Thought I'd start this as a companion thread to our topic about "Scathing UK reviews".
Split Enz, conversely, is a band not to watch - or hear either.
"It is music and mirth from the enz of the Earth” is how they describe "Mental Notes" (Chrysalis CHR 1131); "junk" would be just as accurate and less verbose. Musically, it’s arty-arty, look how progressively decadent we are in our goofy makeup, clown suits, and outlandish hairdos, a cloddish Genesis, a muddled Queen.
There's nothing approaching a strong singer, so the words (which aren’t printed) are lost in the clutter of every sound they can think to dump in. Some people can play though, notably sax-man Robert Gillies and pianist Edward Rayner.
This New Zealand septet seems so engrossed in parodying whatever it is they're parodying they lose all traces of their subject and wind up parodying only themselves. "Mental Notes" is one to leave in the store.
The Pittsburgh Press, 13 February 1977