New Zealand Music Month: Slavedriver
It’s New Zealand Music Month this May. New Zealand’s annual celebration of homegrown music. Generally, that involves a lot of mainstream media highlighting a lot of mainstream acts. So I’m here to try and redress the balance a bit. I’ll be posting a link to some rowdy New Zealand music for you to check out every day over the next month. Some bands will no doubt be familiar; others I hope will be fresh to your ears.
I wrote 700 words about Auckland band Slavedriver earlier today. But then my computer decided to crash and die once again, taking all those words with it to the grave. I was sorely tempted to skip today’s post after that. But then I hit play on Slavedriver’s Marauders Of The Wasteland album once again, and I was quickly reminded why it’s a damn good idea to be shining a spotlight on the album (no matter how grumpy I happen to be feeling today).
So in lieu of my ravings about Marauders Of The Wasteland from earlier in the day, here’s a somewhat briefer but no less enthusiastic account of the album that I included in my list of favourite New Zealand metal releases from 2014.
Slavedriver: Marauders Of The Wasteland
I know it’s a all tad clichéd to say it, but Slavedriver’s debut, Marauders Of The Wasteland, really was the definition of all killer no filler. Slavedriver didn’t waste a second on any superfluous doodling on an album that concentrated on blitzkrieg bouts of powerviolence, sludge, and hardcore. The band fortified their sound with sampled dialogue, barbed metal, and noisescape atmospherics. And while Marauders Of The Wasteland‘s tracks were all cutthroat and curt, they weren’t rudimentary bursts of noise at all.
Sure, Marauders Of The Wasteland flew past at rapid-fire speed. And harshness and loathing were all amplified to the nth degree. But as gnarled and hostile as the album was, there was also a lot to admire about Marauders Of The Wasteland’s visceral production, and Slavedriver’s deft arrangements therein.