Ex Chainsaw Masochist and bFM Electic Chair presenter Darren McShane says Beat Manifesto is the closest album he's made to something he'd like himself.
A strange thing to say, maybe. But, from this manifesto, McShane and his ragtag band are a strange crew.
Happily placing tongues in cheeks they seemingly rattle through a dozen angular oddball 80s dope-party tracks recalling thumb-holed cardigans, damp-stained bedsits, Bowie posters and Flying Nun flyers.
Spaceage synths underpin McShane's shout-sung vocals and paint-by-numbers basslines.
And then you listen to the album again and realise you're singing along.
This is analogue pop at its most economical (nothing here wastes more than three and a half minutes) and once the hook has been found and the message told, it's quickly on to the next little gem.
And you're singing that one too... this time with a B52s silly accent.
Everything sounds like something buried somewhere in a half-cardboard box full of vinyl, buried at the back of the garage beneath a long-rusted weedeater.
Standouts are the New Wave Bowie-style You're Gonna Get There Too and the blindingly catchy Cause Ya Said So but the whole brief package sounds so like a best-of 80s Kiwi compilation that it's just easier to start from the beginning and start singing along.
- © Fairfax NZ News