I listened to New Zealand sextet the Phoenix Foundation's double-LP, Fandango, this weekend, and it didn't quite win me over, though it came close (and I'll assume Kiwis don't think about talking bags when they see the word "Fandango").
In reading up on the band, which has been around since 1997, I learned some interesting things: 1) they took their name from the TV show MacGyver, and 2) they provided the score for Taika Waititi's films Boy and Eagle vs. Shark (featuring Jemaine Clement from Flight of the Conchords).
At times, the new record reminded me of the Beta Band (whom I love); at others, Simple Minds (about whom I'm less enthusiastic). Then I got to the closing track, "Friendly Society." This 17:40-minute motorik jam plays more like the flute-infused space rock of Herbcraft than anything else on the 80-minute album. It's so good, in fact, that I wish they'd released it as an EP in and of itself.
Memphis Industries releases Fandango, Phoenix Foundation's fifth LP, on May 14.