17 May 2022

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Will McClean - EP Review: Will McClean and The Zooks - Live At The Surgery

06 Nov 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg

Will McClean and The Zooks - Live At The Surgery EP is a hat tip to live hip-hop. The band is super tight with wonderful guitar licks working wonderfully over top of the rhythm section. The live, clean and almost dry sounding (no reverb) of Will McClean rhymes is wonderfully mixed here. It offers the listener a chance to just sit back and soak up all the magic that appears here. Like the keys solo during Young Jedi, where Will steps right back and lets the music do the talking, that is tasty.

To add to that, Will's flow feels real and authentic, it would appeal to a large audience. I can't help but notice a little influence from Tom of Home Brew, one of my favourite NZ hip-hop artists. Will isn't afraid to put his thoughts on the tracks, and knows exactly when to just back off and let the music finish what his vocal starts. Again this is noted on It Is What It Is, when Will speaks about life and the struggles we face but that he uses his words as paint to illustrate his feelings. "It is just businesses playing us like instruments." Nice line. The guitar melody after his verse here is so wonderful, the bass holding it down until we get to where the keys come in and take over, the dynamics soft in order to build up. These are signs that Will and The Zooks have a really good idea about how to use music as a way to just let go and go with the flow. This song would be incredible live.

Straight after this though, we pick up with a more upbeat guitar for the single Thinking Of You, his track about climate change, a cry for help, a message for the future generations. Again, more tasty guitar solos to boot and a solid rhythm section.

Finishing the EP is the grooving half time feel of Still. A perfect way to finish the EP. There's lots to like here. Just pop some headphones on and go listen. Incredible.

Easily one of the best hip-hop EPs I have heard in ages. Great live production and sound. The performances are fantastic. Absolutely check this one out.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Will McClean

Will McClean is a Hip-Hop artist from Wellington, New Zealand.

Will McClean has been gaining traction around the country over the past two years as vocalist/rapper from Wellington band, The Zooks.

McClean’s rap style is mellow but precise; taking time to say what matters; and by taking a look through his discography you’ll find a blend of conscious lyrics over smooth instrumentals; mixed in with the occasional heavier hip-hop track.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Will McClean


Live At The Surgery
Year: 2021
Type: EP
Can't Sleep, I'm Dreaming
Year: 2020
Type: Album
The Calm Before The Now
Year: 2020
Type: EP

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