Masterton band Pencarrow have released their debut album, Dawn Simulation / Image supplied

By Nathan Crombie

Sonic adventurers Pencarrow late this winter dropped their debut album Dawn Simulation, which started life seven years earlier, when the Masterton bandmates were still in their teens.
Pencarrow founders and lifelong friends Tonnie ten Hove and Justin Chorley, singer/guitarist and drummer respectively, said the six-song album reaches far beyond any single genre with each track clocking in at over 10 minutes apiece.
The band also features Todd Thompson on bass and Anthony Rose on keyboards. Ten Hove said sales of Dawn Simulation to date had been brisk, and international, since the album hit the streets in August.
“We’ve had sales in Australia, Europe and the US, we’ve been played on radio stations in Germany and Texas, and we even got a sneaky mention for prog metal album of the year by an unknown fan on reddit.”
Ten Hove said he and Chorley first began composing for the album while performing together in their Wairarapa College band, Riven.
The now defunct unit had seized some Smokefreerockquest success back in the day, while ten Hove beat out more than a thousand other songs to win $500 and the national Smokefreerockquest APRA Lyric Award in 2007.
His song-writing remains “absolutely autobiographical” and “super cryptic”, with Chorley giving as example the four years it took him to realise he had been written into one of the tunes.
The album is a free-wheeling sonic “adventure”, ten Hove said, that embraces everything from a nuclear mushroom cloud roiling above the Pacific in Brace Yourself For Impact, to a tune centered on himself, Chorley and a children’s game the pair once played called Catching Leaves.
“The French nuclear tests in the Pacific make for pretty provocative lyrics, and as a protest it’s quite the underdog story,” ten Hove said.
“New Zealand sent a Navy frigate to the site and my Dad (Wes ten Hove) was aboard. There’s even a photo of him with the nuclear explosion rising up in the background.
“Another little twist to that story is the French bombing of the Rainbow Warrior; the first policeman on the scene that day was Dad’s brother (Anton ten Hove).”

Brace Yourself For Impact

I knew a man who was there
A silent witness, a presence on the air
In youth and innocence, completely unaware
Of the dire consequences

A Rainbow set alight
The Warrior defeated, rests beneath the tide
Replacements disembarked, but the silent protest
Fell on deaf ears…

Competing, aggressive, defensive policies
Escalates hair trigger mentality

Entire nations living in diaspora
“With great power, comes great responsibility”

Mutually assured destruction reigns over all
But has the world learnt from its past mistakes?

You must give us your land; for the good of mankind
Take this ink dipped quill and sign the dotted line
Come, take our hand, step away from your simple life
Never to return; no time to say goodbye

Split the atom, split the reef
Detonate this static heap
Close your eyes, prepare to leap and
Brace yourself for impact

Light the fire, turn the gauge
Release the dragon from its cage
Pinch its ass and let it rage and
Brace yourself for impact

Pull the trigger, pull the pin
Amplify your inner sin
Watch as the countdown begins then
Brace yourself for impact

Cut the wires black or green
The last thing you will ever see
You’ve booked a trip to smithereens so
Brace yourself for impact

When all is said and done
The mushroom cloud salutes the sun
Go find yourself another one and
Brace yourself for impact

Here and there and far afield
Are hidden ghosts you never feel
Still, every time a bigger yield
So brace yourself for impact

Unleash the demons hidden in the fabric of our matter
Then proclaim them as our saviour?
Better brace yourself for impact

Pencarrow is today knee-deep in rehearsals ahead of an official debut album launch gig, ten Hove said.
“So stay tuned.”
To buy the debut Pencarrow album Dawn Simulation go online to the Pencarrow Bandcamp or Facebook page. The album is also available through Selah Music Works in Masterton or, if you have their number, from the boys themselves.