16 Jul 2019
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Articles By River Tucker

Amnesia Jones - Album Review: Amnesia Jones
09 Mar 2019 // review by River Tucker
Relying heavily on the funk gospel, Amnesia Jones’ debut self-titled album is sure to get listeners up and dancing. There’s an endearing lo-fi quality simmering just below the energy and sparkle of the eleven-track release.
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Shihad - Shihad @ Brewers Indoor Arena, Mt Maunganui - 27/10/2018
31 Oct 2018 // review by River Tucker
Shihad couldn’t have asked for better support acts in the form of Villainy and Kora for their 30th Anniversary Tour gig last weekend at Mt Maunganui. Not only did all the bands bring their A game to the stage, the audience was fully locked, loaded and set to celebrate thirty years of Shihad’s musical success.
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Built - EP Review: Here’s To Sweet Sabotage
03 Aug 2018 // review by River Tucker
Musician Dean Young has been writing and producing some fantastic music over the last couple of decades. His latest musical work released under the name Built, comes in the form of a stonkingly good 6 track EP entitled Here’s To Sweet Sabotage.
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Apollo SteamTrain - Single Review: Superstition (Looking In The Mirror)
19 Jun 2018 // review by River Tucker
Apollo SteamTrain have been hard at work producing solid songs and developing a loyal fan base through gigging and regular recording over the last couple of years, but their latest single Superstition (Looking In The Mirror) is a marked change in musical direction for the Tauranga based rock band.Starting out with a crisp drumbeat on nicely tuned toms, Les Robinson is soon joined by singer songwriter Brendan McCarthy’s crunchy guitar.
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Alien Weaponry - Album Review: Tū
08 Jun 2018 // review by River Tucker
Released on Napalm Records and named in veneration of Tūmatauenga, the Māori god of war, Alien Weaponry’s debut album Tū is a testament to what can be achieved through excellent promotional material and a lot of dedication to their musical craft.Opening track Whaikōrero starts things off with a spoken welcome and warning accompanied by a Kōauau (flute instrument) and a Pūrerehua (wind instrument) guaranteed to send shivers down your spine.
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Hault - Single Review: Into The Light
30 May 2018 // review by River Tucker
Wellington band Hault is getting ever closer to the quintessential Dunedin sound with their latest single release, Into the Light. There’s a bit less grunge inspired psychedelic influence going on, but essentially this three-piece has retained their core sound first captured on a debut self-titled EP released last year to favourable reviews.
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Bloodshot - Album Review: Pull The Plug
15 May 2018 // review by River Tucker
What is it about Wellington that produces such great metal bands? Bloodshot is no exception to the rule and seems ready and rearing to go.
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New Telepathics - Album Review: The End Of War
31 Mar 2018 // review by River Tucker
The New Telepathics' latest release, wishfully entitled The End of War, explores an amalgamation of Soul, Jazz, Trip Hop, Techno Funk and Calypso genres with inspiring lyrics and tight rhythms sure to get the crowd amped and on the dance floor.Driving bass lines and pared-back drums are sometimes interspersed with unusual sequences and effects that give an edgy disjointed vibe.
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Arc of Ascent - Album Review: Realms of the Metaphysical
07 Apr 2017 // review by River Tucker
The third full-length album from Arc of Ascent, Realms of the Metaphysical, is an uplifting release full of dark beauty and stand out vocals.  Like their two previous releases, Circle Of The Sun and The Higher Key, these songs will translate well live.
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Head Like A Hole - Gig Review: Head Like A Hole NYE @ Totara Street, Mt Maunganui - 31/12/2016
05 Jan 2017 // review by River Tucker
New Years Eve at the Mount reminded me a lot of the high-octane gigs from back in the day when Head Like A Hole (HLAH) first started touring the metal scene up in Auckland, which was a bit dead at the time. Of course there’s not as much nakedness going on these days, but HLAH still helps people to get over their inhibitions with rip-roaring performances that will blow your mind.
