1995- Guilt (EP)

Attempting to ride on the coattails of The Horrors, Auckland’s 1995 produce a grimy new wave sound with thorns poking out from the darkness. While Guilt has quite a rough production value, it clearly spells out the band’s desire to sound like their influences. Opening track ‘Need Torsion’, has a bouncy post-punk vibe, leading with some lower fret work before heading into a poorly mixed mash of barely legible vocals. The song fails to unravel and cuts off before having any major impact. ‘A Red Forest’ has a dark, dense, instrumental lining with cushioning metallic sounding drums and guitar riffs reminiscent of The Horrors Strange House. Unfortunately vocalist Matt Offord’s repetitive use of the word “radiate” starts to wear thin, and the entire band run a bit short on ideas to expand on what is a pretty decent sounding opening few minutes. Third track ‘Gettin’ Brainz’ teams a drone crusted synth line with a dancey bass rhythm, but Offord’s vocals sound fake, sung proudly in a deep English accent to sound much like, well, Faris Rotter of The Horrors. It may work at getting 1995 into the mainstream rock market, but its flawed originality will hardly fool the more observant music aficionado. By the time ‘Fractals’ kicks it’s boots, Guilt is already starting to merge into a blur, despite the songs shouty vocals. The song is most likely a live favourite, but on record, much like the other tracks, it fails to develop. Final track ‘Pan Op’, ends with a simple biting bass line tangled in a catchy guitar riff and is easily the strongest song, perhaps due to the lack of faux sounding vocals. There’s plenty of good elements inside every song on Guilt, it’s just unfortunate that the bad elements are the ones that stand out. They need to ditch the idea of sounding British and focus on something of their own true nature. The musicianship is there in abundance, it’s just the execution that needs work.

Posted by Nick Fulton under Album, Reviews
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