Album Review: New War - New War

3 July 2012 | 6:19 pm | Bradley Armstrong

New War have musically made a cool-sounding album with catchy drum beats and intense guitar and string work.

Melbourne four-piece New War present their self-titled debut album, backing up the acclaim of their live shows and the strength of 2010's Ghostwalking 12”. Recorded by Lindsay Gravina, who's also responsible for the likes of HTRK and Rowland S. Howard, a clear influence is seen throughout the record.

To start off with, this album features two main flaws. On a number of the tracks the vocals feel over-produced and, in some cases, they ruin the atmosphere the music's trying to create. Secondly, some of the lyrics are far too pedestrian, like the tag line for Revealer, “I sing for you”, or Slim Dandy busting out, “Powdered up like a teenage queen/Come on Slim, do you know what I mean?”.

These two problems aside, New War have musically made a cool-sounding album with catchy drum beats and intense guitar and string work. Game Of Love's constant build is edge of your seat stuff 'til its grand string section. The walking groove on Calling From The Inside feels authentic, while eight-minute closer Josef's Hands has that HTRK feel at first, then busts out into an industrial collection of noise and emotion. There is no need to bring up why Ghostwalking is on the album either.

While New War haven't made a bad album as such, it just feels like it's aiming for two different markets lyrically and musically. It's as if it requires you as a listener to sit down longer and give it more time, or as if the band needed to sit down and focus more on the songwriting to give it that little push that it so desperately needs.

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