The Phoenix Foundation: Happy Ending

~ Thursday, 16 July 2009
This New Zealand band are much venerated in their homeland and this their 3rd album may struggle to get them noticed further afield. Now, if a band comes from New Zealand they often get unfairly compared to Split Endz or Crowded House, but there is no getting away with the fact that these guys do share a similar sound.

Front man Samuel Flynn Scott at times sound uncannily like Jarvis Cocker and indeed opener Bright Grey could easily fit on a pulp album as could Bleaching Sun. On Slumber Party and Gandolf there is a psychedelic feel, like Sgt. Pepper era Beatles or The Beach Boys Pet Sounds.

The best tracks are 40 Years, all jangling guitars and a perfect song for the summer, and Burning Wreck, a beautiful song made all the more enjoyable by Flynn Scott's lazy vocals.

That said, the main problem with this album is that while there are no duds, there are no real obvious singles on here that grab you and make you pay attention. With the exception of 40 Years, it is hard to see where the radio play will come from.

[][][] (3/5)