8 Dec 2022
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Reviews

Newzerror - Single Review: You
08 Dec 2022 // A review by River Tucker
Newzerror is a new two-piece band hailing from a small town in Aotearoa New Zealand called Matamata. Anything but small, Rick and Dee’s sound on their debut single You smashes through the ceiling with some straight forward no-nonsense metal sure to get you up and moshing.
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Hans. - EP Review: Candy
08 Dec 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Perhaps it was the introduction from the once great publication of VICE appointing him ‘one of the rising stars of New Zealand Hip Hop’ or perhaps it was Zane Lowe naming him one of New Zealand’s finest rappers, but my expectations were high going in to this review. Previously I had known Hans.
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Alisa Xayalith - EP Review: Superpowers
08 Dec 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Alisa Xayalith is one half of New Zealand’s most successful synth-pop acts of the 2010’s; The Naked and Famous. With Thom Powers, they dominated the early part of the decade with wonderfully produced, catchy and clever pop songs you could dance in a club or a bedroom to.
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Substax - Single Review: Words
07 Dec 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Substax's Words starts off with a fairly typical, hypnotic 180 bpm big club beat. Some of the sounds seem a little retro here, almost straight off an 80’s synth patch for percussion.
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Thinking Foxes - Single Review: Bleached
07 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Thinking Foxes are an Auckland-based alternative rock trio who are new to me, comprising Gabriel Parkins Craig (vocals, guitar), Luca Garcia Ferrari (bass), and Noah Page (drums). Bleached is their debut single and based on this I am somewhat surprised to have not seen them on the circuit, or even come across their name, as this is polished and full of confidence and never sounds as if it is their first release.
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James Kohler - Single Review: Lights Out
07 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
As a rule, I read press releases after I have been listening to the music, but as well as Lisa sending me this to review, I was also sent it today by the PR company and I read that email before I realised it was on my list. However, my interest was already piqued as James Kohler is described as an “independent prog artist”.
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Nick Burson Band - Single Review: Best Dreams
07 Dec 2022 // A review by Jack Grabham
Christchurch's country blues rock artist Nick Burson returns with his band, giving us the third single from his soon to be released Hindsight album, Best Dreams. Nick is a very capable lyricist and vocalist.
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ARLi - Single Review: Uninvite Me
06 Dec 2022 // A review by Jack Grabham
Born Alice Foulds, ARLi is an Auckland-born and bred singer-songwriter who's been developing the sound we get here for the last seven years of writing and performing. Now, do I like this stuff enough to mark it highly?...
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theajsound - Single Review: Oolala Feat. Sophie Gibson
05 Dec 2022 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Theajsound is a rising artist who just released a new track called Oolala. Sophie Gibson’s voice features in the radio edit, and it’s a tasty tune for sure!
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Downfall of Humanity - Single Review: War Cry
05 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Given the age of these guys, it is somewhat difficult to realise that this line-up has been together since 2009 when Bryce Patten (guitars, backing vocals) joined forces with Daniel Carleton (lead vocals), Alex Carleton (guitars, backing vocals), Ben Pegman (bass) and Ben Bakker (drums). In 2021 they released the excellent Deceit EP, and here at the end of 2022 they are back with their latest single, War Cry which has just blown me away.
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Dilz - Single/Video Review: I've Been 2
05 Dec 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Dilz' new track I've Been 2 hits hard. With a huge bass sound that doesn't overwhelm as much as it just makes you aware of its power, paired with the chimes as a hook and a powerful trap beat, I would say that this Dilz track is a statement about where he has come from and where he is now.
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LIIT - Gig Review: LIIT @ Morningside 605, Auckland - 3/12/2022
04 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It is not often I can say I am at a venue for the first time, but this is indeed the first time I have attended the small but perfectly formed venue which is Morningside 605. I had made my way over to this side of Auckland, and had to park miles away due to Billy Joel playing at Eden Park on the same night, to catch the infamous LIIT and have a party.
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KEV'S TOP 10's - 2022
02 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Last year, as a bit of fun, I put together my Top 10’s of NZ music for the year. I may well have created an issue for myself though, as more than a few have asked when the 2022 version is coming out, so here it is in time for the last ever MNZ newsletter in its current form.
