new estate Recovery (CD, £9.95)label: Chapter Music
Melbourne scrap-pop wonders New Estate release their fourth album Recovery, their first for Chapter Music. As the title suggests, it’s a reinvigorated band you hear on the new album, making Recovery New Estate’s brightest, catchiest record to date. The departure of bassist Brad Cosier in 2010 saw the band undergo a period of inner contemplation, but they have re-emerged with new bassist Toby Dutton (ex-Flywheel) and a renewed dedication to their ragged, intelligent pop, always with its centre of molten warmth. Like their debut album, 2004’s Considering, Recovery was recorded by the band at their home studio in verdant Jacana, but New Estate have honed their recording skills in the intervening years and bring a wealth of new life experience and musicianship to Recovery. The album was made on Garageband over a period of two years, but as keyboardist/guitarist/singer Mia Schoen says: “We expected it to take a long time. Unlike the studio experience of our last two albums, recording ourselves is all about taking time, hanging out, having fun, listening, overdubbing, discussing and generally enjoying the recording process, with the luxury of time and reflection and no stress.” Mia and guitarist Marc Regueiro-McKelvie (Teeth & Tongue, Popolice) share songwriting duties fairly evenly, bar a track each contributed by bassist Toby and idiosyncratic drummer Larry G. Mia’s songs, like Diamonds and Parallel are propulsive pop explosions, while Marc’s songs veer into sprawling guitar epic territory. Toby’s Can’t Do Without You could be a lost early 80s Oz Rock classic, while the extended emotional chaos of Larry G’s Whiskey Spider makes for a glorious mess. It should also be pointed out that Mia and Larry’s history with Chapter Music, together and separately, dates back to its very first release in 1992. Their fine work in bands such as Sleepy Township, Molasses, Mustang! and Driving Past is dotted across a large part of Chapter’s early catalogue, so with Recovery, they make an endearing, warm-hearted and very welcome return to the label.
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