13 December 2011

Review: Thrashing Marlin 'Donkey Deep'

Donkey Deep
[Braille Records]

Reviewing this album is almost like reviewing the history of music - where should you begin? Donkey Deep is the fourth album from New Zealand group Thrashing Marlin, which is effectively the multi-instrumentalist duo David Donaldson and Steve Roche. The pair contribute all manner of musical styles and genres across this collection of fourteen songs, which vary from the country-folk opener Time Of Your Life to closing sing-along One More Time, which moves from a finger-picked acoustic guitar to Mexican-flavoured brass. The standout though, is Tangiwai Train, a raw, Nick Cave-styled murder ballad with all the necessary ingredients (death and damnation) delivered over a harmonica-laden, whiskey-soaked stomp; while the vaguely Middle Eastern Another Man's Grave sums up the darkness at the heart of this record. Deeply layered instrumentation, compellingly structured songs which straddle a variety of genres and deft, sophisticated lyricism make for a hugely enjoyable album which rewards repeat listens richly.

4 stars from 5

Check out the Donkey Deep album here...

This review originally appeared in the Waikato Times.

No comments:

Post a Comment