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Single Review: Lana Paige - Deluded
01 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
When the mighty Seas of Conflict released their latest single, Consume, it featured the rock vocals of Lana Paige, who I have previously seen perform as frontwoman for Dogtooth Amethyst, who recently changed their name to Enclosures. I sent Lana the review, and it was only when chatting with her that I realised she had released a single earlier in the year, so of course the only thing to do is listen to it and then write a review.
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Blindspott - EP Review: Volume. II
01 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the second instalment of Blindspott’s next album, Volumes. There are going to be 12 tracks in total, and when they released Volume.
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Silcrow - Single Review: Ethereal
01 Dec 2022 // A review by Kris Raven
Ethereal is the 2nd single from Auckland rock four piece Silcrow (shedding the skin from previous name Close to the Bone). From the guitar solos to the modern rock feel, clean production and that chorus (dammmmm its catchy), this song had me instantly hooked.
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Mad Cow - Single Review: Same Boat
01 Dec 2022 // A review by Darryl Baser
Same Boat is the latest single to be released Taranaki 3-piece Mad Cow. Mad Cow are mainstays of the New Plymouth have been around since the 1990’s in the North Island’s music scene, evolving from school band No Comment.
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EP Review: Various Artists - Modfest 22
30 Nov 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
As a follow-up to 2020’s ModFest, a demonstration and celebration of modular synthesisers, as well as music made by them, ModFest 2 was postponed once, then rescheduled for October 2022. While the event was held at Red Bar in Auckland Central, this experience of ModFest can be reproduced in the comfort of your own home, via your headphones or through your stereo any time you like.
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Lisa Crawley - Single Review: Don’t Delete Me
30 Nov 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Los Angeles based; Kiwi award-winning song writer Lisa Crawley has recently released her latest single Don’t Delete Me from her recent EP Looking For Love (In A Major) delivering a silky soft indie pop number backed by restrained elegant piano playing. Already a seasoned musician Lisa is a four-time APRA Silver Scroll Award nominee twice selected for the prestigious Banff Centre songwriter residency in Canada among several other glittering accolades.
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Loveta - EP Review: More Than Fun
29 Nov 2022 // A review by Madeleine Howard
0Otautahi based pop artist Loveta launched her debut EP More Than Fun on November 18th. The EP is a collaboration with musician Wulfie (Tim Heeringa) and made with support from NZ On Air's Development Fund.
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Gig Review: Ding Dong Bands Competition Grand Final @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 26/11/2022
28 Nov 2022 // A review by Gideon Voon
Weeks of hard work and preparation culminates in the Grand Final of Auckland's Ding Dong Lounge's Band Competition. As this was a competition, I had a bit of fun trying my best to make a calculated guess as to who would win.
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Womb - Gig Review: Womb w/ Samara Alofa @ Wine Cellar, Auckland - 25/11/2022
28 Nov 2022 // A review by Lou Clement
Underground a bustling K-Road the Wine Cellar played host to Womb on Friday night, a three-piece comprised of siblings, Georgette Brown and twins Haz and Charlotte Forrester. Tonight, they celebrated the release of their new album, Dreaming of The Future Again.
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Hannah May - Single Review: Golden
28 Nov 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Hannah May's latest release Golden is a soft and dreamy folk-pop track, encouraging listeners to feel confident and be their own biggest supporter. Bringing to life the sunny sounds inspired by its title, it's a strong effort in her expansive catalogue of singles.
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0800 Belly Up - Single Review: Kick Ons
28 Nov 2022 // A review by Peter-James Dries
If you feel you would enjoy punk rock better if they showered more often and put a bit more effort in, then this is the band for you. If you love shouting back at bands when they yell lyrics at you, then this is the song for you.
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These Four Walls - Single/Video Review: Marigold
28 Nov 2022 // A review by Jack Grabham
I clicked the five stars score before putting a letter to type. Kiwi-born but Brisbane-based heavy rockers These Four Walls are a professional unit.
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Weird Together - Single Review: Find Out
27 Nov 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Weird Together’s latest release Find Out is an eclectic collaboration with Silver Scroll winners Lips. It’s an acidic, bright funk-house number, experimenting simultaneously with the fun and the familiar.
