28 Nov 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

Gig Review: Lazy Fifty @ Paraoa Brewing, Whangaparaoa - 24/11/2022
24 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
For my only gig this week, not only am I out on a school night, but I have struggled all the way from South Auckland up to Whangaparaoa, and I must admit it has been years since I have been here. Tonight, Australian trio 19-Twenty are in town, but to be honest I am here for the support band, Lazy Fifty whose last album, 2021: A Lazy Odyssey, I reviewed a year ago.
Reuben Hudson - EP Review: Cloudhead
24 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
This five-track EP is the latest release from Melbourne-based, Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland, New Zealand) multi-instrumentalist and songwriter/producer, Reuben Hudson. Featuring David Harris on drums (Princess Chelsea), mixed by Peter Ruddell (Wax Chattels, Sulfate) and mastered by James Goldsmith (Mermaidens), everything else was played and performed by Reuben himself.
Brian Baker - Single Review: I Won't Back Down
23 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Although Tom Petty was a massive success in the States, he never saw anything like the same in the UK until he partnered with Jeff Lynne and together, they came up with the masterpiece which is Full Moon Fever. I was blown away and had it on repeat the year I started dating my now wife, and any song from that album always makes me think of 1989, where I was, with no idea my life would be changing dramatically (and for the better).
Bad Jelly Collective - Single Review: Paradigms
23 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest release from Bad Jelly Collective, which comprises Ben Clark (vocals, guitar, production) and Dave Weir (bass). It is lengthy for a single, being 5:36, but that is due to the large amount of repetition contained within and the very slow build which takes place.
The RVMES - Album Review: Simple Things
23 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Before I started writing this I went back to my review for the guys’ last album, Lifetime, and part of me thought about copying it pretty much word for word and see if anyone noticed, as I spoke at length as to how many genres they were covering, and we have the same here, possibly more so. Most bands choose a genre, possibly going into a related area as well, and pretty much stay there.
Christine White - Album Review: Raven
23 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
This multi-media project commenced in March 2020, and more than 2 ½ years later the release had come together with five songs (one of which is a remix of the opening title cut by electronic producer Paddy Free, so there are six tracks). These are accompanied by three music videos, and a book of short haiku-style poetry in two languages (English & Farsi), and there is no doubt that this has gained quite a deal of media interest, so yesterday I found myself listening to a very interesting interview with Christine White on RNZ.
Album Review: Goodnight My Darling
22 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
If it hadn’t been for an unfortunate clash with an event I had to attend, I would have been at Whammy a few weeks back to hear Goodnight My Darling, (Maxine Macaulay), and now I have listened to her debut album I so wish I had been able to make it. Still, at least this is now available so those of us who were unable to make it to the tour (last two dates this coming weekend in Wellington and Kapiti) can enjoy this relaxed pleasant romp through different elements of soft pop rock, singer songwriter and shoegaze.
Whero - Single Review: Easy
21 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
There are times when one hears a voice and it feels as if you are being held warm and safe, and that is definitely the case here with Whero, who recently released her debut single. If she has not recorded under this name before, I am sure she must have recorded with others, while this has all the hallmarks of someone who has undertaken a lot of live work.
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Sam Smith And Kim Petras
    Taylor Swift
    Meghan Trainor
    Drake And 21 Savage
    David Guetta And Bebe Rexha
    Oliver Tree And Robin Schulz
    Chris Brown
  • 685 (REMIX)
    Victor J Sefo, Lisi And Mwayz
    venbee And goddard.
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