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Beastwars - Album Review: The Death Of All Things
22 Feb 2016 // review by River Tucker
There’s a real primal feel to the new Beastwars album, The Death Of All Things. Beastwars cut their own sonic path again and this release follows in the footsteps of their previous albums, both of which rated well in the New Zealand album charts.
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Tainted - Album Review: Into Temptation
03 May 2015 // review by River Tucker
Once again Tainted have delivered an outstanding album full of powerful riffs and massive soundscapes with enough subtle nuance to satisfy even the most refined metal connoisseur. Combining solid song construction and excellent engineering, Into Temptation merges all the elements required for a successful release.
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The Jury & The Saints - Album Review: The Jury and The Saints
26 Mar 2015 // review by River Tucker
There is no doubt that The Jury & The Saints have once again delivered an outstanding album containing a powerful uplifting message for the youth of today. Striking exactly the right balance, this self-titled release retains a nice raw edge while skillfully delivering a polished performance.
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Checaine - Turn the Stone Album Review
11 Jul 2014 // review by River Tucker
There's a real solid feel to this Checaine album, Turn the Stone. With a plethora of stonking riffs interspersed by lighter moments, these four guys from Hamilton have pulled a real gem out of the rock n roll bag.
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Dead Dreamers - No Closure for Open Ends Album Review
01 Nov 2013 // review by River Tucker
If you like your metalcore intricately crafted with a hint of punk and a dash of death for good measure, Dead Dreamers latest release No Closure for Open Ends is a must-have for your music collection. Originally hailing from Hamilton and after touring extensively throughout New Zealand, the five piece have recently relocated to the UK to break into the international market, so you will have to wait for their return tour to catch them live.
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Shitripper - Brain Defect Album Review
26 Jul 2013 // review by River Tucker
There's something very traditionally punk about Shitripper’s latest release Brain Defect. The Auckland based six-piece band isn’t your average three-chord punk outfit though, with a hardcore edge and snappy raucous songs sure to keep you on your toes.
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Osmium - The Misery Harvest Album Review
29 Jan 2013 // review by River Tucker
There’s no escaping Osmium’s awesome metal prowess throughout their second full-length album The Misery Harvest. Stylistically similar to Alice and Chains, what sets the Invercargill based three-piece apart is a harder edge of heavy riffs with a bit more grunge for good measure.
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Rhythm and Vines Review
07 Jan 2013 // review by River Tucker
There’s something very special about the Rhythm and Vines music festival held during New Year at the lovely Waiohika Estate Vineyard, just out of Gisborne. Rhythm and Vines celebrated their ten-year anniversary with an unprecedented level of professionalism and 31,000 music lovers partied with them on New Years Eve.
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Villainy - Mode. Set. Clear. Album Review
29 Dec 2012 // review by River Tucker
The first thing to strike you about Villainy’s debut album Mode Set Clear is the excellent surrealistic graphics designed by legendary designer Storm Thorgerson. Echoing some other great works by the renowned artist such as Muse’s Absolution, Megadeth’s Rude Awakening and Pink Floyd’s A Momentary Lapse Of Reason, the digipac is so good it’s worth framing and mounting to the wall.
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Rival State - Apollo Me Album Review
29 Oct 2012 // review by River Tucker
Rival State's album Apollo Me is a solid effort throughout. At times their powerful sound is without compromise.
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New Way Home - Mirrors Album Review
03 Sep 2012 // review by River Tucker
From the outset New Way Home's latest release Mirrors is a rip-roaring beast sure to get the mosh pit pumping. Building on some of the best metal sub genres while forging a truly original sound all of their own, the five piece hailing from Auckland have incorporated the perfect blend of delicate harmonics and unrelenting heaviness.
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Depths - Resurgence EP Review
23 May 2012 // review by River Tucker
Released on Deadboy Records and best described as a cross between Meshuggah and As I Lay Dying with hints of Machine Head thrown into the bubbling cauldron for good measure, Depths' EP Resurgence is sure to quench your desire for head banging mayhem. The CD starts off with a nice atmospheric and spooky intro that soon gives way to Age Of Compromise.
