Album review: New Zealand > You – Axver And The Quiet Minority

17 Feb

Yes, that Axver. This album just sort of fell into my lap and I felt it was my duty, as a music blogger (term used loosely) to review it.

So let’s begin, shall we?

Never heard of them?

Well, let’s have a quick bio of the band then.

(from last.fm): Axver and the Quiet Minority is a new band proud of its New Zealand origins that takes its name from a post on the Interference forum (home to other acclaimed bands such as The Interferers). The band’s Kiwi heritage is celebrated on their debut album not just through its title of New Zealand > You, but also through a performance of the New Zealand national anthem – in both Maori and English. The band also covers a couple of favourites by home-grown acts and a few of their foreign favourites. Little is known about who comprises the Quiet Minority as they maintain their silence even on the album, but André Axver has no inhibitions about expressing himself, even if he chooses to use his terrible singing voice.

Axver and the Quiet Minority was originally classified as a progressive classical punk-pop band, but a quick chat with WinAmp persuaded André Axver that k-pop sounded far too Korean for a guy who hasn’t a drop of Asian blood in him or influence in his music, so he changed the band’s direction and their music is of the progressive classical pun genre.

Ever since the release of New Zealand > You on 24 September 2005, the band has been notably silent except for a few guest vocal appearances by André Axver on songs by The Interferers. In an interview with himself, Axver revealed his desire to open concerts for U2 when they visit New Zealand, though instead of performing with the Quiet Minority, he will recite Pi to 353 decimal places as his girlfriend strums a guitar. It is not known how Bono feels about this proposal.

There are persistent rumours that a cover of Split Enz’s “Poor Boy” was intended to be included on New Zealand > You but was removed from the tracklisting at the last minute. Axver has declined to confirm or deny this rumour, the Quiet Minority has offered no comment, and the song itself has not leaked into the public domain.

So, let’s have the review then.

1. Exit – 0:58
Shame this isn’t longer. Though I suppose it’s as long as an a capella version can be without trying to imitate Edge’s guitar with your voice.
Stopped for lulz at 0:14, 0:22, 0:25, 0:29, 0:49, 0:53, 0:55, 0:57.

Final answer: Oh, dear.

2. Fire – 1:49
Barely recognizable as Fire at the beginning. Forgot about Edge’s bits. I’m not sure that this could be more monotone and off-key if he tried.
Stopped for lulz at 0:14, 0:17, 0:22, 0:39, 0:51, 1:01, 1:14, 1:19, 1:28, 1:49.

Final answer: On the upside, this is the first time I’ve understood the lyrics of Fire…

3. The Sound of Muzak – 1:56
Kind of at a disadvantage for this one as I haven’t heard this Porcupine Tree song. So it’ll be judged on it’s own merits.
Stopped for lulz at 0:10, 0:18, 0:45, 1:00, 1:16, 1:33.

Final answer: I sort of feel like my ears have been violated. Not a song to listen to with headphones.

4. Numb – 2:25
Okay, Edge reciting lyrics in a deep monotone. He can’t possibly do this badly. I kind of feel like I’m listening to an overeager Japanese game show host.
Stopped for lulz at 0:16, 0:27, 0:42, 0:55, 1:08, 1:15, 1:26, 1:37, 1:46, 1:56, 2:09, 2:16, 2:24

Final answer: In a weird way, I was kind of hoping he’d do Larry’s background and Bono’s Fat Lady bits, but I didn’t think he’d do it that way.

5. Bullet The Blue Sky – 2:14
Had an aneurysm at 0:46 from laughing. Will get back to you when I recover.
Stopped for lulz at–well, it took me twenty minutes to listen to it cause I had to keep pausing it, that’s how hard and how often I was laughing.

Final answer: I used to think this song was sexy. Now…not so much. Well done.

*wipes tears* Okay, let’s get on with the second half.

6. They Walked In Line – 1:23
If Ian Curtis wasn’t already spinning in his grave, he is now!
Stopped for lulz at 0:22, 0:44, 1:00, 1:06, 1:16.

Final answer: If I was Ian Curtis and I hadn’t killed myself yet, I would after hearing that.

7. My Generation – 1:54
Here I thought no one could top the awful, awful, AWFUL cover Green Day did of this back in 1989. I was wrong.
Stopped for lulz at 0:03, 0:07, 0:12, 0:16, 0:27, 0:30, 0:36, 0:40, 0:46, 0:53, 0:59, 1:07, 1:21, 1:30, 1:44. 1:54.

Final answer: I hope Keith Moon’s zombie kicks your ass while doing the Thriller dance.

You know how in The Dark Knight when The Joker was laughing so hard it sounded like he was crying? That’s the territory I’ve moved into. That’s right. Axver’s awful music has turned me into a terrorist supervillain. When’s the next train to Gotham?

8. History Never Repeats – 1:55
I’m not sure how much more of this I can take. But here I soldier on in the name of music blogging.
Ran out of lulz. Now horrified.

Final answer: I hope Tim Whatsisface kicks your ass, too.

9. Four Seasons In One Day – 2:12 (ohai, A$hl3y)
Still horrified. Even more so now. Another song to listen to from a safe distance. In other words, no headphones. Axver, you couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket with the lid nailed on.

Final answer: I need a shower, though I can wash, but I’ll never be clean.

10. God Defend New Zealand – 2:33
Lulz are back! Holy God. Now, I don’t mean to slight the Maori people in any way, but when your language comes out of his mouth, it’s hysterically funny.

Final answer: Don’t go back to New Zealand, Ax. They will kill you. This has got to be like high treason or something.

11. “40” – 1:34
Thank whatever invisible person in the sky you believe in, it’s almost over.
Not as lulzy as his other U2 covers. I couldn’t feel his desire to truly destroy it.

Final answer: Stick to what you’re good at, Ax. Train porn and being a total pommy bastard.

Final, final answer: They could use this for torture at Guantanamo Bay. Seriously.

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7 Responses to “Album review: New Zealand > You – Axver And The Quiet Minority”

  1. Axver 18/02/2010 at 14:01 #

    Oh my god, you actually listened to ALL of it? I couldn’t bring myself to endure that sort of horror, and I recorded the fucking thing!

    (Actually, I’m not sure I’m more stunned that you listened to it in full, or that it’s actually still floating around. I keep my copies of the tracks under lock and key.)

    At least I can sing a little better nowadays. Still can’t carry a tune in a wheelbarrow though.

    My next album will be black metal. Look for it in … 2157 or so.

  2. Axver 18/02/2010 at 14:02 #

    PS New Zealand > You vs One Planet One People – which is worse?

  3. SLCPunk 18/02/2010 at 14:40 #

    Wow. Hrm. I call it a draw. Both are slightly awesome (Tré, epic lulz) and both are horrifying. Neither should probably be listened to ever again.

  4. Axver 18/02/2010 at 14:42 #

    Clearly I need to get around to cranking One Planet One People then!

  5. SLCPunk 18/02/2010 at 14:42 #

    I will upload it to mediafire for you, if you really feel like punishing your eardrums.

    I will say this, though. Your album actually has better production values.

  6. Axver 19/02/2010 at 00:46 #

    … wow. We need to make One Planet One People into a Horrible Music Hour Experience, I think. John, where are you?

  7. John 22/02/2010 at 09:47 #

    Long story Ax, I basically lost my connection to Interference during the winter and now am logged out and can’t remember my password and I’m too lazy to find it lol

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