25 Oct 2020
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Articles By Asmith

Dick Tracy - EP Review: The Red Hand
19 Oct 2015 // review by Asmith
Right from the intro track Mahjong, I was instantly transported into party mode. Rockin’, groovin’ hard hitting beats that get your heart pumping and ready to go.
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Dead Teach the Living - EP Review: The Crowning
15 Jun 2015 // review by Asmith
From the very first track there was one very distinct trait that seemed to stick out for me about Dead Teach The Living's new EP - the ability to seemingly move with ease not only through multiple sub genres of metal (and sometimes influences from other genres entirely), but also to mesh them together in perfect blended harmony. From every single instrument, and as a band, diversity would be the best word to describe this album and there is nothing I like more than artists who can not only diversify but pull it off as well as Dead Teach The Living.
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Blacklistt - Blacklistt @ Bodega 24/05/2014
17 Jun 2014 // review by Asmith
I was quite excited when I got offered this review, it was the first time I had seen Blindspott as their new reincarnation, Blacklistt, and was eager to see if anything had changed since the last time I had seen them, I wasn’t dissapointed. Hell, I think they may have even been BETTER.
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Truly Made - For The Summer EP Review
22 May 2014 // review by Asmith
Surely an odd title for an Autumn release, but 10 seconds in and I can only assume it was a metophor for the general feel of the album as this release is going to be in my playlist all year round for quite a while. I can’t help but feel this album was more than aptly titled, from track to track you get an air of summer throughout, every bbq, every beach getaway, it’s all in there.
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Jake Stokes - Midnight Album Review
26 Feb 2014 // review by Asmith
When I first pressed play on this release I was pleasantly surprised to hear some very bluesy sounding riffs blasting at me from my speakers. Now I guess I'm a little bias here but I believe the blues and blues influenced genres are underrated, underplayed, and undersold, especially in New Zealand so when I here something like this it always gets me a little excited.
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Blackleaf Gardens - Key To Infinity Album Review
27 Dec 2013 // review by Asmith
This is the debut album from West Auckland four piece Blackleaf Gardens, and what a debut it is. All too often I find myself being asked to listen to music and I can't help but hear that one specific musical influence cutting through like a cold shower, this is not one of those albums.
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Tomorrow People - One.5 EP Review
06 Dec 2013 // review by Asmith
Tomorrow People is one of my favourite kiwi reggae acts. There's something about them that's very genuine, something that (for me at least) really stands out from the sea of other reggae bands (and they're even better live!
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House Of Shem - Harmony Album Review
06 Dec 2013 // review by Asmith
Upon acquiring the third release from kiwi reggae artists House Of Shem I was filled with anticipation, eager to see what they had in store for me this time, and I wasn't left disappointed! With three part harmonies remaining a heavy base within the music, the switch between vocalists/songwriters is felt throughout the album all while remaining distinctly House Of Shem.
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Static Era - Roy, Static Era, All Dead Superstars, Kavort @ The Royal 19/10/2013
28 Oct 2013 // review by Asmith
The night was kicked off with a guy named Roy playing an acoustic set of covers from a wide range of styles, Smashing Pumpkins, David Bowie, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Sublime and my favourite (and the crowds too, as I looked around I could see most of them singing along) - Tool. Next up we had Static Era - this was probably my highlight of the night.
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Sons Of Zion - Universal Love album review
28 Oct 2013 // review by Asmith
Sons Of Zion have blown onto the scene rather quickly, the self confessed “young guys” of the reggae scene, their music a mixture of all their various influences including rock, blues, R&B, electronic, pop all heavily lathered with a strong base of reggae. Their latest album Universal Love is the kind of album you play to your girl, or the girl you want.
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Sons Of Zion - Sons Of Zion Interview 21/10/13
21 Oct 2013 // interview by Asmith
NZ is well known for producing a lot of top quality reggae acts, what do you think separates you from the other NZ acts and makes you stand from all the others? Sam: I think maybe just the originality of our sound.
