Published on August 5th, 2012 | by greg0
Opossom: Electric Hawaii:: Review
There must be something in the water in New Zealand that contributes to the songwriting prowess of former Mint Chicks bandmates, Ruban and Kody Nielson. When older brother Ruban Nielson disbanded the Mint Chicks, he took his pop licks and formed Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Younger brother Kody Nielson went a more routine pop friendly route with Opossom on Electric Hawaii. Opossom is a band that trades in soft psychedelia, Britpop and throwaway garage nuggets. Nielson’s Opossom is a hyperactive beast and Electric Hawaii is its windup toy that haphazardly propels itself fueled by a seemingly incessant bass line that occupies the first three tracks. While fun, there’s not much to think about and that’s okay, who needs every album to be deep? By the time the narcoleptic “Getaway Tonight” emerges, Opossom sounds like it has worn itself out.
The drifting “Watchful Eye” offers consolation for the change of pace but can’t recoup the second side of the album which is chock full of half-formed ideas and studio experimentation. The notable “Cola Elixir” manages to offer a grinding guitar solo which elicits some praise before it’s cut short by the bleeps and bloops of the stagnated title track. All of a sudden, Opossom switches gears and opts to go full Jeff Lynne on the outro. And everyone knows you don’t go full Jeff Lynne. Well, at least not on your first album anyway. You have to wait at least until your fourth record to pull out the ELO influences, that way it allows you some time to work on your perm.