Album Review: His Masters Voice, Woman

By Sass_Metal

His Masters Voice are a 4 piece hailing from Auckland, New Zealand made up of Jesse Sorensen – Vocals and Guitar, Az Burns – Guitar, Rene Harvey – Drums and Brandon Bott on Bass.  ‘Woman’ is their third EP in their discography and is for all the beautiful souls that dance up at the front of a show, it is for the people that close their eyes and feel the music, for those that lose themselves in the music, the souls that get goosebumps and go on journeys in their minds when the music hits that perfect note.

This is a very clever release, made up of four songs, with three of which, that the band already perform live. The crowning glory in this EP, is their new song ‘Woman,’ although that is a VERY hard call to make, as the other three songs all invoke the memories in me, of the different times I’ve seen His Masters Voice all over the country the last few years, memories of musical road trips with my musical family.

There’s not a lot of bands I go out of my way to see whenever I can, other than the bands I manage, purely because of time restrictions and all the bands I review.  His Masters Voice is different, it is one of those bands, that I can’t get enough of!  No matter how I’m feeling before a performance, I come away with my soul refilled and glowing.  Now I know this is meant to be a review of their recording, not their live shows, but THIS is an EP you can close your eyes, while listening to it, and see the band performing in your mind’s eye as the quality of this recording, and it is PERFECT!  The levels, sound quality, JESSE’S VOCALS!  The warmth, the soul, the energy is all perfectly captured in this EP.

There’s not a lot of recordings around that capture the soul of the music, and reflects the warmth of the vocals, but that is the first thing I noticed about this recording. It captures the live essence of the band perfectly, especially Jesse’s voice, and as Jesse has one of the most soulful vocals in New Zealand, this is probably the best recording I’ve heard of his voice.  The same can be said for the energy of the music accompanying Jesse’s voice.  It’s hard to imaging His Masters Voice just standing, still recording while making this EP. I can imagine them running around and jumping around in the studio, like they do on stage.

This EP needs to be listened to in order, as the first and last tracks invoke introspective feelings and the middle two celebrate life, dancing and are filled with a lot more energy.  I often focus on one particular song that calls to my soul, while writing a review, but it’s impossible to choose a favorite on this EP, as they are all individually and collectively, masterful, soulful pieces.  ‘Burning,’ draws you in and ‘Woman’ releases you, and both of these songs invoke images of a smokey saloon or Jazz bars with dapper men and pin up style women.

The EP kicks off with ‘Burning,’ which starts with one of the most soulful introductions to an EP ever!  It’s almost like a conjuring, it pulls you in and makes you focus on the guitar, and then Jesse’s voice and Rene’s drums take over and pull you further and further in, building up to the perfect climax about 2.44 mins in with THOSE DRUMS!  Then it’s all on soaring, singing guitars, Brandon’s funky bass line then slowly back to the start, with the same guitar and conjuring vocals, releasing you back to reality for a short moment until ‘Evil’ kicks off.

‘Evil’ is one of my favorite songs live, of His Masters Voice, because I love the rhythm section in music and I always connect with the bass and drums, and this song is very heavily bass orientated.  That damn bass line is just as sexy as Black Sabbath’s ‘Evil Woman’ (which is in my opinion the  most sexy and seductive bass line in history) but with Az’s guitar solo’s layered over the top, with Jesse’s vocals and Rene’s drums it’s a whole other level of beauty, that gives what was my favorite bass song a run for its money.  This paragraph has taken about 20 attempts to write because I keep jumping up to dance around like the maniac I am, and the same can be said for the third track ‘What do I look like’ it has the same energy as ‘Evil’.  These songs live are probably my favorite live songs from any New Zealand Rock n Roll band, as it’s so much fun to jive and headbang, because while they are very much soul based Rock n Roll, with Rene on drums, there are cheeky double kicks and heavier fills here and there, which ALWAYS make me head bang, and like Az’s guitars you never know what you are going to get live.

Now it’s time to say goodbye with ‘Woman’.  This song was one I had been looking forward to the most out of any new release all year, because every time I’ve seen Rene and Az in recent months, this is the song they always talked about, especially Az, and after FINALLY hearing it I can see why.  It is an emotional journey, it is beauty, it is love, it is happiness and it is pain.

Every time I’ve listened to this song, while writing this review I’ve had different physical responses, but each time I have tears in my eyes.  The introduction is beautiful and haunting with stunningly simple guitars accompanying Jesse’s vocals, which almost evoke feelings of listening to a conjuring, but when Jesse hits those high notes, before the rest of the band comes in, it is a whole body physical response with full body goosebumps.  Then it’s like an almost celebration, with the short musical bridge.  I love the repetition in this song, often repetition can get boring, but with the same simple guitars from the intro woven into the tapestry of the rest of the song, they are like emphasis points before or after a bit, that you should be really paying attention to.  I could write 500 words on the feelings this song invoked in me. It is the perfect ending to this EP, and I can’t wait for the band to put their visual representation of it into a full music video (if they do – guys you should!)  This EP is now available digitally on Bandcamp and will be available on all digital market places in the days to come.  For New Zealand fan’s their EP release show is at the Kings Arms Tavern on the 28th October with ‘She Loves You’ and ‘Blood Buffalo’ with tickets on sale now from Eventfinda.  Get the EP and BE THERE!

1. Burning
2. Evil
3. What Do I Look Like
4. Woman

Follow His Master’s Voice on their social media:

Bandcamp | Facebook

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