who our family had just sadly lost plus it was also on 'Flying Nun' which is the best name for a record label ever. Turns out this "doppelgänger" was David Kilgour.
Here he has with him his 'Heavy Eights' which I'm hoping isn't Dunedin parlance for a sock full of 8 balls being deployed as a weapon in the local strip club when things turn ugly. Nonsense aside, this is classic NZ fare. Minor chords to make you cry, wonderful chiming, chugging, frayed guitars; listless dreamy vocals and insistent steady bass work. I think the songs here are easily as strong, if not better than the last Clean album and certainly there are gems worthy of his old classic 'Here Come The Cars'.
I genuinely find it hard to de-construct this legendary vein of Dunedin music as it has been examined, coo'd over and probed more than enough. I think it's the air of earthy casualness, the natural pace and ragged charm of many of these artists that sets them apart but also their ability to emotionally engage with the listener be it a heavenly pop hit or an exploratory wig-out. It's also obviously got parallels with classic Scottish pop music so has that relaxed, homely appeal that Postcard records or Teenage Fanclub specialised in. I've just decided that if it wasn't for David Kilgour, my life would be a much sadder place. I could listen to these guitars all day but unfortunately I've other things to muse upon.
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