|I'd seen this name in the street press a couple of times and assumed it was some tribute to Kurt Cobain so when we received a demo from Khancoban we expected something heavy and angst-ridden. Correction! What came out of the speakers was some of the most refreshing new music heard in quite a while. New...but old sounding. And old as in some early 70s folk band from the Moors of...Richmond? According to their bio, Khancoban are a five-piece Melbourne based folk-pop group. They describe themselves as a modern day Abba, with two sets of loving couples doing the mummy-and-daddy-dance in the fold. You've got Andre Hooke (vocals, guitar) and Jemima Hooke (drums) facing Jen Pearson (vocals, keyboards, assorted instruments) and Jason Emilianowicz (bass, vocals) with Jason Bonnici (lap steel, guitar, banjo) being proudly single.|
The first track 'Smoke And the Light' starts with a keyboard, a pounding floor tom, lap steel and a haunting male lead vocalist with mesmerizing female vocals doing the response. This song keeps the same rhythm throughout but builds up to wailing vocals and more instruments. Wow. Ten out of Ten. And we haven't even got past the first song.
The mood changes on 'On A Hill In The Town', which is a more upbeat standard pop song. Khancoban's individual stamp of folk returns with 'Everywhere I See The Sea' and it's the affected male/female vocals mixed with the acoustic guitar and lap steel that is their very own rubber stamp. And when the drums kick in you know we've made this Demo Of The Week because Khancoban have that greatest asset in a band - the female drummer! And it's on 'Such A Big Sky' where Jemima's drumming features best - an understated, original beat and cymbal accents interplaying with Jen's repetitive yet melodic piano part. Khancoban - you've got us Hooke-d. - ND