27 Feb 2020
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Old Loaves - Album Review: Banks

30 Jul 2019 // A review by Paul Goddard

Erm, the name Old Loaves conjures up an image of staleness, decay, the end of things. Apparently it was a name that came about as a friend of the band spotted some old loaves in cupboard. The band was only meant to play one gig as a leaving party for singer Ben Ward who was moving from Wellington, so they didn’t really care about the name.

It must have been some gig though as the band was asked to record and that led to debut album Drowser and more bookings. Gigs and even rehearsals are rare though as the three band members live in Hamilton, Auckland and Rotorua.

So not your usual band name and not your usual band. They have also gone through more than their fair share of shit that life can throw at you including the death of their original bass player, drummer Cameron suffering a stroke and having to re learn how to play plus some more positive but equally life changing events such as having children.

It has been seven years since their debut and their experiences have helped formed Banks and it is all the better for it.

History sucks all the air from the room as it’s heaviness oozes into every available space. Dark and foreboding it sets a tone. It is also beautiful and haunting and nothing like what is about to follow.

Teenage Dreams is a pure blast of pubescent punk attitude filtered through the band's own quality control filters as it grooves along at a relentless pace. It leaves me breathless and wanting to play it again which I do, over and over and over. With each listen more is discovered, more is lost, and I am hooked.

Great Months settles into a heavier slower pace again it is reflective whilst being forward looking. A theme that runs throughout the album. Acknowledging the past and how it forms who we become in the future with the refrain “what have we learnt?”

Another stand out is Limbs. It’s opening picked guitar is a ray of sunshine amidst the heaviness as Ben’s vocals take to the fore. It builds and changes as it progresses and like the rest of the songs has no discern able chorus.

Each of the 8 tracks on here is a journey in itself. Something new to discover on every listen. This is music made by three people who clearly want to make music just for themselves much like they did when they formed for a one off gig all those years ago.

The unique and sometimes painful circumstances that have led to this music being created are what make this album so special. There are plenty of other bands out there who don’t give a shit what other people think, have no agenda and make music for themselves but I guarantee they could only dream of creating songs like the ones on Banks

Do yourself a favour and buy one of the best albums you will hear for the next seven years.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Old Loaves

Old Loaves are split between across the country living in Auckland, Hamilton and Rotorua. There is never much time to practice, and when they do it is normally an hour before they play. Their first show was meant to be their last, but they kept it going long distance. Their style is one where wide-open guitars accompany heavy and measured bass and percussion, creating an atmosphere that is striking despite their few members.




Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Old Loaves

Releases

Banks
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Drowser
Year: 2012
Type: Album
Bad Rides
Year: 2012
Type: EP

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