1 Jul 2022

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

Pencarrow - Album Review: Live At San Fran

08 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

One of the (dis)advantages of writing about music for so many years is that it is not unusual for other writers to contact me about bands/albums they feel I should be aware of. So it was, that not long after the release of Wellington band Pencarrow’s second album Growth In The Absence of Light a mate of mine in Norway contacted me to ask me if I had heard it? I hadn’t, but it was soon on my review list, and I loved it. The guys then managed to undertake a tour to support it and I was fortunate enough to catch them at Dead Witch, with that show making it into my Top Ten best gigs of the year. Needless to say, I was incredibly pleased when it turned out they recorded some of the shows and were releasing a live album. As can be derived from the title, the album is mostly taken from San Fran but there was a shorter set that night so there are also three songs from The Crown in Dunedin.

Musically the only way to think of these guys are as a progressive rock band, and then depending on what section of what song they are playing they can then be further described as post rock, prog metal, atmospheric, ambient etc. Even though they are just a quartet they have a wide array of sounds at their disposal and see nothing strange at all in going from the dripping piano of Memory Terminal which is less than 2 minutes into the riff hungry At Last, Omniscience at more than 16. They deliver atmospheric progressive music that also contains elements of metal when the time is right, bringing together Anathema, Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree, Pineapple Thief, and others. There is delicacy, but inside there is a core of steel, so it never feels as if the music is meandering, rather there is real purpose and direction.

The guys are quite happy undertaking long instrumental sections, and Tonnie ten Hove is a better guitarist than he is a singer, but in the moment it all feels right. Drummer Justin Chorley and 5-string bassist Elton Halford somehow always manage to keep everything moving in the right direction in what is a constantly changing soundscape, while keyboard player Anthony Rose is happy providing support with long held-down chords or taking dynamic leads either on synths or piano. This is music, which is constantly changing, always on the move looking for the next direction. If they were playing in London then I am convinced that Pencarrow would be a well-known name within the prog world, but as it is they are currently our little secret, but if they keep going like this, they are not going to be a secret for very much longer.

This is an album for those who want their progressive music to be truly as such, and not yet another regressive outfit attempting to sound like the others have gone before as while one can see influences, they never stay still long enough to say they are like someone else. One for progheads to discover
Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Pencarrow

Pencarrow is a four-piece prog band from Wellington, New Zealand, combining diverse musical backgrounds and influences to create adventurous and thought provoking music.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Pencarrow


Live At San Fran
Year: 2022
Type: Album
Growth In The Absence of Light
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Dawn Simulation
Year: 2016
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Kev Rowland

Dark Divinity - Single Review: Left For Dead
30 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Formed in 2017 by drummer Ian Moir, melodic death metal act Dark Divinity have been through quite a lot in the last five years, as not only have they supported the likes of At The Gates, The Haunted, The Black Dahlia Murder and Psycroptic but have already released an EP, some singles and have of course been running the gamut of line-up changes. The most recent of these has seen the departure of singer Jolene Tempest and the return to a male singer in Jesse Wheeler, with the line-up completed by guitarist/bassist Paul Stewart and guitarist Jiji Aligno.
Tryonics - Album Review: Fragmented
29 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Tryonics is the solo project of Hap Richardson, formerly of My Little Pony, Go Victim and Freezer Child. It is completely a one-man affair as Hap not only provided all the music and vocals but also recorded and mixed it as well.
Anxiety Club - Single Review: Carousel
24 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest single from Wellington-based Anxiety Club, taken from the forthcoming album Old Dreams, but anyone expecting more of their guitar-led music is going to be in for quite a surprise as there has been a major shift in their sound, caused by circumstance as much as by design. Like many bands unable to perform or tour over the pandemic, they used the downtime to focus on new songs, but that was not their only issue.
Capital Theatre - Album Review: A Hero's Journey
24 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Back in March last year I made my way to the Tuning Fork to catch a three-band bill, one of whom was Capital Theatre. At that point I had not heard any of their material, so was mightily impressed to discover they had recorded a concept album for their debut with Mike Clink (Guns ‘n’ Roses, Megadeth etc) in America, and that night they were playing it in sequence.
Sam Bartells - Single Review: Good Intentions
23 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Last year I saw Sam Bartells at The Tuning Fork with a full band, and then a few weeks ago he was playing acoustically at a tiny venue in Ponsonby with just a keyboard player for support (what an incredible night that was). In some ways his latest single is a combination of those two very different facets, as the central core of his music is always his acoustic and vocals.
South for Winter - EP Review: Acoustic Sessions
22 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Earlier this year I agreed to review a concert of the Nashville-based husband and wife duo of Nick Stone (vocals, guitar) and Dani Cichon (vocals, mandolin), without previously having heard any of their music and it is fair to say I was blown away. I was fortunate enough to see them on two consecutive nights, and the mix of Dani’s pure, clear vocals with Nick’s more classical tones was something to behold.
Recitals - Single Review: Rock Dove
19 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Recitals are a 7-piece band based in both Te Whanganui-A-Tara (Wellington) and Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland) and comprise Xanthe Rook (bass, vocals), Tharushi Bowatte (trumpet), Carla Camilleri (keyboards, vocals), Olivia Wilding (cello), Christian Dimick (guitar, vocals), Josh Finegan (drums), and Sam Curtiss (guitar). Even before playing the first single from their debut album Orbit I (released at the end of August on Flying Nun Records) I was intrigued by the line-up as it is unusual to find both a trumpeter and cellist in the same band, and having now listened to the single I am still intrigued, but now it is because I am wondering what the album is like.
Matt Joe Gow - Album Review: Break, Rattle and Roll
19 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
After touring and playing numerous festivals in support of Seven Years, Matt returned to the studio in 2018 to record the follow-up, Break, Rattle and Roll. Released to wide acclaim, it went one better than his previous release and was awarded Best Country Album in the 2019 Music Victoria Awards.
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Kate Bush
    Drake feat. 21 Savage
    Harry Styles
    Cat Burns
    Doja Cat
    Jack Harlow
    Post Malone And Doja Cat
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