28 Sep 2023

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Anxiety Club - Single Review: Carousel

24 Jun 2022 // A review 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. “Our drummer had just moved to Christchurch, the bass player had also left town, our rehearsal space was about to get bulldozed and I was nursing a pretty bad arm injury – I couldn’t even play guitar!” said lead singer, Kev Fitzsimons. This led to serious discussions between himself and keyboard player Clint Meech as to what the future held (and whether the universe was trying to tell them something), and they decided to undertake the album by utilising more synths and call in some mates to give them a hand. This included Chris Armour (Miles Calder) who has been the group’s guitarist since late 2018 and bassist Andrew Bain (Fur Patrol), while Zach Simao (an LA-based drummer) added beats and percussion and singer Maygen Lacey (also in the US) provided the vocal arrangements.

I don’t know if the whole album is going to sound like this, but what we have here is atmospheric dream pop which takes the listener into a whole new world. There are layers of keyboards as the support, delicate bass and nuanced guitar, wonderful harmonies, all there to provide the support for Kev’s vocals. It is the atmosphere which really lifts this as it is all encompassing, and the very slight lift in the guitars near the end provides a much-needed contrast to the incredibly polished production. This never sounds like an independent release and is a long way from the genres I normally review which makes it incredibly hard for comparisons but is the sort of song I would have expected to hear high in the charts back in the early 80’s, back when synth-based pop was on the rise. Melodic and restrained, this is music to relax into, as it takes the listener on a soft and gentle journey away from the trials and tribulations of daily life.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Anxiety Club

Hailing from Wellington, New Zealand, Anxiety Club established themselves early on as an indie act to watch. Over the closing years of the 2010's, they pumped out a steady stream of singles and EPs - from the anthemic Be Still through the alt-country infused Black Heart EP to the guitar-driven post-punk Francine EP, and student radio favourite Ginger in the Summer.

They have toured their home country of New Zealand (inc. co-headlining shows with Miles Calder, Adam Hattaway, Milly Tabak & The Miltones), graced summer festival stages (incl. Coastella, Festival of Lights) and recorded a number of memorable live-to-airs for Radio NZ.

Like for many artists, the pandemic hit hard. Gigs and tours were put on hold and progress on the Francine follow-up slowed to a standstill. They lost band members to other cities during this time too - including founding drummer Chris Hill. What could have destroyed the band instead fuelled a surge of creativity in remaining members Kev Fitzsimons (Thom Cross) and Clint Meech (Matt Langley band). To help them complete their debut album they collaborated with Chris Armour (Miles Calder band) on guitars, Andrew Bain (Fur Patrol) on bass and LA-based beat-maker Zach Simao.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Anxiety Club


Old Dreams
Year: 2022
Type: Album
Year: 2019
Type: EP
Black Heart
Year: 2018
Type: EP
Live EP
Year: 2016
Type: EP

Other Reviews By Kev Rowland

Gig Review: Crushfest @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 07/07/2023
07 Jul 2023 // by Kev Rowland
So it was down to Tuning Fork for the first night of the second Crushfest festival. Tonight was going to be Wellington and Auckland bands, and then some of the same will be playing at the second night in Wellington next month.
Rain - Single Review: Love and War
15 Jun 2023 // by Kev Rowland
It has been quite a while since I last heard from Wellington-based singer songwriter Cathy Elizabeth, and back then Rain was seen solely as a studio project with Cathy being accompanied by Thomas Te Taite, who provided all the instrumentation including digital drums. Now they are a full band who have been performing live, and it is the first time they have recorded as such, with Thomas now, just providing acoustic guitar (plus engineering and producing etc.
Lost Vessels - Single Review: All This Time
01 Jun 2023 // by Kev Rowland
I must admit I was not that impressed when I first saw Lost Vessels play at Crushfest, something they later admitted to me was the worst gig of their career, but since then they have improved in leaps and bounds. This has been noticed by others on the Auckland circuit as they are getting more opportunities with better support slots, and I was not at all surprised when they won the Ding Dong Lounge Battle Of The Bands in November last year.
Unwanted Subject - Single Review: Sons of Savages
28 May 2023 // by Kev Rowland
I have caught Unwanted Subject in concert a few times over the last couple of years, and while they have been getting better each time I have seen them, I must admit that nothing prepared me for this, which right from the off is a monster. I have never heard them quite this is aggressive, nor as polished, and this multi-sectioned single sounds almost like a different band as they have pushed their metal roots to the max in this metalcore beast which sees them mixing and blending different genres to create something quite special.
Gig Review: Stray Dogs @ AUX, Auckland - 26/05/2023
28 May 2023 // by Kev Rowland
So it was back to Ding Dong Lounge on a Friday night for one of their infamous Emo nights, which tonight was a three-band bill with Stray Dogs having an extended set, supported by Altaea and then up first we had Blindr, a band new to me. Blindr are a quartet featuring Bill Caldwell (vocals, guitar), Blake Woodfield (lead guitar), Jack Power (bass), and Charlie McCracken (drums).
Gig Review: Turkey The Bird @ The Ministry of Folk, Auckland - 27/05/2023
27 May 2023 // by Kev Rowland
Back up to Auckland Guide Centre in Mount Eden tonight for my second consecutive gig (Sol suggested it was a turkey sandwich as I am at Vader tomorrow) to see Taranaki’s finest, Turkey The Bird at The Ministry of Folk. Before that we of course had Hoop, who are Al Baxter (vocals, guitar, harmonica, banjo, mandolin), Nick Edgar (vocals, guitar, ukulele, flute, harmonica), Emily Allen (violin, viola), Glenn Coldham (bass) while tonight Gary Hunt was filling in for drummer Rusty Knox.
This Silent Divide - Single Review: Beautiful Creature
25 May 2023 // by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest single from Wellington-based melodic hard rock quartet This Silent Divide, entitled Beautiful Creature. I really enjoyed their Tall Stories EP, and they played a great gig at Dead Witch towards the end of last year, and this would have been recorded at about the same time.
Gig Review: Emily Rice @ Your Local Coffee Roasters, Pukekohe - 24/05/2023
24 May 2023 // by Kev Rowland
Earlier this week I had a message from Emily Rice asking me if I lived in South Auckland. When I responded I did, she asked if I would be interested in coming along to an event she was putting on in a coffee shop in Pukekohe to celebrate the release of her new single, Warenoa.
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

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