6 Jul 2022

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Articles By Peter-James Dries

Rhombus - Album Review: After Party
26 May 2022 // review by Peter-James Dries
I was wearing a New Zealand Music Month hoodie the other week. Upon seeing it, my niece gleefully exclaimed “You’ve got the year I was born on your hoodie.
Fear Up Harsh - Fear Up Harsh - Album Review: Fear Up Harsh (II)
28 Mar 2022 // review by Peter-James Dries
There is a rumour that, when played simultaneously, Fear Up Harsh (II) syncs perfectly with Jim Jarmusch’s The Limits of Control. The rumour is a lie of course, like many rumours are, but you’d be forgiven for believing it.
Western Dip - Album Review: Warm Ups
08 Feb 2022 // review by Peter-James Dries
It’s been over a decade since I thought “I might listen to some techno”. Probably longer since EDM was even called techno… And even then, the genre was never the main event.
Tony Lee - Single Review: Closer
08 Dec 2021 // review by Peter-James Dries
Here is yet another track that takes me back to the early-90;s. The days of our family following Vince Leatherby, the Happy Wanderer, around the Kiwi country music circuit.
The Hopkinsville Goblins - Album Review: Mundivagrants
12 Oct 2021 // review by Peter-James Dries
Mundivagrants is a weird release. Probably one of the strangest I’ve had to review.
Jeivenchy - Single Review: 360
29 Sep 2021 // review by Peter-James Dries
Take some heartbreak. Write it down.
Comf - Single Review: Do You Feat. Ilena
12 Sep 2021 // review by Peter-James Dries
Water, Clay, and Ceramic. If the sonic possibilities of these three textures are the question, then Comf’s triptych of EPs, The Texture Tapes, are the proposed hypothesis.
Hazza Making Noise - EP Review: Vengeful Millennial
05 Sep 2021 // review by Peter-James Dries
You’re sitting in an average suburban home. A family is sitting at the dinner table in front of you.
Scalper - Single Review: Silence Speaks
24 Jul 2021 // review by Peter-James Dries
Hard to believe it’s been seven years since I heard my first Scalper track My Blood Your Blood. Harder to believe it was only last year I reviewed Scalper’s The Beast & The Beauty.
Personal Igloo - Single Review: Material Girl
01 Jul 2021 // review by Peter-James Dries
No. This is not a Madonna cover.
Hazza Making Noise - Single Review: NoMoreGaps
16 Mar 2021 // review by Peter-James Dries
I sometimes wonder what would have happened if Kurt Cobain survived. Would he have kept making music and what would it sound like?
You, Me, Everybody - Album Review: Southern Sky
16 Feb 2021 // review by Peter-James Dries
Deep within the matryoshka doll that is the country genre is a bluegrass doll in cosplay. Sitting on the fire escape of a rundown apartment building, dry buck wheat stem between its teeth, and a rock band shirt, progressive bluegrass is the genre that ran away from its home in the Appalachians and fell in with a different crowd.
Kev Rowland - Book Review: The Progressive Underground vol 1 - 3
27 Jan 2021 // review by Peter-James Dries
It is an odd circumstance, to be in the position of reviewing reviews. Reviews are one person’s personal, subjective opinion.
Scalper - Album Review: The Beast and The Beauty
20 Nov 2020 // review by Peter-James Dries
I have reviewed more releases than I have patience to count. Many of the musicians I’ve heard have disappeared from my consciousness and the scene soon after, but there are a few that make such an impression that they stick with me.
The Hopkinsville Goblins - Album Review: Hit The # Key
24 Oct 2020 // review by Peter-James Dries
“Little Green Men Harass Kentucky Farm Family”. A headline that captured the imaginations of a nation, coined the term for extra-terrestrial visitors, and inspiring Pokemon, films, and musicals.
Diggy Dupe - Album Review: That's Me, That's Team
24 Sep 2020 // review by Peter-James Dries
Why is this considered underground, while American ear trash is this nation’s soundtrack? We’re so busy looking for an escape in a world that we aren’t a part of, that we neglect what is unique here at home.
The Sixteenth - EP Review: The 16th EP
22 Aug 2020 // review by Peter-James Dries
When you work as a data quality analyst, you need something to unwind. I chose animation.
Impostor Syndrome - Single Review: The Shrink
04 Aug 2020 // review by Peter-James Dries
Chameleons: Imposters of the reptile world. Imposter Syndrome: Chameleons of the music world.
Torn Chorus - Single Review: Brave New World
14 Jun 2020 // review by Peter-James Dries
Lockdown was a true test of one’s fight-or-flight instinct, a show of one’s character. For some, it was an artist’s paradise.
Michael Ferriss and Hedley Marks - Album Review: Interlude In The House Of Life
01 Jun 2020 // review by Peter-James Dries
When released, Ghosts I – IV was one of the more obscure Nine Inch Nails releases in an expansive discography. Instrumental and cinematic, lacking the abrasive angst and grit of all that came before, it felt out of step compared to their previous releases.
Needless Cane - Album Review: The Red Masquerade
16 Apr 2020 // review by Peter-James Dries
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Fan fiction.
Horror Story - Album Review: Return of the Strange
29 Mar 2020 // review by Peter-James Dries
Following 20 years of providing an essential service to the New Zealand Punk scene, Horror Story are back with fresh fruit for rotting ear holes. Return of the Strange is another hard, fast, and heavy zombie-stomp into the Horror Punk genre.
Wendyhouse - Album Review: Born To Be Alive and Killed By Death
01 Mar 2020 // review by Peter-James Dries
For my next trick, I will be approaching Wendyhouse's album and zine, Born to be Alive and Killed by Death. To me, this is a novel concept.
Album Review: Various Artists - Mansfield
18 Feb 2020 // review by Peter-James Dries
As an English major, it is my duty to know Mansfield. She sits on my shelf, somewhere between Lawrence and Woolf.
Government Pest - Album Review: Disengage
30 Jan 2020 // review by Peter-James Dries
My favourite local album, in both a national and regional sense, is probably 2006’s Dawn of a Grey Winter. The compilation of $lave Recordings bands and beyond is a showcase of the best Palmy had to offer at that point in history.
Dharmarat - Album Review: WLKNZ
24 Dec 2019 // review by Peter-James Dries
This review took a long time. This isn’t my usual genre.
Radio Coma - Single Review: All Die
07 Nov 2019 // review by Peter-James Dries
Well that was shocking... ...
Black Velvet Butterfly - Single Review: White Lady
29 Oct 2019 // review by Peter-James Dries
I did wonder what direction Black Velvet Butterfly would take next. After their first single Oh My Goth (O.
Steve Starke Music - Single Review: Hope is a Universe
23 Oct 2019 // review by Peter-James Dries
Like Peter Weller’s Buckaroo Banzai - neurosurgeon, rockstar, and experimental hypersonic vehicle pilot - Steve Starke is a man of many talents. Crack realtor by day, hit musician on other days, nights, and probably weekends.
Cruddy - Single Review: I Hear Sirens
05 Oct 2019 // review by Peter-James Dries
September has come and passed, and you know what that means? It’s time to wake up that guy from Green Day, and for the next edition in Cruddy’s song-a-month musical odyssey (of which September brought us two!
Black Velvet Butterfly - Single Review: O.M.G. (Oh My Goth)
03 Sep 2019 // review by Peter-James Dries
Do they still have clearly demarcated sub-cultures in this post-Hipster world? Are there still Goths, Nerds, Jocks, and the women who love them?
Mojo Alice - Album Review: Liquid Sin
29 Aug 2019 // review by Peter-James Dries
This is the music that formed me, but I lost my relevance over a decade ago. In the same way the trickle-down model of wealth means those at the bottom get a kick to the teeth with a leather dress shoe, or how topping up your parent’s bourbon with water gradually dilutes the bottle, the music of each generation after the golden age of rock has progressively devolved.
Lake South - Album Review: Wellington - Te Upoko O Te Ika
22 Aug 2019 // review by Peter-James Dries
I seldom review anything with any degree of commercial appeal, on account of my conscious attempts to avoid overt radio-bate. The music consumed by the masses hasn’t spoken to me for over a decade.
First Move - Single Review: One Hundred Percent
28 Jul 2019 // review by Peter-James Dries
Palmy is a small town. The six degrees of Kevin Bacon is closer to two steps to your local heroes.
