There’s a real sense of cathartic musical independence here via this latest work from Melbourne, AUS based musical project Terracotta Pigeons lead by producer, songwriter Steven Smith. While everything here on this latest 6 track musical teaser is shall I say exceptionally entertaining it also manages to cover a pretty wide range of musical styles as well. This is their second release to date.
Score: 4/5 stars
When you listen to the music of Terracotta Pigeons you know the future of melodic alt-hard-rock shines blindingly bright down under. It’s easy to hear possible influences of Joseph Arthur, Beach House, MGMT Wilco, Nirvana, Mr. Bungle and Gram Parsons in their music, but the real magic is how this guy blends all these ingredients into a musical recipe that is the vintage Terracotta Pigeons signature sound. One man band; Steven Smith encompasses the rich history of Hard Rock but also Americana Alt-Roots, then broadens and reshapes it into something somewhat youthful, reckless and out of control and slightly adrenalized. All this and more make Terracotta Pigeons a refreshing and uniquely brilliant act. A few tracks notably stand out for me in particular. “The Black Devine” and “Fury” are 2 very strong tracks that deliver pure grooved magic and impressive writers touch. These two movements are not so polarizing to each other and show a lot of depth from these Smith. Much of this 6 track EP present straight forward Alternative Rock that is like I said before — a bit out of control and some songs with a slightly adrenalized overtones like the lead off track “Animal”. Despite this somehow the music has a more of an organic late 90’s feel as the album hits the deck running. Smith is definitely a modern example of classic psychedelic-alternative electro rock popular in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. I can hear acts like X, No Doubt, Y&T, Stone Temple Pilots, and Dog Fashion Disco. But I can also hear an underlying life’s passion theme. I suspect many of the previously mentioned bands have had an influence. The musicianship from Smith is how shall I say, off the chain. Looks Smith’s got a 3 piece line-up live. The vocal front from Smith is equally as gravitating. He reminds me a lot of Michael Patton (Faith no More) and Michael Stipe (R.E.M) of serious Steroids. Another highlight for me is “Pendulum” which exemplifies the TP sound to a T. It’s got plenty of cool guitar riffing, bass playing that sits deep in the pocket but above all it shows just how far Smith will masterfully navigate with sheer precision lyrically through this simplistic yet amazing writing style. Smith demonstrate their individual musical talents and abilities as well without being to over the top about it. He also plays drums and percussion. This is hard to do then it sounds. Some bands come across as being to simplistic.
So are you thinking what I’m thinking? Somehow all the above is not compatible with the superficial musical times we live in? Terracotta Pigeons is well-suited for a wide audiences that enjoys frenzious Alternative Rock with a poetic-mysterious flair, amazing writing and a grand slam live show. There are even elements of Rock and Indie College Rock here as well. Expect great things from Terracotta Pigeons as their fanbase explodes past Australia this Summer. I believe there’s a detached and disgruntled audience just waiting for them to arrive.
Judy Coach edited by Janne Zawa.
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