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Arc of Ascent - The Higher Key Album Review
02 May 2012 // review by River Tucker
Arc Of Ascent’s latest release The Higher Key is an excellent follow-up to their debut album Circle of the Sun (Astral Projection) that received favourable reviews. Hailing from Hamilton, the trio punches well above their weight and epitomizes the wall of sound technique with one of the most commanding and transcending metal albums so far this year.
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Heavy Metal Ninjas - The Heavy Metal Ninjas EP Review
04 Mar 2012 // review by River Tucker
The Heavy Metal Ninjas, who formed in 2010 (the year of the ninja), have certainly transcended the mortal realm with their debut EP of the same name. From devastating riffs, synchronised perfectly with meticulous timing, the five Ninjas including Stu and Fran Kora from multi-platinum selling band Kora, look set to completely annihilate the competition.
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Outsiders - Shallow Graves EP Review
01 Mar 2012 // review by River Tucker
The Outsiders latest release Shallow Graves is a short but sweet EP that builds nicely on their impressive 2010 debut album The Words Will Write Themselves. With obvious similarities, Shallow Graves has a bit more Kiwi flavour and an underground number eight-wire approach.
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Cobra Khan - Adversities Album Review
09 Dec 2011 // review by River Tucker
From the opening riff that will make the hairs on the back of your neck shiver in anticipation, Cobra Khan’s latest release Adversities, never lets up. The quintet had already set the bar high with their previous releases, especially the 2008 album Helgorithms, ensuring many dedicated fans here and abroad.
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Sticky Filth - Fourth Domain Album Review
03 Dec 2011 // review by River Tucker
For starters, Sticky Filth’s latest album demands to be played loud. Fourth Domain is a nicely packaged release that builds on a solid foundation of the tried and true, while not being afraid to explore something new and the darker side of life.
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Machete Justice - Reversion Album Review
08 Nov 2011 // review by River Tucker
Picking up where many metal bands left off, Machete Justice sets the bar high with their most excellent début album Reversion. Hailing from Tauranga in New Zealand, the quintessential four-piece band aims for the sky with an album not for the faint hearted.
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In Dread Response - Embers in the Spiritless Void Album Review
16 Aug 2011 // review by River Tucker
From the outset In Dread Response’s second album, Embers in the Spiritless Void, lays down the gauntlet as an unrelenting and epic release. Musically comparable to international bands like Machine Head and Lamb of God, while defining their sound with a new level of creativity, In Dread Response builds on the theme of vengeful anger that is the basis of all great thrash, doom and melodic death metal.
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El Schlong - Time/Place Album Review
27 Jul 2011 // review by River Tucker
It seems like ages since El Schlong released their groundbreaking album The Baddies Are Coming in 2008. The band described that release as “like Satan in the bath puzzled by the ginger pube on the soap.
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Ammp - From The Back of the Sun Album Review
20 Jun 2011 // review by River Tucker
The first thing to strike me about Ammp’s debut album From The Back of the Sun, is the excellent packaging with nice photographs, song lyrics and production notes all stylishly presented in a 12 page foldout booklet. It’s good to see the bands professionalism doesn’t end with their musicianship.
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Black Boy Peaches - Company Feel Good Album Review
11 May 2011 // review by River Tucker
Black Boy Peaches state that their modus operandi is to “write great music, make great records and play amazing gigs.” Clearly they’re well on their way to achieving these goals with the bands debut album ‘Company Feel Good.
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Leeches - Self Titled Debut EP
17 Apr 2011 // review by River Tucker
I had a feeling I would like this CD, even before I put it in the machine and I was not disappointed. There’s something very impressive about the self-titled release by the Leeches with its hardcore, raw quality that will knock your socks off.
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Blue Blood - Top Shelf Woman Album Review
30 Mar 2011 // review by River Tucker
Blue Blood’s debut album Top Shelf Woman exudes good times from start to finish. Best described as a rock solid funkadelic escapade into jazzaliscious dynamics, with some stonking blues soul to get your heart pumping, it’s really something you should pick up today.
