29 Feb 2024

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

James Kohler - Single Review: Lights Out

07 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

As a rule, I read press releases after I have been listening to the music, but as well as Lisa sending me this to review, I was also sent it today by the PR company and I read that email before I realised it was on my list. However, my interest was already piqued as James Kohler is described as an “independent prog artist”. Now, while those in NZ who can be bothered to read my scribblings will think of me as someone who has an opinion on pretty much anything musical, people in the wider world will think of me as a specialist in prog rock as that has been where I have been spending much of my writing career over the last 30+ years, and there are probably only a handful who have written as much on the underground scene as myself.  

I have no idea about the rest of James’s output, but I can safely put my hand on my heart and say this is not prog, and given what most of the music-buying public think of the genre that is a good thing, as what we have here is a modern rock number channelling Neil Young, which is simply excellent. It is only a fraction over 2:30 in length (a giveaway that it is not prog), but it is perfectly formed with some wonderfully layered guitars, nice bass runs and melodies, solid drums, and harmony vocals when they are needed. James’s voice is lower than much of Young, but there is something about this song which means one can imagine him performing this with Crazy Horse. It is stacked full of passion and emotion, and leaves listener wanting more, much more. We get some nice noodling guitar near the end, when we have a nice wall of sound with different sounds being utilised, and his voice over the top before it ends quite neatly. I am certainly keen to hear more of this country/grunge number which could easily have come out more than 20 years ago and feels strongly American. Nice.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About James Kohler

An established member of Tamaki Makaurau's rich music scene, James Kohler spins effortless nuggets of prog-pop/indie psychadelia.

His body of work runs deep, with plans to expand on his output with a never ending bootleg series.

His studio album Will and Way is due for release early 2023. Speckled with brightly shining pop hooks and natural musicianship, his lyrics detail a spiritual journey amid the increasingly materialistic and nihilistic culture of our times. Will and Way is an honest plea towards fighting inner peace, without losing the spirit to live the good fight in this life.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for James Kohler


Time Won't Be Kind
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Somewhere Else
Year: 2015
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

NZ Top 10 Singles

    YG Marley
    Benson Boone
    Noah Kahan
    Teddy Swims
    Jack Harlow
    Taylor Swift
    Tate McRae
    Dua Lipa
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