10 May 2011

Review: Little Bushman 'Te Oranga'

Te Oranga
[Little Bushman]

Little Bushman often reference Jimi Hendrix as one of their bigger influences; but it's really his warrior spirit they seek to rouse with their gloriously orchestral cacophony of '60s psychedelic rock, lyrical folk and Maoritanga blues - and saying you sound like Hawkwind isn't anywhere near as cool, eh bro. Te Oranga is the difficult third album from the four-piece led by Warren Maxwell, surely already an official NZ music legend having also fronted Trinity Roots and played with Fat Freddys Drop. With a gentler approach than 2007's grandiose Pendulum, Te Oranga blends the song craft of The Beatles, the widescreen vision of Pink Floyd and the playing power of Led Zeppelin. Their Achilles heel is a tendency to sound like they're taking themselves very seriously, a major failing of many psych- and prog-rock bands. Happily, this occurs infrequently enough for Te Oranga to stand proudly alongside Maxwell's earlier work.

3 stars from 5

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