Tasmanian Tiger, the longest track on the EP ‘The Self Fulfilling Prophecies of the Flying Sorcerers’ stands at a diminutive but palatable, one minute 45 seconds. In a world of soundbytes, seven second-long Vine videos and Snapchats, surely there is no viable excuse in avoiding a cheeky listen. However, there are no gimmicks here, William Daymond assures me.
“In fact, we were shocked to discover that our 15 songs didn’t even break 20 minutes.”
With members from both Wellington and Christchurch, The Flying Sorcerers have existed for many years, albeit under fluctuating incarnations. First there was one: Paul Glubb – vocalist, guitarist, bassist, keyboard-player and songwriter. He was joined by Daymond, of Terror of the Deep notoriety, in 2010. Songs were written and toyed with, but then left to gather dust in the scatterings of projects as life got in the way.
However, while The Phoenix Foundation were on tour in 2011, Tom Watson (Cassette, HLAH) hired out their Car Club studio in Newtown. It was there that Daymond and Glubb laid down 15 basic tracks, just guitar and drums, before completing the overdubs sporadically throughout 2012 in Glubbs basement studio. These refinements were aided by the presence of a new drummer, Margaret Gordon, and a new bassist, Daymond’s fiancée, Catherine Henehan.
“Our biggest influence is ’60s pop,” explains Daymond. “British and American ’60s pop, alongside late ‘70s punk and the early ’80s Flying Nun sound.”He is quick to admit the quirky paradox of pairing the sweet, jangly pop of Merseyside music with the violent anger of anarchy. However, minus the context of political and sociological issues of earlier times, the energy and alacrity of punk actually neatly supports the structure of the ideal 60s pop song, guiding us swiftly through that old standard of the one minute, 20 seconds track. The first eight songs that were the easiest to complete from the 2011 recording session can be found on the new EP.
“Short, fast, loud, and fun,” is the tagline Daymond proudly suggests. My personal favourite, I Don’t Need You
strides in with a persistent and distorted strumming of the like we would expect of the new wave of angry young men and women. Yet the aggression is facetious and flimsy; simple harmonies break in, reminiscent of The Beatles’ oo-ing and aah-ing live on the Ed Sullivan show.Philadelphia-based label Hope for the Tape Deck are releasing The Flying Sorcerers’ EP on cassette in America, proving that exposure on Bandcamp alone can promote significant waves. And the other seven songs from that recording session now three years past? They will likely surface as the content of the bands next EP. Check them out: their breezy toe-tapping tracks will be sure to bring a smile to your face.