Lucy Hunter, Tim Player and Fergus Taylor may sound like Enid Blyton characters but they are in fact members of the Dunedin-based band Opposite Sex that’s making waves on indie music blogs in the UK. Sounding like The Dresden Dolls, Princess Chelsea and Man Man broadcasting from an underwater space station, or like a friendly fungus growing on the floor of The Wine Cellar that’s spontaneously shown signs of life, their debut album was recorded over two afternoons by Fishrider Records founder Ian Henderson.
The album opens with La Rat, a bouncy track where the frenetic pace contrasts with Hunter’s light, youthful voice. “I know that it’s hard to be on the outside, there are people who hate you wherever you are,” she trills. Sea Shanty, a ditty about wanting to live under the ocean, manages to include swamp rock, carnival and old horror film elements without sounding either campy or as though they want to be American. Hunter’s pleasant, wistful, tuneless voice swims through the layers of cymbals and guitar.
Player lends his art school monotone, and Taylor his ecstatic guitar bursts, to the decidedly lo-fi Mary Lu. Panther Fight sounds like a mysterious but happy dream with Hunter providing her own guileless backing vocals. Got To Eat is a feisty, spacey number that showcases Hunter’s demented keyboard-playing. By contrast Hamish And Chips is a Ramones-y moment with a clear narrative and a punk hook. Later Taylor lets loose on The Bones Of Dr. White where he reveals some serious guitar chops.
There are interesting corners and crevices throughout the album, which is driven by the chatty guitar, dreamy lyrics and shake-your-stuff drums. The trio blatantly disregard many of the sacred cows of music (such as singing in tune), and touch their fun, eccentric tunes with virginal lightness. Deranged contributions from all three band members – Player’s muttering and yelling, Hunter’s spaced-out moments and Taylor’s frenzied guitar – make Opposite Sex sound like a release from the idiot savant wing of the asylum. Catch them while you can.
Kathryn van Beek www.joyriderpromotions.com
Click here to listen to Master Slave from Opposite Sex: