Black Wings: Meltwater (Powertool)

 |   |  1 min read

Black Wings: The Pahiatua Track
Black Wings: Meltwater (Powertool)

When a band names itself Black Wings and opens an album with tracks entitled Grave and Straight Jacket you know it should come with that warning sign they have at theme parks: "This is a dark ride".

And these dark rides have their musical references in early Chills and Cure with a smattering of the dreamscape the Church brought to Priest = Aura.

The thrum and rolling hum which propels many of these songs however is quite addictive and the band (Brendan Conlon, JC Burns and Tristam Laycock from Palmerston North) mix up the seeming gloom with lyrics which actually deal with love of various kinds (damaged, doomed) and in the case of the swirling Pahiatua Track, just a little humour.

In fact Pahiatua Track could be a strange alt.folk song at heart, as is the mournfully slow title track (which offers that rarity in New Zealand rock, the namecheck of Eketahuna).

Their eerie and menacing treatment of Paul Kelly's I Won't Be Your Dog Anymore brings in a portentous sense of doom with Maori flute, but Salt sounds alarmingly like a move towards a radio-friendly pop song with its gently repeated guitar figure and easy melody.

Amber crosses the chipping pop of Dave Dobbyn with Church-like drone pop.

Black Wing certainly aren't cheerful company here and by the final third you may feel you've heard all they are going to do. But despite the foreboding titles of Grave and Straight Jacket this isn't always the dark ride it seems and the thick end of these nine tracks are oddly seductive.

Like the sound of this. Then check out this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

The Bandana Splits: Mr Sam Presents The Bandana Splits (Boy Scout)

The Bandana Splits: Mr Sam Presents The Bandana Splits (Boy Scout)

Perhaps we should blame Kitty, Daisy and Lewis, but it seems there's a lot of retro-pop around these day (check Jenny Dee and the Deelinquents). And here Brooklyn's Annie Nero, Lauren... > Read more

Chris Prowse: Trouble on the Waterfront (Proco)

Chris Prowse: Trouble on the Waterfront (Proco)

The 1951 waterfront strike in Auckland (which lasted for five months but had repercussions for years, even decades, after) was one of the most significant flashpoints and dividing lines in New... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Zionhill: Inside of You (Moko)

Zionhill: Inside of You (Moko)

Too many New Zealand reggae bands, once they have got the rhythm and melody down, rarely have much to say lyrically which doesn't default to soft notions about home and family, or a bunch of... > Read more

EPs by Shani.O

EPs by Shani.O

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Shani.O. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more