Danny McCrum Band: Awake and Restless (McCrum)

 |   |  1 min read

Danny McCrum Band: What's Wrong With Trying To Live Right?
Danny McCrum Band: Awake and Restless (McCrum)

Here's a guess, this smart pop-rock album from an Auckland singer-songwriter and his tight, crackling band won't get much attention.

The reason?

There's not been much sympathy or space for well-crafted adult pop-rock in New Zealand, the Finns and Dave Dobbyn aside.

Critics generally prefer something with a little more quirkiness and edge, and straight-ahead bands like this one don't fit the profile. Oddly enough -- or maybe it isn't so odd -- the public tends to embrace such artists, although usually of the imported variety. So McCrum might just not even fall between the cracks in the local media, he might just be ignored.

Personally I find it hard to fault the delivery and snappiness of the band on these 11 tracks -- although the running order doesn't flatter them at all: Stuck in Traffic up second might have been shoved towards the end and What's Wrong With Trying to Live Right? hauled up a little.

But that's a minor quibble and this well-crafted adult pop-rock deserves a hearing outside of a small circle.

McCrum and band play a straight bat to what they do -- short and sharp songs played with little extravagence aside from some excellent guitar work by McCrum and Ben Jurisich.

McCrum sounds little like a less frantic Jimmy Barnes at times, and he has a lived in voice which should have wide appeal. It certainly did when he and Jurisich opened in an acoustic set before Joan Armatrading and Bryan Ferry. That was a mature crowd and they are notoriously difficult to please because they really just want the headliners -- but they offered up a genuinely appreciative response.

So if any of your friends were there and ask who those two young guys were up first you can tell them. And tell them about this album.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Sola Rosa: Magnetics (Way Up)

Sola Rosa: Magnetics (Way Up)

Andrew Spraggon, the man behind the ever-morphing Sola Rosa, is a clever fellow. His albums are astutely focused and when he stretches himself he never strays too far from exactly where you think... > Read more

John Matthias: Stories From the Watercooler (Counter)

John Matthias: Stories From the Watercooler (Counter)

No one sang stuff like this at any watercooler of my acquaintance, but maybe that's because socio-political folktronica is hard to pull off without accompaniment -- and edgy violin solos just don't... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Katchafire: Say What You're Thinking (EMI)

Katchafire: Say What You're Thinking (EMI)

About six years ago I first encountered Hamilton reggae band Katchafire playing in a pretty ropey provincial bar. I'd met them backstage beforehand -- actually in a room full of beer barrels --... > Read more

IN THE ABSENCE OF HEROES by ANTHONY McCARTEN

IN THE ABSENCE OF HEROES by ANTHONY McCARTEN

Recently, while sitting in airport lounge in Sydney waiting for a flight home, I glanced up from my hardcover book and surveyed the other travelers in my immediate vicinity. Everyone of them... > Read more