The Book Of Stereotypes would tell you that bands from New Zealand are solely Singer Songwriter catchy gentle Guitar Pop or Dream Pop. We at IDHAS preach about not believing labels and Wellington quartet are real proof.
To describe No Drama as Eclectic wouldn't be descriptive enough. It is great intelligent Pop with unusual and highly effective arrangements. There is an Angular sound on some occasions, a la Franz Ferdinand, but the album is much deeper and far more incorporated instrumentally.
The Brass and String additions are outstanding and add yet another dimension. Yet the band are just as at ease in the Intelligent Pop of Hitchcock, Partridge and The Sugarplastic. The Square being such an example with harmonies that wash over you and sound that changes direction easily.
At times, there is a 70s feel, a real Marc Bolan feel to Oliver Devlin's vocal on the You Must Chill accompanying a sound that is as Indie Rock as Hans Packet get. Misery Loves Company steps into Disco in a music that you can dance to sort of way.
Honey enters the world of 60s Torch songs with a superb string arrangement. Kiss The Moon is somewhere between Kevin Ayers and Lounge with a bit of William Orbit. Drag Me Through Your Heart is moody with a Cockney Rebel vibe, maybe even Bryan Ferry and some top notch Brass.
No Drama is 70s Pop Rock of the highest quality. What an arrangement! The album contains 11 songs that are different from each other, impressively so. Every single stunt works without ever seeming clever clever. There seems to be a maturity way beyond the band's year.
Then there is My Brain Is A Vacant Space is a bold opener. Built around an hypnotic riff, it throws in multi influences, Indie, harmony and even a little Russell Mael. It really is a crackerjack of a song in keeping with the pure invention impression of the whole album.
I'd be lying if I didn't say that Hans Pucket caught me completely by surprise. I also suspect that reviewers who skim a listen are gonna show themselves up. This offering has to be listened to from start to finish. It demands repeated listens. Highly Recommended!
You can listen to and buy the album here. You really really should.