The Convalesce Taste Test

Catch The Taste performing at the Old Courthouse Theatre this Friday night to celebrate their new album. IMAGE: Paul Freeman

The Taste, a Cairns band with anywhere from seven to 14 members depending on the occasion, are stopping by the Old Courthouse Theatre to celebrate the release of their album Convalesce this Friday. The seven-track album can best be described as pineapple and rum thrown in a blender: it’s a fusion of smooth tropical vibes and raw, Aussie hip hop; a sound the group has been honing lately, following the release of the album’s first single The Hands Of in January.

We’ve blasted Convalesce in the office this week, and have put together a delicious review of the album to help you taste every song.

Sunday Funk: Long Island Iced Tea
It kicks off the album, and in a big way: Sunday Funk is the second-longest track, but has the shortest word count. There’s four words in the whole song that are repeated a few times, leaving you to kick back and soak up the lush tropical vibes of the Caribbean-esque tune. It’s a simple track, but features some brilliant guitar riffs, smooth vocals, and is a personal favourite.

Take Over: Corona & Lime
The tropical vibes continue, and the only way I could really describe this was a crossover between 8 Mile and The Jungle Book: it’s an eclectic fusion of hip hop and tropical funk, making for the perfect start to any Sunday sesh, with beautiful chorus vocals by Vanessa Glennon.

The Hands Of: Great Northern
There’s something uniquely NQ about The Taste’s music, that makes you want to sit in the sand knocking back a cold one. It’s clear to see why The Hands Of was chosen as a single earlier in 2017, with powerful lyrics spat by the band’s resident hip hop artist, Vainz. The smooth, soulful saxophone and guitar continue and showcase just what The Taste can do.

The Calling: Margarita
This baby transports you from the beaches of Barbados to the streets of Spain, with sweet and sultry ripples of guitar leading into the album’s most powerful track. And not just musically powerful, but lyrically too: the vocals of Matt Mullins and Vainz centre around the impact of addiction on communities, with the instrumentation building up into an epic duet/battle between guitar and sax rounding out the track. If you’ve never heard The Taste before, start with this track and you’ll be won over.

Fading: Soda Water
Things get stripped back a bit after The Calling, but there’s still a good fizz in the rhythm of Fading. Our favourite lyric, which sums up the lives of so many regional musos, stood out in this one: “I work in hospitality cracking some jokes, but none of my one-liners are ever as funny as those who think it’s funny that I’m trying to make some money and dough off of being a musician, I guess it’s funny I suppose.” It doesn’t get more real than that; it’s tough for NQ musicians to be able to do what they do full-time, and Vainz dropped some serious truth bombs in this one.

Free: Cider
It’s refreshing, smooth, and lets vocalist Matt Mullins go for gold – fitting mid-way between the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Cat Empire. Shout out must go to saxophonist Liam White who brings so much soul to each track on the album, and makes jazz sound incredibly cool.

Take Flight: Frozen Coke
This is that little boost you need from the Maccas drive-thru halfway home for one last kickstart; Take Flight is a strong conclusion to a great album. By now, you know what to expect from The Taste, so lie back, sip gently, and enjoy.

Catch The Taste at the Old Courthouse Theatre this Friday night from 7pm, with an open mic session kicking off at 7:30pm. Convalesce by The Taste was recorded at the Rec Room in Townsville and is now available on BandCamp or in hard copy at the gig this Friday night. This review is satirical; Huxley Press does not condone binge drinking. Have a good time, stay safe, and get tasty.

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