pop/soul

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Brad Norington

Nose Dive

Saskwatch North­side/Re­mote Con­trol

DE­SPITE its ti­tle, Nose Dive is al­most all upside and up­beat. The sec­ond stu­dio al­bum from this Mel­bourne nine-piece band, which started as a busk­ing out­fit out­side Mel­bourne’s Flin­ders Street Sta­tion and turned into a must-see fix­ture at the city’s late night Cherry Bar, is a show­case of time­less pop and soul. Saskwatch is not break­ing new mu­si­cal ground but the band’s strength is its sharp, sassy sound and tight ar­range­ments on a bunch of orig­i­nal songs that ben­e­fit from work with pro­ducer Lach­lan ”Ma­goo” Goold of Re­gur­gi­ta­tor and Ger­ling fame at his Ap­ple­wood Lane stu­dio near Bris­bane. Saskwatch con­sid­ers it­self a col­lec­tive, and no doubt it is. Think the Com­mit­ments, but with­out Andrew Strong at the mi­cro­phone and hope­fully with­out that movie band’s bick­er­ing. What makes Saskwatch hang to­gether so well is the beauty, grace, power, and at times, fragility, of Nkechi Anele’s vo­cals, matched with a lovely brass sec­tion led by trum­peter-song­writer Liam McGorry and deft, sub­tle gui­tar play­ing by Rob Muinos. From the power of track one, Give Me a Rea­son, Anele’s voice lets you know this is go­ing to be an im­pres­sive ex­cur­sion. On Born to Break Your Heart, a torch song that is the source of the al­bum’s ti­tle, ac­cord­ing to McGorry, she switches be­tween strong and vul­ner­a­ble, ac­com­pa­nied by breezy, gui­tar chords that re­mind of David Bowie’s Young Amer­i­cans phase. Keep Me in Mind is sheer vo­cal joy, gui­tar riffs and brassy brass. Call Your Name and To­mor­row’s Prom­ises are stripped back and sweet. A Love Divine is both raw and raunchy. Even the al­bum’s sur­real cover art is a stand­out.

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