I’m going to turn 46 years old in 2017. Yeah… me too. That’s old. Like, old old.
I can’t even comprehend that number. Although it probably explains why I went ahead and placed a bunch of unruly punk albums into a nice and tidy order below.
What a classic dick move.
Anyway, here’s the thing. Some people hit their 40s (or even 30s) and suddenly all modern music sounds godawful to their ears. I’m not one of those people. I think if you give up searching for new music you might as well just give up on life. I mean, there’s no stopping the ageing process, as such. But it’s not compulsory to grow increasingly tight-arsed and blinkered with every passing year. At least, that’s what I whisper to myself to ease the pain of feeling like such a fucking dad rocker whenever some young whippersnapper stands next to me in a record store.
“Don’t panic. You’re still hip, mate. Just keep flicking through those brand spanking new records until those kids leave, then you can buy that second-hand Def Leppard LP you spotted earlier.”
Truthfully, if anything, my love for punk rock has only increased as I’ve gotten older — so (FUCK YOU, Mum) it turns out it wasn’t a phase after all. If the music’s crude, coarse, and raw, I’m fucking in. Because the sheer madness of life never seems to cease (or perhaps that’s just me?), and punk delivers that shot of adrenaline we all need to get through the day or night. Punk provides that chaotic energy we all yearn to explore and exploit, whatever our ages. Punk is timeless, in that regard. Ageless, even. But still, I’m turning 46 in five months time. Jesus fucking Christ.
Fair enough if you’re wondering what an essay on ageing has to do with my favourite New Zealand punk albums of 2016. Well, I was putting this list together and I got to thinking about how incredibly lucky I am to live in a country where so many local bands deliver exactly the kind of raw and defiant punk that keeps old codgers like me alive and kicking. This year has been another great one as far as enlivening local releases goes, and the music collected below is a perfect reminder that there’s plenty of rabble-rousing New Zealand punk out there to fire up even the most decrepit flesh and bones.
Before we get to the music, though, I want to throw a few recommendations your way. If you’re looking for some of the best punk released in New Zealand in recent times, you can’t go wrong scouring the catalogues of New Zealand labels Zero Style (get behind their Bandcamp page now!), Always Never Fun (new zine out right now!), Press Gang Records, and Limbless Music. If you’re on the lookout for online resources, check out Up the Punks; blogs Symphonies of Slackness and Mad Blasts of Kiwi Chaos post plenty of local punk; and the filthy delights of crucial Wellington-based punk studio Scumbag College are always well worth checking out too.
I won’t waylay you any longer, except to say a huge cheers for stopping by and/or supporting Six Noises in 2016.
25. Pissed Off Bastards: Bombs for the Chechen Rebels (tape release reissue)
(Originally released in 2015)
24. Moral Turpentine: Brown Piss
23. Too Late: S/T
22. Contenders: Demo
21. Machina Rex: ilill/Machina Rex split
20. Starving Millions: IV
19. One Outs: S/T (tape release reissue)
(Originally released in 2015)
18. Yung Nat$: New Zealand’s Finest
17. Humanoid Shell: Disgustation
16. God Awful: Unexpected Bile
15. Raw Nerves: Serious Beef EP
14. Tigers of the Sea: Cut and Run
13. Vomit Storm: Mudge or be Mudged (vinyl release reissue)
(Originally released in 2014.)
12. Slitzkrieg: Slitzkrieg/Ripfacer split
11. Knee Splitter: Phase One
(Released on 29 Dec 2015, that’s pretty much 2016, right?)
10. Love Mess: Online Single + B Side
9. Master Blaster: Doomsday EP +Master Blaster/Hailgun split
8. Unsanitary Napkin: Patriotic Grooves
7. Parents: Great Reward
6. No Class: Boot Boys EP
(Ex-NZ, now Melbourne-based.)
5. Life is Hate: Life is Fucking Hate + Demo 2016
4. The Cavemen: Born to Hate
3. Rogernomix & Bonecruncher: Split + Rogernomix: Anthology
2. Wiped Out: A Tribute to the Wipers from Aotearoa and Beyond
1. Spiteful Urinator: Abandoned & Covered + Zero Effort… Maximum Insult