Knee Splitter, Abschäumer, Poverty & Spit, Wizz Kids, The Cavemen, Markdown and Blame Thrower
It’s been busy round ’ere at Six Noises of late, and I’ve got a few more New Zealand punk bands to talk about before I take a nice long tea break. Below are six releases from various groups that were all released fairly recently. All of ’em are unquestionably raw, rungus, and rowdy. And all of ’em are loads of fun to boot. Hopefully some (or all) of them will grab your ear too.
As always, cheers for stopping by Six Noises. Let’s dig into the filth, eh.
Knee Splitter: Phase Stun
Phase Stun is the second and apparently final recording from Dunedin trio Knee Splitter. (Shame that, because the band certainly delivers caustic music at a vitriolic pace with a heap of fiery finesse.) Like Knee Splitter’s first album, Phase One, the band’s latest was recorded at “Shit Zealand’s” Carpet Dungeon Recordings, and it duly delivers the finest in crust-caked audio emissions. Phase Stun’s prime ingredients are amp-fusing powerviolence, feedback-drenched hardcore, and feral grind. All of which are seasoned with a hearty serving of fuck you. Six tracks in three minutes… you know the deal. High-speed, unhygienic, and horrible –– aka perfectly scummy and misanthropic punk rock.
Abschäumer: Blood & Greed
Also recorded in Carpet Dungeon’s noxious caverns is Blood & Greed, the debut from über-noise punk trio Abschäumer. The band actually disbanded in late 2016 after a couple of shows due to a member heading offshore, but Abschäumer’s roots go back to Dunedin outfit Scum Hammer, who released a bleeding-raw self-titled album back in 2014 that’s also available on Bandcamp. (Grab a copy. Forthwith. It’s fucking great.) Abschäumer follows a similar sonic trajectory to Scum Hammer, but there’s a definite intensification of the lo-fi crusty savagery, and Blood & Greed also sounds as if it’s driven by even more unhinged attitude. Anger and frustrations, both personal and political, boil over on brain-battering tracks that feature barbed-wire sonics wrapped around already pulverizing hardcore. Blood & Greed sure ain’t pretty, but I think we can all agree that the kind of ugly and obnoxious noise that Abschäumer make (the kind that calls to mind sanity shredders such as Disclose, Kriegshög, and Framtid) is the best noise there is.
(Bonus points for that kick-ass album cover art by Abschäumer’s guitarist and vocalist Sam Ovens.)
Poverty & Spit: EP
Five-piece Poverty & Spit deal in lo-fi and distorted-to-fuck weirdo punk; the kind that flies the freak flag loud and proud. (Plus, songs about eczema and warts. So win-win on the grotty punk front too.) Poverty & Spit features folks who’ve played in noted Wellington punk outfits such as Downer Buzz, Johnny and the Felchers, Influence, and Raw Panic. So there’s plenty of experience in making demented, feedback-soaked noise in Poverty & Spit’s ranks. No surprise then that the band’s magnificent eight-track debut makes a squalid, eccentric and ear-piercing racket that’ll tick all the boxes for lovers of blown-out vocals, oddball hardcore, and discordant punk rock that takes a dive off the deep end. Highly recommended for fans of misfit punk à la Rudimentary Peni, No Trend, and Flipper. (Hell… highly recommended whether you like those bands or not. Just buy it.)
Wizz Kids: Attention
The first time I heard Hamilton-based Wizz Kids I thought they sounded like The Stooges. The next time I heard the band I thought they sounded like The Wipers. And then I realised that maybe I should probably stop worrying about who the band sound like and just enjoy the fact that Wizz Kids make hard-edged and hook-filled punk rock. The band’s latest EP, Attention, features short ’n’ sharp tracks recorded in one afternoon at Bagnall Hill Studios in rural Waikato. Although, there’s nothing laid back or pastoral about any of Attention’s five tracks. The EP is urgent and energetic, and while the driving tracks were smashed out in a single session, none of them sound incomplete or rushed. Fans of raw, melodic, and spiky punk see within.
The Cavemen: Born to Hate
Ex-New Zealand, now London-based miscreants The Cavemen revel in crude and trashy garage punk. And the band combines nihilism with down ’n’ dirty hedonism on their wonderfully deranged second album, Born to Hate. Released at the tail end of 2016, Born to Hate adheres to the exact same sleazy template that The Cavemen’s first, self-titled album did, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Motörhead made a career out of sticking to what works. The Cavemen could too. Born to Hate’s 13 psychotic tracks are all red-raw and turbocharged three-chord whirlwinds, and fans of The Cramps, The Stooges, or Dead Moon will likely love ’em to death. In fact, I’m pretty sure that all of us can find something to love to a very unhealthy degree amongst The Cavemen’s roll call of debauchery and hostility.
Markdown and Blame Thrower: Split Tape
I’d never heard of Auckland duo Blame Thrower before picking up their recent split cassette with hardcore crew Markdown. But I’m sure glad I grabbed the tape now. Blame Thrower show a gigantic amount of promise delivering lo-fi garage punk loaded with propulsive, power-pop hooks that’ll snag you and then drag you along for the ride. Markdown’s breakneck side of the split features more of the band’s patented fartmouth™ hardcore recorded live and in the raw on Auckland radio station 95BFM. Expect expeditious odes to junk food, poverty, and… puking. All delivered with a grin and backed by crashing and gnashing punk. Name your price on Bandcamp for both bands. You can’t go wrong, m8.