The Aviators: The Ballad of Sour Jane
By Tim Gruar
This Wellington seven-piece have been funking up dance floors for the last decade and earning their chops on some bigger festival stages. You can check more of their adventures in the ‘photo’ album that accompanies ‘The Ballad Of Sour Jane’, the band’s second and, alas, final cut to wax. Yes, the boys are hanging up guitars, exchanging man-hugs and moving on. A shame as this album really captures the effervescence of a bubbling creative band, not afraid to collaborate and experiment. You can hear plenty of local influences, especially if you’re a fan of the festival circuit, but you won’t mistake that distinctive rock/big soul signature (P Song, Cockpit) and the smouldering power funk ballad Sheets Laced with Lead. No surprise, too, that Dr Lee Prebble’s prints are all over this one. There’s a little humour splashed around with Drinks Break and more delicate moments, especially the velvet acoustics on Waitarere Rise and the jazzy Lost In Her Goals. However, the prize goes to Hits and Misses with superbad wah wah and wicked Stevie Wonder Rhodes all building to delicious a ’70s style guitar solo that Lenny Kravitz would crawl over broken vinyl to get hold of. All testament to a band that, on the strength of this release, should reconsider retirement.