2 Dec 2022
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The Treasury - EP Review: Shimmer / I'll Return From On The Sea

29 Oct 2022 // A review by Peter-James Dries

I get a lot of pretty obscure releases thrown my way.

For every Six60 single, there are fifty songs you will never hear, from artists you have never heard of. And sometimes that’s a good thing. Anyone can create, market, and distribute music these days. It doesn’t always mean they should.

It would be easy enough to dismiss them, and leave them lost in the seas of Spotify. But listening and critiquing these secret tracks is my job. Without them, I’d be stuck writing about Six60

I’m of the philosophy that even the most avant-garde release has its merits, or at least some resemblance to what we think of as music. Still… There are some musicians that should keep their songs in the bedroom.

This isn’t one of those.

You probably don’t know this, but The Treasury have just release a double EP comprised of Shimmer, which features two original tracks, and I’ll Return From On The Sea, a set of three covers performed in The Treasury’s slow, dark, accessibly goth-ish style.

Unlike a lot of bedroom music I’ve heard over the years, The Treasury is not only listenable, it’s enjoyable. There is no caveat here. It’s not “enjoyable for bedroom music”. It’s not “listenable, but you can hear the cheap leads they were using”. Or “good, apart from the mixing, structure, tone, and style”. Like actually enjoyable.

Starting with Shimmer, Two Weeks is sparse on vocals, for the first half at least, but dense with energy. As with the other four tracks there are hints of A Perfect Circle, by way of Puscifer here. The soundtrack to teenage angst, performed by someone mature enough to articulate it. My favourite of the two Shimmer tracks, if only for its familiarity. It would go nicely next to Stabbing Westward on the soundtrack to a 90's slasher film.

Second of the two tracks, Southern Swell is a late-age Nine Inch Nails industrial sojourn. Spacey and atmospheric. Echoey vocalizations over an undulating synth line. It’s more akin to The Treasury’s 2021 release It’s Warm Now than the guitar heavy Two Weeks. Yet, these two different styles feel like one cohesive body of work.

Then moving on to part two, I’ll Return From On The Sea, These covers are how covers should be done. If it weren’t for the familiar lyrics, you would never recognize them, or at least I didn't at first. All I said about Shimmer stands for I'll Return From On The Sea. Slow, dark, accessibly goth-ish. The originals are a stark contrast to their delivery.

Coming from three disparate bodies of work, we have 1969’s Cheryl Moana Marie from John Rowles, 1973’s 20th Century Boy by T. Rex, and for some reason 1985’s Into the Groove by Madonna, which features my favourite vocal lick of the EPs. Judging by the song choices here, The Treasury are either a hipster, or old enough to have experienced the songs in their prime. I don’t want to know which it is.

You know what I liked about Tool. Early-Tool, before I was addicted, that is. They were a mystery. I didn’t know what they looked like, or what they were on about half the time. It was about the music, not the personalities. Likewise with Nirvana in a way. Kurt would always shy away from explaining the true meaning of his lyrics, instead allowing fans to speculate on what they were about.

That’s what I like about The Treasury too. Never heard of them. Never seen them. Don’t want to. Don’t want to hear the reason those three covers were chosen. I’m happy enjoying their music, their style, their vibe, before the next bedroom musician comes along.

Five stars, naturally.

You can find The Treasury on Bandcamp.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About The Treasury

The Treasury is the artist project of Jeff Goh, a musician and producer from Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland, NZ).

Synth, untidy guitar and dark vocal themes mesh together for this original sound.

It's Warm Now, is The Treasury's debut EP. It came out on the 29th October 2021.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Treasury

Releases

Shimmer
Year: 2022
Type: EP
I'll Return From On The Sea
Year: 2022
Type: EP
It's Warm Now
Year: 2021
Type: EP

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