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Heavy Metal Ninjas - Interstellar Abduction Album Review
15 Oct 2013 // review by Asmith
I don't even know where to begin with this. 2013 album of the year for me hands down.
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Forsaken Age - Forsaken Age, Fallen Order, Red Dawn, Dick Tracy @ The Royal 06/09/2013
27 Sep 2013 // review by Asmith
Dick Tracy blows onto the stage with their party rock anthems and I get my first look at the insane lighting rig being used for the night, which was quite a show (and a step up for the usual lighting rig thanks to their manager Tank) but may have been a tad bright for the room at times, making me wish I'd brought my shades along to the gig (although I did wonder if this was just my age and hundreds of gigs catching up with me haha). As the first band on there weren't that many people there but they had people up the front dancing as soon as they started playing, and they still played like the place was packed out.
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Suppression - Chained And Dragged EP Review
01 Jul 2013 // review by Asmith
So much groove in one place, how can you not at the very least get your head nodding to this? My personal thoughts on the groove>metal formula are very similar to my bacon>belly formula- I always want more even if there's no room left to put it, and Suppression have filled me up quite nicely.
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The Adventures Of Mikejoffa - Miss Fortunes Album Review
01 Jul 2013 // review by Asmith
I'm a 90's kid and I gotta say I'm really feeling it, a strong 90's alt vibe, Seattle and beyond with some kiwi flavor, It's taking me on a magic carpet ride reminiscing back to a place where Dubstep does not exist and Nicky Minaj is not somehow making money in the music industry. I know at some point I will have to come back to reality where these things exist but for now I'm enjoying it while I got it.
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Three Houses Down - Moon And Back EP review
13 Jun 2013 // review by Asmith
If you were to listen to Three Houses Down for the very first time it would be easy to hear influences varying from Peter Tosh, UB40, Herbs as well as contemporary modern reggae and an island twist thrown in for good measure. If this doesn’t sound like you then move on, if it does sound like something you would be into then you are definitely in for a treat!
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Beastwars - Beastwars @ The Royal 18/05/2013
25 May 2013 // review by Asmith
Turbostill were the first to grace the stage with their dirty grungy swamp rock n roll, with gravelly vocals laid over top. Simple catchy hooks and a steady rhythm section got the crowd off to a good start, and there was a surprising amount of people already there.
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8 Foot Sativa - 8 Foot Sativa @ The Royal 23/03/2013
08 Apr 2013 // review by Asmith
Opening up the night was the palmy lads Deaths Door - hard and fast with lots of breakdowns for the moshers, simple catchy vocal rhythms and the song writing riffery contained a lot of tempo changes which helped to build up to all the breakdowns and signature riffs. As more and more people packed in to see 8 Foot Sativa the mosh pit got bigger and bigger with everyone amping to see the headliners all you could hear between songs and bands was people chanting and screaming for 8 Foot Sativa!
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Pariah - Mass Album Review
31 Jan 2013 // review by Asmith
It’s been a long time coming for the 2nd full length Pariah album but I’ll be honest, it was fully worth the wait! Starting off with a melodic instrumental piece that warms you up, gets you comfortable, makes you feel safe… Then the brutal onslaught begins with the second track Unholy Disorder filled with mosh heavy riffs, it kinda takes you over and no matter where you are you feel overwhelmed by the pit inside your head (try listening to this album on headphones in public without looking like you’re having a seizure, I dare you).
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Gunt - Gunt Interview 14/01/13
14 Jan 2013 // interview by Asmith
I had a chat to Gunt's vocalist Rob horrible, here's what he had to say... How long has Gunt been together?
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Dislocate - Dislocate Interview 13/01/13
13 Jan 2013 // interview by Asmith
I had a talk to Marty Kent, bass player for Dislocate, after their recent gig at Beyond The Black Festival, here's what he had to say... How long has Dislocate been together?
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Devile - Devile Interview 13/01/13
13 Jan 2013 // interview by Asmith
I had a chat to Ricky (otherwise known as MC ROCKA) from Devile about his band and his views on the NZ music scene among other things, here's what he had to say... How long has Devile been together?
