4 Dec 2023

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

Tomahawk Radio - Album Review: Dreaming With A View

20 Jun 2023 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Tomahawk Radio’s debut album, Dreaming With A View follows their recent single release of the pop tinged rock song Missiles. The band is effectively listenable, soft, alternative rock, but perhaps ‘soft’ is not a favourable way to describe them – ‘sensible’ might be better. They are radio friendly in the way a producer might steer less talented musicians toward, but I could certainly imagine a wide range of people listening to them in all sorts of scenarios; a film soundtrack, a music video set in Otago, an advertisement...

The band is well presented here with lush reverb, tasteful tight drumming, and a balanced mix that is rich with shimmery guitars, occasionally joined by Rhodes piano lines, topped by the reedy voice of Jeff Avery and the rest of the band who also sing.

Coming from Dunedin they might be associated with the jangle-pop of famous luminaries such as The 3DsThe Clean or Straitjacket Fits, and there is that element present, but Tomahawk Radio are somehow more professional and polished than those more well-known acts.

Across the album there is tasty, practical overdriven guitar tones that fit well next to the more shimmery notes of the other guitar. The bass here supports the other instruments, maybe to the point of invisibility at times, while the drums introduce new songs and parts with small but surprisingly deft fills.

But, let’s be honest, the real star here is the emotive chord progressions that point toward a country influence. Occasionally the sound like a New Zealand R.E.M., and do I hear some inspiration from Fleetwood Mac and other 1970’s AOR rock?

The album kicks off with Dreamer, which features a simple spacey solo within its pop rock, sing-a-long format then ends on a great and unexpected chord. It’s a well-chosen opener to display what the band are capable of.

The album continues with Delusion which offers more of the same well-balanced balladry, only it's a little slower, including an even more emotional chorus and bridge. There’s a brilliant chord progression on offer here, but I can’t quite place where I’ve heard it before despite it seeming so familiar. Again, there’s an epic, but simple guitar solo comprised of well-chosen notes.

The Phone Rings starts with a Rhoads keyboard part, introducing another potential single for the album. Here, the band slows down further but there are moments of emotive frustration in the voice and expressive drum fills.

Sunshine has some great dual vocals within the poppy, shimmery goodness. The song has an amazing ending that would work well in the live setting.

Hit A Nerve brings the rock back up with a melodic riff, but it all comfortably returns to the same mid-tempo pop. Not that it’s a bad thing, or an easy thing to balance all the instruments so well. Still, I feel just a little disappointed the band has returned to the same vibe after the more energetic introduction.

Almost Drowned starts with a clever little drum pattern and another carefully crafted chord progression. Vocals sound a little different hear, as if they are mixed with a different hierarchy from the other songs.

Missiles, the single, erupts out the gate with a shifty little riff with a tasteful bit of keyboard helping form the chords and outline the melody. This is great song about both our modern times and the similar Cold War era of MAD. There’s a cool music video on YouTube for this song that has a live performance of the band and some retro footage. Check it out.

Time, the slowest track, uses deep reverb and a diminished chord for extra emotional impact at the turnaround. It's slow-dance material, but probably the type of song better enjoyed alone looking out over a natural landscape. A cool little wah riff adds some flavour here. The placement on the album is perfect as things come to close.

However, the band surprises the listener with the final track, To Your Lover which totally rocks with some delicious overdrive. What an end!

All in all, it's hard to fault this band’s effort. This album is a sophisticated gem with strangely familiar melodies, beautiful chord progressions paired perfectly with layered vocals and dreamy guitar. What it lacks in originality perhaps it makes up for in professionalism. Some snobby reviews might reject such efforts, (think Pitchfork and some other indie loving entities who reward experimentation) but you’ve got to hand it to them for making such a listenable collection of tunes. There is a boldness here; not in trying to reinvent the wheel (as many rock acts have attempted before them), but being bold enough to even attempt to refine the wheel further to a polished finish.

