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Album Review
3, 2, 1, 2000

3, 2, 1, 2000
by Roy Irwin

Muzai Records

Review Date
6th September 2010
Reviewed by
Gareth Meade

The sheer ease with which musicians can sit at home and record music these days means that a disproportionate amount of shit tends to filter into the public consciousness. The flipside is that occasionally an actual talent will blossom from the miasma, providing reassurance that all faith in music should not be lost just yet. Auckland based singer-songwriter Roy Irwin falls firmly into the latter camp, eschewing any kind of pretence in favour of doing what he can with what’s he got. Which, when listening to his new album 3, 2, 1, 2000, turns out to be considerable ability to write catchy lo-fi pop songs that bring to mind some of the genre’s best.


The album pendulums between slow acoustic numbers (that don’t entirely render the Evan Dando comparisons unjust) and fuzzed out electric songs (which are more in the vein of Irwin’s heroes Jay Reatard and Darcy Clay), but 3, 2, 1, 2000 remains a cohesive piece of work. The fact that he can go from ‘Dreaming’, with it’s gentle plucked guitar and Mark Everett style vocals into the DIY punk of ‘Baby, It’s Over’ and not have either feel out of place really helps to add to the overall charm of the album. Similarly when ‘Same Old’ digresses into ‘Hail, Hail’ it’s a fitting bookend to the lethargy of the album’s opening tracks.


But there is a fine line between documenting the ennui of existence and contributing to it and that lethargy can become overbearing. However you get the feeling that it’s all part of the point of the album and Irwin’s music in general. What sounds like effortless song-writing is probably just the opposite, while a detached vocal delivery may just be his way of dealing with the more personal content of his lyrics. Either way, it’s an easy gripe to look past based on the strength of what else is presented here.


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