We’ve only been doing Happy NZ for a few weeks now, but it seems to me that all I can find from across the Tasman are bands made up of pretty brunettes and tragic eyes. Take the newest full length LP from Dunedin pop trio Trick Mammoth for example. Floristry‘s cover depicts a band beneath a broken bouquet, their tight trousers and vintage shoes peeking out from underneath. More like New Tweeland, Amirite?
But enough depreciating our neighbours for now because Floristry is a good record. A damn good one. While packed with mild tunes, the album has an intangible substance which comes either from the impeccable songwriting or from the ability to create sonic bliss from such simple building blocks. While subtle, the evolution of the guitar tones on here showcase a band that know their way around a clean pickup – from the punch on Cold Dalmatian to the pervasive, caressing lead tone on Terracotta to the proto-crunch on Baltimore. While it’s probably not true, I’d like to think that this entire album was produced without using guitar pedals – like the twee movement, the shunning of over-effected music represents a clean and romantic aspiration in itself.
While track 2 Pinker Sea stands out from the songs around it, making itself a contender for the best track upon first listen, the album’s gems are in the back quarter – from Cold Dalmatian to Week End. Cold Dalmatian borders on the Pavementesque while lyrically promoting the romcom act of talking to strangers. Week End throws a curve ball with rolling drums, an unstoppable tarmac guitar line and a fun little outro/breakdown which showcases the male-female harmonies that define the genre. But by far the best track on the work is the tight little number they call Days Of Being Wild – a song that delves into rarely explored depths of minor chords and overdrive, adding the tragic texture that the album needs. It’s a track more akin to the rollicking 80’s style duskiness of Veronica Falls or The Pastels, twee with less jangle and more roughness.
The album is available immediately as a digital download from Trick Mammoth’s Bandcamp or alternatively, you can wait until the end of the month to get your mitts on a 180 gram vinyl pressing with a cool looking floral sleeve. Seriously it looks really cool – I’m thinking about getting one to match my skateboard. I don’t even have a record player.
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