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Anthea de Milo - Album Review: The Vicar's Daughter
27 Nov 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
Out of a cavernous ballroom in Kurow comes the soulful mourning of Anthea de Milo with an old classic, just written, Just in Case. Anthea de Milo?
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Roonie - EP Review: Loveless
25 Nov 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
After releasing a series of exciting singles throughout the year, Christchurch indie-pop artist Roonie drops her first ever EP Loveless. Created in collaboration with producer Will Henderson, it’s a bright, self-assured project, exploring how love impacts Roonie’s self-perception.
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Coridian - Single Review: State of Mind
24 Nov 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Today is an exciting day. Auckland’s alt-rock champions, and arguably one of Aotearoa’s finest rock groups of the modern day, Coridian, release a fresh new jam, State of Mind, for all to indulge in and headbang to.
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Lazy Fifty - Gig Review: Lazy Fifty @ Paraoa Brewing, Whangaparaoa - 24/11/2022
24 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
For my only gig this week, not only am I out on a school night, but I have struggled all the way from South Auckland up to Whangaparaoa, and I must admit it has been years since I have been here. Tonight, Australian trio 19-Twenty are in town, but to be honest I am here for the support band, Lazy Fifty whose last album, 2021: A Lazy Odyssey, I reviewed a year ago.
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Bird Machine - EP Review: Bird Machine
24 Nov 2022 // A review by Chris Chick
Bird Machine are releasing their self-titled EP, the twosome brings a vibe of a New Zealand and Australian alt rock and dream pop to your ears. All these songs are remarkably performed, recorded, and produced from their home-based studio in the wonderful city of Hamilton.
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Reuben Hudson - EP Review: Cloudhead
24 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This five-track EP is the latest release from Melbourne-based, Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland, New Zealand) multi-instrumentalist and songwriter/producer, Reuben Hudson. Featuring David Harris on drums (Princess Chelsea), mixed by Peter Ruddell (Wax Chattels, Sulfate) and mastered by James Goldsmith (Mermaidens), everything else was played and performed by Reuben himself.
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Juliet McLean - EP Review: Amaze Me
24 Nov 2022 // A review by Jack Grabham
A very introspective offering here from Taranaki based singer/songwriter Juliet McLean. The EP Amaze Me, named for its promo single release, is not my usual cup of tea - however, I have said before that music is a subjective creature and a thing of beauty to me might not be so for you...
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Brian Baker - Single Review: I Won't Back Down
23 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Although Tom Petty was a massive success in the States, he never saw anything like the same in the UK until he partnered with Jeff Lynne and together, they came up with the masterpiece which is Full Moon Fever. I was blown away and had it on repeat the year I started dating my now wife, and any song from that album always makes me think of 1989, where I was, with no idea my life would be changing dramatically (and for the better).
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Bad Jelly Collective - Single Review: Paradigms
23 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest release from Bad Jelly Collective, which comprises Ben Clark (vocals, guitar, production) and Dave Weir (bass). It is lengthy for a single, being 5:36, but that is due to the large amount of repetition contained within and the very slow build which takes place.
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The RVMES - Album Review: Simple Things
23 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Before I started writing this I went back to my review for the guys’ last album, Lifetime, and part of me thought about copying it pretty much word for word and see if anyone noticed, as I spoke at length as to how many genres they were covering, and we have the same here, possibly more so. Most bands choose a genre, possibly going into a related area as well, and pretty much stay there.
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Christine White - Album Review: Raven
23 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This multi-media project commenced in March 2020, and more than 2 ½ years later the release had come together with five songs (one of which is a remix of the opening title cut by electronic producer Paddy Free, so there are six tracks). These are accompanied by three music videos, and a book of short haiku-style poetry in two languages (English & Farsi), and there is no doubt that this has gained quite a deal of media interest, so yesterday I found myself listening to a very interesting interview with Christine White on RNZ.
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The New Existentialists - EP Review: Last Days of the Internet
23 Nov 2022 // A review by Darryl Baser
It might seem like George D Henderson has been a part of the New Zealand music landscape for about as long as Keith Richards has been playing guitar. He’s been in the Flying Nun arena with The Puddle based in Dunedin.
