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July 17, 2006 | by  | in Music |
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Voom: Hello, are you there?

If the world needed the missing link between Wayne Coyne, Brian Wilson and Thom Yorke (and I firmly believe it does) then we have it now, in Voom’s cracked-of-vox and sincere-ofheart frontman Buzz Moller.

Voom pic. Since 1998, when Voom released their bNet favourite debut Now I Am Me, the band have been laying low, adding and subtracting members, messing around in basements, and generally taking their time building up a beautiful and whimsical slice of kiwiana indie-pop sincerity. There’s enough sonic and lyric experiments that annoy or fail to resolve to prevent me proclaiming this the logical progression, in a fair world, to Yoshimi on muscle relaxants, but it’s a close call. Buzz, key songwriter, manages to cover dreamlike Flaming Lips-esque psychedelia on ‘Beautiful Day’ and ‘We’re So Lost’, Merseybeat harmonies on ‘Ride of Your Life’ and Kid A lush drifting on ‘Feel’, yet in ‘B your Boy’ and ‘King Kong’ (released in 2002 and still going strong) they write two of the most fantastically dumb, catchy singalong pop-rock anthems New Zealand’s had since Goodshirt did ‘Green’. Actually, Voom has inherited Goodshirt’s rhythm section, and along with it their knack for a pop hook it seems. This is an album cleaned up or perhaps wised up from the debut. Studio mistakes and silly noises are deliberate and crafted this time round, and while it can be charming on Hello, Are You There? it can equally become pretty superfluity on ‘Let’s Go Home’ or ‘You Were A Man’. For all that, this is largely an album of one perfectlyformed song after another. The intensity and beauty of Buzz’s voice ensures that even a line like “I wanna be your boy so bad” comes off as much more than pop cliché. He really, really means it, and for all you winsome but hopeful kids, the soundtrack to bedsitland is here.

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About the Author ()

BORN WITH a cigarette in one hand and The Trial in other, Bea meant to go on as she started. Music wasn’t her first love, but her first love ended in a fight over rightful ownership of a Velvet Underground LP and the kitchen knife, so she chose the kinder option and stuck with it. In her spare time she enjoys casting aspersions, skulking, and making sweeping statements. She never checks her facts: figures it’s a way to live a little, to have arguments with people, then meet them. She’s currently writing a collection of short stories inspired by Schopenhauer’s manifesto of suffering and the Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster. When it gets published, she’s pretty sure that boy will want to hold her hand.

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