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Reviewed by Bing Turkby

Skyscraper Stan & The Commission Flats: Last Year’s Tune

Reviewed by Bing Turkby

Skyscraper Stan & The Commission Flats: Last Year’s Tune

Well-travelled lofty songwriter Skyscraper Stan refuses to heed the Ghostbusters’ warning, and gleefully crosses the streams of Donovan-esque psychedelic pop, Staples-esque groove, and, frankly, any other -esque he feels like. He’s been called a ‘country crooner’ too, and you get hints of that on tracks like Always Thinking Of You, but Stan and his accomplices The Commission Flats smash through genre boundaries as the song progresses, rampaging through the neighbourhoods of skiffle, soul and rockabilly on their merry way from country to town. They describe their sound as ‘troubadour rock ’n’ roll’, and this helps to convey the storytelling aspect of the music, as well as the energetic delivery. The musicianship is outstanding from start to finish. The Flats are a very tight band. They get to shine in their own way but never tread on Stan’s toes as he perpetrates his consummate vocal delivery. Formerly from Auckland, now based in Australia, Stan spent some time in America soaking up musical influences. It would be easy to say that the strategy paid off, but that would imply that anyone could take a trip to the crossroads and return a prodigy. The truth must also take into account such prosaic realities as hard work, inspiration, talent and a singular musical vision. ‘Last Year’s Tune’ is a tremendously rewarding listen.