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The Heathen Collective - The Heathen Collective Interview 13/01/13
13 Jan 2013 // interview by Asmith
I had a chat to Goose from The Heathen Collective, here's what he had to say... How long has The Heathen Collective been together?
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Vixen Execution - Vixen Execution Interview 12/01/13
12 Jan 2013 // interview by Asmith
I had a chat to Vixen Execution's vocalist Dan about playing at the Beyond The Black Festival and other random metal inspired activities, here's what he had to say... How long has Vixen Execution been together?
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Osmium - Osmium Interview 12/01/13
12 Jan 2013 // interview by Asmith
How long has Osmium been together? The first formation of Osmium was in 2005, as the band we are now I think 2009.
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Beyond The Black NYE Festival 31/12/12
08 Jan 2013 // review by Asmith
Rising Force The first act on the indoor stage to kick things off. The band that has been together for about a year and their sound is quite similar to European power metal, with the vocalists beautiful clean voice surprising everyone when she threw in some screams too!
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Roadside Theory, The Rising Tide and Dobrosis @ The Royal 23/11/12
12 Dec 2012 // review by Asmith
First onto the stage was a group of boys from Dannevirke who have made themselves known in the local scene in a very short space of time. The very first thing I noticed about Dobrosis was probably the very unique vocal style, cupping the mic with both hands while holding one elbow above his head he pushed out the death growls throughout the set while their drummer provided back up screams… while drumming… and windmilling!
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Needless Cane - Hemlock Lemonade Single Video Review
25 Nov 2012 // review by Asmith
Ok I’ll be honest here, this band is not really the kinda thing I’m into but this video is actually pretty cool! It’s a take on the mad hatters tea party, but there’s definitely a twist.
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Needless Cane - Needless Cane Interview 24/11/2012
24 Nov 2012 // interview by Asmith
How Long has Needless Cane been together?The band began 5 years ago, rising from the ashes of a former project.
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Bloodspray for Politics - Blood And Night EP Review
22 Nov 2012 // review by Asmith
Heavy riffs and screams come straight out to play from the very first song on Bloodspray for Politics debut EP Blood And Night, with wah heavy leads tearing through the first track Blood And Night. I had to assume that with the very first track having the same title as the EP that whatever I got in the first track would continue throughout, and I was right.
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Cephalopod - Materialization Album Review
22 Nov 2012 // review by Asmith
Cephalopod are for me a band that manages to meld two worlds together, infectious and catchy, groove and technical, brutal and insightful… and all at the same time while still remaining raw and honest, what more can a guy ask for? I can’t find a song on this album I don’t like, but if you were to ask me which are my favourites I would have to say Mechanics Of Deceit and The Grey.
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Cobra Khan - Cobra Khan EP Review
22 Nov 2012 // review by Asmith
My first thoughts when hearing Cobra Khan’s self-titled EP (and my first time listening to Cobra Khan I might add) had me hearing a big Fear Factory influence, I’m unsure whether it was the vocal style or the dark, deep, heavy riffs that were protruding from every orifice of this EP, lathered in synth back dropping the whole thing to give it a haunting tone overall. The first two tracks Cages and Walking Wires keep to that heavy rock styling as above, then moving into the very electronic rock sounding Ashvin (which reminded me of Fear Factory's album Demanufacture) and then changing pace again to the last track on the EP In Frays (which I’ll be honest actually kinda reminded me a little of Phil Collins, I think that may have been the verb on the vocals) which is a softer, more classic rock styled piece.
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Elephant Of The Ocean - Torso Looking For Legs Single Review
06 Nov 2012 // review by Asmith
Brutal from the very first note, these guys are bringing the standard of kiwi metal to a new level with their first single Torso Looking For Legs. Everything from Production to the music itself is annihilating my ears as I listen to it, over and over again.
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Killing Yourself For Profit - Betrayal Begets Blood Single Review
06 Nov 2012 // review by Asmith
Killing Yourself For Profit are an up and coming metal band from Auckland merging some of Auckland’s already established metal bands such as Fuelset, Upraw and Burn The Scripture. No matter your preferred style of metal, there is bound to be something you like with their first single Betrayal Begets Blood - Throwing in a bit of everything from grooving, chugging riffs to melodic tech, and of course the breakdown style riffs to get the pit going, there are even vocal harmonies blending growling screams on the track.
