With a pleasant, if a slightly affected singing voice, I picture Wellington psych-rocker David Sutton reviewing his record collection and deciding that a thematic approach to his own was just a waste of time when he could pack in a bunch of styles.
All of the songs on ‘Binary’ (bar two) are solo compositions, and just what influence the co-writer had I can’t be sure. What is apparent is that multi-instrumentalist Sutton is well read musically and able to draw from the disparate likes of ‘Sgt Peppers‘ to Tubeway Army to 10cc.
Production is clean and varied, the 10 songs given a depth that benefits from some crafty bass and drum work – presumably all to Sutton’s credit. His guitar sound is a dated in spots but that’s not a major distraction – an issue with the mournful and troubled ballad Sunshine And Rain which saps some of the energy of what has gone before.
The payoff comes with the nine-minute long closer Groovy, which comes on like the most messed up Joe Walsh rocker he never wrote, then spirals through a middle eight of weird only to get back to that riff you loved the first time, before it elevates to an ending which seems to go nowhere until resolving in a mind-bending vignette.
The overall effect is like a package holiday through the great sights of the three or four key decades of pop and rock. Some tracks are the dangerous back streets while others are the grand avenues and squares.