freddy reynolds oct 2021

CURRENT ISSUE

DONATE ADVERTISE SUBSCRIBE

Reviewed by Darryl Kirk

Courtesy Caller: A Pleasant Climb For Some EP

Reviewed by Darryl Kirk

Courtesy Caller: A Pleasant Climb For Some EP

Requiring just over a quarter hour to complete its six tracks, ‘A Pleasant Climb For Some’ by Courtesy Caller is a most pleasing musical experience.

Structured but oblique, avenues are explored and then discarded. Wellington’s Ben Lemi, who has worked with the likes of Upper Hutt Posse, Trinity Roots and French For Rabbits, seems to be an explorer, inquisitive about the sonic dimensions of key and structure. Eno-esque, the album appears to be almost an exercise in tonal and tonic japes.

The drums are tribal to start the opening track Shapes to Come, like a more upbeat Albatross. Theme de Ding Yu is a compelling piece centred around a classical guitar introduction which then moves into a chiming xylophone, disintegrating beyond repair to conclude.

Next comes the hauntingly orchestral Voyage au Triton which lasts all of two minutes. The flamenco-styled guitar and floating-in-the-background a la 10CC vocal layering on The Meeting are in some ways the sanest constructions on the EP.

‘A series of aural conglomerations…’ as Lemi describes it on the Courtesy Caller Bandcamp page, it’s not that this is a difficult listen, but occasionally it proves twitchy with its encyclopaedic musical references. With vocals few and far between there is little for a pop fan to latch onto, yet there are sublime pop moments hidden away here among some terrific sonic craft. 

support nzm