25 Jan 2020
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Wendyhouse - Album Review: Banana Wine

22 Dec 2018 // A review by Darryl Baser

It’s not often you put on an album and there’s no two songs which sound the same, but that is especially true for Wendyhouse’s Banana Wine CD.

The 24-track album opens with a brief but wonderful song Lucky. The song is an acoustic guitar driven particularly bent folk ditty. I write ditty as it is one of many songs on the LP which is long enough to be a song, but at around two minutes it’s never going to bore a listener.

Track two, Reason to Live, is based around a piano riff which carries the song along, hooking the listener in.

As well as a diverse and charming sound, Wendyhouse are also known for quirky and at time irreverent words. Who can forget Suit Suit Kill Kill, or a student radio favourite of the early 1990’s We’re All Going To Die A Horrible Fucking Death.

Track 3, Friends, and the music is different yet again, organ or synth driven, then the fourth song Mogodon Blues, has a reggae vibe about with off-beat keyboard chords playing against the rhythm.

As I wrote earlier there isn’t a cohesive sound tying this LP together, and that is kind of its charm. Sure, there’s the same two voices on the songs, namely, EE Monk and Mr Pudding.

On Banana Wine’s 24 songs there are fuzzed our guitar tunes, synth-based numbers, 70’s and 80’s drum machines, early synths, pianos, organs, and more. Although I don’t think I heard a kitchen sink.

There are full length songs and song sketches. One example is track 16 Fuck, which has a ‘fuck the man’ chorus in its very short length

At times it kind of reminds me of a Tall Dwarfs LP, but it’s even more left of centre than that.

It is a wonderfully charming LP, and the fanzine which houses the CD is an A5 photocopied magazine with lyrics and or cartoons to illustrate of otherwise explain the tunes.

Wendyhouse’s Banana Wine is one of my favourite releases of 2018. It will be one of my soundtracks of the summer.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Wendyhouse

Wendyhouse formed in 1992 as a one-off art installation for Soundwatch '92, Artspace, Auckland.

Twenty-six years later and the band is still going. Existing around core members Bryce 'Mr Pudding' Galloway and EE Monk, Wendyhouse have often added personnel to flesh out recordings and live appearances.

Wendyhouse make sporadic appearances live or on recent CD/Comics. The most recent project by the duo is Banana Wine; a CD/Comic released in conjunction with the Audio Foundation and funded by Massey University's College of Creative Arts. The official launch for Banana Wine @ The Audio Foundation December 19, with Wendyhouse in residence to write and record NEW material. Banana Wine is available for NZ$10 + postage by emailing a.b.galloway@massey.ac.nz or posting PO Box 27527, Wellington 6141, NZ.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Wendyhouse

Releases

Banana Wine
Year: 2018
Type: Album
The Wendyhouse Christmas Album
Year: 2005
Type: Album
Pan
Year: 2004
Type: Album
Utopia Metopia
Year: 2000
Type: Album
Live From The Pillow
Year: 1999
Type: Album
Hot Action Plastic
Year: 1994
Type: Album

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