17 May 2022

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Before The Snooze - Album Review: Wipe The Slate

09 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

Dunedin alt rock jangly indie pop heroes Before The Snooze are back with their debut album, following from the EP which was released a few years back. The lead track of that set, That’s A Fact! is also included here, but the other 11 are all new. If one was to play this album to anyone in NZ and ask them to guess the city the band were from, there is a high likelihood that they would plump for the one which has delivered so many great bands playing in this genre, and these guys sit in alongside the Flying Nun sound very happily indeed. They cite bands such as Stone Roses, The Coral, Supergrass and The Kinks as their main influences, but there is a presence and style about them that is far more NZ than UK.

Comprising Stephen Hillman (vocals and guitar), Adam Binns (bass), Scott Turnbull (drums) and Wes Jenkins (lead guitar), they work through different styles while never moving too far away from the indie vibe. The acoustic guitar and dated keyboards sounds on Life Moves On is sheer delight, taking us back more than 50 years to the psychedelic heyday, with a very laid-back manner which is in stark contrast to the high tempo summer sounds of Highs & Lows. Closing number Down By The Sea is by far the longest at nearly 7 minutes (but it does also included a fade out, silence, and then more music – I thought “hidden songs” had gone long ago!), but the vast majority are three minutes or less, with a few only breaking the two minutes.

But it doesn’t seem to matter how long each song is, as they manage to cram in hooks and a feel-good factor which makes it impossible to listen to this without a smile on the face. This is music meant to be played in sweaty pubs where everyone is having a drink and a great time. It takes us back to the Eighties when anything was possible, with the explosion of new genres after punk which led to people picking up instruments and allowing themselves to explore music. There is that sense of freedom within this, of four guys who are having a blast, who at times sound full-on indie and at others come across as The Clash. This is not music meant to be interrogated and dissected, rather put it on and have a blast.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Before The Snooze

A group of four 30 and 40 somethings, playing original jangle guitar songs.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Before The Snooze


Wipe The Slate
Year: 2021
Type: Album
That's A Fact!
Year: 2019
Type: EP

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