By Alistair Wickens
New Plymouth’s Agent prove you don’t have to be from the big smoke to release an A-class album, this is up there with anything that came out in the hard rock genre over the past few years. It is distinctly New Zealand (front man Jimi Donaldson sounding at times like the John Toogood of ‘Churn’ days), but their international influences clearly shine through. On Independent Thought Alarm and Stomp the vocals are delivered rapid fire in System of a Down style. Several songs find them coming on like A Perfect Circle, and the funk bass style throughout the album is reminiscent of early Incubus. That’s not to say that Agent are derivative. They may sound similar to some famous bands but the style is their own, delivered with energy and a clear passion for what they’re doing. The album left me impressed and wanting to see the live Agent, which I hope lives up to the recorded material.