New Zealand Music Month: Seven Rockers
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.
Head Like A Hole
Narcocorrido is the latest release from seminal alt-rock/metal band Head Like A Hole (AKA HLAH). HLAH were a crucial band in New Zealand’s heavy alternative music scene during the 90s, and the band’s releases from that era are treasured by many. HLAH broke up, messily, in 2000, but returned in 2011 with the rousing Blood Will Out album.
Reactions is the second album from Wellington trio Hollywoodfun Downstairs. Released in late April, Reactions is a spectacular collision of noise-pop and full-bore punk rock, sweetened by enticing hooks. It’s a frantic album. A frenetic album. A meticulously arranged and goddamn magnificent album. And you should definitely check it out forthwith.
Christchurch post-punk and darkwave band Villain released their self-titled debut in late 2014. Featuring sharp and jarring shards of guitar, and plenty of gloomy atmospherics, Villain was a very promising first album from the gothically accented four-piece.
Pirohia is the third full-length from post/experimental-rock band Kerretta. Like Jakob (fellow New Zealand purveyors of pristine post-rock) Kerretta also maintain a healthily sized European fanbase, and a similar level of critical acclaim.
Fornax Chemica’s debut, Chemical Furnace, was produced by Sylvia Massey, who sat behind the desk on Tool’s Undertow album. Fornax Chemica deal in long-form psychedelic instrumentals that twist and turn into infinity. A new album is apparently on the horizon.
Elixir of Lethe is the debut full-length release from Napier-based stoner rock/metal trio, Heterodox. The band’s own explanation of their musical gamut, “heavy doom-groovin’ tunes”, sums things up perfectly.
Die! Die! Die!
S.W.I.M. is the latest release from long-running noise-pop/punk trio Die! Die! Die! The band’s had a lot of success over the years, recording for labels like Flying Nun, touring the globe, and having the likes of Steve Albini and Straitjacket Fits’ Shayne Carter produce their well-regarded albums.