Wednesday, January 9, 2013

REVIEW: Opposite Sex - Opposite Sex

Ragged, weird, fantastic and a bit feral are some of the descriptions applied to Opposite Sex (yes, I understand they also are applied to one's exes of the opposite sex generally, but you don't really expect me to tackle that subject, do you?).  Lucy Hunter (bass, vocals, trumpet, piano, keys), Tim Player (drums, vocals, keys) and Fergus Taylor (guitar) are college students currently residing in Dunedin on New Zealand's south island.  Their self-titled debut LP was recorded in eight hours over two days at the Fishrider Records studio.  Its original release on Fishrider was in 2011 and sold out quickly, probably largely to an eager New Zealand audience.  But Fishrider re-released in 2012 and it was licensed to Occultation for distribution in the UK and Europe, giving the band renewed exposure.  I first heard the album two weeks ago, and after multiple plays concluded that it was in my top group of recommended albums for 2012 (My 2012 list here).

The songs on Opposite Sex vary among somewhat scruffy folk rock, post-punk, alt rock, cabaret pop, and other, somewhat more adventuresome approaches including carnival waltzes.  At times it seems like the trio is performing free form poetry to a lo-fi accompaniment.  The vocals -- mostly Lucy but some from Tim as well -- are unassuming but effective.  Imaginative, twisted pop such is this has an immediate magic, as well as a broader effect in subverting the boundaries of what to expect in a pop song.  By the way, currently four of the tracks on the album are available for free download at the Bandcamp link below, although I recommend the entire album.

"La Rat" by Opposite Sex from Fishrider Records on Vimeo.

"Sea Shanty" by Opposite Sex from Fishrider Records on Vimeo.

Fishrider Records
Occultation (UK/Europe label)


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