NZ is full of some really good hard working bands and I would like to give a handful of my personal favourites a little nod. If you get a chance to check out live performances or recorded material by any of the following bands then go for it! Here goes..
If you haven't heard of El Schlong from Wellington already then quit hanging around. These guys are freaks and I love them all equally as much. Their sound is a combination of metal, alternative, with a touch of randomness.
Vocalist Jakey Sue has a versatile voice that can go from gut wrenching growl to a ridiculous crystal cracking falsetto in a split second. Leah Hinton plays some of the chunkiest gat riffs I have heard in a while. Bass player Baldy has that Warwick tuned so low all the ladies in the crowd start smiling whenever he hits his big fat fifth string and drummer Jordan has to be one of our fine country's best up and coming skin beaters. Together they are El Schlong and the make a formidable sound live with a performance full of senseless spiels about rednecks, plastic sheets, and Brian Tamaki. Check out www.myspace.com/elschlong
Whilst in the Wellington area I would also like to mention Scoria and Riverblind.
The first time I saw Scoria they kicked my ass with their full-on assault of Meshuggah-esque metal. This five piece from Wellington are all top musicians and as a unit are very tight. The icing on the cake for me with these guys is singer Goose's stage presence and the attitude and raw aggression he sings with - he owns that stage.
Check out www.myspace.com/scoriametal
Riverblind are at the more rock end of the spectrum but their trippy intellectual heavy rock had me transfixed for their entire set when I checked them out at The Adelaide in Wellington. I rate these guys as some of NZ's more creative musicians and give them huge points for thinking outside the square whilst maintaining good song writing and audience interest.
Check out www.myspace.com/riverblind
Ruin are a four piece New Plymouth metal band made up of members who are still at high school (or who have just left) and man are these guys scary!
They play mainly Lamb Of God covers with a scattering of their own very impressive originals. These guys are all outstanding intelligent driven musicians who aren't just good for a high school band but would give most adult bands a run for their money. Vocalist Des has a fantastic scream and drummer Dylan who is only 16 can play Lamb Of God like he is taking a walk in the park and mixes it up with some Danny Carey style fills and poly-rhythms. Keep a look out for these guys in the future either as the current unit or individually - they will go far. www.myspace.com/ruinmetalnz
There are so many other bands I really like and would like to talk about but the list would go one forever but here is a few more names you should really check out: Chuganaut, World War Four, 8forty8, Slipping Tongue, Remote, Hellserpoppin, Magnum Opus, Redline.....or jump on www.myspace.com/agentband and check out some of our friends list there are plenty of other NZ acts on there.
-- by Jimi Donaldson of Agent
Agent's plans for the next year are to relocate to London and base ourselves there for the next few years. We will be playing some final shows in NZ before the end of August but will be going on hiatus from Sept onwards until we are up and running in the UK by start of 2008. From there the plan is to hit the UK and Europe scene with our current repertoire plus the truckloads of new stuff we have been writing. We have wanted to do this for a while and just decided that sooner is better than later so we are gone-burger! After that we would like to get album number 2 on the way, we already have some tracks penned for this but will have to wait for the finances to be right before laying it down. It's itching to come out though! Cheers to all our NZ fans and supporters. See you soon :)
Agent are a three piece band from New Plymouth. The music they play is a mixture of hard rock, metal and alternative.
Decortica is a three-piece alternative rock band from Auckland. The band began gigging mid-2005, released the debut EP "The Contrast at the Seam" in early 2006 and this year released the single "Cassandra." Decortica's sound is characterized by the dynamic relationship of complex rhythms, driving riffs and melodious components. "Cassandra" has received airplay on Kiwi FM, Fleet FM, and ALT TV. The video placed second equal in Juice TV's Coke Generator competition. Recent gigs have seen the band achieving a new level of energy and cohesion, punching well above its weight. Having recently completed a mini-tour of the North Island, the band is not slowing down, staying active on the live scene and preparing for the next stage of development including pre-production for a future EP or album.
The new material showcases Decortica's most considered writing to date and extends the founding concept of decortication.