28 Mar 2009 // A review by miss nz
This soul inspired Wellington act first came to life in mid 2005 when vocalist Elan Mills
decided it was high time he put his days of self indulgence behind him. To begin a journey filled with funky rock n’ roll music that goes by the name, The Volunteers
. Calling themselves a ‘motley crew’, the band consists of six members who were all carefully hand-picked by Mills himself. Come 2009, the bunch is now ready to introduce their music to the world with their debut release, Friends Family & Fools.
Pick up a copy of the album and you’ll find a beautifully put together piece of art that gives you a great understanding of the band’s style without even listening to it first. It’s an eclectic mix of funk soul and rock n’ roll all mashed into one to bring to your ears a sound that is truly unique and scarcely found in our country. The first tracks, You Had It All Along
and Hold On To This One
are both swingingly sexy classics that are familiar and easy to listen to, while The Hound
has a slight country feel to parts of it.
This Broken Host
has a beautiful intro with treats from the piano which flow throughout. It’s an eerie and sombre track but brings with it a lovely change to the others on the album. The Fool
comes with a similar sound minus the piano, but is equally haunting and attractive to my secret lonesome cowboy side. All Of Me
is a simple tune with the intro boasting rich bass lines. Giving off some smooth hints of jazz, this song is enough to make even the most un-co person in the room whack out some finger poppin’ and look the part.
originally set out to release a debut album with a distinct sound full of all of the members influences - blues, rock n’ roll, funk and soul, and they’ve certainly hit the nail on the head with this CD. Lovingly produced over hours spent at the Island Bay Studios in Wellington with producer/engineer Nic McGowan
, they’ve managed to achieve all of the above and then some. They’re one’s to watch and I’m looking forward to hearing more from them in the future.