Cruddy - Single Review: One Way Please
28 Jul 2019 // review by Peter-James Dries
It’s been interesting watching this artist explore and develop their style over time. When I last checked in, I think it was around April – the track was Madre Naturaleza, Cruddy was still producing dark industrial sound-scapes.
Manzo - Album Review: Attachment
01 Jul 2019 // review by Peter-James Dries
The modern music industry has embraced the practice of style over substance for a while now. We could blame streaming, the Netflix generation, or the entitled psychopaths we’ve bred through inattentive parenting, as required by dual income house-holding.
Manzo - EP Review: Beatniks on Toast
01 Jul 2019 // review by Peter-James Dries
Like every independent musician, I’ve felt the pain of checking my artist pages to find the first track is still the one with the most plays. I should be reassured that someone has put the effort in to try and listen to something I’ve spend months making.
River - EP Review: Endless Winter
03 Jun 2019 // review by Peter-James Dries
I’m really glad music like this is still getting made. As a former bedroom rock star, borderline agoraphobic, and closet Goth, I appreciate the art form.
Second Prize - Album Review: The Heel Turn
30 Apr 2019 // review by Peter-James Dries
My next review may seem ill-placed, in that Second Prize are a Melbourne-based band, and this is a New Zealand Music site.  But what is Wellington if not a waiting area for emigration to the land of more money and better weather.
Gold Medal Famous - EP Review: Five Track
27 Mar 2019 // review by Peter-James Dries
There once was a band called Gold Medal Famous. This isn't a limerick.
Cruddy - Single Review: White Polka Dot Dress
27 Mar 2019 // review by Peter-James Dries
Cruddy by name, not by nature.  Cruddy’s White Polka Dot Dress is a smoothly progressive, well-mixed electronic soundscape.
Polaroids of Polarbears - EP Review: Polaroids of Polarbears
13 Mar 2019 // review by Peter-James Dries
In my middle years, those between the dawn of my consciousness and now, I spent a lot of time equal parts obsessed and jealous of and with Palmerston North’s prodigious Dan Ashcroft (Crackpot Theory, The Rock Shop), even before I knew him as a human. Back when he was just a faint drumming noise across my friend’s paddock on rare windless Oroua Downs nights, and I wondered why my mum hadn't bought me a drumkit.
The Stungrenades - Album Review: Class War: Fight Back!
01 Mar 2019 // review by Peter-James Dries
Not many people outside of Taranaki think about the New Plymouth Hard Core scene. Actually, I don’t think New Plymouth itself is thought about by many people outside of Taranaki… It’s a shame really.
The Stungrenades - Album Review: Front Toward Enemy
28 Feb 2019 // review by Peter-James Dries
Times have changed. In a world where we can say the F word on television, and if used appropriately you can say shit whenever you want, punk doesn’t have the same shock value.
Feildings Best Dancers - EP Review: Feildings Best Dancers
12 Dec 2018 // review by Peter-James Dries
In the words of your mum, Feildings Best Dancers is short, hard, and over far too soon. But she also said Thistle Highland Dancers were the best dancers in Feilding, so what does she know.
Craig Payne - Album Review: Good News
05 Nov 2018 // review by Peter-James Dries
Come one, come all. Roll up and step inside the time machine of Payne.
Otium - EP Review: You
03 Oct 2018 // review by Peter-James Dries
I’m usually reluctant to go too deep into music that on the surface seems shallow, or popular. Reading that this was reggae/funk hybrid band that sung on love initially made me shrivel.
Social Shun - Album Review: Somewhere Between Hate and Muffins
24 Sep 2018 // review by Peter-James Dries
Somewhere Between Hate and Muffins: An experiment-like review for an experimental album. Observations Muffins: Warm.
Aaron Carpenter and The Revelators - EP Review: Roll with the Punches
20 Aug 2018 // review by Peter-James Dries
The last bastions of real music in a world that celebrates mediocrity are the minnows swimming against the current of the mainstream.   What is the mainstream nowadays?
Brendan Pyper - Single Review: No Strings Attached
07 Jul 2018 // review by Peter-James Dries
I think we have this decade’s Daniel Bedingfield on our hands. Diversifying his portfolio, The Latest Fallout’s Brendan Pyper has just released his debut single, in the process seemingly leaving his Pop Rock ways behind.
Emily Fairlight - Album Review: Mother of Gloom
03 May 2018 // review by Peter-James Dries
Autumn at dusk. Sitting in a bay window, knees to chin, wrapped in sweatered arms.
Tempist Fujit - Single Review: Daynes Song
26 Apr 2018 // review by Peter-James Dries
'Tis a two-headed beast, Daynes Song, the new single from Northland’s Tempist Fujit. On one side it’s jazzy funky 90's Rock riffs, bass licks, and song structure (with complimentary Santana-like solo), the other side modern Rap riffing.
Robby Thorne - Album Review: The White Thorn Track
13 Mar 2018 // review by Peter-James Dries
There is a time and place for genre pedantry. I get that categorising artists by genre is a way of qualifying if you will like music before trying it.
David Edwards - Album Review: Gleefully Unknown 1997 - 2005
25 Feb 2018 // review by Peter-James Dries
There is the weird and wonderful. And then there is the weird.
Will Saunders - Album Review: Covers Four
27 Jan 2018 // review by Peter-James Dries
Covers Four, formally and sub titled I Know That We Are Not New (a line taken from the contained cover of Cohen’s Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye) is Will Saunders from The Lowest Fidelity’s take on a collection of obscure tracks, which ironically were new to me. It’s the mode now to take on, often poorly, the latest hits of the Billboard charts, posting them to YouTube in the vain hope of riding off the coattails of the song’s fame.
Lincoln Greene - Album Review: The Lincoln Greene Project
16 Jan 2018 // review by Peter-James Dries
Jimmy Hazelwood, actor and purveyor of acoustic folk, has recently released a new record, but not as himself. This time Jimmy is stepped into the role of Lincoln Greene, bringing you the debut album from this pseudonym, the aptly title The Lincoln Greene Project.
Troy Kingi - Album Review: Shake That Skinny Ass All The Way To Zygertron
22 Dec 2017 // review by Peter-James Dries
Where the hell did this come from? Or perhaps the more appropriate question is when?
Three Islands - Album Review: Sunshine for the Soul
01 Dec 2017 // review by Peter-James Dries
While I admit I am usually somewhat resistant to exploring outside my chosen genre, though often reluctantly do so, I was surprised to find I had no issue getting into this album - once I finally convinced myself to start it. The Three Islands album Sunshine for the Soul are to Funk and Soul, what Jakob are to Rock.
Sneaky Feelings - Album Review: Progress Junction
22 Oct 2017 // review by Peter-James Dries
I was sure I’d been sent the wrong album. Pieces of ephemeral memorabilia bookending nostalgic rock didn’t suit my usual shtick.
Tidal Rave - EP Review: Tidal Rave
26 Sep 2017 // review by Peter-James Dries
There’s this book. A novel.
Bill Direen and The Bilders - Album Review: Chrysanthemum Storm
22 Aug 2017 // review by Peter-James Dries
I wasn’t old enough to lament the discontinuation of the vinyl, so I’m not invested enough in the medium to be a part of the resurgence. But I’m not so blind as to know it isn’t happening on the peripheries of my attention span.
Grawlixes - Album Review: Set Free
03 Aug 2017 // review by Peter-James Dries
I put things in boxes. We all do, deny it though you will; it is an artifact of the human’s quest for knowledge.
Will Saunders - Album Review: Hopeful Objects
27 Jul 2017 // review by Peter-James Dries
Straight to VHS: a pejorative term to the normals, but a sign of a cult classic for circles too cool for you to be in. I see the negatives of the term.
Gold Medal Famous - Album Review: Activity
19 Jun 2017 // review by Peter-James Dries
There was this gig in Palmy once. Well there have been a few, but the one I mean was Gold Medal Famous and Mucus Kids.
Sonic Delusion - Album Review: This Material World
12 Jun 2017 // review by Peter-James Dries
‘Tis the wrong season for Sonic Delusion’s new album, and it is definitely far too early for funk and calypso. Or it was as I trudged up and down those hills on the way to work on that, albeit mild, winter Wellington morning, This Material World in my ears.
Churlington - EP Review: The Andy Anderson EP
22 May 2017 // review by Peter-James Dries
Andy/Neville Anderson/James is one of the least-famous famous people in New Zealand. The actor-slash-singer was in the middle distance of film and television from our youth, before, and after, and many of us didn’t even know it.
