Robert Scott is a world-wise man. In a prolific 20 year music career he s travelled the globe and recorded with several seminal New Zealand bands - as the bass player for Flying Nun s original breakthrough band, The Clean, singer/guitarist in our long serving guitar poppers, The Bats, and lately as the driving force behind The Magick Heads.
He s written thousands of songs (as Roy Colbert s accompanying bio testifies) and his discography stretches over at least a dozen albums by these bands and his other projects such as the Weeds and Electric Blood.
He s also about as down to earth as Dunedin-ites come - and this first solo album is a testament to that. The Creeping Unknown is a mostly instrumental trip into Robert s version of the South Island countryside - it s vaguely gothic atmospheres displayed through the album title and songs like Creek Country, Fog and Wind, and When Shade Was Made.
Fans- of which there are many, worldwide - will recognize musical flavors simlar to the percolating instrumental oddities on The Clean s Unknown Country and other acclaimed albums like Roy Montgomery s Scene s From A South Island. The Creeping Unknown is a sweetly spooky little grower that suits any occasion, impressive in its range of moods but most of all when haunting piano lines meld into guitar fragments that have never sounded so soothing!
Around half of the album was recorded last winter at Consulatancy House, Dunedin, with the remainder recorded at David Kilgour s home during the summer. David appears throughout his Clean bandmate s album, playing delicate piano, guitar and percussion accompaniments. Robert has also drafted in his engineer Nigel Bunn for extra weird tape effects and Greg Cairns massages the drums and hammond organ.
Grab a hot toddy, sit back, and watch the fire burn down. It s going to be a mesmerizing night in the Creeping Unknown...
Robert Scott's charm has evolved into a very subtle, subdued update of the signature New Zealand sound he helped create. Infamous for his work with New Zealand's influential early-'80s chart toppers the Clean
, and later the Bats
, Scott delivers some of the expected--ingratiating jangle pop--on The Creeping Unknown
. However, melodies are built more gradually, and songs are introduced with drawn-out, loping, circular movements (at times recalling fellow New Zealander and guitar atmosphericist Roy Montgomery
). Over 19 tracks and about 60 minutes, The Creeping Unknown
draws the listener in with lazy summer guitar mirages, sparse piano, odd loops, and some tape manipulation. While the longish length idles rather than builds heavy momentum, the more experimental passages are inoffensive and pleasantly droning. It's the keyboard-laden, Yo La Tengo
-like gems such as "Fog and Wind" and "When Shade Was Made" that will satisfy die-hard fans of Scott and New Zealand pop. But vocals are few and faint (sometimes mimicking transmissions from another universe), giving The Creeping Unknown
the feel of a haunted desert ghost town on the cinematic instrumentals, and on the more traditional pop songs as well. --Cyndi Elliott