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Marrow Neck - EP Review: Made Up
23 Nov 2022 // A review by Paul Goddard
Sitting here in a very wet and cold, rainy UK watching the oldies falling out of the local Wetherspoons where they have been on the piss since 9am (yep the UK is weird it's only the old people who can afford to get pissed all day).I am reflecting on the past as I listen to the latest EP Made Up from Auckland-based Mark Hannington.
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Goodnight My Darling - Album Review: Goodnight My Darling
22 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
If it hadn’t been for an unfortunate clash with an event I had to attend, I would have been at Whammy a few weeks back to hear Goodnight My Darling, (Maxine Macaulay), and now I have listened to her debut album I so wish I had been able to make it. Still, at least this is now available so those of us who were unable to make it to the tour (last two dates this coming weekend in Wellington and Kapiti) can enjoy this relaxed pleasant romp through different elements of soft pop rock, singer songwriter and shoegaze.
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Taiotims - EP Review: Thank You For Your Patience
22 Nov 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Taiotims (Mataio Timaloa) is an Auckland Hip-Hop artist who has independently built a growing fanbase all over New Zealand. His music is known for his relatable story telling, nostalgic tone of voice and his soulful beats.
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Whero - Single Review: Easy
21 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
There are times when one hears a voice and it feels as if you are being held warm and safe, and that is definitely the case here with Whero, who recently released her debut single. If she has not recorded under this name before, I am sure she must have recorded with others, while this has all the hallmarks of someone who has undertaken a lot of live work.
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Terrible Sons - Single Review: Tomorrow Always Comes
21 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Last week I was fortunate enough to see husband and wife duo Lauren and Matt Barus, otherwise known as Terrible Sons, perform at Wine Cellar, and it was truly a magical evening. Both are wonderful singers, with Matt providing different styles of guitars and Lauren piano, and they created a spell with their music.
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Bevan Mical - Single Review: Cuts Through The Years
21 Nov 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Cuts Through The Years is a jolly, breezy single by multi-instrumentalist, Bevan Mical. The song begins with a two-chord sequence on acoustic guitar, but there's something exotic about the chords are instruments that support the verse.
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GiGi Genie - EP Review: Seasons of The Soul / Wa O Te Wairua
21 Nov 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Seasons of The Soul or Wa O Te Wairua, is a collection of songs by multi-instrumentalist and self-described folk noir artist GiGi Genie. The group is led by songwriter GiGi Crayford and her support band which includes flautists, violinists, zither and percussion players.
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Ben Horlock - Single Review: Don't Wait On Me
21 Nov 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Ben Horlock (Ngati Porou/Te Arawa) is a pop artist from Dunedin who has an ear for a great pop melody, a knack for moody blues guitar lines, and the kind of voice talent scouts are always listening out for. His latest release Don’t Wait on Me features the prominent high hat of modern trap music coming out of Atlanta, an ambient synth lifted from a goth club track, with some deep bass chords to anchor it all together.
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Hans Pucket - Album Review: No Drama
21 Nov 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Wellington four-piece Hans Pucket is the kind of band you really should get into now (if you haven’t already) and see live before they become massive. That is, if the world is fair and allows these musicians to succeed at their art form because they really are incredibly good at what they do - and that’s writing beautiful, clever, unusual songs that seem to be for and inspired by uncertain times.
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Gig Review: Ding Dong Bands Competition Semi-Final 2 @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 19/11/2022
20 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back down to Dead Witch for the second of the two semi-finals, and tonight was going to be quite different for me as I had already seen three of the bands play (one of them twice), and while I had not seen the last one, I did see one of the guys in his previous band. This was also a night when Auckland had been hit by severe rain, it sounded as if part of the venue’s roof had collapsed, the fire alarms had gone off, and they had leaks!
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Gig Review: Ding Dong Bands Competition Semi-Final 1 @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 18/11/2022
18 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back down to Dead Witch for the next round of their Battle of the Bands competition. They had some fine bands the last time this was held, with the title eventually being taken by White Noise Mafia.
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Tia Ward - Single Review: Ko Wai Ahau
18 Nov 2022 // A review by Jack Grabham
Divine. Taranaki, Ngati Maniapoto has given us the bewitching sound of Tia Ward.