Social Shun - Album Review: Songs For Sea Lions
03 Mar 2017 // review by Peter-James Dries
“This album was not intended to be listened to by humans. To my Sea Lion friends, I know your struggles, I know your pain.
Seafog - EP Review: Dig It On Up
28 Feb 2017 // review by Peter-James Dries
Just in time for this review, destiny gave me what slowly turned into two seven hour bus trips to and from Napier, the annual Art Deco weekend on the agenda, and fresh music from a band I've been keeping an eye on loaded on my iPod. But fate had other plans...
Tony Daunt and The Dauntless - Album Review: The Gypsy
02 Feb 2017 // review by Peter-James Dries
They don't make music like they used to. Or at least they didn't before Tony Daunt and the Dauntless hit the scene.
Capsul - EP Review: Clarity
08 Jan 2017 // review by Peter-James Dries
An experiment in personal expression and music for coming on ten years, Capsul, is the semi-solo project of James, who forms half of indie darlings Carb on Carb. With his latest release, Clarity, James has taken some musical direction from his more famous band and released an album almost devoid of the sombre tone and existential despair of previous releases.
Government Pest - Album Review: Government Pest
24 Dec 2016 // review by Peter-James Dries
For me there's something about Palmy music, both the live shows and the records they produce, and works from the $lave Collective especially. They remind me of home.
David Sutton - Album Review: V
18 Dec 2016 // review by Peter-James Dries
V. The letter that plagued the unnamed anti-hero in Alan Moore's V for Vendetta, and whose shape was illustrated through narrative structure by author Thomas Pynchon (whom keen observers would know thrice appeared in The Simpsons wearing a paper bag with question mark mask).
Yukon Era - EP Review: Consume & Scratch
10 Dec 2016 // review by Peter-James Dries
For a handful of barely post-pubescent middle class bogans who don't seem to give a f**k, Yukon Era display a musical maturity beyond their years. It's enough to piss you off.
Zed Brookes - Album Review: O Sweet Cacophony
27 Nov 2016 // review by Peter-James Dries
Zed Brookes is a mainstay of the often overlooked Waikato music scene, with a history in music longer than my seemingly endless life. This becomes less profound when you realise that the tween and teen music consumer demographic of today weren't yet born for first outing of System of a Down, never saw the Britney Spears versus Christina Aguilera versus underdog Billie Piper popularity contest, or even In Da Club by 50 cent.
Grizzly Smith - EP Review: Home
21 Oct 2016 // review by Peter-James Dries
Purveyors of swampy blues, an amalgam of Led Zep and the Delta dwellers, The Blue Grizzly Band is a Palmy institution. You’ve either heard them, heard of them or seen one of their posters shlicked to the decaying walls between the buskers and the beggars of this dirty old town.
DateMonthYear - Single Review: Spit Out The Sun
04 Oct 2016 // review by Peter-James Dries
There isn't room in a pop industry for every music taste or genre, and an industry that views music as a product, as a commodity, as a dollar sign can at times stifle artistic integrity and individuality. What then happens is you hear more of the same, repeated and regurgitated over decades.
Churlington - EP Review: Act Scared, Get Behind Him, Keep Him Busy, Screw You Bozo
22 Sep 2016 // review by Peter-James Dries
While I was still up there, Churlington got a lot of airplay on Palmy's Radio Control 99.4FM local show.
Marshmellow - Album Review: Love Is Love
09 Sep 2016 // review by Peter-James Dries
It's hard to compliment something that knows it's good. It's obvious that a lot has gone into fabricating an album that covers all the bases and ticks all the boxes for turning a collection of ideas into a great album.
BattleCat - EP Review: BS Live EP
29 Aug 2016 // review by Peter-James Dries
To the self-proclaimed "antiestablishment" rebel contingent whose minds jump straight to Green Day or Avril Lavigne when I say Punk; instead of berating you I'm going to suggest you watch the Decline of Western Civilization III. Like Hamilton's Battlecat, the film captures the 90's resurgence of the 70's punk aesthetic.
PlasticGroove - EP Review: Feel
05 Jul 2016 // review by Peter-James Dries
One of three EPs to be released this year, PlasticGroove’s Feel EP is so far removed from previous PlasticGroove efforts, which in my previous experience have been colourful adventures into a post-futurist 80’s synth-rock soundscape. This is a different set of textures entirely.
Lawrence Arabia - Album Review: Absolute Truth
28 Jun 2016 // review by Peter-James Dries
The name Lawrence Arabia is a New Zealand institution, at least for me. It’s one of the ten names that come to mind when someone says New Zealand music, though his music itself, unlike his name, has always sat at the fringes of my periphery.
Jackal - EP Review: Jumping Out The Window
22 Jun 2016 // review by Peter-James Dries
“The report of my death was an exaggeration.” – Samuel Clemens.
Primacy - EP Review: Failure and Sacrifice
03 Jun 2016 // review by Peter-James Dries
This album rocks harder than anything I’ve enjoyed lately, local or international. From humble beginnings on these oceanic islands we are generally proud to call home, comes a rock album so much better than most of the smack you hear on those monthly Metal Hammer compilations, which I’m only sometimes proud to admit, is one of my sources for finding new bands these days.
Jay Clarkson - Album Review: Spur
03 Jun 2016 // review by Peter-James Dries
It’s been a month of Dunedin music for me, albeit accidentally, though certainly fitting with the month of May being the celebration of New Zealand music.  In this listening stint and a moment of clarity, I discovered the “Dunedin” sound, or so I had thought.
Seafog - Album Review: Raise Your Skinny Fist
30 May 2016 // review by Peter-James Dries
I came from a world where the unclassifiable sounds were quietly filed away into the Indie genre. While Seafog’s Raise Your Skinny Fist would slide quite nicely into that peg hole, I think the more appropriate label here, and one specific to this country, is the word Dunedin.
Various Artists – Album Review: Ae Fond Kiss
24 May 2016 // review by Peter-James Dries
“The best laid schemes o'mice an'men gang aft a-gley” Robert Burns - To a Mouse (1786).  Perhaps the only line of Robert Burns I can faithfully recite, in small part thanks to the study of Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men in college.
Red Sky Blues - Album Review: Red Sky Blues
13 May 2016 // review by Peter-James Dries
We’re all quietly insane, some are just louder than the rest. An apt description of the songs on Red Sky Blues’s eponymous album.
Damien Binder - Album Review: A New World
06 May 2016 // review by Peter-James Dries
NZ Music Month is dead, read a misquoted article. The proliferation of local music has taken it from a niche market of second rate international knock-offs to an over-abundance, removing the novelty and therefore the need to celebrate something so common place.
Street Chant - Album Review: Hauora
20 Apr 2016 // review by Peter-James Dries
Street Chant are another one of those bands that I’ve heard of, heard the praise, seen the name everywhere yet never quite got around to experiencing for myself. I know.
JCK - Album Review: Land of the Wrong White Crowd
31 Mar 2016 // review by Peter-James Dries
In the words of the song You’re not Tupac “Don’t you ever feel like you wanna do something new?” Well, if you do, this is what happens.
Karl Jensen - Album Review: Flee the Ground
21 Mar 2016 // review by Peter-James Dries
Flee the Ground is a bag of bitter-sweet bon-bons, each with their own flavour, but all with the same taste.    Karl Jensen’s style is a semi-psychedelic, Bowie meets Nick Cave affair.
Jason McIver Collective - Album Review: I May No Perf
15 Mar 2016 // review by Peter-James Dries
I May No Perf may seem like a strange name for The Jason McIver Collective’s debut album, if you haven’t seen the cover or have never heard a drunken uncle at a Christmas BBQ scoff “I may not be perfect, but parts of me are excellent.”   I remember that saying from a bumper sticker in ’92, but it’s been around longer than that and will continue for years to come, in the form of t-shirts and humorous $2 Shop birthday cards.
Turbostill - EP Review: Red River
04 Feb 2016 // review by Peter-James Dries
Turbostill. It’s a name I’ve known since about as long as I’ve known that Pop music doesn’t touch me in the cockles of my heart.
Born Silenced - EP Review: The Hate Is With You
21 Jan 2016 // review by Peter-James Dries
Born Silence suffered for their pursuit of art, like many do, losing members to the fight against the weekly 9 to 5. What started as a band, soon devolved into a solo project and sprouted a “d”.
