Cunchy Auckland indie rock quartet Tricks & Sleeves deliver an urgent and then again relaxed slice of proto-punk sandwiched against a shoegaze meets Neil Young vibe. Recorded at Northwest Digital and produced by the band (Jacobsen cousins Aaron, Jesse and Karl) with drummer Gareth Van Niekerk also engineering and mixing, these songs shift unexpectedly, as the best tend to do. An uplifting chorus is something of a specialty as is a cunning middle eight. Running a line somewhere between The Checks and Big Star melodically, they then rip out a riff more in line with early Purple. Next thing you know we go down into a pair of doomy ballads the first a Neil Young-esque solo effort the second a swinging portrait of gloom and mistrust. It is hard to pick the best cut from this album, some have great drum performances, others lead breaks or slinky bass lines or vocals you can’t forget. What I think is that this ensemble is so complete and united it shines through in the music they create. I’m even going to call Broken Beacon one of the best songs of the year. Special mention too for the track Magenta, these guys can swing.