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The Hallstars are here!

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This week is all about Eugene O'Reilly's latest project: The Hallstars Volume One.

Many know Eugene from the band Five O'Clock Shadow and his time at Bay City MusicWorks. He moved away a while back, to a hall between Matamata and Te Aroha. And after years of playing covers Eugene wanted to record his own songs: to that end he assembled a veritable cast of thousands. The now-finished album is called The Hallstars Volume One.

Eugene O'Reilly and his wife Joanna.

It's a record of three halves: there's a pop reggae opening, a central heavy rock section and an acoustic finale. Stylistically perhaps few will like it all equally, but literally every song has something to recommend it.

I actually had to stop listening for a while because the cheerful loping reggae of opener Come Back got so etched in my head that it drove me to distraction. It is presented here in an extended version – there is also a single edit for radio – but is a masterpiece of efficiency. Consider this: there's a 10 seconds instrumental introduction,........

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