24 May 2022

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Articles By Tony McDonald

Violet Highway - Single Review - Sick of Waiting
12 May 2022 // review by Tony McDonald
I love the ending to this pop rock song - it's not your typical finish... so, make sure to check the song out all the way through.
Dead Favours - Gig Review: Dead Favours @ Valhalla, Wellington - 03/06/2021
06 Jun 2021 // review by Tony McDonald
In the sweaty snake pit that is Valhalla I was ordering a Fireball when two feet appeared next to me at the bar. Looking up I discover it’s the one and only Jared from Dead Favours.
Elemeno P - Gig Review: Elemeno P @ San Fan, Wellington - 25/02/2021
27 Feb 2021 // review by Tony McDonald
New Zealand’s very own Blink 182, Elemeno P, with support from Fruit Juice Parade and Valentina hit San Fran, on a fantastic warm Wellington evening. It was packed out; beers were flowing, and the sticky smell of the low-ceilinged venue was absolutely buzzing.
Devilskin - Gig Review: Devilskin with Shepherds Reign @ San Fran, Wellington - 08/10/2020
11 Oct 2020 // review by Tony McDonald
Even during a period of uncertainty in New Zealand with Covid-19, Devilskin and support act Shepherds Reign managed to fill San Francisco Bath House in Wellington. In fact, I have not seen a queue outside on the street for quite some time.
Mudbelly - Album Review: MudBelly
20 May 2020 // review by Tony McDonald
I'm glad we are on lockdown, as its time to really put my speakers to the test and turn them up loud (but not too loud, my health & safety hat is on).MudBelly (what a great name) are fairly new, but this debut album will ensure that they are going to be well-known from now on!
Apollo SteamTrain - Single Review: Phone Box of Life
02 Mar 2020 // review by Tony McDonald
This upbeat Summer rock song really took me by surprise, and in a very good way.The latest single from Apollo SteamTrain takes the listener on a journey back to the 80’s.
Jumping The Fucking Shark - EP Review: Jumping The Fucking Shark
31 Dec 2019 // review by Tony McDonald
Happy New Year everyone, hope you all had a great Christmas. To start the new year off with a bang I had the pleasure of reviewing the debut self-titled EP from Jumping the Fucking Shark.
Devilskin - Gig Review: Devilskin @ Hunter Lounge, Wellington - 24/10/2019
27 Oct 2019 // review by Tony McDonald
24th October @ The Hunter Lounge in Wellington and Black Smoke Trigger emerge to a packed out venue. Flashing lights, smoke, the smell of alcohol and a vocal crowd were there to greet them.
Holloway Holiday - Single Review: Here Comes Glitterboy
06 Sep 2019 // review by Tony McDonald
When something this powerful, upbeat and energetic comes along you have to stand up and take notice. Holloway Holiday have released a fantastic new single called Here Comes Glitterboy, and it comes complete with funky digital sounds and a mix of real and electronic drums which work amazingly well together.
Dead Beat Boys - EP Review: Very Live
14 Jul 2019 // review by Tony McDonald
This five-song live punk EP from the Dead Beat Boys is packed with plenty of talent and energy. I was expecting to hear the crowd clapping and screaming, but there is none of that on this EP which was surprising.
The Wake Up - Single Review: Pretty Little Caption
10 Apr 2019 // review by Tony McDonald
The Wake Up from Palmerston North have just released their latest upbeat single Pretty Little Caption. This follows on from Castle which was another upbeat poppy number.
The Diamond Dead - EP Review: Becoming
20 Mar 2019 // review by Tony McDonald
Having already reviewed the song and video for Track 1 No Revolution, and absolutely loving everything about it, I jumped at the chance to review this small 3-song EP by The Diamond Dead. In my previous review, I described No Revolution as the female equivalent of Marilyn Manson in song sound and video style, an absolute classic and one you must check out.
Skinny Hobos - Gig Review: Skinny Hobos @ Valhalla, Wellington - 19/01/2019
22 Jan 2019 // review by Tony McDonald
One of Wellington's last great venues was kicking out rock odour once more as the Skinny Hobos took to the stage. It's 10:45pm and the murky undertones of Valhalla were ringing out in the streets before I even entered the venue.
The Diamond Dead - Single/Video Review: No Revolution
16 Jan 2019 // review by Tony McDonald
Wearing little more than a red bra the female equivalent of Marilyn Manson is trapped inside a chaotic room. This crazy thought-provoking video tries and succeeds to crawl under your skin.
