Scorched Earth Days
I missed the early incarnation of Venetic, when Wayne Stuart McCallum, Johann Croton, Ziggy Bukowksi and Joey Esperito met in a Wellingon teahouse in 2002 and subsequently recorded six albums before they apparently dispersed to various locations including my home town of Whanganui, where McCallum, who is ostensibly all that's left of Ventic now resides.
Whatever, is behind the myths and masks, is not apparent but Scorched Earth Days, which is solely credited to McCallum is fuzzy and melodic guitar, literate songs and indie muscle at its best.
Two of the standout songs - Pizza Joint and Going To The Sky recall John Cale's spoken word dialogues during his days with Velvet Underground, while the aptly named Finale, Cat's Farewell and Prune Juice are deceptively simple songs with emotionally complex insights.
Scorched Earth Days is one of those alums that make you want to search out what has come before.
- © Fairfax NZ News