The Lowest Fidelity - Album Review: This Is The Life
16 Dec 2015 // review by Peter-James Dries
Sometimes writing reviews is like Secret Santa, or a box of chocolates, or a Kinder Surprise. In the words of Tom Hanks, you never quite know you’re going to get.
Jason McIver Collective - Single Review: Stoney Joe
14 Dec 2015 // review by Peter-James Dries
Jason McIver is one of those prolific, yet relatively unknown homegrown artists that deserve a lot more attention.  Rocking the whole Chino Moreno (Deftones) look, it’s one of those cases of animal resembling owner, or in this case, voice resembling famous lookalike.
71 Sunset - Album Review: Bitter Earth
07 Dec 2015 // review by Peter-James Dries
As promised by the previous outing, the Mule EP, 71 Sunset’s debut LP, Bitter Earth, is a deluge of tight riffage in their signature throw back to old school 70’s Hard Rock and 90’s alternative style. Where Mule was a short, heavy hitting mix of four tracks showcasing the band’s best pieces and techniques, just long enough for a single attention span, Bitter Earth spreads the awesome over an entire album.
TOI - Album Review: Restless
25 Nov 2015 // review by Peter-James Dries
For the supporters, for anyone who has seen Tunes of I perform live or were impressed by their EP, T.O.
Single Review: Spin It Wide by Andy Snadden
02 Nov 2015 // review by Peter-James Dries
By the time you read this the 2015 Rugby World Cup will be over, though the hype and gripes may continue until the next. Though I neither enjoy partaking nor watching sport, I’ve played along when quizzed about it, having picked up enough information from everyone else to hold half a conversation.
Curlys Jewels - Single Review: Terror in Disguise
20 Oct 2015 // review by Peter-James Dries
Curlys Jewels, the band behind No Apostrophe and the Fling Flang Flonge EP, are proud to announce (and rightly so) their newest single Terror in Disguise, a song that stands head and shoulders above their back catalogue, in terms of quality and also stylistically.   It sounds like Curlys Jewels took a right turn at the 90’s Grunge crossroads and produced, in the words of their PledgeMe page, “a Mint Track.
Social Shun - Album Review: Big Gorilla
14 Oct 2015 // review by Peter-James Dries
There have obviously been a few late nights to account for musical developments in the world of Social Shun since the release of Garden of Sweden, specifically in the technical proficiency and attention to detail departments of their chosen art form. Close to safely being classified as Industrial, Big Gorilla is less of a stew of different kinds of chaos, and more consistently chaotic.
What Noisy Cats - Album Review: A Different Ocean
12 Oct 2015 // review by Peter-James Dries
What Noisy Cats; a great band with an incongruous name. I had imagined, upon first hearing the name, a hippy two-piece ukulele orchestra, but was pleasantly surprised to find behind the strange name an amazing debut from this Wellington quartet of the Folk persuasion with occasional deviations into Noise Rock territory.
Moumou Timers - Album Review: Sugar Hit
28 Sep 2015 // review by Peter-James Dries
Paekakariki; an elbow on an otherwise straight drag from here to a capital. To the outsider looking in through the rusted implements surrounding the train station, it’s a town outside of time.
Rhian Sheehan - Album Review: Live at the Wellington Opera House
23 Sep 2015 // review by Peter-James Dries
Rhian Sheehan is another one of those big names that’s been floating on the periphery of my music sphere for some time. Someone that I’ve been meaning to check out but yet to have the chance.
Silicon - Album Review: Personal Computer
22 Sep 2015 // review by Peter-James Dries
Raygun Gothic is an artistic style, extending mainly to architecture, which is best described as how the past saw the future. It’s the future that never was.
Coridian - EP Review: Oceanic
28 Aug 2015 // review by Peter-James Dries
You know when a band only exists as a vehicle for the lead singer. This is not one of those bands.
Like A Storm - Album Review: Awaken The Fire
18 Aug 2015 // review by Peter-James Dries
This cover was inevitable, and I’m surprised it hadn’t happened before now, twenty years after we first heard it. I know Nu Metal is a dirty word in some circles, but there is no other way to describe Like A Storm’s version of Coolio's Gangster’s Paradise.
Broke - Single Review: Up
27 Jul 2015 // review by Peter-James Dries
Broke: the feeling that most of us in the post-student world will feel for almost the rest of our lives. Also a double bass wielding band from Wellington with a “whatever, we do what we want” attitude.
Matt Bodman and the Valentine Grind - Album Review: Hallelujah Circus
21 Jul 2015 // review by Peter-James Dries
While Mount Maunganui’s main export may be alcohol hazed memories of a mid-summer New Year’s festival well spent, my favourite export is probably Matt Bodman & the Valentine Grind. Released in 2013, Hallelujah Circus might be old news to some.
New Gum Sarn - Album Review: New Gold Mountain
09 Jul 2015 // review by Peter-James Dries
A mix of acoustic calm, eclectic psychedelic and nostalgic Kiwiana is what you can expect of New Gold Mountain, the semi-eponymous debut from New Gum Sarn. While rooted in an old world sound, unfamiliar to many pop adherents today, New Gum Sarn’s sound is shaded with moments of playfulness and the experimental.
Album Review: Off The Radar Compilation Vol. 1
04 Jul 2015 // review by Peter-James Dries
DIY. It’s in our DNA, as the advertisements say, and it’s in the brains of the crew that organized the Off The Radar festival, which has just completed its sophomore year somewhere north of Auckland.
JCK - Single Review: Cogs 'n' Wheels
11 May 2015 // review by Peter-James Dries
It’s the return of the Jumpygeusse and once again JCK has shown his artistic ability and individuality, not just as a rapper, but as a music and music video producer. Cogs ‘n’ Wheels is the second track from, Muzic.
Head Like A Hole - Album Review: Narcocorrido
05 May 2015 // review by Peter-James Dries
Narcocorrido, from the Spanish “Drug Ballad” is a style of music associated with confessions in the life of bat-shit crazy Mexican cartels. Narcocorrido, from New Zealand heavyweights Head Like A Hole, is some of the hardest, sweatiest and grimey music to come out of this overgrown volcano cluster we call a country.
SJD - Album Review: Saint John Divine
14 Apr 2015 // review by Peter-James Dries
Beautiful and at times haunting in the same way Elliott Smith’s voice is haunting, there’s a cinematic quality to SJD’s newest album. Saint John Divine’s palette is subtle shades of sadness on canvas woven from the full spectrum of human emotion.
Jackal - Album Review: Sparkle
17 Mar 2015 // review by Peter-James Dries
Five albums in, it shouldn’t be too much to ask for people to love this band and their unique sound. This review could be reduced to three words; “Awesome, Five Stars.
JCK - Single Review: Tipee Tipee Taa Taa
02 Mar 2015 // review by Peter-James Dries
I first saw the video for JCK's Tipee Tipee Taa Taa when it was posted on a certain Facebook page for adherents and admirers of a certain subgenre a certain reviewer is part of. "I'm a rapper inspired by Gothic Imagery.
Cairo Knife Fight - EP Review: The Isolator EP
13 Feb 2015 // review by Peter-James Dries
Debuting at #3 on the New Zealand Chart, Cairo Knife Fight’s The Isolator EP is finally out and Gaffaney (Nick, the man with the band) has done it again. Done what exactly?
Ete - Single(s) Review: the Before Ete Tape
08 Jan 2015 // review by Peter-James Dries
Moana Ete, also known Ete and A Girl Named Mo, is the embodiment of the word Artist. The industrious Wellington writer, actor, director, playwright, Toi Whaakari alumni and veritable Jane-of-all-trades can now add professional musician to her résumé.
Alexander Wildwood - EP Review: South of No North
19 Dec 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
South of No North; the name of hands-down, Bukowski's best collection of acerbic, misogynist short-stories, and also the debut EP from Alexander Wildwood. Any Bukowski worship beyond the title are thankfully absent or obscure enough not to bring the music down to the level of that drunken, albeit brilliant, curmudgeon.
Voe & Pam - Album Review: Paradise
15 Dec 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
Psychedelicatessen: a word used by the Squares to describe a head shop. Also, a word that aptly describes Voe’s latest release, Paradise.
Album Review: When We're Free
28 Nov 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
Now, this is an inspiring collaboration.   What we know as When We're Free was originally a collection of duets by Qedric James (The New Brides) and Kayleigh Cook recorded somewhere near New Plymouth.
