Bill Direen: Human Kindness (Powertool Records)

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Bill Direen: Romeo's Song
Bill Direen: Human Kindness (Powertool Records)

Bill Direen is an auteur whose work covers pop and experimental music, poetry, European literature and much else.

As a graduate of the DIY punk years he has seldom resorted to anything approaching hi-fi -- and these recordings (some mere fragments) from an attic in Switzerland and other such places have a ragged edge as you might expect. Just when things are going along nicely it is in Direen's nature to duff it up a bit.

Much like he has done with his "career".

So don't come here expecting sheen. But those who followed his work with the Builders or have the early 90s compilations on Flying Nun will know what to expect: wayward but oddly appealing fragments of pop structures, stuttering guitar work, passages which suggest great beauty, emotionally distant vocals . . .

Direen has proved many times he could write a straight pop radio hit -- but it is to his great credit he simply never bothers to.

An acquired taste, but once acquired . . . 

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