Antipodes by Popstrangers (Album)

7 March, 2013 in Music Reviews

Popstrangers

New Zealand band Popstrangers make some impressive steps in what could become a definitive stride towards a truly special career

Popstrangers Antipodesfter a (presumably very brief) spell on legendary New Zealand indie Flying Nun, it’s pretty apt that Auckland-based trio Popstrangers’ debut full-length album has been released via US label Carpark Records. Despite professing a love of some of their previous label’s most influential acts such as (The) Chills, Clean and Gordons, their sound owes a much greater debt to early 90s US indie rock.

Major-label Sonic Youth, as well as the likes of the lesser-known Polvo, Seam and Cell, all loom pretty heavily over Antipodes’ 10 tracks. There are some great moments on here, such as the opening Jane, Witches and the suitably dreampop-like Heaven, whose earworm chorus could easily lead them to catching the ear of a switched-on advertising executive or music supervisor, an increasingly well-worn path to fame and fortune.

Antipodes is a pretty strong debut, though it does sounds more like a first step, rather than a definitive stride. The band’s plan to move to the UK to use it as a touring base for the rest of Europe and North America will surely increase their outlook and earn them some battle scars in the process. With the wind blowing in a favourable direction, this debut could be the start of something special, rather than just an album to file between your Panda Bear and Pussy Galore CDs.

Verdict: Fans of early 90s rock, file under NOW

Alun Jones