Robert Scott’s list of music projects over the years reads like a who’s who of alternative New Zealand...
Robert Scott’s list of music projects over the years reads like a who’s who of alternative New Zealand rock for the past 3 decades. As well as his main role as bass-player, song-writer and non-Kilgour in legendary New Zealand noisy jangle-pop pioneers The Clean and as singer, guitarist and songwriter for his equally enduring band The Bats, Robert Scott also helmed the acclaimed Magick Heads for their brief but productive time on earth in the 1990s. In amongst those commitments he’s fronted a bewildering variety of less well-known groups from the long running family & friends cassette band Electric Blood to the short-lived Gina Rocco & the Rockettes, while contributing to various Flying Nun Records super-groups like The Weeds along the way and drawing or painting the cover art for many memorable Flying Nun album sleeves.
It’s hardly surprising therefore that Robert has found little time to pursue many solo records. But songs – lovely, glorious, subtle, mysterious, sad, questioning, dramatic, simple, transcendent, perfect songs – pour out of Robert Scott constantly, collected in exercise books and on cassette tapes over the years. Unbelievably, some of those brilliant songs don’t find homes on albums by The Clean or The Bats. His upcoming solo album Ends Run Together, then, is a collection of those songs Robert Scott wants the world to hear.
The Creeping Unknown
Rather than present them in the low-key way of his previous solo album - the largely instrumental, experimental The Creeping Unknown (2001) - Robert has taken the uncharacteristic step over the last few years of surrounding himself with some of the talented community of musicians in his Dunedin, New Zealand home, handing the production reins to local recording guru Dale Cotton (HDU) and giving these 13 sublime tunes the space and attention to grow into fully-realised classics.
TOO EARLY (ENDS RUN TOGETHER, 2010)
The result is an outstanding album of 13 engaging songs, as likely to appeal to any fan of great alternative pop as much as to those already familiar with The Bats and The Clean (and the Magick Heads for that matter). To Robert’s guitar and voice (which has never sounded better than it does on this album) are added the talents of fellow Clean-er David Kilgour, Don and Ants from Dunedin noise-rockers Onanon, the gothic angel choir of Haunted Love’s Geva and Rainy (who contributed the glorious backing vocals to The Clean’s recent album Mr Pop) and the ubiquitous Allan Starrett on strings and other strange old instruments. Miraculously, even Lesley Paris (Look Blue, Go Purple) has been coaxed back onto a drumkit for some of the songs.
The biggest treats, apart from the consistent quality of Robert’s song-writing, jam-packed full of pop hooks, are the varied moods and intelligent arrangements. There have been hints of the diversity of his talents on his contributions to recent albums by The Clean but nothing quite prepares for the rich treasury of songs on Ends Run Together.
In a world of ambitious pretenders, the ever humble, obliging and low-key Robert Scott is the real deal and Ends Run Together is as fine a tribute to his colossal talents as you could want.