17 Jul 2019

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Sean Bodley - Album Review: I Am Human

26 Apr 2019 // A review by Paul Goddard

Instrumental music is a concept that I have often struggled with. The first time I really connected with it was when I first heard the brick in your face abrasiveness of Mogwai. The way they would use the extremes, be it bass heavy distorted guitars that could make you feel physically sick to high pitched squeals that I can only liken to the feeling you get when nails are slowly dragged along a chalk board.

There was not a vocal to be heard but this music made me feel something. Often it made me feel too much which might explain why twenty plus years later Mogwai are still around inflicting and influencing in equal measure. 

So, when I came across this latest album from Tauranga based Sean Bodley I was intrigued and also slightly worried as there are few artists who can deliver music without words that anyone would want to listen to for more than 5 mins. 

Thankfully I Am Human is pushing the boundaries enough to get me hooked and creates an overall vibe that makes me want to move.

The first single from the album, Brace For Impact is a good place to start. The drums power along a track which has a dark vibe that is part cyber fuelled space rock and part dance inspired punk a la The Prodigy. To get away with making music that doesn’t have the connectivity that vocals and lyrics offer takes real talent.

Sean has that talent in spades and avoids the wankery that often comes with being a 'musician'. It would have been so easy for him to let his guitar work take over this track but with Brace For Impact he has created a piece of music that is a sum of all its parts without saying “look at how well I can knock out that 5 min solo”.

So how does this all work when spread over an album that kicks in at over 40 mins without one word being ushered?

Some guitarists will appreciate it. Sean is a multi-instrumentalist, but the guitar is where he shines. Gamers or sci-fi buffs may also get a kick from the cyber infused futurism of some tracks. I think Sean’s music would actually sit well as a soundtrack to a game or movie. Some people will hate it and in my opinion I do think it could have been a little shorter. There Is enough music here for two albums. 

What Sean does really well is create an atmosphere through his music. Take the piano led Dreaming, which marries a guitar and piano over a 7 min brooding piece of moody melancholy. It will be too much for some who may just see it as one hell of a long guitar solo but dig deeper and take in the rest of what is going on and you will experience a shift of emotions as the song progresses 

The fact that I listened to the whole of I Am Human without feeling the inclination to create my own lyrics and melodies in my head is testament to Sean’s ability to create music that stands on its own. This album isn’t for everyone and you need to be in the right headspace to fully appreciate or get through its depths. At times it does feel a little self-indulgent but there is enough variation to keep you hooked if you give it a chance. 

I Am Human is the perfect title for this piece of work. There is nothing human about the instruments that create these sounds and an overall futuristic, electronic feel permeates but you do get to feel that part of the psyche and humanism that is ultimately what created this soundscape.

I am not sure if this is contradiction/connection between instrument and soul is what Sean was trying to convey through this collection of songs, but it is what connected with me and anyone who listens all the way through will draw their own conclusions. 

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )

About Sean Bodley

Solo instrumental guitarist, previous albums include:

Sean Bodley (1999)
Acoustic Soundscapes (2014)
Balance (2014)

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Sean Bodley


I Am Human
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Year: 2017
Type: Album
Pitch Black
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Acoustic Soundscapes
Year: 2014
Type: Album
Year: 2014
Type: Album
Sean Bodley
Year: 1999
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Paul Goddard

Danny McCrum - Single Review: Hustle Bustle
09 Jul 2019 // by Paul Goddard
For those of you who don't know Danny McCrum has been around for a while and had a number of releases and worked with a long list is amazing musicians including Eric Clapton, John Butler Trio and John Mayer, to name drop a few.He lives and breathes his music and also works on a podcast with Bobby Kennedy (OpShop) that is worth checking out called Don't Give Up Your Day Job, as well as running his own entertainment and management company Paper Planes.
Dead Favours - Album Review: Misbehaviour
21 Jun 2019 // by Paul Goddard
Back in 2016 Jared Wrennall stepped out from behind the tub thumping pop/rock masterpiece that was Steriogram, picked up the guitar and got to work on putting together New Zealand’s next chart bothering Rock n Roll machine. Now after 3 years and 3 singles we finally have the full-blown debut album Misbehaviour.
Gig Review: Alien Weaponry @ Underworld, London -16/06/2019
18 Jun 2019 // by Paul Goddard
You have got to admire Alien Weaponry’s dedication and commitment. Back in 2016 they said “there is no plan B and that is good as it means we have to deliver on plan A” And deliver is just what they have done.
Gig Review: Miss June @ The Old Blue Last, London - 11/06/2019
12 Jun 2019 // by Paul Goddard
Tonight just blew my mind.Here I am in London town and just checked into one of the funkiest/quirkiest (usually code word for SHITE on booking.
The Backchat - Single Review: Read My Mind
11 May 2019 // by Paul Goddard
Relationships are a complex beast. The title of this debut single from Auckland based The Backchat is going to be familiar with anyone who has ever had a relationship that lasted more than 5 mins.
The Echo Ohs - Single Review: Fool
03 May 2019 // by Paul Goddard
Check out some of the ways that have been used to describe the sound Auckland three piece The Echo Ohs create. It is pretty entertaining, psych cowboy, Psych Spaghetti surf?
Sit Down In Front - Single Review: Rain
26 Apr 2019 // by Paul Goddard
It is pissing down. London Town, it’s Spring 2019 and a storm named Hannah has decided to make herself known in all her howling wind and icy rain glory.
Blue River Baby - Single Review: Walk of Shame
15 Apr 2019 // by Paul Goddard
Blue River Baby have a goal to get people moving by creating songs that make people move and playing them well to as many people as possible. It is a simple goal but one that they achieve well as they recently showed when they played to 20,000 people on NYE in Nelson.
View All Articles By Paul Goddard

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Shawn Mendes And Camila Cabello
    Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus
    Ed Sheeran feat. Khalid
    Ed Sheeran And Justin Bieber
    Post Malone feat. Young Thug
    Lewis Capaldi
    Billie Eilish
    Blanco Brown
    Ed Sheeran feat. Chance The Rapper And PnB Rock
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem