Quarter Acre Lifestyle
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Quarter Acre Lifestyle

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This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Onion / CD Review"

Music fans know that there's more to New Zealand than flightless
birds and background scenery for Lord Of The Rings. The Pacific
Island nation has also birthed such solid pop bands as Split Enz and
The Clean. Like those two groups, Quarter Acre Lifestyle was founded
by a pair of brothers, in this case drummer Aaron and bassist Cameron
Pollock, and picked up a Minneapolis connection when Aaron moved
here to take a job as a graphic designer. (The other three members are
also local; Cameron still lives in New Zealand, which must make getting
to band practice interesting.) Don't expect the jangle-pop of the
Finn brothers here; Instead, QAL combines keyboard heavy trip-hop
with an '80s sensibility much more influenced by Peter Gabriel
and Brian Eno. "You Are Here," from QAL's self-titled debut, could
be an out-take from Peter Gabriel's classic 'Security', and the guitar
line on "I'll Be OK" channels Robert Fripp's work on 'Another Green World'.
It's pretty good stuff, but it remains to be seen if the band can get out
from under its influences and develop a compelling sound of its own." - The Onion

"Pioneer Press / CD Review"

Led by New Zealand expatriate Aaron Pollock — and his brother Cameron, who still lives back home — this dreamy duo doesn't play out much, what with the price of airfare and all. But given the buzz their self-titled debut has stirred thanks to its atmospheric popcraft (think U2 back in their more experimental days, fronted by Peter Gabriel), maybe Cameron might have to relocate a little closer to the Cities. - Ross Raihala

"Album Review"

What drew us into this band's music were the bass lines. Wow...wow...wowwwwww...throbbing, infectious bass lines that simply cannot be ignored. Quarter Acre Lifestyle is New Zealand brothers Aaron Pollock and Cameron Pollock...who have now been joined by Jack Wilcox, Kristin Brown, and Sarah Anderson. Although this album was released in June of 2006, it is only now receiving a larger degree of national recognition. The tracks on this album sound something like a cross between The Grassy Knoll, early Peter Gabriel, and Scorn...but not really. These folks slip and slide into so many musical territories that it can be rather confusing at times. But no matter what type of music they tackle, they do it right. We had to listen to this little pancake several times before we finally decided that we loved it. Groovy tracks include "Massive Aggressive," "Tiny Patch of Sky," "What It Is," "I Can Tell," and "I'll Be O.K." (Rating: 5++) - LMNOP.com

"Blood on the lawn / CD Review"

Scene Showcase

If you detect a bit of international flavor when listening to Blood On the Lawn, the soon to be released sophomore album from “Twin Cities” band Quarter Acre Lifestyle you’re not mistaken. The sibling tandem of Cameron and Aaron Pollock who founded the group actually hail from Auckland, New Zealand, in fact, Cameron still lives there, and their guitar player, Tony Masterantonios, is a fellow New Zealander turned American who actually lives in Las Vegas (certainly not the easiest arrangement for regular band practices). Led by the laidback yet lissome vocals of vocalist Kristin Brown, the group’s sound falls somewhere between varying touchstones of late ’90s trip hop (Massive Attack, Morcheeba) and edgier agro fare (Nine Inch Nails). Lightly industrial pop with understated electronic elements is far from the rage these days and Quarter Acre Lifestyle do it well, adding yet another wrinkle into the wide array of genres available to local music connoisseurs.

by Rob van Alstyne - Reveille Magazine

"Pioneer Press"

New Zealand-born brothers Aaron and Cameron Pollock clearly share some sort of sibling telepathy, as the former lives here while the latter remains Down Under. Joined by a killer vocalist (North Dakota native Kristin Brown) as well as a guitarist and keyboard player, the pair weave instantly accessible and sleek electronic rock that’s vaguely reminiscent of both Garbage and ’90s trip-hop. The sexy and tough track "Walk On" is just begging for the sort of film and/or TV placement that’s all the rage these days.
Ross Raihala
Pioneer Press - Ross Raihala

"Multinational Pop-noir almost draws blood"

QuarterAcreLifestyle "Blood on the Lawn" (Indpendent 2008)

QuarterAcreLifestyle are a New Zealand founded/Minneapolis-based collective with one eye on the stadium, and a sideways glance in the direction of artful introspection. It’s a dichotomy that sometimes works.
Whilst so many bands will use brief forays into electronica as an almost forced, token nod toward what they perceive as ‘modernity’, rather than a genuine directional shift, QuarterAcreLifestyle naturally infuse their songs with subtle drum loops and ambient keyboard atmospherics mixed with the occasional burst of moderately polite Buzz-saw guitar. The effect is much more ‘Version:2.0’ than ‘Kid A’, but it all depends on your personal preference on that one. The dense atmospherics of their declared Massive Attack/Portishead/Radiohead influences are only ever implied & never too blatant.
There are moments when the ‘pop noir’ they seem to be aiming for is quite clearly within their grasp. ‘Cold Heart’ is all beautiful Zero-7 atmospherics and haunting suggestion. Then, at the album’s close they seem to hit a particularly formidable stride. ‘Escalator’ is crammed with exciting, nagging guitar (though nicely reminiscent of Mansun’s ‘Wide Open Space’), whilst the instrumental title track sounds like what may have happened if Trent Reznor had gate-crashed Bowie/Eno’s Berlin trilogy. It’s at these rare moments when they give their music some space, they reach the slightly angular dark pop perfection that they are clearly quite capable of when they put their minds to it. More of these and we could have a mightily impressive proposition on our hands.

Date review added: Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Reviewer: Ian Fildes
Reviewers Rating: 7 out of 10 - AmericaUK.com

"Quarter Acre Lifestyle Review"

“Aaron and Cameron Pollock from Auckland, New Zealand, obviously have a variety of influences, ranging from U2's The Edge's shimmering guitar work and Massive Attack's trip-hop to Radiohead-like soundscapes” - Rift Magazine

"Quarter Acre Lifestyle Speaks!"

We had no idea the music scene in New Zealand was so hip.

That is, until we stumbled upon Quarter Acre Lifestyle, the biggest- little- New Zealand- band- based-in-Minneapolis of which you've never heard.

Founded in Auckland, New Zealand by brothers Aaron and Cameron Pollock, Quarter Acre Lifestyle's new self-titled debut features a mix of percussion-driven electronica, dark pop and enough obscure South Pacific influences that we dare not attempt to spell their names.

Audiences can catch the bi-continental fivesome throughout Minneapolis through the first half of the summer before the group sets their sites on a homecoming show at New Zealand's Big Day Out.

We sat down with group co-founder Aaron Pollack to talk about the New Zealand mucis scene, the group's new album and how much American coffee really really sucks. Read on...

First off, what's the back story about the group.
Quarter Acre Lifestyle was started by me (Aaron - drums, percussion, keyboards) and my brother Cameron (bass, guitar, vocals) back in New Zealand. We’ve been playing other people's music in mostly rock/indie guitar driven bands since teenagers, while dabbling periodically with our own music on the side. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that we really started developing a sound, and working on our own material. A year ago we decided to put this album together and do our own thing. As a rhythm section we always struggled to get our ideas considered, so we thought bugger it, we’ll do our own album.

We started rehearsing new songs, and recording older ones in the studio simultaneously. As the music progressed we added people to diversify the sound. Jack Wilcox from Minneapolis came on as a vocalist, really adding a great dimension to the sound with his voice and some of the vocal melody writing. Kristin Brown who had never been in a recording studio was next. After a chance meeting at First Ave, the next day we were in the studio, pushing her in the deep end. She's taken to it so well. Sarah Anderson (also from Minneapolis) completes our live setup on keyboards. The band really just grew as the project did, but now it really feels like a band.

But now you're in the states. How did you come to Minneapolis from New Zealand??
I’m a graphic designer, and I came to work in Minneapolis to further my design career. It’s a great city for design and advertising with some people working in that field who I really admire. It’s not an obvious lifestyle move from New Zealand, but as a designer looking to work among some of the best in the world it made perfect sense. I also intended to play music of course. But starting my own band and recording an album wasn’t what I was expecting to do. Cameron still lives in New Zealand and we plan to divide our time between here and there.

How would you describe the NZ music scene?
New Zealand music is the best! We've got an amazing amount of top quality music coming out for such a small place. It's kind of similar to here in that people are really passionate about it, but it's much more diverse down there. The culture is diverse and small so everyone virtually knows each other and brings their influences: England, the US, Europe, Pacific Islands, and Asia too, so it’s not so insular like it is here in the US, and it’s created an eclectic scene. Man, there's so many bloody good New Zealand bands. There’s a great progressive break beat/ hip hop/ dub scene with a unique New Zealand flavor from groups like Che Fu, Trinity Roots, King Kapisi along with Dub outfit The Black Seeds & Fat Freddy's Drop.

Electronica is massive with outfits like Pitch Black, Concord Dawn, Recloose.

Bic Runga is still huge in and out of New Zealand. Dimmer are awesome as are the old faithfuls like Tim and Neil Finn, who recently put Split Enz back together for a tour of Aussie. Man it’s a wicked, diverse scene, we gotta get down there!

How does the NZ scene compare to Minneapolis?
Mainly, Minneapolis feels like a guitar band town. Most weekends there’s a ton of really good bands playing that all sound the same. Sometimes I wish there was more diversity and more cross over bands mixing styles. I love Digitata, they’re fresh, Tapes n Tapes are awesome. Those bands would be received really well in New Zealand. The cool thing about Minneapolis is there’s a lot of great venues to play.

How do you think the two environments influenced this album and your sound?
With me and Cameron being the starting point for almost all the songs, it’s very rhythm driven, very percussive, and simple. Cameron still lives in New Zealand, so when he comes over to play he brings a lot of what’s cool down there. It’s almost got a bit of a South Pacific feel going on in places, even though we’re as white as sliced bread, the percussion and rhythm gives it an island flavor. The City Pages referred to the music as “Trip Pop”, we kinda like that.

There’s also a pop/rock sensibility to some of the songs. I’m not sure if this is a Minneapolis influence more than just having played in so many rock bands over the years. It’s certainly dark in places, which I would have to say comes from these winters in Minnesota. I composed some of the tracks in a snow covered cabin in the North Woods. To be really honest though, we didn’t think too much about it. It was a really organic process, things just developed. If we heard something we liked, it stayed, if we didn’t, we trashed it.?

Is the food better in the US or NZ?
NZ. The food is way way better in New Zealand. The coffee too. I don’t know what people are thinking over here! You get coffee served in a real cup down there too. None of this paper cup stuff.

What's your favorite track on the album?
I swing between "Tiny Patch of Sky" and "Watching Waiting." It’s hard because they both have great vocal performances, and they both have a dynamic space to the sound. But I like all the songs for different reasons.

Well then, which single track should someone download from your site if they have one chance to hear the group?
"Tiny Patch of Sky" -- It kind of has it all in terms of our sound. It was the first song we did with Kristin too. It almost didn’t make it on the album. I had it as an idea with the drums and key’s and stuff, but when Cameron put that bass line to it, and Kristin did the vocals, it was a done deal.

How was your CD release show at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis last week?
It was great. We are so grateful of Jason from the Varsity Theater for giving us the opportunity to release the CD there. It’s an awesome venue and really has it all. Great lights, great sound and atmosphere. It suited our sound really well. It was a Thursday night and we were pretty shocked at how full the place was on a School night.

