[CD REVIEW] Home Brew - Home Brew (review by Mien)
OHH - REVIEW
Home Brew - Home Brew
The debut, self titled full length album from New Zealand's Home Brew is shot through with golden strands of mellow jazz threads and steeped in a
palpably atmospheric production that brings to mind summer afternoons drinking beer in the backyard. Nostalgia slides throughout this album, and there
is a hunger for better days past, even if those days weren't really that good on reflection.
This two disc debut is remarkably honest for a crew who may be better known for stirring trouble or as bad boy poster children. Split into two moods,
two sides, Home Brew confidently give the lie to anyone who wrote them off as talentless fuckups and wicked children. Yearning ribbons of yesterday's
best dreams spiral through tracks like 'Last Day' and 'Alcoholic,' and while the treatment may be light, the subject matter is still thoughtful and as
the first side plays, it begins to ease towards the melancholic.
The spaced out and faintly overstated 'Radio Outro' on side one bleeds into the opener of side two, 'Dark Intro' as we start to move into bleaker
territory. “Had enough of that trippy hippy lovey-dovey crap - there ain't no God... we just work at the same old job until you fuck your back,
so cut the fuckin act, dreamin' bout bein' rich...” Talk about disillusion.
There's room for feeling free, for a while, from the headfucking realities of the day to day, sure. Why else drink beer in the sun when you're broke
and know you'll regret buying that six pack? This momentary escapism illustrated on side A only goes to emphasise the undercurrent of helplessness and
the temptation to give up that is explored as we move through side B.
The blurred, spacious sounds of an electric guitar wind like an aching river of regret through songs like 'Plastic Magic' with the impossibly
beautiful vocals of Esther Stephens. “Sometimes I can't tell if I'm even alive,” she moans. Muted horns uncoil like sinuous snakes and
the shivering of tambourines cascade layer upon layer. The searching, bruised mood continues with the heartbreaking 'The Truth is Ugly' with its
restrained bass and key arrangement.
Home Brew is a mature, sincere and considered debut album from the acclaimed NZ trio. This is high calibre music that doesn't lose its whimsy
with its maturity, and doesn't lose its cheek with its sincerity. Considered, yes, but not dry or didactic. There is no filler, and very few moments
where the illusion wobbles and we see behind the set to the gaffer tape and brown paper of backstage. It has a power which transcends its component
parts, and makes several nods to The Classics without sounding sycophantic or trite. I'll leave discussions around the accent debate to others who
haven't fallen under the spell of Tom Scott, Haz Beats and Lui Silk as astoundingly, completely as I.
TL;DR, YOU'LL LIKE IT IF...Home Brew would comfortably sit in the collections of fans of Horrorshow, Jehst, People Under
The Stairs, Mantra, G-Side, Why? and Nas.
Review by Mien.
Keen to see Home Brew live? Grindin are offering tickets at a discounted price to OHH members for their upcoming shows in Perth, Melbourne,
Sydney and Brisbane! BUT you have to get in quick!
Just u2u your name to gerling by 4pm, Wednesday 8 August.
Its funny, im a new zealander and we think that tom sounds more kiwi than anyone else spitting at the moment. the album is the business though
In the filmclip in the review he kinda sounds like Eminem in the Infinite days, the accent is American. But it doesnt really bother me when Kiwis do
it, thats just the way their scene is. Will check this out.
Grab my 2012 mixtape here: http://patosbreegz.bandcamp.com