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BAkeR - EP Review: Eternal Now

16 Mar 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland

Mike Baker has been involved in both the Australian and NZ music scenes since the Eighties, running the import/export operations for Australia’s Hot Records at one point, releasing an album himself as a member of Not Really Anything and also managing Glide. Last year he created his alter ego BAkeR and started recording this five-track EP, entitled Eternal Now, with Daniel Hewson (the son of the late Paul Hewson of Dragon). Mike provided vocals, bass, guitars and keyboards while Daniel programmed the drums, played bass on one song, and recorded the EP. It is not at all surprising to see that Mike has been around the scene since the Eighties as this reminds me a lot of the indie scene that was so prevalent during that period. I wasn’t sure quite what to expect though as the press release references Bob Geldof, but only to point out that Mike does like Mondays as this EP was released on one (which is very unusual in case you were not aware).   

I normally whinge and moan about the use of programmed drums, but they have been provided in such a way that one actually does not notice it is not the work of a sweaty human and provides a nice foundation for the wall of sound which is BAkeR’s style. There may be buzzsaw guitars at times, but there is always a powerful sense of melody and even some interesting (dated) keyboard sounds which also add a certain flair to this. The music is designed to always keep Mike’s vocals front and centre, and there is an age and gravitas to them which works nicely in this environment. Although the music is solidly grounded in the independent rock scene, there are many different influences on board and there are times when I was surprised at just how much like New Order it seemed with a brightness and light which at other times became quite dark. Mike is already working on his next release and has been performing live in Auckland so is certainly worth keeping an eye out for if you enjoy this style of music as there is an honesty and integrity within it which is palpable.

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )
 

About BAkeR

BAkeR has spent many years in the music and restaurant scenes in both New Zealand and Australia.

In the beginning (the early to mid 80's) he ran the import/export division of Australia's Hot Records, working with legendary artists such as The Triffids, Celibate Rifles and Laughing Clowns.

Upon his return to New Zealand, he joined NRA (aka Not Really Anything) and in 1988 the band released the Mud Babies album, which was very popular on student radio.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for BAkeR

Releases

Eternal Now
Year: 2023
Type: EP

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