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Floor Five - EP Review: The Garden

28 Jan 2022 // A review by JamieDenton

Indie-pop/rock band Floor Five are relative new-comers on the Kiwi music scene. Following up a couple of previous singles (2020’s Overthinking and 2021’s Strawberry Wine), the Wellington based four-piece’s partially crowd-funded EP The Garden was released just as the country returned to the red light setting of the Covid protection framework. After so much hard work on this EP, it must have been gutting for the band as they will have to delay really socialising it with big, live events. And this EP should be celebrated and socialised – it is an absolute cracker that completely fits the vibe of the classic kiwi summer for the indie/pop lover.

The band, themselves, define their genre as indie-pop/rock, but to my ears The Garden is far more genre bending that that label provides. Amongst the obvious indie-pop/rock which is the bedrock of the sound, I am also hearing a lot of funk, rock, dance, and ska/reggae slipping in to define the Floor Five sound. Above all, however, the band (plus the crew behind the desk) have managed to capture an energy that is impossible not to get caught up in.

One of my favourites on this EP, is the title track, and opener, The Garden. Beginning with a lush, mellow, smooth section that feels like it was born straight out of a practice room jam session that was too good to not record – but gives nothing of what is coming up away -, the song proper kicks into gear following the classic rock-n-roll vocal count in combined with pre-bar snare hit. I’m an absolute sucker for that trick – it gets me every time, I love it — and this time is no different! Straight into a verse resplendent with wah-esque filtering, off-beat guitar, a big-solid melodic bass line holding it all down, and a confident, understated drum that fits and propels everything along perfectly. The vocal is strong, but no big vocal gymnastics (which I appreciate) – just straight ahead and very catchy, sing-along, hooky vocal lines with a punch. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but I get a hint of some of the lesser-known, but still amazing Brit-pop bands when the vocals are in play (Kula Shaker, Ocean Colour Scene and others come to mind, but none are exactly right). Another absolute highlight in this track is the slowed down, near-ethereal feel under the guitar solo at around the 4-minute mark. A confident move that pays off well for Floor Five.

Another personal highlight on the EP is Goodbye Stevie – a song that laments the personified version of a band member’s car that broke down on a road-trip from Wellington to Mahurangi. Stripping the first verse back to predominantly guitar and vocal only gives this song a summery, chill vibe which is quickly broken by the whisper/scream Pixies/Garageland-esque dynamic shift into the chorus. This is a lovely little pop-number that takes a traditional pop structure and stretches it to its own needs. It is also a wonderful vehicle (no pun intended) for the vocals to shine through, and they do very strongly. Goodbye Stevie is a bittersweet, lovely little song that gives me the same feeling that I got from Garageland’s Come Back or Superette’s Touch Me – a great little timeless pop song with that quintessential kiwi-quirkiness.

The production, mixing, and mastering on this EP are great. It sounds professional but without sacrificing any of its natural charm and energy. It truly does come across as a labour of love, and I do hope that the band get to tour this soon, as I am sure they will pick up many new listeners when they can. I’m looking forward to whatever is next from this relatively new band, but am glad that this charming EP came across my desk to tide me over before the next thing they do.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Floor Five

Floor Five - a band of young Kiwi’s, making music for young kiwi’s. With the creation of Floor Five being from two random humans living on their fifth floor of their hall of resistance, now expanding to a four piece band with a new EP on the way. Their music is groovy but will keep you singing their songs in the shower.

Floor Five started from two random humans living on their fifth floor of their hall of residence. They jammed together and knew they had a spark to create. In 2020 they released two singles and created a decent little following with the hall all listening to these tribes being created in the building. Now Floor Five is expanding to a four piece band with a new EP on the way - prepare for some bangers to be on your summer playlist. Their music is groovy but will keep you singing their songs in the shower.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Floor Five


The Garden
Year: 2021
Type: EP

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