Auckland band Superturtle ’s 10-year existence has been punctuated by four albums, each one slightly different to the other.
The latest of these, ‘Student Flat Reunion,’ looks to influences of the late 1970s and early-mid 1980s, notably post-punk and synth-pop, and It’s Not Me Talking has a great interplay between Darren McShane’s (ex-Chainsaw Masochist) edgy vocals, and the song’s 80s-rhythmic synth-based music, while Transatlantic Affairs, could easily have found a home on a local dance floor circa 1983.
At 19 tracks long, there’s some (expected) stylistic deviation throughout the album, with commercial pop/rock polish to La Da De Da, and garage guitar rock on the strident Mr Senseless, while the short, experimental instrumental Intermission could be an interesting area for Superturtle to investigate in the future.
A surprise favourite is the catchy alt-pop song Carry On, which has a sweet sing-along chorus. The album also sounds great, and is beautifully recorded – not surprising when you consider McShane’s job as an audio engineer at Earwig Studios, a handy skill to get a good sounding record.
Needless to say, Superturtle are covering a lot of ground on ‘Student Flat Reunion,’ with a number of musical ideas being worked through. While most work well, a few don’t and feel lost amongst the rest of the songs. But with material like this, a couple of missteps don’t matter at all.