Saskwatch: Manual Override

- Three albums down and we should really recognise that Saskwatch are a great Australian band. For real, three albums is exemplary given the current dynamics of the industry. Plus, they’re working as hard, if not harder, as a band that has major resources, matching a timeline that sees a debut album in 2012 and their fourth, Manual Override, here in 2017. 

Having set themselves up as a classic soul ensemble, this album sees the Melbourne act ditch the brass and embrace opportunity. Having an extra moment to arrange their brand of pop sees the group get a lil’ freaky, lil’ fun and plenty heartfelt. The eleven track are a great example of pop eclecticism: think Beach Boys finesse mixed with noughties indie-largesse, like Polyphonic Spree. The most buoyant moments like December Nights and Finger Painting are illuminated with a genuine sense of joyful creativity. 

Not that they don’t display an increasingly mature approach to curating an album and allow for some more contemplative moments. Singer, Nkechi Anele’s lyricism is more empathetic and that prime meridian metaphor in North Terrace is really rather refreshing. Actually, that song is particularly beautiful and great step forward for the band. 

There are many refreshing aspects to this album, the psych flair in the post-production, the palette-cleansing interludes and the dynamically epic Heaven Seems So Far with its orchestrated catharsis that is equal to The Drones noisiest efforts. There is such cohesive diversity to this album, from its garage-pop to the chamber orchestra flourishes, it’s a kaleidoscopic embrace of self and sound and Australia is richer for it.

- NJR.

Album Details

Album Title: Manual Override
Artist: Saskwatch
Record Label: (Grow Yourself Up)