The Glocks - Naughty Boys & Dirty Girls EP Review
28 Nov 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
It’s been two years since the pub rocking debut from (The Glocks), Magpie Genocide, but it still sits on my desk at work, in between a collection of CDs I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing over the years and a pile of dodgy Metal Hammer compilations. It’s been two years, but The Glocks haven’t been sitting pretty.
Jakob - Jakob w/ Heterodox & Moa Belt @ Cabana, Napier 23/10/14
07 Nov 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
A thick black jacket isn’t appropriate attire in Napier’s October sun, nor is it ideal in the Cabana at full capacity, but sometimes when you need somewhere to stash a notepad and a collection of pens it’s a necessity. I wasn’t about to make the same mistake as last time.
Man of The World - On Edge Album Review
02 Nov 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
  Formed as a three piece of music school acquaintances, you can trust Man Of The World to know how to make music right. Wearing their influences on their sleeve, their album On Edge shows that they know just the right progressions to make your ears feel good and are as accomplished at Reggae as they are old school Dire Straits.
An Electric Heart - An Electric Heart Album Review
16 Oct 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
Once an aspiring Punk band, Napier’s An Electric Heart was born from the scarcity of drummers, though I see little evidence of any Punk origins, save for the power chords of a digitized guitar and the Punk vocal aesthetic that sporadically make an appearance throughout their eponymous debut full length. The music is generally electronic and especially poppy, kind of Pet Shop Boys and The Cure, that eighties vibe.
Mulholland - Stop & Start Again Album Review
01 Oct 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
The Mulhollands make music a family affair. Jol, the one man band behind Mulholland, is the brother of fellow The Mots band members and Motocade alumni Will and Eden, the solo album of the latter, Feed the Beast, I had the pleasure of reviewing last year.
Rob Thorne - Toi Puoro - Whāia te Māramatanga Album Review
19 Sep 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
While attending Sounds Aotearoa 2012 (http://soundsaotearoa.com/) as a member of the press I had an epiphany.
Stefan Wolf - Album Review: Brand New Life
06 Sep 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
Brand New Life is a collection of Stefan Wolf's ballads written between 2008 and 2014.  As well as new tracks, the album, Stefan Wolf's first Long Play since 1999's Sailor, includes selected tracks from the trilogy of EPs, 2009's How Much Do I Get For A Fiver?
These Automatic Changers - Have Mercy Album Review
02 Sep 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
Have Mercy is the kind of music that played in the dark and grimy automotive shops of my childhood.  Think of any Hard Rock band you can imagine the stereotypical bogan listening to as they strip back an engine on their front lawn; I’m talking Acca Dacca, Sabbath, Led Zepp, G N’ R, “Smoke on the Water”.
Voe & Pam - The Khate EP Review
02 Sep 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
Voe is a musical project after my own heart; Self-produced and recorded, driven by their own aesthetic, a bit too clever for their own good.  After my introduction I set out to find everything I could about Voe.
Cairo Knife Fight - Rezlord Single Review
11 Aug 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
The true mystery of Cairo Knife Fight is how one band can manage to make so much noise with only four hands between them.   This is no doubt something I'm sure Nick (Gaffaney, band backbone) must be getting sick of hearing, and the answer involves feet, but it's still worth keeping at the back of your mind when you listen to this band, and something you won't forget when you see them live.
The Response - North of Nowhere Album Review
30 Jul 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
Hailing from Christchurch, The Response, also known as Andrew and Victoria Knopp, have just released their third full length album, North of Nowhere.  This is one of those indie acts that do everything themselves, from recording to artwork, and that's a quality I admire in any artist.
Midnight Gallery - Self-Titled Album Review
30 Jul 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
Midnight Gallery, the Kiwi Hip Hop trio from up Auckland ways, have just released their self-titled debut. As well as touring the country with P-Money, their music has been doing the rounds on the local student radio station here in Palmerston North, Radio Control 99.
Ian Jorgensen's 'The Problem with Music in New Zealand...' Book Review
25 Jul 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
The problem with music in New Zealand and How to Fix it& Why I started and ran puppies An essay collection by Ian Jorgensen (Blink) Some of the readers from the Wellington scene may remember Puppies, the little indie venue that took the place of Happy. Others of you who follow the music festival circuit will have heard of Camp A Low Hum and the Square Wave festival.
Curlys Jewels - No Apostrophe Album Review
20 Jul 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
No, there is no grammatical error. As the title of Curlys Jewels first full length album explains, there is no apostrophe, something I must admit, which makes my English degree writhe in its dusty picture frame.
Doprah - Doprah self-titled EP Review
26 Jun 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
Like lip balm, Doprah seems to be on everyone’s lips. The name has been popping up everywhere, coupled with Laneway and Lorde, Becks, Kawaii, and Lance Armstrong (unrelated).
Social Shun - The Garden of Sweden Album Review
13 Jun 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
With all the advances of modern computer technology, and the growing sophistication of home DAW’s (Digital Audio Workstations) anybody with time and a computer can make music. While this and Radiohead’s wry observation Anyone Can Play Guitar may be romantic notions, don’t forget these philosophies saw the birth of Bieber as “musician” (in very heavy parenthesis).
Beck's New Zealand Music Month 2014 Compilation
07 Jun 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
Beck's NZ, the official beer of New Zealand Music Month, offers you a 12 pack for $18.99 at your local supermarket, or ten exclusive tracks from ten up-and-coming New Zealand artists for free.
Scalper - My Blood Your Blood and Puppets Singles Reviews
02 Jun 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
Nadeem Shafi, British ex-pat and former member of Fun-Da-Mental, is Scalper. His solo and pseudonymous act is a known purveyor of underground Alternative Hip-Hop now here in New Zealand, and his previous two releases Flesh & Bones and Butchers Bakers garnered very favourable reviews here and abroad.
Dying Of The Light - Factory (Shihad Cover) Video and Single Review
29 May 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
“If you want a vision of the future Imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.” George Orwell.
Sherpa - Blues & Oranges Album Review
19 May 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
Please excuse the drug references in the following review of Sherpa’s Blues & Oranges. Even without drugs this album is a real trip.
71 Sunset - Mule EP Review
13 May 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
The music of Seventy One Sunset has been described by the Rock FM as “great hooks and solid riffs”. An apt description of what can also be described as a throwback to seventies Hard Rock with a modern twist.
David Sutton - Cheese Album Review
03 May 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
David Sutton is the kind of artist I've been striving to be with my own project. He's a proven jack of all artistic trades.
David Sutton - 40 Album Review
03 May 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
Hot off the heels of his album, Cheese, David Sutton has released 40, ten tracks of upbeat, catchy and very easy listening songs that sound like a relic from my father's generation. In a world where over produced is a prerequisite of commercial radio play, comes an album with instruments that actually sound real, all performed by David Sutton himself.
Heathen Eyes - You're Gonna Need A God Single Review
18 Apr 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
Heathen Eyes are a band I've been keeping an eye on of late, and I suggest you do to. This band is making the music every 90's rocker has been waiting for since Darude's Sandstorm started the drawn-out decline of popular music as we knew it.
Jason McIver Collective - The Crystal Pool Single Review
11 Apr 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
I always wondered if I would have still liked John Frusciante’s solo work if I didn’t know he was from Red Hot Chili Peppers.  Short of a brain injury or amnesia, I’ll never truly know.
Eli Driftwood - Lies Your Momma Told Me Album Review
02 Apr 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
Call you need is an email and vote for “Eli Driftwood” please please! Help me Help him!!
The Mad Crept - Darkling EP Review
12 Mar 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
I really hope The Mad Crept’s debut EP Darkling is a taste of things to come. There needs to be more music like this.
Devils Elbow - Absolute Domain Album Review
26 Feb 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
Managing to give us an EP/Single/Album each year since 2010, February sees the release of Absolute Domain, the sophomore album from Hawkes Bay Alt. Country Punk and aspiring bums, Devils Elbow.
Koda - Showtime Single Review
25 Feb 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
You may know him as Daniel.  You may recognise him as half of Auckland's pop-punk crowd pleasing Fire and Glory line-up.
Eva Prowse - H & Eva Crazy Eyes EP Review
10 Jan 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
Ever wondered what happens when you slap together two Kiwi’s sojourning the British motherland? Henry Marks and Eva Prowse, the dynamic duo behind H & Eva, can show you.
