Album Review: Six60

22 April 2012 | 1:19 pm | Carlin Beattie

Six60 runs at just under two hours in playing time – an extraordinary measure, given that the band’s desire is surely to engage new listeners

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Forming a bond through their university connections in 2008, New Zealand five-piece Six60 were inspired to develop their own blend of music, fusing the drum'n'bass, soul, rock and electro genres heard throughout and prior to their tertiary years. After generating a dedicated following on their home soil, the group now look to international audiences with the release of their self-titled debut album.

Six60 runs at just under two hours in playing time – an extraordinary measure, given that the band's desire is surely to engage new listeners. Further intriguing is that the album is formatted over two discs – a peculiar and disconcerting detail to discover as a newcomer; and in an era in which digital music consumption is king. While perhaps proving popular amongst devoted fans of the band, this feature merely hinders the course to appreciating the band's product as a causal consumer.

What unfolds is an odd assortment of tunes – curious in both the composition of tracks and the order and placement of each within the tracklisting. Shifting from folk, then hard rock, to synth-propelled melodies, then acoustic meanderings and back again, the playlist that makes Six60 is received with a confused ear. A distinct lack of direction plagues the Tiki Taane-produced album, resulting in a 16-track listening experience that runs too long and without focus. Even independent from the album in full, singles Rise Up 2.0, Only To Be, Don't Forget Your Roots and Forever struggle to muster much original creative energy – instead presenting as dated and off-kilter recordings of a sonic vision that has yet to be successfully realised.