Apply for Citizenship Now in Garageland
R. Mix | Milwaukee, Wisconsin | 10/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ever since I became aware of the music on New Zealand's Flying Nun label, I've been a virtual junkie for all things musical coming from that magic island. As best I could from half a world away, I've attempted to keep a close eye on the Kiwi music scene. (The cartons of Visine littering my house are testament-enough to that.)
And despite the eyestrain, even I can see--not to mention hear--that 'Last Exit To Garageland' is the best fix of Kiwi pop I've had in years. The fact that I discovered this CD nearly four years after the fact either means I need a new eyeglass prescription or that Garageland are destined to remain buried in obscurity.
In either case, this is a jewel. Musical caffeine.
It must be something in the water, or maybe it's genetic, but New Zealand bands bring a hard-to-define quality to their music. A sense of understatement that lends even the noisiest, most upbeat tracks here a kind of intimacy. It's music you want to crawl inside of.
Be it the noisy rush of "Fire Away", the giant, shimmering chords that propell "Nude Star" or the wobbly guitar that underscores "Tired And Bored", Garageland (and lead guitarist/vocalist Jeremy Eade) filter influences (the Buzzcocks and 'Chronic Town'-era REM are just a couple) through something distinctly and uniquely New Zealand, giving 'Last Exit To Garageland' a sound, a feel all its own.
If life were fair, Garageland would be ruling the charts, and we'd be watching their girlfriends sport their new 'dos on 'Entertainment Tonight'. As it is, I fear they'll be consigned to indie hell.
Make your lives--and theirs--a whole lot cooler and pick this up. I'll throw in the Visine."