Any other news or gigs coming up?
We plan to travel to New Zealand in January of '07 to play The Big Day Out.
It’s the South Pacific version of Lollapalooza. Me and Cameron played it once before in a previous band, so it’ll be a nice homecoming for this new band. And the Americans in the band are super keen to take the music down there. - Perfect Porridge

"Album Review"

It's always fascinating to hear the subtle variations bands can achieve on well-established musical formulas. On Blood on the Lawn, the Minneapolis quintet Quarter Acre Lifestyle blends a sparkling trip hop vibe with a more jagged-edged, NIN-style industrial attack, and they've delivered a rather kickass debut in the process. Credit New Zealand-born brothers Aaron and Cameron Pollock (the former is the drummer, the latter plays bass and guitar) who both play with real fire and verve, and North Dakota native Kristin Brown (lead vocals) who can either soothe or spit fire at will. Her tone is rich and nuanced, and she always does what's best for the song, without being a drama queen.
"Cold Heart" does a remarkable job wringing emotion out of Brown's clear delivery, a series of two-note intervals on the electric guitar that resonate nicely, and a determinedly patient arrangement that asks the listener to fill in some of the blanks. It's a great song. So is "Escalator," with its vigorous percussion, atmospheric background synth and gripping lead vocal. There's something pensive in these songs, as though the group is bent on balancing a sense of introspection with some of their edgier rock trappings.
The title track makes a big impression with a recurring spooky keyboard sound that stands out from the pounding drums and slightly discordant guitar; these instruments all seem to be having a private conversation with one another, and you have to perk up your ears to get the hidden message. It's an instrumental, too; there are several of them on this disc, which clearly shows that ego matters are quite secondary to feel and atmosphere for QAL.
They conjure plenty of that on the opening "Captains of Industry," which skirts Bowie-Eno territory (several tunes do, in fact). And "What Would It Mean to You" features a solid core of percolating energy that subtly keeps shifting, while shimmering keyboard glistens prettily in the background. Through it all, Brown sings ambiguous lyrics with intense conviction, matching the music perfectly. "It's all here for you," she sings to the listener in a beckoning manner. And that's no idle promise; Quarter Acre Lifestyle have made a fast, powerful, beautifully recorded set of tunes that definitely deliver the goods for the patient listener who likes to be lulled and slapped around a bit in equal measure. B+ | Kevin Renick - www.playbackstl.com

"Quarter Acre Lifestyle : Blood on the Lawn"

January 15th, 2008 · No Comments

One of my favorite albums of 2006 was New Zealand/Minneapolis via New Zealand group Quarter Acre Lifestyle’s self-titled debut.

The music scene in NZ is quite diverse, and thus the Auckland sextet channels influences unheard by our simple Yankee ears (although references to Massive Attack, Portishead, NIN and now Stereolab).

QAL’s approach to writing, grooves, heck, even their guitar sound is truly unique. It’s refreshing.

Their new disc is called Blood on the Lawn, and it comes out today. The stronger guitars are thanks to Kiwi-turned-Las Vegas resident Tony Masterantonio on the axe. The sweet feminine vocals atop some of the churning tracks are from North Dakota native Kristin Brown.

In a world re-obsessed with Kamerican Idoloke, I commend Quarter Acre Lifestyle for keeping me excited about this Minneapolis band writing their own, original tunes. This stuff just gets better and better.

I highly recommend this band. And frankly, good for you, readers, for seeking out new music. - PerfectPorridge.com


Quarter Acre Lifestyle - Self Titled
Quarter Acre Lifestyle - Blood on the lawn



QuarterAcreLifestyle are a post rock, instrumental trio from Auckland, New Zealand. We play dynamic, dark, melodic soundscapes. The band was founded in New Zealand by two brothers, drummer Aaron and bassist Cameron Pollock. In 2000, Aaron moved to the US and the band consequently became a global effort with fellow Kiwi-turned-Las Vegas resident Tony Masterantonio on guitar. With three time zones the song writing process evolves around email, ichat, home studios and mp3 demos. Their melodic, instrumental soundscapes have influences from Nine Inch Nails, Pink Floyd and Brian Eno.