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coverpic flag New Zealand - Full Moon 240 - 03/23/16

Kane Strang
Blue Cheese
Flying Nun Records / Ba Da Bing Records

'Blue cheese is a general classification of cheeses that have had cultures of the mold Penicillium added so that the final product is spotted or veined throughout with blue, or blue-grey mold and carries a distinct smell, either from that or various specially cultivated bacteria. Some blue cheeses are injected with spores before the curds form, and others have spores mixed in with the curds after they form. Blue cheeses are typically aged in a temperature-controlled environment such as a cave. Blue cheese can be eaten by itself or can be spread, crumbled or melted into or over foods.' (Wikipedia)

Kane Strang's Blue Cheese has matured very well in a perfect environment I guess, as it holds a really nice handful of perfectly blue-grey spotted pop songs of 2-3 minutes length. Perfectly twisted and bent pop music. As I raved last moonth after hearing the superb single "Things Are Never Simple", I recalled the prime Flying Nun bands of the mid/late 80s such as The Chills, The Bats, The Clean, Sneaky Feelings and more. There must quite clearly be something special with the air, the water and the sea breezes down under.

Young Kane Strang and his Kane Strang band players (Ben, Pete and Rass) do their bedroom new-wave-psych-pop with style. From the opening "The Web", with its strange rhythm and (almost) corny, quirky synth sound, via the grace of the mentioned "Things Are Never Simple", to the sparkling "Full Moon, Hungry Sun" they're for sure up for giving us a strong debut album. In sound and spirit they also make me think of Manchester's legendary new wave band Magazine for a few seconds now and then (it might be the keyboards and the rhythms, not so much the vocals). "The Canyon Her River Carved" is another honest and efficient song. I don't know, it just hits me with its simplicity. Same goes for "She's Appealing", which is a fascinating song, which makes me recall bands such as Liverpool's 80/90s band The La's. The pop-psychedelic vibe shines through with "Never Kissed A Blonde", but it's all about plain, modest, unpretentious pop-rock-songs with a touch of something authentic, something genuine. Kane Strang's debut is half an hour of decent lo-fi rock. A couple more poppy, extrovert songs and this would have been a smashing debut. Mow it's a more than decent first album. Blue Cheese holds songs brimming with charm. Kiwi rock (pop style) rules! Again.

Copyright © 2016 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Kane Strang article/review: Things Are Never Simple.

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