Get ready for another dose of ‘acid-tinged pop art’, and alien looking brains with the release of ‘19 Years In The Same House’ by Shady Brain Farm. As revealed in the title, this is a well experienced outfit, and in line with their previous releases this one covers an eclectic genre range.
The trio hail from points west and north of Auckland and there’s a mix of surf rock / indie rock / surf punk and pop rock, with a sprinkling of reggae, over the 13 tracks. While such diversity is often a cover for confusion that’s not the case here.
There’s a natural composition of different elements at play, the fusion of different styles adding variety while the tracks still meld effortlessly from one to the other. In places Shady Brain Farm capture that free-wheeling upbeat indie pop / punk rock vibe made popular in Dunedin way back when, albeit with quite different recording values.
Citing interests that include space travel, they have a spacious, almost clean sound with coherent lyrics. Ben Furniss (vocals, guitars and keys), Chris Vaughan (bass, vocals) and singing drummer Paul Taylor have clearly been playing together for years and enjoy the process of creativity. The supportive way they work together provides evidence of this, and the band also have a 2015 EP and 2016 album available on Bandcamp.
The clarity of Furniss’ voice shines through (as does his super guitar tone), but having all the three pitching in creates helpful variety to the lyrics and vocals. Completed with the suitably rustic cerebral art of Will Saunders, Shady Brain Farm have delivered another pleasingly quirky album of quality new music.