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Nort - Lifestyles of Bleeding Album Review
15 Mar 2011 // review by River Tucker
Nort’s new nine-track album is obviously a parent free zone but once the lyrics kick in you might need to hold your mammas hand. Best described as an unrelenting audio assault and not for the faint hearted, Lifestyle of Bleeding has crushing guitars, ballistic bass lines and ruthless drums that will render you incapacitated and requiring a medical certificate.
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An Emerald City - The Fourth Album Review
03 Mar 2011 // review by River Tucker
Haven’t heard of An Emerald City before? That’s OK, I’m here to get you acquainted.
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The Jury & The Saints - Daydreams Album Review
24 Feb 2011 // review by River Tucker
To look at this CD you might think WTF and not give it a second chance. But if you get past the initial shock at the quirkiness of the eco friendly packaging, you'd be well pleased you did, and a lot more besides.
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The Karrados - A Means to an End EP Review
28 Jan 2011 // review by River Tucker
There's a lot of really good music around these days and if you want to stand out from the crowd, you need something new. That's exactly what The Karrados are, right down to their original name.
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CHARTDISC Volume 4 New School vs Old School Review
20 Oct 2010 // review by River Tucker
With a hot pink eco-friendly package, Christchurch's ChartDisc certainly stands out from the crowd. Now onto the music...
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Black River Drive - Black River Drive - Perfect Flaws Album Review
08 Oct 2010 // review by River Tucker
Black River Drive has clearly put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into their debut album 'Perfect Flaws'. The ten tracks are so cohesive that, as a reviewer, it was difficult pulling them to pieces.
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Bannerman - Bannerman - The Dusty Dream Hole Album Review
01 Oct 2010 // review by River Tucker
If we could combine the voices of Greg Johnson with a dash of Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and Jeff Buckley we would be close to the sultry and charismatic voice of Richard Setford. This clever fellow also composed, produced and engineered the fourteen-tracks in conjunction with Olly Harmer, who recorded the drums and did the mastering and mixing at The Lab in Mt Eden.
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November Zulu - Black Yellow White Album Review
22 Aug 2010 // review by River Tucker
Something special happens when likeminded musicians get together to make the music they love and this is abundantly clear with November Zulu's debut album entitled 'Black Yellow White'. With a deeply rich sound driving the songs along in a powerful and stirring way and Geordie Meade's charismatic vocals tightly tied together with exquisite compositions, November Zulu display a thorough understanding of what rock n roll is all about.
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Frozen Alice - The Torino Scale Album Review
21 Aug 2010 // review by River Tucker
From the opening track Everyday with its quieter moments that slowly build into commanding riffs, I knew I was in for something special. This song knocked my socks off!
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Roofdog - Album Review: Roofdog
13 Aug 2010 // review by River Tucker
Roofdog is a five-piece ska band from West Auckland and this self-titled album is the bands first release since forming in 1998. We really have been waiting a while for this one, however there's a marked difference between a band that is naturally tight because of countless practices and gigs and one that rushes to get something released without finding that X factor in the mix.
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Hangman - Version One Album Review
08 Aug 2010 // review by River Tucker
The album entitled 'Version One' starts off with the slow driven funk song You Got to Move. A good beginning indicating the bands secure grounding, in established musical structures.
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Riverblind - Hour of the Wolf Album Review
06 Aug 2010 // review by River Tucker
Founded in jazz standards the first song Mute Signals works its way into slow blues melodies with sweet soaring vocals and guitars that pluck at your heartstrings to evaporate any bad mood that the winter weather might have you under. With the dynamic range of Jeff Buckley but retaining the kiwi accent there's a real bard like feel to Dave Kempton's vocal delivery.
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Oxboy - Ecstasy's Not Life EP Review
09 Jul 2010 // review by River Tucker
There's certainly plenty of good sounds coming out of New Zealand at the moment and the 'Ecstasy's Not Life' seven track EP by Oxboy is no exception to the rule. Released by Hit Your Head Music and recorded over three days by Alec Withers (Devil's Elbow, Tempo 38, Angel Hammer, Servo) and mastered by Ian G.
