21 Sep 2019
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Articles By Sass_Metal

Plum Green - Gig Review: Plum Green @ Whammy Bar, Auckland - 1/02/2019
08 Feb 2019 // review by Sass_Metal
Occasionally a show happens where every single performance artist is on fire, performing from the soul, baring everything, connecting with the audience and feeding off the audience, in that magical, etheric zone where performing artist and audience becomes one. Right from the first note of Shoddy the crowd was dancing, their attentions on the various rituals occurring before them.
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Devilskin - Gig Review: Slash w/ Myles Kennedy and Devilskin @ Spark Arena, Auckland - 26/01/2019
27 Jan 2019 // review by Sass_Metal
As per usual I was running late to the show, so I missed the first few opening songs of (not so local, now) legends Devilskin. Writing this now I am so gutted I didn’t get to witness their powerful set in its entirety as, in my opinion, they showed up the headliners and it was clear from the amount of Devilskin merch that fans were wearing around the show and from the crowd response that this was indeed Devilskin’s night.
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Eight Eyed Orchid - EP Review: One by One & Two by Two
16 Nov 2018 // review by Sass_Metal
About 10 years ago if I had heard this EP I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate its complex intricacies. As I write this, I’m on my 5th listen and I keep noticing more; more layers, depth, complexities I missed the previous times I’ve listened to it.
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Levi Lights On Project - Gig Review: Levi with The Free Wind @ Wine Cellar, Auckland
18 Sep 2018 // review by Sass_Metal
I have seen both Brendon and Levi perform with their Rock bands before – Brendon Thomas & the Vibes and Tribal State and knew how talented and how sonically stunning their voices are but I wasn’t prepared for how these two truly talented musicians would sound with the emphasis being more on their voices, than being backed by full bands. Normally I find myself getting bored with too much clean singing and often prefer death metal growls to clean singing.
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Gig Review: Katy Perry @ Spark Arena, Auckland - 20/08/2018
21 Aug 2018 // review by Sass_Metal
This is the story of how a heavy metal journalist ended up surprisingly enjoying themselves at a POP show – the amazing extravaganza that is Katy Perry’s ‘Witness’ tour. I knew that as a pop show it would be an amazing show - that’s an understatement!
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Left Or Right - Gig Review: Left or Right @ Whammy Bar, Auckland - 13/07/2018
10 Aug 2018 // review by Sass_Metal
After 6 months of traveling Europe and the UK I’ve found it an adjustment coming back to NZ for a number of reasons – one of which being shows not having the first band on till 9pm, when in UK and England 9pm would be the 2nd to last band as most shows finish around 11pm which is AMAZING – especially on a week night, another adjustment is that in New Zealand (well for 4/5 shows I’ve attended, worked or reviewed in the last two weeks) is that there’s hardly anyone at the show for the first band. It’s so hard going first in Auckland, as it’s common to pre-drink and not make it out till 10, but Leighton Fairle did an amazing job.
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Farandicus - Single Reviews: Blue Funk and What to Give
04 May 2018 // review by Sass_Metal
Farandicus are a 7-piece soul funk band from Whangarei combing their different backgrounds to create a unique sound that will get your soul singing and feet tapping. They have recently released two new singles Blue Funk and What to Give, and I think are both songs everyone can relate to – especially their lyrical content.
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His Masters Voice - EP Review: Woman
29 Sep 2017 // review by Sass_Metal
This EP is for all the beautiful souls that dance up the front of a His Masters Voice performance, it is for the people that close their eyes and feel the music, for those that loose themselves in the music, the souls that get Goosebumps and go on journeys in their minds when the music hits that perfect note.  This is a very clever recording with three songs the band already perform live but the crowning glory in this EP is their new song Woman, although that is a VERY hard call to make as the other three songs all invoke the memories in me of the different times I’ve seen His Masters Voice, in Wellington when I accompanied them down on the mammoth road trip down and back in two days, or Hamilton last year when Az blew my mind with some American Music opportunities, New Plymouth at Brutalitee’s Birthday Bash and of course all the times I’ve seen them in Auckland.
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Static Era - Gig Review: Static Era @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 9/09/2017
16 Sep 2017 // review by Sass_Metal
I had been looking forward to this show for a good month, if not longer. It was a FREEZING cold night outside with wind and rain and when I first got to the show I wondered if it was going to keep people away but by the time Animalhead took to the stage the venue was filling up nicely and temperatures were rising as everyone jammed in and started rocking out.
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Primacy - Gig Review: Primacy, Remote & Pull Down the Sun @ Kings Arms, Auckland - 12/08/2017
14 Aug 2017 // review by Sass_Metal
Last night's show was one of those really awesome ones where there are all those people you haven’t seen in what feels like a hundred years and it was definitely a night that could have gone on for a few more hours! The bands all added to that excitement though and I’m pretty sure when I see any of these bands again I will be reminded of this night and the people, music, laughter and memories.
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Tribal State - Gig Review: Tribal State @ Kings Arms, Auckland - 28/07/2017
29 Jul 2017 // review by Sass_Metal
It was a cold, wet night, my nose was running and I couldn’t stop sneezing and coughing. I wasn’t feeling up to going out on such a miserable night but I’m more than happy that I did.
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Bloodnut - Album Review: St. Ranga
27 Jul 2017 // review by Sass_Metal
I’ve heard a lot of albums in my time but there’s not many that draws you in from the first note and despite it’s unusual name Space Orangutan it is one of the best opening tracks for an album I’ve heard in a very long time. The levels in this mix capture the live, raw sound of Bloodnut perfectly which is also very rare in NZ Metal recordings (the amount of times I’ve had my music on shuffle and had to turn it up for NZ Metal bands then to have my speakers almost explode when an International band comes on drives me crazy every time!
