27 May 2018
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Gig Review: Metaract, Checaine & Coridian @ Ding Dong, Auckland - 22/09/2017

29 Sep 2017 // A review by butch181

Ding Dong Lounge always has a great atmosphere and a well-lit bar area where you can actually see people, which makes chatting and socialising that much easier. It’s one of the places that I always enjoy going to, as everyone is in a great mood and chatty. Heading up into the intimate upstairs gig area, there is already a fair amount of people chatting and loitering about waiting for the night to begin.

First up on stage is Metaract. Fronted by Chris Yong, who had graced the stage only a couple weeks earlier with Emma G and Static Era, he beams a smile and oozes an aura of positivity on stage that is rivaled only by Jon Toogood of Shihad. Metaract is one of the heavier acts that Yong has been a part of, but arguably are still well within the classic/pop rock genre. Their set has a variety of styles from grunge rock to pop punk, and even throw in an adaptation of Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer as an intro; they provide a mix to appeal to a large number of people. Yong’s personality on stage is that of someone eager to please; he provides insight to each track, gives recommendations on sing-a-long moments, and loves moving around the stage interacting with his bandmates. Bassist Victor Pesch looks comfortable in his power stance and is also loving every moment, in stark contrast to Sharne Scarborough and Clayton Gould (on guitar and drums respectively) who had that look of being focused on the job at hand. An exciting and fun band to watch perform, they are numerous “metal” aspects that I loved; from the use of a double kick that made the entire room quake and shiver, to Yong and Scarborough doing some synchronised shredding in harmony. A short set of 30 minutes, consisting of only six songs, but a great start to the night.

Next up on stage was another local act, Coridian. Coridian impressed me when they performed at the Auckland City Rockfest with the energy that frontman Dity Maharaj put into his performance, and he certainly hasn’t slowed down since then. Dity is still very much the showman and works the stage well, able to move around at speed within a very confined space (his enthusiasm and passionate performance is on the way to being on par with that of Damian Alexander from Blindspott/Blacklistt. The band performed a solid show, with only some slight vocal irregularities from the movement of the mic, but they did look slightly out of place; the Raven brothers looked very much focused on hitting each note perfectly, and as a result, looked stiff on stage. No doubt with a few more shows under their belt, the performance aspect will develop further. One of the songs that enthralled me the most live was Reflections, which had a superb bass riff that tied the track together and provided an extra layer of melody. Dity has no issues hitting all the right notes, and while his voice doesn’t have a very deep, thick vocal quality to it, he has an incredible vocal range, and it gives Coridian songs a slight Billy Talent vibe to them. The crowd wasn’t too active, but it also didn’t thin out, so they certainly enjoyed what they heard. One would expect a much better crowd reaction once the upcoming Caldera EP is released.

Headlining the show was Hamilton prog-rockers Checaine. I’ve caught them live once before at Nivara Lounge, and I had been unsure of whether vocalist Fraser Coombes was able to hit the high notes. I was pleased to see them come up to Auckland and Coombes hit Every. Single. Note. They played through much of the Symbols EP released earlier this year, with such tracks as Sleep with The Enemy, Moth to the Flame, and Bring Me Down, as well as a few tracks from their 2014 release Turn the Stone. Their musical style is somewhat more upbeat and lively than the opening acts and swiftly caused the women at the front of the crowd to break into dance. A consequence of the alcohol perhaps, but also a great testament of the inherent rhythm of the tracks. While Coridian had a slight vibe to their songs, Checaine are like a complete reincarnation of Billy Talent. Guitarist Regan Aspden is always a joy to watch, as he pulls out riff after riff, and creates a full-bodied layered sound with the help of a loop effect. Aspden and bassist Chris Prenter are having the most fun up on stage, with Coombes gradually warming up and getting more animated as the set progressed. They closed out their set on a strong note, with popular tracks Timebomb and Bring Me Down.


Review written by Alex Moulton
Photos courtesy of Alex Moulton

About Coridian

Take fireball vocal powerhouse Dity and the hard hitting, harder grooving Raven brothers, bind them together and you get Coridian. It's the four piece Auckland based group who are fast becoming one of the best new names in Kiwi rock.

They've worked with some of the best names in NZ music including Zorran Mendonsa (New Way Home, Set On End) and Forrester Savell ( Karnivool, Shihad). They've toured extensively around NZ, performed with high profile NZ acts such as Devilskin,
City of Souls,I AM GIANT, Skinny Hobos & Ekko Park as well as international acts such as P.O.D (USA), Fuel (USA), Sumo Cyco (CAN) & Red Sea (AUS).

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Coridian

Releases

Caldera
Year: 2017
Type: EP
Oceanic
Year: 2015
Type: EP

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