Mice on Stilts - An Ocean Held Me EP Review
09 Jan 2014 // review by Peter-James Dries
If you’re looking for something on the sandy shores of the mainstream, or a soundtrack to your Neo Silent French Film, then look no further than the debut album from Auckland’s Doom-Folk pioneering septet, Mice on Stilts. To some it may seem amazing that Mice on Stilt’s managed to keep An Ocean Held Me afloat.
Jackal - Castle in the Air Album Review
17 Dec 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
Last September there was a promise that Jackal’s fourth album would be finished before the end of this year.  True to their word, Jackal have just released Castle in the Air for free digital download or, as a bit of a novelty and a sign of the times, on Vinyl.
April Fish - Blurred Album Review
26 Nov 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
The question on the lips of the sheep is not so much a who; we know the dynamic duo behind the masks of April Fish are Wellingtonians Katie Morton and John Costa.  After listening to their debut Blurred what the sheep are trying to define is what.
Ekko Park - Tomorrow Tomorrow Today album review
08 Nov 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
Tomorrow… Tomorrow… Today. The title of Ekko Park’s newest release epitomises the procrastination process behind any project I have ever undertaken, be it a music review or walking to town to get a haircut.
Static Era - Dare to Fail EP Review
01 Nov 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
I missed out on Static Era’s gig here in Palmerston North, and now that I’ve come across a copy of their sophomore EP, Dare to Fail, I feel like I missed more than just a night out on the town. Although town lacks the facilities to produce a flashy light show as impressive as the one in the band's Fire Away video, Static Era have a massive stage presence and danceable sound to get the crowd going.
8 Foot Sativa - 8 Foot Sativa @ The Royal, Palmerston North 11/10/13
30 Oct 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
“I’m going to see 8 Foot Sativa, but my girlfriend won’t let me smoke drugs anymore so the name of the band is unfortunate…” The night was dark and stormy, but that wasn’t going to stop me getting to the most anticipated event this October.  8 Foot Sativa was back in Palmy.
Koda - Feel Brand New Single Review
26 Oct 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
His name is Danny Fitter, but you can call him Koda. Though he may be relatively unknown right now, don’t let that put you off listening to his music.
Heathen Eyes - The Blood of Cain Single Review
23 Oct 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
In August ended the Heathen Eyes plea for funding to make a new album on Indiegogo. With incentives ranging from a “hug and a high five” to the “Daft Punk is playing at my house, my house” experience, 23 people reached into their wallets and the $2000 goal was reached, with $205 in spare change.
Stray Theories - Those Who Remain Album Review
15 Oct 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
If ever you needed a soundtrack to the world crumbling down around you, then look no further than Those Who Remain. No other album will make you feel more at peace as the world begins to burn than the latest from Stray Theories.
Royal Falcon - Heavy Night Album Review
08 Oct 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
Back in the early 70s, one band with a defining sound and a lot of patience, buried an album with explicit instructions that the sealed package was not to be opened before the later half of 2013.  This is not the official story.
Monte - Stay Single Review
02 Oct 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
Kiwis at heart, Aussies by nation, Sydney based Monte have just released a taster of their eagerly awaited forthcoming debut album in the form of single and video for Stay.  Influenced by Thrice, instrumentally Stay has a similar post-hardcore sound and structure, though the vocals bring a more radio friendly alternative rock vibe, setting up Monte to appeal to both traditionalists and neophyte camps alike.
Kieran Cooper - Did You Miss Me? EP Review
15 Sep 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
Did You Miss Me? asks the title of Kieran Cooper’s newest solo EP, and the answer is a resounding yes.
Ravenhall - Playing the Victim Single Review
12 Sep 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
For those lamenting Rock’s retreat from the mainstream, or the break-up of Miscreant, I suggest Playing the Victim, the newest single from former Miscreant vocalist Chris Brebner’s brainchild Shelter (not to be confused with Ray Cappo’s Hare Krishna Melodic hardcore/Pop punk band). Stylistically different from Miscreant, which was more live crowd-pleasing rock oriented, Playing the Victim is for the crowd that preferred Disturbed to Device and eagerly await the Blacklistt album release.
The Glocks - 2013 Singles Reviews
30 Aug 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
In October last year, though it doesn’t feel that long ago, I had the pleasure of reviewing Magpie Genocide, the debut from Auckland rock outfit The Glocks. Almost a year and a line-up change later, the Glocks are back with more rock, more swagger and a more refined sound.
Kingston - Black & Bloom Album Review
21 Aug 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
A line from Kingston’s Wikipedia entry reads “Kingston's debut album (title unknown) is set to be released in New Zealand in 2011.” After pulling a Chinese Democracy their album Black & Bloom has finally been released into the world.
The Sparrow Thieves - The Sparrow Thieves EP Review
21 Aug 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
Mate! What was that!?
2 a.m. Orchestra - Working to Divide Album Review
13 Aug 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
It was only November last year that I had the chance to review the band’s trippy hand drawn music video Heads & Tails, but the anticipation building around their forthcoming release Working to Divide has extended that nine months by half. Back in April I looked over Live at Lopdell House Theatre, {2 a.
Nachur - Cicada Sessions EP Review
26 Jul 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
Nachur is not the reversal of the oxymoronic kiwi response to another round “Yeah Nah”.  Nachur (pronounced “Nature” not “Nah, Chur”) is the chosen collective name of Isaac Chambers and Prosad.
Splashh - Comfort Album Review
23 Jul 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
It’s cold.  It’s wet.
Sun Bear - High Seas EP Review
17 Jul 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
Auckland Post-Rock purveyors Sun Bear (not to be confused with Helarctos malayanus) describe their music as “post-gender anti-modernist anarchic values combined with conservative scriptwriters”. The more green explorer of the Post-Rock genre would perhaps describe Sun Bear’s first offering High Seas a little differently.
Secret Of Origin - Beyond the Grave Single Review
03 Jul 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
In case you hadn’t noticed, the 80’s are back... with a vengeance.
Eden Mulholland - Feed the Beast Album Review
13 Jun 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
As soon as I heard about Feed the Beast, debut solo foray of Motocade’s mouth, Eden Mulholland, I was eager to get my hands on it. There comes a time in every young slave to the wage’s life where you’re forced to listen to music you really wouldn’t if you had a choice.
Sleeping Dogs - Death of a Muse Album Review
12 Jun 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
By Jove, they’ve done it again. Three years ago it was my pleasure to cast my discerning ear upon Myth Reducer, the debut from Christchurch based Sleeping Dogs, and it blew my mind.
P-Money - Gratitude Album Review
04 Jun 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
He’s arguably this country’s biggest DJ and producer. Metallers, Rappers, Popsters and pretty much anyone that’s listened to mainstream music in the past ten years know his stage name.
Matt Langley - Virginia Avenue Album Review
26 May 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
Revisiting Virginia Avenue, the new album from Kiwi Singer-Songwriter Matt Langley, is the perfect activity on a cold autumn afternoon in this nowhere town I call home. This Kiwi Country Rock suits my mood as I try to surgically disassemble my amp with a rusty screwdriver, as it would suit the ambience of a backwater pub in the South Island, or a road trip across the central plateau.
Temples on Mars - Kingdom of Fear Album Review
17 May 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
Hiatus was my introduction to Agent. I first heard it in the background of one of those skate, surf and snow extreme sports shows that were on television before the advent of Emo and fast internet.
Penknife Glides - Pleasure Thru Tears Album Review
14 May 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
Straight out of 80’s and onto your stereo, Penknife Glides are back and bring you their newest release. Pleasure Thru Tears is a collection of songs written by the band between ’81 and ’85 as punk pulled itself to pieces and began its twenty year hibernation.
Fire At Will - The Way Out Album Review
12 May 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
Rising from the ashes of Auckland’s My Asylum and South Africa’s The Narrow, multinational Hard Rock act Fire at Will are taking New Zealand and South Africa by storm.   Citing Lost Prophets and Breaking Benjamin as influences, their sound is a tight, hard hitting mix of the best parts of these two iconic bands.
PlasticGroove - Pointless Single Review
10 Apr 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
The semi-anonymous masked men in black are back with a new track, though in many ways PlasticGroove never left the scene. Junky Monkey is still doing the rounds, currently sitting at number 40 on the Audience.
2 a.m. Orchestra - Live at Lopdell House Theatre Album Review
07 Apr 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
It was a while ago that I got the opportunity to look at {2 a.m.
