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Greg Franco & The Wandering Bear- Southpawwest (2006)

by PowertoolRecords

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about

This album was recorded in April 2004 in Dunedin New Zealand, except for one track. Greg Franco was on a break from his band Ferdinand. Their 2000 album "Demoted to Greeter" was highly acclaimed especially by the Los Angeles hometown L.A. Weekly, and New York's Village Voice. At the end of that year, it was on critic "Falling James" Moorland's end of the year top ten. Ferdinand played with the N.Z. legendary band "The Clean," in L.A. on September 21st 2001, Greg eventually (in 2003,) asked the Clean if he could collaborate with them.

"Southpawwest", was recorded in one week with the very busy David Kilgour, and Robert Scott, (Clean/The Bats). Hamish Kilgour was not involved. Both D.K. and Robert Scott also have solo projects, and D.K. is signed to Merge records. Gracefully, they guided Greg in his venture outside of his band. Greg dubbed the new project/band, "Wandering Bear," As if the California brown bear, wanders down to Kiwi-land. The very last song recorded, is a album standout called "Absolution Song," It was only a sketch of an idea, that was fleshed out, rehearsed and recorded between lunch and dinner! The Clean inspired record is a kind of rainy day pop music, and a type of indie-rock. The songs are mostly short, verse, chours, verse, maybe bridge, maybe not, and done. It has a sixties pop influence, and a tight groove, laid down by the talented Tane Tokona on drums, and Robert Scott on bass.

Songs like "Guarantees", and "Oriole" also bring this out. The guitar work, keyboards, percussion, and production work by D.K. was impecable. Also seek the space pop crooner "Coffee", it was recorded by a different group of greg's close friends, Kedron and Lorenzo from Wellington, and the L.A. songwriter/guitarist Mark Mastopietro.

Lastly, the song written just after September 11th 2000 called "Tomorrows High's" is a soulful ballad here lamenting the bad times, and the looming reactions, calling for a look toward the future.

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PowertoolRecords Auckland, New Zealand

Rough Church was conceived after the demise of Ferdinand, the band that existed from 1994-2003. Baseball, Concrete, rare steamy rain, tumbleweeds and lost poems about dirty chimneys are what influence this band. It spits out indie pop classic jams that get us compared to everything from Minutemen, Pixies, Broken Social Scene, WAR and Grand Funk. Deal with it! We can't get away from it. ... more

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