Locals debut new album on floating stage
WELLINGTON-BASED band Riverblind showcased jazz-influenced progressive rock from their first full-length album Hour of the Wolf at Tugboat on the Bay last weekend.
The trio of Dave Kempton (guitar, lead vocals and trumpet), Daniel Simpson Beck (bass guitar and backing vocals) and Stefan Sarten (drums and backing vocals) have been playing together in Wellington for four years and already have a 2007 EP, Mind Estate.
The new album was recorded in Wellington and differs a lot from their darker-sounding EP. Front man Dave Kempton says this is owing to the group collectively “growing” with their instruments.
Hour of the Wolf was composed using musical textures, complex harmonies and elements of improvisation.
“It’s awesome when you get to a stage where you can begin to coax the sounds out of your instrument that you hear in your head,” says Dave.
Although it wasn’t intentional, the consistent theme in the new album is “our inner commentary”.
Dave explains it as, “the arguments we have in our head…the constant dialogue that keeps you awake at four in the morning.
“We all have it to some degree. A lot of it is to do with dealing with the future and thinking about the past when you really should be experiencing the present.”
Riverblind’s sound covers many genres.
“It has roots in progressive rock, but we are heavily influenced by jazz having all studied it at the New Zealand School of Music,” Dave says.
“I also did a classical degree a while back, so my writing has a large classical element to it.”
Getting the music out was the easy part when they created Hour of the Wolf. Having no label involvement, Riverblind juggled with time, money and space throughout the process.
Patrick Stewart, a fan who attended the album release, commented the band was “a tight musical unit.
“They didn’t just play like a leader and a backing and their music reflects this togetherness.”
Band members say their next challenge is to take on Australia. They’ll move to Melbourne early next year in the hope of finding a larger audience to appreciate their unique and niche sound.
Hour of the Wolf, engineered by Richard Shirley and mastered by Mike Gibson at Bonfire Audio, available mainly for digital download. A limited number of physical copies are available.
PICTURE: Local trio Riverblind (L-R) Stefan Sarten, Daniel Simpson Beck and Dave Kempton.