Artist: Bill Direen/Bilders
Run: 314 copies
Catalogue number: ZR011
Release date: 26 June 2018
Original artwork by Ronnie van Hout
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- One Body
- Snake (Drive Drive)
- Nil Nil
- Sheets of Ice
- Swing in Yr Tree
- Lookin’ Up
- Famous Smile
- Let it Go (Cut)
- Paint Fume
- Do You
- Repossessed (live reprise)
In the 90s, Bill Direen was working clubs, cabarets and theatres with drummer Derek Champion when Peter Jefferies brought them to Dunedin for gigs and recordings. Bill slept on the floor of the Volt studio, and guests dropped by to add their genre of Dunedin brilliance to the Direen/Champion grooves.
The album features luminaries like Alistair Galbraith (violin) and Rob Thorne (guitar), while Peter Gutteridge gave advice on how to drive items from his private collection of keyboards. Stephen Kilroy (organ) and Kiri Winders (vocals, My Deviant Daughter) added harmonic layering, while Brendan Hoffman mixed and masterminded. Brendan integrated some recordings made at a home studio, plus a live recording serendipitously recorded by the late Terry King (R.I.P.) in which saxist Steve Wolf and reed emulator Victoria Singh guested. Bill and Derek took off for a whistle stop tour of the USA, taking in San Francisco, Chicago and New York City, while Hoffman synchronised a CD release with the tour. The critics sought ways to describe it, with CMJ calling it “perhaps Direen’s finest work yet”.
CRITICAL RESPONSE TO CUT
“Electric celeste, garage fuzz, carousel organ, zonked-out flute, surf riffs or Thinking Fellas guitar, cutting through a tune like a butcher’s cleaver.” (Jud Cost, MAGNET). “Bizarre juxtapositions of reality and nightmare gives off a sense of lucid, unrelenting hallucination”. “A mix of jerky intensity and perverse wordplay with more traditional pop timing and musicianship”. “In Fashion, cogent social observations are wedded to jagged riffs of crawling, grungy blues and vocals rendered in a dirty growl. Worry, a glacial swirl of delicate, reedy keyboard lines and the fragile piping of a tin whistle offer the palatial, deceptively romantic setting for a story of amorous neglect and loveless sex. Most interestingly, on Poke (a revved-up pop song reminiscent of the Rascals’ Good Love), conventional rock instrumentation is supplemented by a fuzz-pedalled guitar that buzzes away like a dull bit burrowing into steel.” (Phil Pegg, PUNCTURE). “While Cut, perhaps Direen‘s finest work yet, is adventurous with structure, instrumental textures and weird-voiced over-dubbed harmony, there are simply terrific songs at the core. Direen is a sharp-witted and skilled writer of crafty and finely-crafted songs on a par with masters like Chris Knox and Mayo Thompson.” (David Newgarden, CMJ) “Eclectic, endearing pop ditties that get under your skin.” (Fred Mills, OPTION).
Album engineered by: Brendan Hoffman, All tracks recorded at Volt Dunedin except A7, A9, B3, B7 & B10 at (Martinborough), and B11 at Mountain Rock Festival February 1994 (soundman: Terry King).
For a digital download of the album visit our Bandcamp page.
For Darryl Baser‘s review of the album for Muzic.net.nz click HERE.