I didn’t know what to make of Hollywoodfun Downstairs when I first heard them. I mean, there was no question I loved what I heard on Reactions, the latest album from the Wellington, New Zealand-based trio. Their instrumental prowess and daredevil songwriting was hugely impressive, and the album’s hooks and production packed a heavyweight punch. However, I was totally flummoxed about how I was going to accurately describe the stop-on-a-dime, chaotic noise therein.
I talked to the band for Radio New Zealand’s Music 101 show about *Reactions *as soon as I had a chance (have a listen right here). And what I came away with from that interview was a sense of how indefinably unique the band are. You could possibly note a few echoes of groups like At the Drive-In or Blood Brothers in Hollywoodfun Downstairs’ sound. Because the band are clearly a group who also deal in madhouse musicality that’s passionate, frenzied, and fucking *intense. *But Reactions is also full of moments where bassist Grant Ball, drummer Joe Wright, and guitarist and vocalist Kurt Williams hurl razor-sharp punk at spiky pop and noise rock to create an ear-splitting and utterly idiosyncratic sound.
Make sure you grab a copy of Reactions from Hollywoodfun Downstairs’ Bandcamp page, and look out for the cassette release courtesy of New Zealand label Press Gang Records in the very near future. The album was recorded at Wellington’s Munki Studios by Mike Gibson, mastered in New York by Alan Douches, and it sounds HUGE.
Six Noises is extremely proud to be debuting Hollywoodfun Downstairs’ video for the first track off Reactions: the sweet-and-sour, crash-and-smash riot, “Plastic Fascinations”.