PINE: Books & Magazines
By Stephen Heard
This is the sixth release from understated Christchurch three-piece Pine and the last ever album to be recorded in The Sitting Room studio, pre-quake. Mainstays of the Garden City’s music scene for several years, the trio first caught my attention in the early noughties with their cutesy lo-fi pop and standing drummer/frontman. A little less edgy than the likes of 2004’s ‘Akira Sunrise’, this latest offering sees Pine wind back the overdrive and hone in on their softer side. Stephen McCarthy’s vocals come across like a warm drink on a cold night whilst Aaron and Hannah Beehre’s work on guitar and keyboard hold together each track with catchy and clever melodies. Instrumental Trouble acts as an intermission, but dare I say, could as well act as the soundtrack in any long run elevator in the CBD. Brand New Heart gives off a whiff of a toned down Arcade Fire but with that said, ‘Books & Magazines’ truly feels like the trio has found their feet in their very own songwriting boots. Pine gave up pushing things uphill a few albums back and while it warrants your spending on, this one is also available free via the Arch Hill Recordings’ website.