Album Review

Persevere 7

Persevere 7

by Pumice

Soft Abuse
7 / 10
18th September 2009

Reviewed by Paul Gallagher

Pumice, aka Stefan Neville, has had a gilded few years following his signing to Soft Abuse (home to Blackout Beach, Hala Strana and the Skygreen Leopards), the release of the incredibly good Pebbles and it's follow-up full length Quo.

But it's also been pretty tough going for a guy that's had over twenty releases since Y2K.

With increased exposure and well-received records comes the obligation of touring - and after spending much of the last three years touring across the United States, Europe and Japan you can't really blame the guy for being a bit weathered and feeling the fatigue a bit. After lying low for a few months he played around a bit on the down low earlier this year on our fair shores - including a wonderful New Zealand tour with Grouper (which came along with an incredible split 7-inch also available on Soft Abuse).

After going so strongly for so long, Neville's peering his head back over the parapet with this latest release marking a return to form. Only one song is his own - The Dawn Chorus of Kina - which is, as anyone who's ever been to a rocky beach might guess, an ode to a mystic sea urchin. The remaining two tracks belong in words to the Axemen and Michael Hurley, but in his versions of other people's songs Neville takes ownership in his own special and concerted noise pop fuzz way.

The method hasn't really changed, but the delivery comes in reassured confidence. It's an essential and incredible release from one of New Zealand's most prolific but under-noticed musicians.

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