The Sands are from Otago, but Porky won’t be banding that humdrum Dun***n S***d crap on ya today … it’s the Port Chalmers sound!
In this wee toun north of the biggest city in the province there’s a hotel, described in the press release as “tiny and haunted” but it has shoved a microphone and a cheap pint in the direction of Sebadoh, J.Mascis and Sharon van Etten et al over the years. This is the Sands’ spiritual home.
The trio are steeped in shoegazing, ethereal scuzzy, laidback psych. The cover seems more appropriate after a couple of listens. You get all of those adjectives and more on the droney Make It Through, and it’s erstwhile cousin Should Be Better, which is as good as a pitch as any for what independent South Island music has screamed over the decades.
You want it mellow? Like Pink Floyd? Try the two-minute hypnotic instrumental Whareakeake while Coming Back finds Mike McLeod with guitar in hands chopping out riffs like he was in Ha! The Unclear.
All over this record are violins, chiming drums and deadpan vocals. It’s like Robert Scott on acid.
Tune in, turn on, slop out.