Caz Mechanic - Holidays for Honeybees
As a rule of thumb, I’m not a big fan of female vocalists, however you can never have a rule without exception, and in this case it comes in the form of Caz Mechanic (aka. Caroline Banks). In 10 years of being Seafood’s drummer, there have been vast arrays of dedicated 'seafooders' waiting calmly for Caroline’s soothing yet at the same time almost spooky voice to kick in on certain tracks (and more so live). However, more recently the voice that seafood fans know and love has remained somewhat absent from the majority of the recordings, much to the disappointment to some of the seafooders on the bands official forum.
All is not lost though, as it seems Caroline has been slowly but surely working on her solo album for quite a while now, and finally it is ready for consumption in the form of her debut album ‘Holidays for Honeybees’.
The first major difference between Seafood and Caz Mechanic is that the rockier element has been thrown out of the window (or at the very least gently eased out) and instead it is replaced by Barratt-esque lyricism and xylophones-a-plenty.
The album starts with the track ‘If I see a bear’, opening with a plane heading off into the distance followed by a very folky guitar medley. You get the feeling that you’ve been transported by said plane to the world of Caz and are waving goodbye to the world you’ve just come from. This is backed up with lyrics like; …and if I see a bear, I’ll walk around it with great care, I won’t even look or stare, I’ll cut through the housing estate! I wont let one bear make me late. And if I see a dog dancing in a dress, I don’t think I could care any less. I don’t want mess around here. Which is surreal personified.
The real showstopper on the album for me comes in on surprisingly early, with the 2nd track on the album ‘Go Home’ with its spacey background and samples from NASA radio chatter. What makes it really work for me is how the piano is matching Caroline’s vocals in parts and then really kicks in providing a very memorable hook.
The next highlight on the album comes at track seven, with ‘In the old gum tree’, which with its eerie whisperings, vocals and pipe work, followed by the eventual chanting of There’s only room for birds like us, in the old gum tree which would give even the most dedicated lovebird a few shivers down its feathery spine.
Overall, it’s a lovely showcase for Caz showing her range and talent for song writing, from the more Seafood-esque tracks we’re accustomed too (Like ‘Goodbye Billy Edgar’) and the more surreal tracks like ‘If I see a bear’. Most of the tracks on the LP will continue to haunt you with their abstract catchiness well after you’ve put the headphones away, compelling you to put the disc back on again.
At the moment Caroline is distributing the albums herself, so for a bargain sum of £10 you too can grab yourself a copy of it before it sells out by sending her a message on her myspace site.