28 Oct 2021
UsernamePassword

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

Roulettes - Album Review: Demosphere

08 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

One may be able to discern from the title that the latest release from Roulettes (they dropped the “The” a while back) is taken from a series of demos and home recordings. Since forming the band in the early 2000’s there have been some additional musicians here and there, but the core has always been Justin McLean (guitars, vox, bass, piano and drum sequencing) with Ben Grant (bass, vox, drum sequencing, synths, and mixing). It is hard to understand that firstly this is the work of a duo, as it sounds like a full band, and the fact that they not only were never in the same studio together, but both recorded independently at home, one in Auckland, NZ, and one in Hanoi, Vietnam, just blows the mind.

One can imagine this album actually being released on a label such as JAM Records, as this is solid power pop with hints of psychedelia and more than the odd musical reference to the mighty Todd Rundgren, yet somehow also having an indie bent which makes it feel all that much more real. 11 songs, 32 minutes in length, this is a collection of songs where each one would work incredibly well on the radio, packed full of hooks, great vocals and harmonies. As with their last EP, there is a tribute to Andrew Brough (Straightjacket Fits) who passed away last year, as while he was Justin’s stepbrother, he was also a mentor to both Justin and Ben when they were in Funhouse. They have recorded two of his numbers in Whatever Comes To Mind and Something’s Changing, with both songs given their own treatment so that they fit in neatly with their own material.

At times they come across almost like The Beatles, at others there are hints of The Byrds, with pop numbers which sound as if they are more like passed by classics of years gone by as opposed to brand new recordings. At times there is a lo-fi element to the songs, as such as on Fading Sun, yet this is obviously a deliberate effect with riffing U2-style guitar in the background, as at others they are bright and in your face. One cannot help but play this with a smile on the face as it is music without aggression, songs which are easy to listen without ever becoming easy listening, and just so much fun. This is an album which will come to life in the summer, played on the beach, where people just want to party.

This really is a wonderful power pop album, and anyone who enjoys that genre of music will get a great deal from this.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Roulettes

Roulettes was formed by Ben and Justin in Auckland in the early 2000's from the ashes of sonic Dunedin Rock n Roll bands (Funhouse, Bike). They released two EPs (You Want It and Unread Books) before settling on Mark Queenin (Bike, Garageland) on drums and recording their debut album, The Roulettes.




Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Roulettes

Releases

Demosphere
Year: 2021
Type: Album
Rocket To You
Year: 2020
Type: EP
Venus Burns
Year: 2017
Type: Album
The Roulettes
Year: 2014
Type: Album
Unread Books
Year: 2010
Type: EP
You Want It
Year: 2009
Type: EP

Other Reviews By Kev Rowland

Mat Gat - Single Review: Washed Away
27 Oct 2021 // by Kev Rowland
There are times when some music is so personal that the listener feels they are intruding in an area they have no right to be involved with. That is the case here, as Mat Gat and his fiancée suffered the heartbreak of a miscarriage at 3 months.
Read More...
Curlys Jewels - Single Review: Liberate
26 Oct 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Curlys Jewels are a Wellington-based hard rock band comprising singer person, Jel Pollock, Aaron Ludlow (guitar), Andy van der Heyden (bass) and Corey Bell (drums). Over the years they have played with some of the heavyweights of the NZ scene such as Villainy, Devilskin and The Feelers as well as supporting international acts such as Living Color and have also had success in the NZ Top 40 Singles chart.
Read More...
Apollo SteamTrain - Album Review: Generation Overload
25 Oct 2021 // by Kev Rowland
It is safe to say that the debut album from Apollo SteamTrain, which is guitarist/singer/songwriter Brendan McCarthy plus assorted musicians from the Tauranga area, has been quite some time coming. I can count at least 7 singles which have been released from this 11-track album over the last five years, but a project which started in 2014 and took in 3 studios has finally been completed and we should all be grateful for that.
Read More...
Claemus - Album Review: Daydream
21 Oct 2021 // by Kev Rowland
When I heard that Hutt Valley band Claemus had released their debut album I was immediately intrigued, as I came across the single Hedonist a few months ago, and given the number of influences and styles they had managed to ram into 5 minutes what could they do with a full album? These guys have managed to secure support slots with bands as diverse as P.
Read More...
Kevin Posey - EP Review: The Story of Francis
21 Oct 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Oklahoma native Kevin Posey lives in Auckland these days, and throughout his musical career he has investigated different types and styles of music, and for this EP he has moved into yet another area, as what we have here is classical music that has been inspired by Halloween and psychological thrillers. Some, such as Fog Forest No.
Read More...
Jolandi Ford - Single Review: I'm Ready
21 Oct 2021 // by Kev Rowland
This is Jolandi Ford’s third single since moving to Aotearoa from her native South Africa, and right from the first note one can why she has already been making a dent in international Country music charts. Although her voice is lighter in some ways, with a nice twang, her approach is quite reminiscent to the more rock-based approach of the likes of Shania Twain.
Read More...
Eurenza - EP Review: Good Luck... You're Gonna Need It
19 Oct 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Eurenza were originally formed seven years ago as Timeless, but eventually decided to go with a more uncommon name, and now have delivered their first five-track EP. Interestingly, much of this was recorded some time ago in preparation for an album, but they instead decided to go with the strongest tracks instead and cut it back.
Read More...
Sam Bartells - Single Review: Bring You Down
17 Oct 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Sam Bartells is back with his new single Bring You Down, which finds him taking quite a different approach to Where We'll Go, which also featured Mema Wilda. Whereas he normally sits quite happily within alt country, here we see him using that as a base and then moving in a much rockier direction.
Read More...
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • EASY ON ME
    Adele
  • COLD HEART (PNAU REMIX)
    Elton John And Dua Lipa
  • LOVE NWANTITI (AH AH AH)
    CKay
  • INDUSTRY BABY
    Lil Nas X feat. Jack Harlow
  • STAY
    The Kid LAROI And Justin Bieber
  • SHIVERS
    Ed Sheeran
  • BAD HABITS
    Ed Sheeran
  • HEAT WAVES
    Glass Animals
  • MEET ME AT OUR SPOT
    THE ANXIETY, WILLOW And Tyler Cole
  • HAPPIER THAN EVER
    Billie Eilish
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