Opossom – Electric Hawaii
On Electric Hawaii, New Zealand’s Kody Neilson has honed an infectious strain of Motown-inspired psych-pop. It’s a densely-layered record, combining bruising guitar, heavily-processed vocals and a mixture of drum loops with live percussion; the end result often sounds like a more feelgood, poppy take on Thee Oh Sees’ deliriously overdriven garage, particularly on the stomping, surfy Cola Elixir. Quieter tracks, like the closing Inhaler Song, are closer to Animal Collective’s sunny, echo-laden psychedelia.
Having spent eight years fronting Auckland’s Mint Chicks, however, Neilson has developed a distinctive songwriting style, ensuring that Electric Hawaii always retains an individuality that transcends its influences. There are plenty of instantly catchy songs here, particularly the bass-driven power-pop of Blue Meanies; if the album has a flaw, it’s simply that the heaviness of the production means the subtleties of Neilson’s songs don’t always register. At just half an hour long, however, it never outstays its welcome. [Sam Wiseman]