The Bads - Travel Light Album Review
02 Apr 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
Once the Julie Dolphin, then Boom Boom Mancini, dynamic duo Brett Adams and Dianne Swann are back as The Bads and with a brand new album Travel Light. If neither of the previous band names sound very familiar, perhaps I should throw in that Adams and his guitarist skills have been heard alongside Gin Wigmore and Neil Finn, and Swann has recorded duets with Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and OpShop, and was formally a member of kiwi supergroup When the Cat’s Away.
Max Merritt & The Meteors - Been Away Too Long Album Review
21 Feb 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
"Get a haircut...” A line oft repeated by my father in my earlier days, and even more so now.
Death In Texas - Fear of the Hundred Single Review
21 Feb 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
Death in Texas are another great band that has escaped the chain-like clutches of the New Zealand native music scenes, and for good reason. Their sound is at the dark end of pop, a vine the local bigwigs fear to pluck fruit from, and in whose shade the sheeple fear to tread.
PlasticGroove - Some Groovy PlasticGroove Singles
29 Jan 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
PlasticGroove is that band with the black and white cartoon cut out masks and the suits.  When asked about the masks, one of the semi-anonymous members explained the masks were to bring the focus back to the music, not the celebrity behind the performers.
David Rasmussen - Blue Sky Shining Album Review
10 Jan 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
Serve Blue Sky Shining with a sweet cocktail. Best enjoyed in a hammock.
Jamie McDell - Six Strings and a Sailboat Album Review
03 Jan 2013 // review by Peter-James Dries
I had never heard the name Jamie McDell, though judging by the volume of buzz and praise Google throws out, I feel like I should have. Her debut album Six Strings and a Sailboat debuted at number eight on the NZ Top 40 and her singles have been dancing around the charts for weeks.
Alizarin Lizard - Alizarin Lizard, Brown & Guests @ The Badcave, Palmerston North, 06/12/12
21 Dec 2012 // review by Peter-James Dries
Last week I read the following headline in the local Manawatu Standard: “City folk ‘intolerant of noise’ – Musician ‘banned’ from playing music” The picture of Harry Lilley, a well-known busker in Palmerston North, and his white blonde hair, sunglasses and guitar made this annual report for the Environmental Protection Services Noise Control seem like someone else actually cared about Harry’s plight, the plight of many a practicing musician. This article came a week after: “Explicit PN hip-hop video an online hit” The thing I like about this article is it summed up the closed mindedness of this rural town that masquerades as a city.
Minuit - Minuit Newsletter Interview
30 Nov 2012 // interview by Peter-James Dries
With three albums and multiple EPs already in their catalogue, the Kiwi band with the French name have toured far flung venues from St Petersburg to the Czech Republic; storming The Crystal Method's DJ night in Los Angeles; playing the hotel where Tarantino wrote Pulp Fiction in Amsterdam; and headlining the Hanoi Festival in Vietnam. It is with much expectation that Minuit are set to release their fourth full length album Last Night You Saw This Band on 21 December 2012 at 12:12am, followed by an album release show on 22 December 2012 at Dux Live in Christchurch.
The Wendy Morris Band - Entangled Album Review
28 Nov 2012 // review by Peter-James Dries
Finally, New Zealand has produced the perfect accompaniment for a summer drive around the Whangaparaoa pennisula in a blue Capri. Introducing the Wendy Morris Band and the new album Entangled.
Young Lyre - Night Swimming EP Review
20 Nov 2012 // review by Peter-James Dries
Young in name, but not young in years in the band game, Young Lyre (formally Sons of Darragh, Oresund and the Frisk) have stormed into the New Zealand mainstream this month with their distinctively Indie sound and refreshingly bright new EP, Night Swimming. Debuting at number fifteen on the Official New Zealand Music Chart, Night Swimming has been described by those in the know as sounding like Two Door Cinema Club's Tourist History.
2 a.m. Orchestra - Heads & Tails Single Video Review
15 Nov 2012 // review by Peter-James Dries
A devil and an angel, one wonders as the black, devil tailed chap approaches the white, anthropomorphic bird dude.  A tussle ensues and these enemies become a rotating yin-yang.
Diving - Synesthesia EP Review
04 Nov 2012 // review by Peter-James Dries
Some advice for listening to Synesthesia; close your eyes. Especially if you’re one with a fractured mind and vivid dreams like me.
Hello Sailor - Surrey Crescent Moon Album Review
28 Oct 2012 // review by Peter-James Dries
Hello Sailor are one of those bands that need no introduction. They’re a kiwi institution, like L&P and Pav.
Rackets - Could Do Better EP Review
25 Oct 2012 // review by Peter-James Dries
I only went into Happy the one time during that one year Wellington was my home.  There was about a week and a half left of July, I had a crush on Cat Venom and all I wanted was to hold their new record in my hands and breathe in that sweet cardboard and plastic scent.
The Glocks - Magpie Genocide Album Review
17 Oct 2012 // review by Peter-James Dries
“To all those that have run the gauntlet to avoid the dive bomber – this is for you.” With apologies to the SPCA, I admit my first time firing a weapon at something other than a stationary target followed an experience running from a pair of those thieving black and white crows.
Moisty Atsushi - Speedo EP Review
09 Oct 2012 // review by Peter-James Dries
With the passionately played old-school, First Wave Ska and the creatively designed cover of red, green and gold, you’d be forgiven for thinking Moisty Atsushi was leading a reggae band.  I mean, most people aren’t aware that Ska preceded Reggae and not the other way around.
Jackal - Only Everything Album Review
14 Sep 2012 // review by Peter-James Dries
I confess. I join random things on Facebook whenever people suggest them, and often for no reason other than it was suggested.
Bailterspace - Strobosphere Album Review
13 Sep 2012 // review by Peter-James Dries
With embarrassment I admit that until today I had referred to the band in prolonged hipster conversations about music as “Baiterspace.” The word was an earworm at one point, the kind of word that circles around in your brain for no apparent reason, like acetabulum, but that’s another story.
Stray Theories - Even Though We Sleep Album Review
24 Aug 2012 // review by Peter-James Dries
There is nothing romantic about insomnia.  Chuck Palahniuk misled me.
Collapsing Cities - Strangers Again Album Review
02 Aug 2012 // review by Peter-James Dries
This is the future sound of New Zealand music. Strangers Again is destined to be the definitive electro indie pop release of 2012.
Stefan Wolf - EP Review: Quiet! Can't You See I'm Dying Here?
17 Jul 2012 // review by Peter-James Dries
“Perennially unfashionable… “ “Virtually unsaleable…” “Bound to be another shelf sitter…” Reading reviews like the above makes you question the adage “any press is good press.” If you took the reviews seriously that is… A grain of salt is the recommended accompaniment with Stefan Wolf’s latest release, self-described as “the paradox of a happy life tangling with the possibility of death.
Great North - Halves Album Review
11 Jun 2012 // review by Peter-James Dries
Meaningful. Heartfelt.
Gunt - From Darkness to Deletion EP Review
16 May 2012 // review by Peter-James Dries
Gunt is another of those bands I’d heard on the radio before hearing of them and subsequently been asked to review. Little did I know they were a kiwi band.
Kasium - Kasium, Jonlo Rain, The Filthy Varmits, Neckstrechers, Cephalopod @ The Royal, PN, 20/04/2012
14 May 2012 // review by Peter-James Dries
Anticipation was high this cold night in Palmy, as I made my way through the bare streets of our forsaken city.  The crap music was already pumping out of the meat markets, but the sluts were yet to put on their alcohol blankets and remove most of their clothes, intelligence and sense of dignity.
Skank Attack - Here on Out Album Review
01 May 2012 // review by Peter-James Dries
Why the hell have I never heard of Skank Attack? Perhaps, because I spent the first half of the eighties in a womb, well nine months of it at least, and the last half destroying my parents’ cassette tapes with my teeth.
Sherpa - Lesser Flamingo Album Review
27 Apr 2012 // review by Peter-James Dries
It’s hard to gauge the success of local Indie bands, but you know Sherpa are making waves in the Indie world when you hear their songs played on one of the obscure niche shows Massey University’s Radio Control has on offer. That’s where I first came across this quirky band and their unique sound.
Primmers - Durham Lane Album Review
13 Apr 2012 // review by Peter-James Dries
One can find many pleasures in music.  Durham Lane from Primmers satisfies three of my main sources of pleasure; old, obscure, semi-forgotten music, previously unreleased music and true punk rock from the 70s, not that cringe-worthy neo-punk that emerged after the slow death of the boy band era.
