I first heard of His Master’s Voice when Mathias Hallberg reviewed Into Orbit’s latest album release show. I had been in the South Island at a sporting event, and came back to Mathias raving about this bluesy band from Auckland.
Needing to make up for missing the show, I made a point of seeing the band next time they visited Wellington, and Mathias was 100% right. They’re damn good.
The band sent me Woman yesterday. I’ve been playing it on repeat non-stop since.
Take the blues and revive them with dosage of danger. Add filthy southern rock riffs. Swirl in a generous serving of Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. Drop in a few drugs. And then, amidst the swirling haze, you will find you have produced His Master’s Voice.
They play with such a swagger. Whether laying down a doomy groove, or ripping into a fast-paced swing section, the music is saturated with infectious feel.
My personal favourite is first track, “Burning” – a slow burner with a smooth, rolling riff. That is, until frontman Jesse Sorenson cries out “Come the groove!” And that’s exactly what happens. It all kicks in. If the bass line doesn’t get you moving then wait til the tambourines start ashakin’ and the primal drums kick in. And then, just to send you over the edge, we have a guitar solo.
There is no denying how much Black Sabbath have influenced His Master’s Voice’s sound. The title track on this EP reminds me of “Electric Wizard”. Sorenson channels his inner-Ozzy as he wails over a sweetly picked guitar melody. The rest of the band joins in, and the soaring guitars and organs elevate the music to the next level.
The only problem with Woman is the duration. 20 minutes is not enough! But I’ve been playing it on repeat and I can’t see myself tiring of these songs anytime soon. But honestly, what more do you need? Groovy blues with a heavy edge. Music that will possess you to dance. It’s just fantastic.
His Master’s Blues have pulled it off again, and Woman comes with my highest of recommendations.
Woman is due out digitally on Bandcamp on 1 October 2017, and will also be available through the usual streaming platforms. The CD will be available at the EP release show at The King’s Arms on October 28th.
His Master’s Voice links:
His Master’s Voice are:
Jesse Sorensen – Vocals and Guitar
Brandon Bott – Bass
Az Burns – Guitar
Renè Harvey – Drums
(Plus Paul Lawrence – Keys on ‘Evil’ and ‘Woman’)
Words and photos by Joseph James