The Prophet Hens: Popular People Do Popular People (Fishrider)

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The Prophet Hens: All Over the World
The Prophet Hens: Popular People Do Popular People (Fishrider)

Although the promo sheet says this four-piece from Dunedin “is marinated in the melodic sounds of that mostly fictional 'Dunedin Sound' – think the Chills, The Bats . . .” you'd have say on this debut album they conclusively prove it was no fiction at all. They jangle like a new generation out of the Flying Nun school and frequently don't move too far from the templates of the early Bats, Sneaky Feeling and the young Chills at their poppermost.

This is no real criticism as those bands wrote such terrific songs, but they do rather stick close to their musical backyard.

When they do push themselves however, as on the gently elevating pop of Pretty and the marginally more aggressive Easy as the Sun, you can hear something more distinctive coming through. The real issue however is that neither Karl Bray nor Penelope Esplin possess distinctive or strong enough voices to carry material which requires some punch or character, and drummer Sefton Holmes has enough serious drive that you really want this to fire on more cylinders.

So a debut with some considerable promise and judicious listening reveals its less obvious strengths . . . but many will hear something called deja-vu.

This album is available from Fishrider Records here

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