Sounds Aotearoa 2012: Part One - The Seminars
05 Apr 2012 // review by Peter-James Dries
Part One: The Seminars Wonderful weather in New Plymouth for this, perhaps the last Sounds Aotearoa to be held in the scenic Taranaki.  There were mixed responses to whether Sounds would be missed in Taranaki.
Kieran Cooper - Yes, No, Sincerely Album Review
25 Mar 2012 // review by Peter-James Dries
In a rather novel move, over the past month or so Kieran Cooper has been releasing a track a week of Yes, No, Sincerely onto his bandcamp, a move previously employed by Smashing Pumpkins. This serialisation harkens back to the old days before we had unlimited high-speed internet and any album we could ever desire in a couple of clicks and a few minutes.
Kieran Cooper - Yes, No, Acoustic
25 Mar 2012 // review by Peter-James Dries
Yes, No, Acoustic is a mix of old and new Kieran Cooper, from his previous release In Search of Reason, including my old favourites Awake and Over Me, as well as from his new release Yes, No, Sincerely, and also tracks from Kieran’s band, Kasium. If you’re the kind of person that would rather rock out to the Foo Fighters’ acoustic performance of Everlongwhen you’re in your growlery than listen to the original studio recording, then keep this album on your MP3 player.
Alizarin Lizard - The Weekend Went Without You Album Review
29 Feb 2012 // review by Peter-James Dries
The Weekend Went Without You is a collection of catchy songs in the key of awesome.  The music is an amalgamation of juxtaposed styles and influences; an orgy of pop, punk, jazz, blues and garage rock.
Kasium - Exhale Album Review
12 Dec 2011 // review by Peter-James Dries
Kasium’s Exhale is the 90s rock album of the year. There are grungy guitars with blazing solos, heavy bass, hard-hitting drums and there is stoic defiance against the norms and the authorities in Kieran’s vocals.
Beltane - Auld Toby Album Review
06 Oct 2011 // review by Peter-James Dries
My interest in Beltane began as a sideline to my interest in the music of Palmerston North’s $lave Recordings. When people say the name Beltane their tone suggests there is some kind of dark back story, some hidden history I needed to know about.
Kasium - So Electric Single Review
30 Sep 2011 // review by Peter-James Dries
Kasium’s latest single So Electric is crisp production, catchy riffs, catchier lyrics and a healthy dose of wholesome rock and roll. The single couldn’t have come at a better time.
Head Like A Hole - Head Like a Hole & Cairo Knife Fight @ The Royal, Palmerston North
09 Sep 2011 // review by Peter-James Dries
A Savage Journey to the Heart of the Rock and Roll Dream. From a block away there is no sign of a crowd, the kind of thing you’d expect to see for a show like this.
Brooklyn State Hospital - The Doctor will Record you Now Album Review
09 Aug 2011 // review by Peter-James Dries
If you’re a regular listener of Massey University’s Radio Control 99.4fm, or have tuned in at all over the past month you’ve probably heard Pottsy shamelessly plug his band, Brooklyn State Hospital, and their Album Release Gig at the Celtic.
Head Like A Hole - Blood Will Out Album Review 2
03 Aug 2011 // review by Peter-James Dries
If you’ve never heard of Head Like a Hole give yourself a slap. Do it.
Kieran Cooper - In Search of Reason Album Review
03 Aug 2011 // review by Peter-James Dries
The solo effort of Kasium vocalist and front man, Kieran Cooper is a relatively dark affair. It’s cut from the same cloth as Marilyn Manson’s acoustic material, for those dedicated fans who have heard that (For those who haven’t, listen to Kieran Cooper instead.
Kasium - Premonition EP
28 Jul 2011 // review by Peter-James Dries
I realise that Kasium’s self-produced Premonition EP was released a good three years ago, but it’s a release I thought I needed to draw attention to. I’m not sure why these guys haven't taken off more than they have, they have a lot riding for them; the dark look, the rock angst, the cultural commentary video.
The 3Ds - We Bury The Living album review
17 Jul 2011 // review by Peter-James Dries
“This nation’s Sonic Youth” is the best way to describe the aural orgasm that is the music of The 3Ds. You don’t get music like this anymore.
FreeDay - Welcome to the FreeDay Album Review
01 Jul 2011 // review by Peter-James Dries
This week I have had the pleasure of reviewing FreeDay’s debut, ‘Welcome to the FreeDay.’ FreeDay is the brainchild of the talented husband and wife team Glen and Alex Donaghy and their backing band.
Daniel Ashcroft - Desperation Album Review
29 May 2011 // review by Peter-James Dries
This is a message for those people who read my Crackpot Theory Black Metal Much? review: I told you so.
The DeSotos - Your Highway for Tonight Album Review
16 May 2011 // review by Peter-James Dries
For us too young to have been there on that fateful April night in 1968 all that we know of the Wahine Disaster are the grainy black and white photographs of the giant ship on its side and the distraught faces of those rescued from the lifeboats. There is some small feeling of nostalgia, but the whole event is too distant from us to inspire any feeling of what it was like and how it affected our nation.
Mr S - Album Review: Get Rough With It
03 May 2011 // review by Peter-James Dries
In twenty words Get Rough with It is an acoustic blues rock tribute to an eclectic mix of contemporary jazz and blues standards in the key of rockabilly. These giddy high-energy cover tunes are the kind of thing you whip out on a camping trip, but only if the camp fire is a raging bonfire and you remembered to pack your drum kit and bass.
Box Juice - Box Juice - Sunrise Ave Album Review
12 Apr 2011 // review by Peter-James Dries
Box Juice's Sunrise Ave is a tropical cocktail of the same ilk as Kiwi greats Katchafire; reggae that remains true to its Jamaican roots with a subtle hint of South Pacific flavour. It's peaceful music for peace.
SeaBed - SeaBed Review
15 Mar 2011 // review by Peter-James Dries
A lot of people, from the average to the more unusual New Zealander, would never have heard of, imagined or ever encountered the obscure ‘music’ that finds it’s home under the umbrellas of the Ambient, Post-Rock genres. To save you the Wikipedia search “Ambient music is a musical genre that focuses largely on the timbral characteristics of sounds, often organized or performed to evoke an "atmospheric", "visual" or "unobtrusive" quality.
Phil Edwards Band - Slow Borders Album Review
14 Mar 2011 // review by Peter-James Dries
What we have here is the peanut slab of New Zealand music; no pretence, just good honest Kiwi music. Unfortunately that leaves out that portion of the audience that are allergic to nuts, but that takes nothing away from Slow Borders.
The Dylan Storey Band - The Power of Suggestion album review
02 Jan 2011 // review by Peter-James Dries
For those of you that frequent the muzic.net.
Sleeping Dogs - 'Myth Reducer' Album Review
29 Dec 2010 // review by Peter-James Dries
Do you feel that ‘Epic’ is a word thrown around with such enthusiasm these days that it has become blocked by the filters of selective hearing and any associated meaning is sucked out of it? Then listen to this album.
Hellborne - Self Titled Album Review
10 Dec 2010 // review by Peter-James Dries
If you’re from Palmerston North and haven’t been to a Hellborne gig, you’re too late and I pity you. You have missed out on one hell of an experience and you've missed out on witnessing Palmerston North’s fundamental swamp-metal bands and one of the most legendary in action.
Turbostill - Liquid Rock n' Roll
30 Nov 2010 // review by Peter-James Dries
I recently rediscovered Turbostill’s third outing, Liquid Rock n’ Roll, in my music collection and can only conclude that I must have bought the CD at a local show I have no recollection of. This album represents everything your mother discouraged when you were growing up, but secretly did behind your back.
Svelte - Cat's Paw Album Review
16 Nov 2010 // review by Peter-James Dries
If you're a contemporary Kiwi you've heard of Supergroove, in which case you've also inadvertently heard of two thirds of Svelte and the other third is usually mentioned in the shadow of his father - any one who's watched Outrageous Fortune has heard the band Hello Sailor before, but they probably did not know it was his father that played bass on track 8 of their 2006 acoustic album. He's also known as the cousin of Nicky Watson's Ex, who is also famous for being the drummer in an underground New Zealand band, Blindspott.
Daniel Ashcroft - Black Metal Much? CD Review
05 Nov 2010 // review by Peter-James Dries
It’s hard to believe this is the product of a brooding teenage boy locked in his bedroom. Like all their other releases Crackpot Theory’s Dan Ashcroft records and plays everything on this record by himself, but unlike previous releases it doesn’t show.

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