A wonderful impressive record, … it’s just a bit shiny.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Tomahawk Radio

In a studio perched high on a windswept hill, the kind of full on place where the trees hunker sideways and the ocean views stretch to Antarctica, a new Dunedin sound is brewing. If it weren’t for the four solid walls of Tomahawk Radio’s HQ, the melodic strains of guitar, vocal harmonies and Rhodes piano would be snatched away in the teeth of southerly gales.

Singer, bassist and surfer Brian Graham bought his wind buffeted Otago Peninsula home so he could keep an eye on the waves at both Tomahawk and Smails Beaches. When he realised his dream of building a music studio adjoining the house, he and bandmates Jeff Avery and Luis Rodriguez got serious about developing the band’s sound and releasing some songs.

After a couple of years trying different drummers to join them, they finally found the perfect match with drummer and composer Scott J Mason, who brought his Rock playing experience into the sound.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Tomahawk Radio


Dreaming With A View
Year: 2023
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Nicholas Clark

Gig Review: Dave and the Dirty Humans @ The Welsh Dragon, Wellington - 27/10/2023
31 Oct 2023 // by Nicholas Clark
If you’ve attended even a handful of live music events in the capital these past two years, chances are you’ve seen or heard of the alternative heavy rock band, Dave and the Dirty Humans. They’re the kind of band you might rave about the next morning, groggily and inaccurately trying to describe their style as both heavy and funky, metallic but not really metal, direct and brutal at times but complex and harmonious the next second.
Dan Sharp - Single Review: Interstellar Runaway
02 Jul 2023 // by Nicholas Clark
Interstellar Runaway, written with Sam Bartells, is Taupo-based songwriter Dan Sharp’s latest single. This song offers more of the soulful, blues inspired pop he has become known for.
Gig Review: The Bravo Uniform Mikes @ Valhalla, Wellington - 8/06/2023
11 Jun 2023 // by Nicholas Clark
The final night of the BUM Punch Lower North Island tour occurred at Wellington’s infamous Valhalla club. The tour was headed by the Wellington/Manawatu based blues-rock two piece The Bravo Uniform Mikes (or “The Bums” to their fans) and four piece riot grrrl punk band, Cherry Punch, also from Wellington.
The Knids - Single Review: Doesn't Make It Right
07 Jun 2023 // by Nicholas Clark
The Knids latest single offer the same toe-tapping pop rock they are now known for. Doesn’t Make It Right has overtones of The Cars and other 80’s rock-tinged pop, not that it’s an easy thing to pull off!
Torn Chorus - Single/Video Review: Time I Wasn't Here
22 May 2023 // by Nicholas Clark
Torn Chorus’ latest single Time I Wasn't Here is a mid-tempo rocker that is a pleasant, country tinged song with a not so hidden meaning. The act is a one man band, Franklin Davis, who plays all the instruments and performs all the vocals capably in a no-nonsense approach.
Gig Review: Dead Favours @ Meow, Wellington - 27/04/2023
30 Apr 2023 // by Nicholas Clark
Meow was humming on Thursday night as the locals awaited two Auckland bands and a Wellingtonian act to entertain them. Rock and roll legends Dead Favours, on tour for their second six-track EP Riffing and Yelling Part 2 (or the second part of their second album if you want to think about it that way) were headlining, bringing with them pop-punks Ekko Park.
Gig Review: Crooked Royals @ Valhalla, Wellington - 28/04/2023
30 Apr 2023 // by Nicholas Clark
Valhalla was surely over their capacity on Friday night when Auckland metalcore juggernauts Crooked Royals headlined a very quickly sold out show. It was standing room only within the small club, but there was a palpable, even friendly excitement in the cramped conditions.
InDuna - Single/Video Review: Dreams
08 Apr 2023 // by Nicholas Clark
Ink and Gold: An Artist’s Journey to Olympic Glory is a documentary about New Zealand artist and athlete, Zakea Page, winning the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games medal design competition. It’s an engaging short film to say the least, with a message about persevering despite the odds and celebrating the intersection of passions, in this case, sport and art.
View All Articles By Nicholas Clark

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Jack Harlow
    Tate McRae
    Doja Cat
    Doja Cat
    Teddy Swims
    Kenya Grace
    Ocean Alley
    Taylor Swift
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