Racing - Gig Review: Racing with Dual @ Moon, Wellington - 15/11/2018
16 Nov 2018 // review by Tony McDonald
Without any warning or announcement, a huge boom blasts through Moon. It's 9:15pm on Thursday night, pizzas and beers are flowing and the atmosphere has just kicked in!
Darryl Baser - Gig Review: Darryl Baser @ Moon, Wellington - 18/08/2018
19 Aug 2018 // review by Tony McDonald
Unfortunately, Moon wasn't rocking this Saturday night in Newtown. The crowds may have been watching the All Blacks in a nearby bar.
Radio Coma - Single Review: Too Young To Die
06 Nov 2017 // review by Tony McDonald
Head banging on the front row, covered in beer, sweat and waves of pushing & shoving. Too Young To Die instantly transports you to a live venue.
The Whiskey Show - Single Review: Vengeance
12 Oct 2017 // review by Tony McDonald
This is a classic old school rock song with a modern 'Black Keys' style drum and bass feel thrown in. Dene's vocals are great for this genre, and Scott's guitaring is stunningly good.
Mishap - Gig Review: Mishap @ Thistle Hall, Wellington - 2/09/2017
04 Sep 2017 // review by Tony McDonald
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Openside - Single Review: I Feel Nothing
28 Aug 2017 // review by Tony McDonald
Thumping bass and drums overlaid with great effects and keyboards make this 80’s retro PowerPop single really stand out. I Feel Nothing is a very catchy tune and it's certain to be a hit especially in the lead up to summer.
Dirty Pixels - EP Review: Spacesuit
26 Jun 2017 // review by Tony McDonald
Have you ever imagined MGMT mixed with some Beach boys, then meeting Weezer to beef things up a little?Well here you have it and it is frickin awesome.
Unknown - EP Review: Suck
10 May 2017 // review by Tony McDonald
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Curlys Jewels - Single Review: Bastard Fate
14 Feb 2017 // review by Tony McDonald
I must say it as absolutely fantastic to hear a fabulous female rock artist. There aren't enough talented rock ladies in my opinion.
Pitch Black - Album Review: Filtered Senses
12 Sep 2016 // review by Tony McDonald
Pitch Black, the duo from Christchurch are back after nine long years with a brand new dub album, Filtered Senses. It’s dark and mysterious with a laid back lounge club feel.
Prizegiving - Album Review: No Harm Done
05 Jul 2016 // review by Tony McDonald
Don’t think about buying the cassette from Bandcamp because it's sold out. Is that a good thing?
Broken Season - EP Review: Wake Up The Fallen
28 Feb 2016 // review by Tony McDonald
The intro features a speech from the film 'The Great Dictator' starring Charlie Chaplin. An interesting speech about war which is a classic, very clever and leads on nicely to Bullets (Fuck The System), the second song which is more like what I was expecting from Broken Season.
Brave New Void - Album Review: BNV
08 Sep 2015 // review by Tony McDonald
I had the pleasure of watching Brave New Void (BNV) live at bar Bodega in Wellington last year supporting Pop Will Eat Itself (P.W.
Shepherds Of Cassini - Album Review: Helios Forsaken
02 Aug 2015 // review by Tony McDonald
Helios Forsaken is a 5-and-a-quarter-song album from Auckland's Shepherds of Cassini, and it's going to hit you hard. Mirrors Have No Memory is a 45 second song, hence the quarter.
Brooke Fraser - Gig Review: Brooke Fraser @ Wellington Opera House - 26/06/2015
27 Jun 2015 // review by Tony McDonald
There was certainly something in the water at the Wellington opera house on a cold winters tonight. Could Brooke Fraser warm up the packed crowd?
Armed In Advance - Single Review: Shallow
20 May 2015 // review by Tony McDonald
The cover for Armed In Advance's (previously known as Stitches) single Shallow is so professionally crafted and polished, I was quite honestly dreading listening to the single in fear that it wouldn't live up to the gloss.  I'm extremely happy to report that it is pretty god damn brilliant, and I am now a fan of this Auckland trio.
Jackal - Single Review: Funny Side
14 Jan 2015 // review by Tony McDonald
The Funny Side single by the Auckland band Jackal is very short and sweet at two minutes and thirty seconds. But its upbeat tempo and strangeness reminds of a cross between the Pixies and the Talking Heads.
Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra - Gig Review: WIUO @ James Cabaret, Wellington 05/12/14
06 Dec 2014 // review by Tony McDonald
After touring New Zealand, the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra finished off their trip in the best possible place - Wellington. The venue was James Cabaret, which if you haven’t already been, must be described as; unglamorous, dark, terrible bar selection of food and drinks, and out of town.
Julie Lamb - When We Hang Out Album Review
10 Nov 2014 // review by Tony McDonald
I have got to be honest (as always), I didn't want to review this album. Not that I had any predetermined ideas how it would sound, but the fact is I'm good friends with Julie.
Bunnies on Ponies - Heat Death of the Universe Album Review
20 Oct 2014 // review by Tony McDonald
Bunnies on Ponies is such a cool name I had to review this album. Then when I found out that it’s Samuel Flynn Scott of The Phoenix Foundation, I HAD to review this.
I Am Giant - Science & Survival Album Review
31 Jul 2014 // review by Tony McDonald
Having just seen I Am Giant live at Bar Bodega and been blown away yet again, I wanted to wait a few days before posting the album review. Could they possibly follow on from the amazing The Horrifying Truth album?
I Am Giant - I Am Giant @ Bar Bodega - 25/07/2014
27 Jul 2014 // review by Tony McDonald
After watching I Am Giant in Wellington at Bar Bodega in January, I simply couldn’t let the opportunity pass me by. In January the gig was amazing as you can tell from my review.
Glass Owls - Out From The Darkness Album Review
08 Jul 2014 // review by Tony McDonald
“Let’s take the Road - down memory lane”, is a key line from the second song on the Glass Owls – Out From The Darkness album and it sums the album up perfectly. The Glass Owls are brilliant, and remind me of a combination of Echo and the Bunnymen from the 80’s and the House of Love from the 90’s.
Popstrangers - Fortuna Album Review
10 Jun 2014 // review by Tony McDonald
Firstly, this is one hell of a dreamy powerful indie band. It approaches on rock from time to time, and I love this album.
The Phoenix Foundation - Tom's Lunch EP Review
25 May 2014 // review by Tony McDonald
Following on from the fantastic album Fandango I had the pleasure of reviewing The Phoenix Foundation's amazing gig in Wellington last year. I then met the gracious bearded wonders at the Vodafone music awards towards the end of 2013.
Ginny Blackmore - Holding You Single Review
18 Apr 2014 // review by Tony McDonald
This is certainly not the genre that I relish, which is exactly why I wanted to review this EP. I have had the pleasure of meeting Stan Walker on two occasions and he is a charming man.
Meridian Vibe - Crash And Burn Single Review
18 Apr 2014 // review by Tony McDonald
I had not heard of Meridian Vibe until this single landed in my inbox. I would describe their style as alternative pop rock, which I hope doesn’t offend the band too much, but I can see this being in the charts.
Mamuku - Twigs of Gold Album Review
18 Feb 2014 // review by Tony McDonald
Twigs of Gold is a very quirky album with an array of brass, bass (deep man), reggae, jazz and space invader type sounds thrown in. The album kicks off with a song called Berlin, which sounds very much like a Kiwi styled James Bond movie theme song.
Coach - Songs For Michelle EP Review
01 Feb 2014 // review by Tony McDonald
The first track When from Coach's new EP Songs For Michelle opens with such a full warm sound it makes an instant unforgettable impact. It’s a slow tempo track with rich vibrant guitars and deep warm vocals, backed by some haunting ooohs, which makes me, feel like I’m floating on clouds.
I Am Giant - @ Bar Bodega, Wellington 25/01/14
27 Jan 2014 // review by Tony McDonald
Razor Wire, City Limits, Purple Heart, Let it Go, And We’ll Defy; were taking control of my inner brain and senses within the first 30 minutes at Bar Bodega. Most of these tracks are from the 2011 album The Horrifying Truth and to be honest even if they don’t release another studio album anytime soon I am more than happy to keep listening to these songs on repeat.
The Intenders - Wasted on the Masses Album Review
23 Dec 2013 // review by Tony McDonald
The Wasted on the Masses album kicks off with a self titled song, which being under 3 minutes makes you instantly want to play it again. The happiness of the artists character (assumption by me), and charisma shines through with banjos and spanish sounding guitars over an upbeat Beatles sounding percussion section.
