The Puddle: Playboys in the Bush (Fishrider)

 |   |  <1 min read

The Puddle: Weight of the Stars
The Puddle: Playboys in the Bush (Fishrider)

For those many of us who lost touch with Dunedin's the Puddle in the Nineties, last year's album The Shakespeare Monkey (a 2009 Best of Elsewhere album) came as quite a revelation for its literary lyricism and captivating alt.pop.

This one might not have that same frisson of (re)discovery, but it is no less an album for that: there is a skewed angularity to the music (from mock-pop to bent country on Rainbow Bridge Airlines, lovely sax from Nils Olsen on the gorgeous original ballad In Dreams), and George D. Henderson's gentle and sometimes shaky vocals have a warm and endearing fragility.

There's also humour too: the slow mechanical-metal grind of Valhalla starts "Sat'day morning in Valhalla, 1.30am, Thor drops his hammer [sound of a hammer dropping], picks it up again . . ." before launching into a nine minutes-plus shaggy dog, metalhead story about Norse gods.

Elsewhere of course the Puddle deliver alt.pop of the kind we associate with Dunedin of the Flying Nun years : the rolling Wise Dolls and the lyrical Monogamy and Christmas in the Country (cf. Chills/Sneaky Feelings), the jangle-pop of Sleepy People.

The strangely ethereal and too brief instrumental No Love No Hate brings matters to a close on quasi-classical note . . . before the pastoral, lightlydelic hidden track.

Over the long journey, this isn't as strong as The Shakespeare Monkey, but is further evidence that the Puddle are enjoying the kind of career high which other bands experience in their youth then lose. Henderson is confidently holding his ground. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music at Elsewhere articles index

The Blind Boys of Alabama: Take the High Road (Stem/Southbound)

The Blind Boys of Alabama: Take the High Road (Stem/Southbound)

The on-going career of the Blind Boys -- now well past the half century mark -- takes an interesting turn away from the bluesy and soulful sounds they embraced in the past decade. Here they team up... > Read more

Harry Manx: Wise and Otherwise (Border)

Harry Manx: Wise and Otherwise (Border)

Suddenly there's a fair bit of Manx around (see In Good We Trust) -- and that's a good thing Singer-guitarist Manx returned to his native Canada in 2000 after 25 years living in India, Japan and... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE JESUS PAPERS by MICHAEL BAIGENT: Abandon hope, all ye who enter here

THE JESUS PAPERS by MICHAEL BAIGENT: Abandon hope, all ye who enter here

When the court case between two of the authors of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail and Dan Brown, author of The DaVinci Code, was being played out in London a couple of years ago, commentators... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Billy Ebeling

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Billy Ebeling

American singer-songwriter and busker extraordinaire Billy Ebeling has appeared at Elsewhere previously and got our vote as the most inventive, funny and talented busker to ever appear on... > Read more