27 May 2018
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Gig Review: Coridian @ The Wine Cellar, Auckland - 10/11/2017

23 Nov 2017 // A review by butch181

The underneath of St Kevins Arcade is the place to be if you are looking for up-and-coming, or alternative musical acts. Find your way around the maze of rooms and hallways, you have Whammy, the Back Room, or the Wine Cellar, all in close proximity, all pumping at the same time. Standing outside the Wine Cellar, I observed several groups of people walk into the hallway with no knowledge of what bands are playing; just asking for general genres and picking their fun for the night. It’s an integral part of the music community that is largely absent in Auckland, turning up to a venue for a gig, not caring who is playing, just there to enjoy yourself regardless. But I’m here for a purpose, so I head into the Wine Cellar, where the wall to the left of the stage is adorned with couches, already full of punters waiting for the show to start.

The first act for the night is the Tauranga-based act The Eternal Sea. This three-piece instantly jump into their set with the very heavy, grungy 333. Despite some minimal static noises from the equipment, the sound quality feels fuller and denser than when I last heard them at Totara St. The Eternal Sea have a very Tool sound, though they have a stronger focus on intricate guitarwork. Moving onto Fake, they up the tempo with some strong snare action, glorious shredding, and good vocal harmonies between guitarist & vocalist Mark Wright and bassist Ian Black. The talent and passion of this threesome is visible, and they clearly love performing, Black cannot stop moving and relishes every guttural growl that he gets to give. The Eternal Sea went on to play Vampyre and Transhumanism before ending their set with a cover of Tool’s 1993 hit Sober. Whether it is Black Sabbath’s War Pigs, or Tool’s Sober, The Eternal Sea play a great cover song; zealous enthusiasm, flawless execution, and powerful vocals. Each time I hear them they get better.

Next up on stage was West Auckland hard blues rock band AnimalHead. Another three-piece, but their difference lies in their drummer also taking on vocals. They start off appearing to lack confidence, but that could also just be comparing them to their drummer Dan Rooke, who looks like he has just sculled 3 energy drinks before taking to the stage. Lead vocals do come off rather weak; they have great melody and hits the right notes, but it lacks power behind it. Their first track was quite the journey, with some great length and variability in riffs and composition; by the end, they are at ease with the crowd, and they are really starting to get into it, feeding off of the enthusiasm from the clearly intoxicated front row. I love an exciting drummer, and Rooke certainly fits the bill, with super-fast and super-elaborate fills, completed with ease. Unfortunately, Rooke’s vocals need a little bit of work, his slightly offkey style works well with the bluesy guitar style, but when it comes to providing harmonies, it leaves a lot to be desired, coming across as loud, but certainly not melodic. They ended their set with their debut single Devil Told Me So, which has a very Rage Against the Machine (instruments) meets Beastie Boys (vocals) style to it; they showcase a lot of spunk, speed, and an incredibly well-coordinated series of cymbal chokes at the end. Musically speaking, AnimalHead have a solid foundation of skills, technical know-how, and the ability to rile up the crowd with their performance.

Final band for the night are Coridian, who much like the Skinny Hobos have been slowly building up their fanbase, and are now getting invited to open for many large and established acts, both domestic and international. The night started off with only six or so people standing in front of the stage, but now that number has increased in magnitude, and they are well warmed up. Starting their set with Nonetheless, and the crowd are instantly moving, and jostling about, making the photographers jobs very difficult. Dity’s vocals are emotional but initially struggled to hold the high notes. The set progresses through Reflections and Pride, before they start pulling out some non-Caldera material. 

Coridian are a finely tuned unit, and they love to banter with the crowd. Mike Raven was fizzing with energy as he carved through his set, and swung his guitar in a manner not unlike the style of Marcus Powell from Blindspott/Blacklistt. Unfortunately, his guitar volume was lacking in both the main amps and monitors, so he had to battle against his little brother Nick on the bass, to try to maintain the balance of sound in the songs. As the crowd continued to grow and push forward, the room soon heated up and Dity lost his shirt, much to the excitement of the female portion of the crowd. Ending their set on Blind Faith, the crowd managed to force an encore out of them, and they performed a well-received cover of Chris Isaak’s 1989 hit Wicked Game. A competent performance as always, and a great debut set for their first gig at the Wine Cellar.


Review and photos provided by 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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