The Favoured Few - The Favoured Few EP Review
28 Nov 2013 // review by Tony McDonald
I have listened to a lot of Kiwi music over the years, however being from the North of England (Sheffield, home of the Arctic Monkeys), I have a great appreciation of different styles. The Favoured Few are a cross between Arctic Monkeys and The Killers and this becomes very apparent on the opening track of this EP, See the Sun.
The Black Seeds - Black Seeds @ James Cabaret, Wellington 15/11/13
27 Nov 2013 // review by Tony McDonald
No fuss, no dramas, The Black Seeds walked on stage as though they owned it. There wasn’t the usual glamour or glitz that some of the big bands have, or feel that they need to have.
Fat Freddy's Drop - Gig Review: Fat Freddy's Drop @ Opera House, Wellington - 20/09/2013
21 Sep 2013 // review by Tony McDonald
The bass is humming, the seats are vibrating, the crowds are anticipating something huge. Yes Fat Freddy's Drop are on the stage.
Dead Beat Boys - Robotronic Single Review
16 Sep 2013 // review by Tony McDonald
Pure rock n roll goodness, very reminiscent of The Kooks, The Strokes, The Vines etc...Robotronic is one catchy single by the Dead Beat Boys, filled with edgy guitar riffs and screams of ecstasy/pain from James Fitz.
Bulletproof - #Listen Album Review
15 Aug 2013 // review by Tony McDonald
After only one week of listening to this album, I will DEFINITELY be keeping it on my iPod. A perfect blend of light drum and bass and pop is a hit with me.
The Phoenix Foundation - The Phoenix Foundation live at James Caberet, Wellington, 27/07/13
10 Aug 2013 // review by Tony McDonald
I first watched The Phoenix Foundation live back in 2009 supporting Jarvis Cocker at the Town Hall, they were GREAT! Now they’re back again, ending the tour in their home town of Wellington.
The Symphony of Screams - Radio Candy Album Review
31 Jul 2013 // review by Tony McDonald
Ok, I'm officially scared in this turmoil of hatred. Only joking, or am I?
Hera - Live at York St Album Review
13 Jul 2013 // review by Tony McDonald
Let me start by saying this is not my type of music, however I do appreciate all types of music, and everyone has different tastes.The CD packaging was well detailed and came with a lovely story of Jed & Hera and how they got together.
Jan Hellriegel - Lost Songs Album Review
16 Jun 2013 // review by Tony McDonald
Well Jan has definitely uncovered some gems in this Lost Songs album. It is certainly a female classic rock collection and as Jan explains in the CD sleeve the songs were left behind because she didn't want to be pigeon holed into this female rock genre.
Superturtle - Beat Manifesto LP Review
27 May 2013 // review by Tony McDonald
All I can say is "Wow!".
The Bats - By Night EP Review
23 May 2013 // review by Tony McDonald
Already owning two of The Bats albums Fear of God and At The National Grid I was excited to be able to review their latest EP By Night. The Bats fans will remember this as being their first EP released on vinyl in 1984, so it's not exactly a "new" release.
Tiny Ruins - Haunts EP Review
16 May 2013 // review by Tony McDonald
Holes In My Pockets is the first song from the Tiny Ruins EP and sets the tone extremely well. I must stress that you really need to be in the correct mood for this song and thankfully, I was.
Tattletale Saints - How Red is the Blood Album Review
11 Apr 2013 // review by Tony McDonald
The first thing that struck me about the album How Red Is The Blood was the attention to detail on the CD packaging and artwork, very professional and a pleasure to receive. Tattletale Saints have an array of traditional instruments such as Double Bass, Mandolin and Harmonica to name a few and are very old school in performance style.
Spikenard - MTX MT TUM FULHART EP Review
11 Apr 2013 // review by Tony McDonald
Spikenard is an Indie band which really lifts my spirits. i.
Theseonyas – Extended Pleasures EP Review
03 Mar 2013 // review by Tony McDonald
Theseonyas are a guitar focused indie rock band which appealed me to straight away and are certainly NOT your run of the mill band. The CD I reviewed was a 7 song EP called Extended Pleasures, which was a nice play on acronyms.
Six60 - Six 60 @ The Station Village Complex, Lower Hutt 29/12/12
24 Feb 2013 // review by Tony McDonald
I turned up to this gig not knowing what to expect. Sure I’d heard the radio hits and a couple of tracks from the album, but what would they be like live?

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