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Dick Tracy - Dick Tracy Newsletter Interview
30 Oct 2012 // interview by Asmith
Aaron spoke to Keir about Dick Tracy and their recent win of the Battle of The Grand. Here's what he had to say: How did you come up with the name Dick Tracy?
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Hell-oween in The Swamp @ The Royal, 27/10/12
30 Oct 2012 // review by Asmith
The very first Hell-oween in the swamp to be run by Cephalopod's Kyle Kenrick (and his first event overall I believe) went down amazingly, everything was organized well and even the stage was in costume! There was plenty of merch on offer and there was a decent turnout too considering all the other events on the same night!
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Bleeders - The Bleeders Interview 23/10/2012
23 Oct 2012 // interview by Asmith
It's been 10 years since the inception of the Bleeders, are you still the same Bleeders that you were in 2002? Sure are full original lineup doing the shows.
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Three Houses Down - Three Houses Down @ The Colosseum, Palmerston North 21/09/2012
08 Oct 2012 // review by Asmith
Coming onstage proclaiming themselves as “Roots Rock Reggae” and then bringing it full force with a modern twist. With an almost hyperactive stage performance this was a very, very tight 9 piece who showed their professionalism throughout their set, with sound problems plaguing them for the better part of the show they didn’t let it phase them at all and kept on going, and having experienced bad sound myself I know exactly how hard it can be to push through when you’re constantly getting feedback, so big ups on that one boys!
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Tomorrow People - Tomorrow People @ The Colosseum, Palmerston North 21/09/2012
08 Oct 2012 // review by Asmith
The time had come to see the band I had been waiting to see since the release of their debut album 'One'. The set up took a little longer than expected but that only built up the suspense, as long as you could handle the DJ playing what I believe was reggae but with the bass so loud it actually distorted through the speakers so you really couldn’t hear anything but mud and thump.
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Diamond Sutra - Positioning Self EP review
03 Sep 2012 // review by Asmith
Eerie, haunting, beautiful… Three words that perfectly describe my first impression of this album. Diamond Sutra is a female fronted electronic rock band to rival Evanescence and Lacuna Coil, the riffs are heavier and groovier, the beats are catchier and the vocals give me chills.
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Amachine - Abrasive Absurd EP Review
20 Aug 2012 // review by Asmith
Brutal from the start, a rare mix of old school groove and modern prog/tech that leaves you wanting more and more. When the EP finished I was distraught that it was not a full length album, and then I played it again and felt a little better.
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Fuelset - Sounds Of A Dying Seagull Album Review
27 Jul 2012 // review by Asmith
This is one of those albums that I enjoy more and more every time I listen. Theres just so much going on here but in this case it is very much a good thing, this is one of those few bands that can actually make it work.
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Dr. Monster - Death Devine Album Review
27 Jul 2012 // review by Asmith
Now I should probably point out first off that I am not a big punk fan, and punk is one genre that I know very little about, but even a bad punk CD is still going to sound a hell of a lot better than my flatmates dubstep collection, fortunatly for me this CD isn't bad at all. I would describe this sound as "horror punk", if you could imagine what that might be.
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The Heathen Collective - JuneFest @ Breakers Bar, Wanganui 30/06/12
27 Jul 2012 // review by Asmith
The very first thing I noticed about The Heathen Collective when they stared playing was how low they had downtuned, I was actually waiting for them to hit a "brown note" (drop A in case you were wondering). The vocal technique was impressive, making me wonder if he had training or if like many of us he was a "Zen Of Screaming" convert but I never got the chance to ask him myself.
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Gift of Ruin - JuneFest @ Breakers Bar, Wanganui 30/06/12
27 Jul 2012 // review by Asmith
Now I don't normally like to review a band more than once, but this was a performance that needed to be talked about. During the very first song the vocalist somehow manged to be so clumsy that he stompoed on his own drinks, spilling them everywhere, and as you can imagine the rage that this caused sent the rest of their set into brutal overdrive.
