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Album Review

by Piece War


Review Date
13th May 2014
Reviewed by
Paul Larsen

Auckland based duo Tina Pihema and Barbara Rocha are Piece War, a lo-fi band with a barely contained aversion to structure, rehearsal and production. Recorded in full before Rocha left for a European sojourn in 2010, the band's debut record Apathy, which has only just been released, wears these traits proudly. Like tattered badges on a denim jacket, they define the band's sound completely.

From the hurried power chords of opener, 'Darkness' to the dying vocal strains of 'Who Will Love You Now', Apathy is fast loose and beautifully lo-fi throughout its compact running time. Though the production is low key, the disarmingly powerful and assured vocals of both players add a third dimension to the band's sound. 'Call on Me' is a fine example of this and one of the album's stand out tracks, Pihema's swirling wall-of-sound guitar laying down an expansive canvas for the song's raw sentiment ("you can call on me if I can call on you!”).

'We Are At War', a frenetic battle-cry of a song which will be familiar to b-net listeners is also worthy of note. Again, despite sounding like it may have been recorded in the fireplace of your local pub, the net product is somehow a lot more than the sum of its parts. If the album's name is a reflection of the effort that went into it, then I don't want Piece War to try much harder.


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