The opening track to Centre Negative's new album Emotion Is Cringey threatens the listener who compares his sound to that of Flying Nun's excessively-lauded catalogue with a swift death.
This kinda set's the tone for the whole record - an emotionally charged, politics-on-the-sleeve challenge to lazy critics of New Zealand music (all), who will inevitably compare pop acts to Lorde, comedy to Flight Of The Conchords and guitar bands to The Clean. To further prove his point, Centre Negative has made a record which, well, could very easily be accused of sounding like Flying Nun bands - even covering 'Under The Influence', a song by the label's greatest international export Chris Knox.
'Change Is The Most Sincere Kind Of Apology' is perhaps the best microcosm of Centre Negative's quite unique approach to songwriting. There exists a brutal lyrical efficiency within 'Change', where metaphor and simile give way to an emotive stream-of-consciousness reflection upon life. Demons are being exorcised here, and as a listener you need to plug in or step the fuck off.
Centre Negative's record is politically charged, dry, sarcastic and very catchy (all attributes that are leveled at Flying Nun bands). Which is kinda the point. One label should not be held in such critical utopia, both immune from criticism and lazy cultural touchstone for an entire countries musical output.
PS. The record is great.