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Reapers Luck - JuneFest @ Breakers Bar, Wanganui 30/06/12
27 Jul 2012 // review by Asmith
Reapers Luck's style is what I tend to class as "theatrical metal", falling somewhere in that undefined area somewhere between power metal and Iron Maiden, and from the very first song the Iron Maiden influence was very clear. The songwriting itself was a nice mixture from crescending ballads to the very maiden styled "horse metal" which gave their set some variety and made for a good show.
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Fuelset - Fuelset @ The Royal 29/06/12
27 Jul 2012 // review by Asmith
OK, well what can I say, I DID NOT expect that! When these boys walked out in their stage personas (I had been standing next to the lead singer all night without recognizing him) and started to play a nice slow relaxed bassline, I figured the night was about to mellow out a bit.
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Suppression - Suppression @ The Royal 29/06/12
27 Jul 2012 // review by Asmith
It's always going to be hard follwing a band like Cage Demise, but I gotta say these guys didn't do too bad! It did take them a little while to get into the groove of their set but once they hit their sweet spot it was all go, pretty good considering they hadn't played a gig in months.
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Bloodspray for Politics - Bloodspray For Politics @ The Royal 29/06/12
27 Jul 2012 // review by Asmith
First band of the night usually plays to a fairly empty crowd and Bloodspray For Politics were no different, although they did manage to pull in a little more than the norm once they started playing. This four peice from palmy yield a lot of low end groove filled riffs that I will attempt to describe as "what sludge would sound like if it had great big metal balls, infused with a bit of groove to top it all off".
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Cage Demise - Cage Demise @ The Royal 29/06/12
27 Jul 2012 // review by Asmith
If you happen to be from Palmerston North and you love metal then you will, no doubt, have heard or heard of Cage Demise (if you havn't then may I suggest you knock down whatever is holding up the rock you are currently hiding under). Straight off the bat these boys come outas high energy as ever, so hard in fact that their drummer broke his kick pedal on the very first song!!!
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Deaths Door - Deaths Door @ The Royal, Palmerston North 09/06/2012
13 Jun 2012 // review by Asmith
As the headlining act for the night came onstage I was unsure what to expect having not seen these boys perform in well over a year, and it didn’t take long for the pub to be filled with the sound of Deaths Door. Breakdowns and death growls filled out the majority of their set, and while there really wasn’t much of a crowd left by the time they went on the whole band moshing in unison helped get a dying crowd going, resulting in a dedicated line of moshers right up the front for the whole performance.
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Cephalopod - Cephalopod @ The Royal, Palmerston North 09/06/2012
13 Jun 2012 // review by Asmith
After some minor technical difficulties Cephalopod came out with force (I would liken it to being smashed in the face with Thor’s brutal metal hammer). And right off the bat Elise dominated with her energetic performance while still managing to retain some of the best vocal control and vocal projection I’ve seen from somebody in an unsigned band.
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Forsaken - Forsaken @ The Royal, Palmerston North 09/06/2012
13 Jun 2012 // review by Asmith
When the opening act Forsaken came out I couldn’t help but notice the similarities to early Metallica/Megadeth (the early stuff when they actually made decent music), so safe to say if you are not a fan of Metallica you will not like this band. Their onstage presence consisted of duelling solos and long haired moshing to the old school styled thrash sound they produced, with the odd “metal ballad” thrown in for good measure.
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Invader Cain - Invader Cain Interview 19/05/2012
13 Jun 2012 // interview by Asmith
You guys have just released an E.P “Feeling The Trend But Thinking Again”, is it your first release?
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November Zulu - November Zulu Interview 19/05/2012
13 Jun 2012 // interview by Asmith
You guys have just finished your debut EP, when was that released? Yeah we actually released a full length album a while ago but this is the first with the new line up, it was released just before the tour (with Invader Cain and Autozamm) so it’s kinda like the official release, just been trying to pump it out as much as we can on this tour.
