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Check out what the media thinks of our records and live performances. Sometimes we agree with them, and sometimes we don't. When they say we're good we agree with them, when they say we're bad we disagree with them..Isn't human nature a wonderful thing? (not a wonderful band though).

Sydney Morning Herald Review of "Boat Without a Sail"

Sydney Morning Herald 9/05/08


Beat Magazine Review of "Boat Without a Sail" (click the image to enlarge)

Beat Magazine 7/05/08


The Dwarf.com.au Review of "Boat Without a Sail" (9/05/08)

http://www.thedwarf.com.au/nd/albumreviews/boat_without_a_sail_basic_shape

Basic Shape is definitely a band that appreciates music. Hailing from Melbourne, this five piece are all about layered and textured structures, lush production, and witty, thoughtful lyrics, as evidenced on their debut long player Boat Without a Sail.

Coming from a definite indie folk-rock perspective, it is perhaps unsurprising that some pundits have drawn comparisons from Augie March or Gomez. While there may be some truth to this (especially on the track Gordonwhich threatens to be more Augie March than Augie March), Basic Shape tend to stand out from this ever-expanding and increasingly generic genre of folk-rock. Why? Because Basic Shape are a band with personality.

A lot of this personality comes in the form of lead singer Gerry Eeman’s vocals, which seem to waft effortlessly over proceedings with a definite Nick Drake breathiness.

Eeman’s vocals are complimented by some well-placed four part harmonies which recalls a Songs From Northern Britain era Teenage Fanclub or even the Beach Boys on Prozac.

Mickey Carney’s simple, yet atmospheric lead guitar acts as a nice counterbalance to Eeman’s vocals and is reminiscent of an unpretentious David Gilmour or Johnny Greenwood.

The choice of ex-Killjoy Craig Pilkington seems to be the perfect choice as he has helped steer the album toward a solid, cohesive album that still resonates on a personal level.

This comes as no surprise considering Pilkington has produced some of Australia’s most folk-rock acts such as the Black Eyed Susans and the Lucksmiths.

As a result, Boat Without a Sailis one of those albums that offers something new upon each listen – be it a barely audible guitar part or a sneaky little keyboard riff that creeps in on listen number four – Boat Without a Sailis the gift that just keeps on giving.

White Skin, the first single from the album offers a perfect introduction to the band – a surprising number that builds from the bare bones of vocals and guitar to an almost choral crescendo without any hint of pretentiousness.

While Basic Shape doesn’t seem to be one of those bands who would be likely to ‘rock out’ too often, that is not to say that Boat Without a Sail is a maudlin shoe-gazing experience. Songs like Rainy Day, with more than just a hint of Harry Belafonte-esque calypso, and the up-tempo staccato of Up Till Dawn,almost dare the listener not to get up off of that thing and dance (or at the very least tap a foot).

There is an inherent musical intelligence to Basic Shape. They seem to have learnt early on in their careers one of the most important rules of popular music - knowing when not to play.

Overall, Boat Without a Sail is a cohesive, dynamic album that is full of rich textures and enough surprising twists and turns to keep the listeners coming back long after the first listen.


Drum Media Review of "Boat Without a Sail"

"The Melbourne five-piece make a mellow debut on Boat Without A Sail. It's a simple, beautifully crafted collection of songs with a certain folk/pop appeal. Aside from title and artwork, there's something slightly coastal about the band's sound; it's relaxed and acoustic but occasionally strays with some fine lead guitar and melody on keys. The guitar is big, with consistent throbbing basslines and gorgeous layered acoustics. The majority of songs purvey a gently-gently approach, but the band step out of the box in numbers like Up Til Dawn, showing off a louder sound.

Largely, it feels like a private collection of songs; the lyrics are a subtle tribute to life and emotion. Singer Gerry Eeman gives a nod to his French heritage in the few bi-lingual numbers, while the single White Skin is defined in its jolted, tense verse. Harmonies build and topple over each other, erupting in the chorus and simmering mid verse. The percussion is old school with a little tambourine here, a little hi-hat there, while the drums are laid-back and soft in just the right way. There's a hint of psychedelic in Rainy Days' chorus, with again their subtle diversity shining through. The best moments lie in the soft acoustics and fragile guitar dancing beneath Eeman's crisp songs.

A celebration of delicate harmonies, Basic Shape has produced an album rich in detail. One could easily get repeated enjoyment from its melodic charms."


Drum Media LIVE Review of Sydney Album Launch (25/04/08)

"In the absence of Sarah Maynard's scheduled support, Basic Shape got straight into things. Their approach to performance is modest and mellow, with a relaxed and gentle air to their playing. Noticable was the stark similarities between the two bands (Peregrine): layered melodic pop delivered by lovely, soft-spoken performers.

Launching their debut album Boat Without A Sail, the band's sound teased with coastal qualities: soft drums, light acoustics and wistful vocals. Lead singer Gerry Eeman's voice has a playful accent, translating beautifully in song. On stage they multitasked, their keyboard player not shying from percussion and guitarists switching between electric and acoustic. They showed their diversity while playing the majority of their CD with a little flair and variation from the recording. The well-rounded, consistent set of pop/rock threw signature guitar breakdowns over intense, brooding vocals. Songs like Look After Your Mum's Health came acrosss with energy and tension, while the single White Skin was pure melody and delicate verse.

Occasionally the band broke loose and made use of their electric guitars, but the beauty of their performance was really in the softer numbers. They were able to summon an eerie, choral feeling in French sung choruses while simple, driving melodies were delivered from keys. When coupled with acoustic guitars, killer basslines and simmering drums, the band came together with a very strong, subtle sound. Still, the performance felt delicate and detailed with great attention to each area of their sound. It ebbed and flowed and the five-piece gave a stellar performance on all fronts. For a headline show there wasn't much banter, just endless charming melodies and gentle folk pop."
DRUM MEDIA - Will & Toby's Supper Club, Sydney 24/05/08


26th Jan 08
Reviews of "White Skin"
Check out what the media thinks of White Skin...We agree with them.

Beat magazine 23/01/08

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) 24/01/08

The Sun Herald (Sydney) 20/01/08