Saturday, 20 September 2008

What The New Sound Magazine has to say about Cuckooland:

The New Sound Magazine about Hoarsebox’s Cuckooland (Issue: Sept 2008)

The final offering of the month made the biggest impression. Hoarse Box is a four man band out of Ireland. The EP they sent in has five songs on it in a pop/rock style. The packaging was a simple, mostly cardboard, case with a hand drawn mascot figure as a consistent theme throughout. I liked the simple use of color and art and felt it represented the band well. A track list was on the back and the inside cover had the who-does-what next to hand drawn pictures of the band members. Also contained within was basic contact and production information.

Seeing the band was from Ireland before I listened to it gave me some preconceived thought as to how they would sound. I imagined a U2 or Cranberries type of somber approach, and was surprised by music that was quite the contrary. The arrangements were tight and upbeat. The music was light and full of energy. Overall a complete musical identity was portrayed and the consistent musicianship was a joy to listen to.

These guys are all very talented musicians and while I can't identify one talent above another, this speaks more to the consistency of the band members rather than there being a weak link. Most impressive was the use of jazz progressions throughout while laying a nice rock feel over it. Johnny Holden's keyboards seem to be the glue holding many of these difficult arrangements together, but there are no weaknesses from any of the band members.

I was thoroughly impressed with all four members vocally. While most bands can't put up one decent singer Hoarse Box seems to have four. I really enjoyed the use of dissonance and staccato rhythms that usually expose any vocal weakness. With Hoarse Box, however, it just drew me in and flowed really well. They must have fun writing the vocal arrangements knowing they can do almost anything with it, and pull it off.[…]

Production was very clean and balanced. Philip Blaise Magee and Ger McDonnel stayed true to the sound and presented a great musical picture. There seemed to be special attention placed on each and every note. There was a small lack of depth throughout but it fit the music. I would have liked to hear a heavier bass though.

I enjoyed what Hoarse Box sent and would love to hear more. […]

Written by: J.J. Reimer, published: 9/15/2008, The New Sound Magazine
(and I completely agree!)

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