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Autozamm - Autozamm Interview 19/05/2012
29 May 2012 // interview by Asmith
So after having a look through your bio you guys have actually had a pretty successful career, how long have you guys actually been together for? 10 years exactly You guys have opened up for Silverchair, INXS, and The Black Crowes...
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Autozamm - Autozamm, Invader Cain and November Zulu @ The Royal 19/05/2012
24 May 2012 // review by Asmith
“The Night That Fender Ruled The World” Invader Cain was first up with the smoke machine pumping out to their “new wave of dirty grungy Rock n Roll”, their set filled with catchy riffs and gang vocal style harmonies. The piss poor turnout didn’t affect their performance at all, if you were judging purely on stage presence you wouldn’t of known there was only a handful of people in the bar and I have to commend them for their professionalism with this.
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Gift of Ruin - Gift Of Ruin Interview 11/05/2012
24 May 2012 // interview by Asmith
So we are here with Gift Of Ruin, how long have you guys been together for now? Gift Of Ruin - Ah nearly a year, not quite a year, nah over a year man, nah, yeah, nah, I actually don’t no.
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Invader Cain - Feeling The Trend But Thinking Again EP Review
24 May 2012 // review by Asmith
I find myself wondering just how to describe the sound of Invader Cain... Dirty ‘ol Kiwi Rock n Roll is possibly the best I can come up with.
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Gunt - Gunt Interview 11/05/2012
24 May 2012 // interview by Asmith
Ok, so the first thing I’ve got to ask is... what’s a GUNT?
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Pariah - Pariah Interview - 11/05/2012
23 May 2012 // interview by Asmith
Ok we’re here with Pariah from Wanganui... Denvar - Nah I’m from fucken Mars mate.
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Tomorrow People - One Album Review
16 May 2012 // review by Asmith
From the very first song I was taken back down memory lane to my childhood growing up listening to The Wailers, UB40, Herbs, and Bob Marley. But there’s something else going on here, something very different and very fresh that you don’t get with that old school reggae sound.
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November Zulu - No More Fun And Games EP Review
16 May 2012 // review by Asmith
Upon receiving this CD for review I was expecting to hear yet another cliché kiwi “rock” band... You guys know what I mean, that unfortunate kiwi sound that could be described as the deformed love child of pop rock and indie.
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Gunt - Gunt @ The Royal, Palmerston North - 11/05/2012
15 May 2012 // review by Asmith
So we get to the last band of the night and it looks like everyone has left, I look around and there’s maybe a handful of people in the bar and it’s not looking good... As GUNT make their way onstage and begin to play I look down to check my phone and by the time I had read my text and looked up again the bar was full...
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Pariah - Pariah @ The Royal, Palmerston North - 11/05/2012
15 May 2012 // review by Asmith
As the crowd disappeared during intermission I could hear everybody talking about Pariah's new line-up, wondering if they will be as good as they were before... and true to form the boys pulled out all the stops, leaving the doubters in their wake.
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Dirt Box Charlie - Extended Play Album Review
15 May 2012 // review by Asmith
From the very first moment you pick up the CD you can feel an air of class exuding from this release, and upon playing the first track nothing changes. As I began listening I felt the strong blend of blues, funk and jazz instantly hit me in the face like a fresh cup of coffee first thing in the morning, and I could easily imagine myself sitting in a local cafe listening to this.
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NZ Top 10 Singles

  • MOOD
    24kGoldn feat. Iann Dior
  • LEMONADE
    Internet Money And Gunna feat. Don Toliver And NAV
  • HOLY
    Justin Bieber feat. Chance The Rapper
  • SAVAGE LOVE (LAXED - SIREN BEAT)
    Jawsh 685 x Jason DeRulo
  • WAP
    Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion
  • DREAMS
    Fleetwood Mac
  • HEAD & HEART
    Joel Corry feat. MNEK
  • WHAT YOU KNOW BOUT LOVE
    Pop Smoke
  • PUT YOUR RECORDS ON
    Ritt Momney
  • IN THE AIR
    L.A.B.
View the Full NZ Top 40...
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