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Fornax Chemica - Chemical Furnace Album Review
01 Jul 2010 // review by River Tucker
Out of the atmospheric darkness erupts Fornax Chemica like a lava flow of burning brilliance. Deep aggressive rhythms and monumental musical structures carry you along on a tidal wave of diverse dynamics reminiscent of Alchemist, Isis or our very own Sora Shima.
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Superturtle - About the Sun Album Review
13 Jun 2010 // review by River Tucker
There's something very young about Superturtle's sound on the album About the Sun, although the band is comprised of seasoned professionals. Superturtle takes you on a cheerful journey of jangly guitars, lovely duets and clever soundscapes all conducive to having a good time.
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The Usmani Collective - Searching EP Review
04 Jun 2010 // review by River Tucker
The Usmani Collective - Searching The debut EP from the Usmani Collective starts with the self-titled track Searching with an intro of soft bluesy piano and bass guitar, melding into nice funky jazz styles; making me think I'm in for a treat. There's even some gospel influence in there.
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Outsiders - The Words Will Write Themselves Album Review
20 May 2010 // review by River Tucker
'The Words Will Write Themselves' certainly starts with a bang! The first track 'The Other Half' has hit written all over it.
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Puppeteer - Tucked In By Brutality album review
23 Apr 2010 // review by River Tucker
Puppeteer 'Tucked in by Brutality' album review Preparing for a metal review: Black T-Shirt, check, sound system, check, beer, check. Puppeteer is a four piece metal band hailing from Auckland and Tauranga.
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Cybiont - Angels and Demons Album Review
18 Apr 2010 // review by River Tucker
Cybiont 'Angels and Demons' CD Review The first thing to strike me about the 'Angels and Demons' CD by Cybiont is the fantastic colourful artwork and environmentally conscious packaging. Track One 'Take Me To The Moon' starts with a slow harmonic exploration into minimalism.
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Jdubs - 'The Keynotes' Album Review
14 Apr 2010 // review by River Tucker
Jdubs - The Keynotes CD Review Jdubs is Ben James along with Charles Kickens, Pacific Heights and P-Money with Shapeshifter's Devin Abrams mixing and producing much of the content for the release on his Truetone record label brings you 'The Keynotes', a CD of quality Hip Hop featuring the vocal talents of MC Aeries, Sacha Vee and Lisa Tomlins. I like the packaging for this CD.
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One Love Concert 06/02/10
25 Mar 2010 // review by River Tucker
Review for muzic.net.
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Dawn Of Azazel - A Massive Explosion of Sound
25 Mar 2010 // review by River Tucker
Dawn of Azazel/Megadeth/Slayer 26/01/10 Miserable weather greeted fans as they lined up to enter Auckland's Logan Cambell Centre on Monday 5thOctober 2009. But the rain could not dampen the crowds highly charged enthusiasm for the event.
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Splore 2010
25 Mar 2010 // review by River Tucker
Splore 2010 19th - 21st Feb. With just the right balance of good vibes, friendly faces and fantastic entertainment, Splore is a must attend festival suitable for the entire family.
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Knives At Noon - A Mothaflippin Party
22 Mar 2010 // review by River Tucker
Bar Bodega 20/03/2010 The night was young, I had my glad rags on and Wellington looked ready to party. What better place to be than the stalwart of the music venue business; Bar Bodega now located on Ghuznee Street in central Wellington.
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NZ Top 10 Singles

  • SENORITA
    Shawn Mendes And Camila Cabello
  • OLD TOWN ROAD (REMIX)
    Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus
  • BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE
    Ed Sheeran feat. Khalid
  • I DON'T CARE
    Ed Sheeran And Justin Bieber
  • GOODBYES
    Post Malone feat. Young Thug
  • SOMEONE YOU LOVED
    Lewis Capaldi
  • BAD GUY
    Billie Eilish
  • THE GIT UP
    Blanco Brown
  • TRUTH HURTS
    Lizzo
  • CROSS ME
    Ed Sheeran feat. Chance The Rapper And PnB Rock
View the Full NZ Top 40...
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