When was the last time you saw someone drop whatever they were doing, stand straight up, and declare "I'm going to New Zealand!" Never. Despite a gorgeous climate, beautiful geography, some of the friendliest people on the planet, and kiwis, damn kiwis, New Zealand never seems to be on anybody's epiphany list. Perhaps that's why Tablefox is filled with angst. These Aucklanders lay down five-tracks of lush guitar-driven teardrop music on their EP Passenger. Now, I don't know if there's a direct correlation between not wanting to go to New Zealand (tourism is nine percent of the country's GDP, you monster) and Tablefox's music, but it made me at least consider a vacation there. Maybe I just wasn't meeting the right people? Least now I'm listening to the right music.
Passenger grabbed my attention immediately with its lush guitar work, harkening back to Emo's golden years, if there was ever such a time. To get this much sound out of three people is downright impressive, and the three men in Tablefox play like the veterans they'll someday be. The jaunty drumming and the undulating bass lines give the rhythm section the versatility to pull a song in with tight orchestration or to let the songs bounce around the autumnal vocals of their vocalist (Notice how I didn't name anyone? In the business we call this "teasing" or "laziness."). At times, the album reaches heights of musical jubilance, even sounding anthemic. There're some great lyrics to be heard here, though because of the emotional drive, they can come out sounding overly indulgent. "You're a cannonball. You could start a war. But you gave your heart." It’s an interesting metaphor, but a bit much for a breakup song. And yet, the boys are just flexing their muscles right now. The band is currently working on a debut full-length, slated to drop later this year or early next. Keep a lookout for it.
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