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Decades - Gig Review: Decades with Bakers Eddy, Dead Favours & Skinny Hobos @ Galatos, Auckland - 15/07/2017
17 Jul 2017 // review by Sass_Metal
This was a well anticipated show for many of the punters there, talking to them between bands around the venue and outside. Despite being moved into the smaller basement room below Galatos instead of being in the ballroom it was the perfect size and created the right atmosphere for the bands and audience to be closer together and almost as one.
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Ryan Kershaw - Single Review: Make it Go Away
03 Jul 2017 // review by Sass_Metal
I’ve known Ryan Kershaw for a long time and have always been a fan of all the music he writes with all the various bands and solo projects he has released music with. His new single Make It Go Away is no exception.
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Anti Matter - Gig Review: Riot Grrrl 3 @ Whammy Bar, Auckland - 30/06/17
01 Jul 2017 // review by Sass_Metal
Right from when event promoter Courtney took to the stage to introduce the first act and exclaimed excitedly that while it was the 3rd Riot Grrrl event it would be the first all female line up, I knew we would be in for a treat. All through the night and into this morning I’ve been trying to rack my brains trying to think of another music show I’ve been too that had only female musicians play and I honestly don’t think in the 9 or so years of me running, attending, reviewing and working on music events that I can recall ever being at a show with only female performers.
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Skinny Hobos - Skinny Hobos and Guests @ Ding Dong, Auckland - 20/05/17
21 May 2017 // review by Sass_Metal
This was my 2nd night at Ding Dong in a row reviewing bands. Ding Dong Lounge is such a cool little community of creative people!
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Bulletbelt - Bulletbelt @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 19/05/17
20 May 2017 // review by Sass_Metal
Helgorithms were on stage first, which is always a difficult slot to fill but they get straight into it playing like the room is filled to bursting. They are a Heavy Metal band that every metal head in Auckland has likely seen and I have indeed seen them before, many years ago now.
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Gig Review: Family of Strangers Tour @ Kings Arms, Auckland - 6/05/17
08 May 2017 // review by Sass_Metal
The music world for me is one giant crazy dysfunctional family and that was my experience of the Family of Strangers Tour, a huge, giant family reunion. Aside from the bands, it was amazing to see so many of my music family from the last 9 (or so) years of my being involved in the NZ Music Community, the name of the tour encapsulated the spirit of the event 110%.
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Jon Toogood - Gig Review: Jon Toogood @ Leigh Sawmill, Leigh - 28/04/17
02 May 2017 // review by Sass_Metal
I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this show, but as an old school Shihad fan from the Killjoy album, I was keen to attend and get a different perspective of Jon and his musical background. My normal gigs I go to have a lot of distortion, giant drum kits that take up half the stage and almost ear piercing levels (certainly enough to make your ear’s ring for two days after if you’re not wearing ear plugs!
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Cheshire Grimm - Gig Review: Cheshire Grimm @ REC, Auckland - 10/03/17
13 Mar 2017 // review by Sass_Metal
It was a night everyone had to battle the leave the house with thunder, lighting, flash flooding and torrential rain but the crowds still came out in force to experience four of New Zealand’s best and upcoming Rock n Roll bands: Brendan Thomas and the Vibes, Skinny Hobos, Bakers Eddy and Cheshire Grimm.  I was also keen to check out the show to check out the newest venue in Auckland, Rec.
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Shapeshifter - Album Review: Stars
11 Jan 2017 // review by Sass_Metal
Stars is the latest offering from New Zealand Drum and Bass heavyweights Shapeshifter and it is their much anticipated release since their 2013 offering Delta. Shapeshifter is famous for their multi-layering of different sound effects and instruments and Stars is no different showing their love for pushing the boundaries and trying new sounds and effects.
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Devilskin - Gig Review: Devilskin, Halestorm & City of Souls @ Logan Campbell Centre, Auckland - 7/01/2017
11 Jan 2017 // review by Sass_Metal
What an EPIC gig to kick start my 2017 year of gig attendance! Being on the first weekend of January I didn’t expect a very big turn out as Auckland is a ghost town normally at this time of year, but I was proven wrong with over 1000 Rockers in attendance at the Devilskin, Halestorm and City of Souls Gig at the Logan Campbell Centre in Auckland on the 7th January.
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Rebel Sound Radio - EP Review: Regret Nothing
27 Oct 2016 // review by Sass_Metal
Rebel Sound Radio are a Heavy Rock band who hail from Hamilton and is a 3 piece made up of Jessie James (guitar, vocals) Craig (bass) and Ashley (drums).  I was surprised to learn they were a 3 piece, as I had listened to the EP a few times before reading into what they had previously done – their music sounds so much louder and heavier than what you would expect a 3 piece to have.
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Diaz Grimm - Album Review: 2077
16 Sep 2016 // review by Sass_Metal
When you think of Hip-Hop music it’s easy to say that it’s filled with swearing, derogatory comments towards women and violence – so much violence.  If this is what you are looking for with the latest Diaz Grimm release, then you will be disappointed (but it is the only thing that will disappoint you).
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NZ Top 10 Singles

  • DANCE MONKEY
    Tones And I
  • CIRCLES
    Post Malone
  • SENORITA
    Shawn Mendes And Camila Cabello
  • CATCHING FEELINGS
    DRAX Project feat. Six60
  • BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE
    Ed Sheeran feat. Khalid
  • DON'T CALL ME ANGEL (CHARLIE'S ANGELS)
    Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus And Lana Del Rey
  • RANSOM
    Lil Tecca
  • THE GREATEST
    Six60
  • GOODBYES
    Post Malone feat. Young Thug
  • SOMEONE YOU LOVED
    Lewis Capaldi
View the Full NZ Top 40...
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