Whilst on a simple level I enjoyed the Wordy Rappinghood-ness of this, the Chicks On Speed/Tom Tom Club via the distinctly Kiwi version of bad-on-purpose rap-inside-of-pop that’s naive and ironic and retro and outsider-art futuristic all at once, I also thought this was a giant crock of shit. And I’m probably supposed to. And by that I don’t (just) mean me personally – it feels like flattering this music as anything more than passing novelty is not worth it. And it feels like this music has been set up to shrug off any criticism.
It also feels empty and like it will disappear before too long. And though I’m usually a fan of the 7-9 track/18-30 minute release that isn’t quit an album and is slightly more than an EP that can only work if it’s not still comprised of mostly filler. And Underwater Pyramids is certainly not filler-free, in fact it’s half-full of filler material, meaning it’s actually a 12-16-minute/4-5-track EP with ideas above its station.
I dig the silliness of lines like “You consciously make me self-conscious/subconsciously you like conquering me/but tell your conscience to have a conferene/with your subconscious…” I even dig the repetition. I even dig the repetition. I even dig the repetition. But beyond that there’s really not much else. There’s really not much else.
And though this is probably a separate axe for a separate grinding I’m not sure this act deserves to be on Flying Nun and I’m not sure Flying Nun’s existing audience will care a great deal for this album. Flying Nun’s stumbling comeback is (supposed to be) about heritage. And though any label needs to move forward and find new acts Flying Nun exists – now – due to nostalgia. Due to legacy. And that legacy is slowly-but-swiftly dwindling with this sort of music becoming the face/voice of the new Flying Nun. Yes it’s a new century, a new decade, a new model exists within music making and delivery – but this is hipster twaddle. And the same handful of toe the line listeners and critics will gush over this. Then move on. And it ain’t worth gushing. Like it for a bit if you must – it’s harmless, it’s almost fun. But don’t look for anything here that isn’t there. Because it isn’t there.
And it’s hard to believe this isn’t a debut. It’s a second album…apparently.