17 Dec 2018
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His Masters Voice - EP Review: Woman

29 Sep 2017 // A review by Sarah Sampson

This EP is for all the beautiful souls that dance up the front of a His Masters Voice performance, it is for the people that close their eyes and feel the music, for those that loose themselves in the music, the souls that get Goosebumps and go on journeys in their minds when the music hits that perfect note. 

This is a very clever recording with three songs the band already perform live but the crowning glory in this EP is their new song Woman, although that is a VERY hard call to make as the other three songs all invoke the memories in me of the different times I’ve seen His Masters Voice, in Wellington when I accompanied them down on the mammoth road trip down and back in two days, or Hamilton last year when Az blew my mind with some American Music opportunities, New Plymouth at Brutalitee’s Birthday Bash and of course all the times I’ve seen them in Auckland. There’s not a lot of bands I go out of my way to see whenever I can, other than the bands I mange, purely because of time restrictions, but His Masters Voice is different, it is one of those bands I can’t get enough of!  No matter how I’m feeling before a performance I come away with my soul refilled and glowing.  Now I know this is meant to be a review of their recording not their live shows but THIS is an EP you can close your eyes while listening to and see the band performing in your mind’s eye as the quality of this recording is PERFECT! The levels, sound quality, JESSE’S VOCALS! The warmth, the soul, the energy is all perfectly captured in this EP.

There’s not a lot of recordings around that capture the soul of the music and reflects the warmth of the vocals but that is the first thing I noticed about this recording is that it captures the live essence of the band perfectly, especially Jesse’s voice and as Jesse has one of the most soulful vocals in New Zealand this is probably the best recording I’ve heard of his voice. The same can be said for the energy of the music accompanying Jesse’s voice. It’s hard to imaging His Masters Voice just standing still recording while making this EP I can imagine them running around and jumping around in the studio, like they do on stage.

This EP needs to be listened to in order as the first and last tracks invoke introspective feelings and the middle two celebrate life, dancing and are filled with a lot more energy. I often focus on one particular song that calls to my soul while writing a review but it’s impossible to choose a favourite on this EP as they are all individually and collectively, masterful, soulful pieces. Burning draws you in and Woman releases you and both of these songs invoke images of Smokey saloon or Jazz bars with dapper men and pin up style women.

The EP kicks off with Burning which starts with one of the most soulful introductions to an EP ever! It’s almost like a conjuring, it pulls you in and makes you focus on the guitar and then Jesse’s voice and Rene’s drums takes over and pulls you further and further in building up to the perfect climax about 2.44 mins in with THOSE DRUMS! Then it’s all on soaring, singing guitars, Brandon’s funky bass line then slowly back to the start with the same guitar and conjuring vocals releasing you back to reality for a short moment until Evil kicks off.

Evil is one of my favourite songs live, of His Masters Voice, because I love the rhythm section in music and I always connect with the bass and drums and this song is very heavily bass orientated. That damn bass line is just as sexy as Black Sabbath’s Evil Woman. But with Az’s guitar solo’s layered over the top with Jesse’s vocals it’s a whole other level of beauty. This paragraph has taken about 20 attempts to write because I keep jumping up to dance around like the maniac I am and the same can be said for the third track What Do I Look Like it has the same energy as Evil. These songs live are probably my favourite live songs from any New Zealand Rock n Roll band as it’s so much fun to jive and headbang because while they are very much soul based Rock n Roll with Rene on drums there are cheeky double kicks and heavier fills here and there which ALWAYS make me head bang and like Az’s guitars you never know what you are going to get live. 

Now it’s time to say goodbye with Woman. This song was one I had been looking forward to the most out of any new release all year because every time I’ve seen Rene and Az in recent months this is the song they always talked about, especially Az and after FINALLY hearing it I can see why. It is an emotional journey, it is beauty, it is love, it is happiness and it is pain. 

Every time I’ve listened to this song while writing this review I’ve had different physical responses but each time I have tears in my eyes. The introduction is beautiful and haunting with stunningly simple guitars accompanying Jesse’s vocals which almost evoke feelings of listening to a conjuring but when Jesse hits those high notes before the rest of the band comes in, it is a whole body physical response with full body goose bumps. Then it’s like an almost celebration with the short musical bridge. I love the repetition in this song, often repetition can get boring but with the same simple guitars from the intro woven into the tapestry of the rest of the song they are like emphasis points before or after a bit that you should be really paying attention to. I could write 500 words on the feelings this song invoked in me. It is the perfect ending to this EP and I can’t wait for the band to put their visual representation of it into a full music video (if they do – guys you should!)

This EP is available digitally on October 1st and available digitally at all the main online stores in the days following. The release party is on Saturday 28th October at the Kings Arms Tavern with She Loves You and Blood Buffalo. Tickets are available now from Eventfinda. Be THERE!


Review written by Sarah Sampson

 

About His Masters Voice

Formed late 2012, His Masters Voice are inspired by legends like Buddy Guy, BB King and Black Sabbath.

Their sound evokes the Classic-Rock greats such as Deep Purple, the Doors and Led Zeppelin, mashed together with a sprinkling of Motown and icons such as the Beatles.

Musically, the band identifies with a new wave of progressive rock/blues such as Graveyard, Blues Pills, Orchid and Heart Attack Alley.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for His Masters Voice

Releases

Woman
Year: 2017
Type: EP
Save My Soul
Year: 2016
Type: EP
Possession
Year: 2014
Type: EP

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