15 Aug 2022

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SOG - Album Review: Blooming Buzzing Confusion

19 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

Wellington quartet SOG are back with their third album, with a somewhat unusual but very Kiwi cover photo. There has just been the one line-up change since their 2018 Slate Clean debut, as Bianca Bailey (vocals, drums) joined in time for 2019’s, alongside James Shanly (vocals, bass), Ethan Roberts (guitar, vocals) and Luke Cox (guitar). Together they produce music which at times sounds like it is coming out of the late Seventies CBGB scene, at others clearly mid-Eighties Manchester, while it also clearly goes back to the original psychedelic movement, and sometimes covers all the bases in the same song.

The music is very pop based, with plenty of alternative and art rock, and while it is often quite left field it is also full of hooks, so much so that one can imagine many of these being played on the radio. Although many of their songs sit quite happily in the under four-minute category, it is quite surprising to find one, Castlepoint, more than six minutes in length. It is also possibly my favourite song on the album, as the bass line is complex and leading the melody, while the guitars are there for support, and the harmony vocals are quite uplifting. James has a voice which reminds me of a combination of David Byrne and Jim Kerr, while Bianca is far cleaner and clearer. There is a great deal of space within the songs, so much so that the listener feels they can really get inside and see the notes passing by. The guitars provide wonderful counterpoints to the bass, sometimes jangly and sharp while at others they are more controlled, while the warm and melodic bass ties in with the drums to provide the structure.

James says his personal favourite on the album is Pigeon Hole, which is also the most political as it is quite critical of our health system, and in many ways is one of the most complex with guitar lines weaving and casting alternative rock spells. It is quite a contrast to Making Me Happy, which is far more basic and somehow staccato stoner with a grungy psychedelic twist on Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers. While there is a distinct common musical thread being brought through the whole album, each song is also quite different, so much so that one is never realty sure what is going to come next, which makes it that much more enjoyable.

If independent music, which really sounds as if it has come straight out of the indie scene, is what you enjoy then this is definitely worthy of further investigation. This and all their other releases are available through Bandcamp.

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )

About SOG

Bringing you classic hits such as Wellington Cats and Seasonally SOG are bringing you raw emotions. Don't be caught wearing sandals in the mosh, you might wanna throw down to some of these bangers!

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for SOG


Blooming Buzzing Confusion
Year: 2021
Type: Album
Slate Clean
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Year: 2018
Type: Album

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