The Doubtful Sounds: The Pop Album (doubtfulsounds.com)

 |   |  1 min read

The Doubtful Sounds: Colonel
The Doubtful Sounds: The Pop Album (doubtfulsounds.com)

On the brief opening track here Doubtful Sounds promise "a pop album you'll want to listen to" and thereafter deliver a sort of early Flying Nun guitar strum'n'jangle which brings to mind early Chills, Bats et al.

So the promise of "a pop album that'll make you smile" is true in one aspect, smiles of recognition.

Recorded in Auckland, sounding Christchurch/Dunedin and referencing Pirie St and Oriental Bay (Wellington), DSounds seem to have gone for the pan-Kiwi approach . . . but then throw in lyrical references to world's great oceans on Arctic Ocean, and -- on the piano-lead if somewhat limp ballad Fifty Million Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong -- Caesar's Palace, Kazahkstan, Mexico City, Old London Town and Kings Cross. All nodded to as how far the influence of the King spread.

A two-piece of Matt Cawte and James Noble with assistance from friends, DSounds barely nudge the envelope but rather locate themselves firmly within a tradition of Kiwi pop-rock which should make you smile on songs like the increasingly urgent Bats-like Here Right Now and the languidly lightly-delic Red Sky.

The Doubtful Sounds -- not to be confused with Doubtful Sounds or A Doubtful Sound -- employ a fairly narrow musical palette and this is undeniably pop of the old school Eighties.

Whether you want to dive into that back-catalogue/heritage is over to you . . . but I suspect if you heard this style all those years ago then you'd be smiling sometimes but mostly shrugging your shoulders.

Still, there are more than a few bands (some on Arch Hill) who have gone down this well-worked mine and they seem popular enough. But the nuggets they bring back are rare and small. As is the case here.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Waco Brothers and Paul Burch: Great Chicago Fire (Bloodshot)

Waco Brothers and Paul Burch: Great Chicago Fire (Bloodshot)

Sounding like uncles who grew up on country-punk, Joe Ely's Texas rebel rock and some early Seventies Stones albums, the rootsy but rocking Waco Brothers here pull few surprises out of those... > 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

MARTIN PHILLIPPS, OF THE DISBANDED CHILLS, INTERVIEWED (1992): The dream is over

MARTIN PHILLIPPS, OF THE DISBANDED CHILLS, INTERVIEWED (1992): The dream is over

Martin Phillipps looks bad. His skin is pasty, he’s unshaven and his eyes look like an owls in an arc light. He’s been up for 24 hours and although it’s only lunchtime he’s... > Read more

Various Artists: Rumba Blues (Rhythm and Blues Records/Southbound)

Various Artists: Rumba Blues (Rhythm and Blues Records/Southbound)

From the same label which has brought the superb 4-CD sets of rhythm and blues (here) comes this equally excellent 26-song collection of post-war material which had soaked in a Latin rumba-shuffle... > Read more