Saturday, August 9, 2014

Album Review: Vorn – More Songs About Girls And The Apocalypse (2014)

Wellingtonian Vorn Colgan and his team of merry pranksters always leave the impression that they’re so full of clever ideas there’s never quite enough room or time to get them all down on one album. As is the case once again with album number seven, More Songs About Girls And The Apocalypse, which is fair brimming with wry observational humour, smart social commentary, and the usual Vorn-sized portions of self deprecation.

Out on Powertool Records, and recorded at You Call That A Studio studio in Newtown - which I suspect is something akin to Colgan’s bedroom - More Songs is yet another example of Vorn’s predilection for thumbing a nose in the face of convention.

This time out we get a little bit of everything and a whole lot more; from the Sgt Pepper-esque chamber pop of the opener ‘Flint And Tinder’, to the warped synthpop of ‘Drowning Kittens’ (featuring Anna Edgington), all the way across multiple styles to the Celtic flavours of ‘This Is What’.

We even get a variation on Hip hop, and some plain old fashioned guitar-driven pop. You never quite know what’s coming next - and that’s a pretty cool thing. There’s plenty of violin, there’s trumpet, double bass, and that wonderful piece of technology we call the Kaossilator, yet somehow the music almost feels peripheral at times, such is the dizzying appeal of the lyric sheet.

And while the very funny and hopefully-not-autobiographical ‘The Story of My Fucking Life’ perhaps offers us the best illustration of that, I find it hard to go past ‘Repentance Song’, which coughs up this little gem:
“I have strayed and I have sinned, I can’t even touch myself because I don’t know where I’ve been … my straight and narrow’s bent and stretched beyond repair ..."

(an edited version of this review originally appeared in the June/July edition of NZ Musician)

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