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ABRZY - Album Review: 80 Different Ways II
18 Nov 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
ABRZY (sometimes referred to as Breezy) is a rapper who has quickly made a name for himself for not only his distinctive, rapid flowing delivery but his unique style that blends influences from Bengali culture. Above all, this release is genuine.
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Eden Iris - Single Review: Young Guest Feat. Lucie Hill
17 Nov 2022 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
I have followed Eden Iris since her (albeit brief) appearance on NZ X Factor in 2013, and I admire the way she has carved out her own path musically since then and created herself a life with music and songwriting well and truly at the heart of it. Proving she never really needed that glorified karaoke contest anyway!
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James Hunter and The Gatherers - Single Review: Revelation
17 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This four-piece alt folk group was originally a solo venture by James Hunter, but he brought in others to work with him, and The Gatherers are now Taylar Mallo (bass), Jacob Gates (lead guitar) and Emerson McCullough (drums.) They say they are influenced by the likes of Jeff Buckley, Sufjan Stevens and Bon Iver, but there is also a major influence which is somewhat out of left field, as whether they have recognised it or not, Justin Hawkins of British rockers The Darkness has had an impact.
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Marianne Leigh - Single Review: Crazy GF
17 Nov 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Auckland performer Marianne Leigh's new track Crazy GF sees her compact the very real human emotions of jealousy and distrust into a compelling, satirical take on female stereotypes. It's catchy, concise, and as the title promises, extremely crazy.
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Odds & Ends - Single Review - 'Better Days'
17 Nov 2022 // A review by Trent Graham
Odds & Ends present what might have just become my summer anthem as they give us the song Better Days.Koen Aldershof, Jonathan Meyer, Max Earnshaw, and Luan Meaker make up the Dutch-Kiwi Indie Rock band, and already have 4 singles and an EP reviewed right HERE with us, and yet I would dare to say that this may just be their best effort to date.
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Greta O'Leary - EP Review: Treasure Horse
17 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Following on from the release of her first two singles earlier this year, alt-folk artist Greta O’Leary has now released her debut EP which contains five songs, including both singles. In the past I have likened Greta to Vashti Bunyan, Jazmine Mary and French For Rabbits, and she has attributes of all of them, as what makes this EP work so incredibly well is the depth of her vocals and the way the arrangements refuse to conform to any normal theme.
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Anderson Rocio - EP Review: Chapter One
17 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I guess it will be a long time before I think of Anderson Rocio of anything different to how I first saw her, playing a grand piano wearing a wonderful ballroom dress as she opened for Sol3 Mio. We have kept in touch since then, and last year I reviewed her excellent We’re Fine EP.
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Terrible Sons - Gig Review: Terrible Sons @ The Wine Cellar, Auckland - 16/11/2022
16 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Into central Auckland for my second gig of the week, this time down to Wine Cellar to see folk duo Terrible Sons who describe their music as being “Indie folk music for day-dreamers, cloud watchers and sad song enthusiasts”. The only reason I was here that I had to drive into the city on Friday afternoon for a meeting and heard Lauren and Matt Barus doing a live session on the radio, and when I realised they were coming up from their home in Christchurch to play a gig in Auckland I knew I had to be there.
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Seas of Conflict - Single Review: Consume Feat. Lana Paige
15 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I know I was not the only one within the metal scene to be excited when I heard there was a new release coming from Seas of Conflict. Although there have been significant line-up changes since I last saw them play, the duo of Kody (vocals) and Nic (all instruments) are producing music which is as dynamic, downtuned and brutal as ever.
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Tahini Bikini - Album Review: Fever Dream
15 Nov 2022 // A review by Andrew Smit
An album full of very danceable funk tunes, loaded with tight guitar, bass, brass and percussion that provide a perfect foundation for the expressive soulful vocals of Madeline Lucy Taylor. Her unique clarity is reminiscent of Amy Winehouse or our own Kiwi songstress Gin Wigmore.
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Concert Review: Kristallnacht Commemorative Concert @ King’s School, Auckland - 14/11/2022
15 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Tonight was the second of two concerts, the other being in Wellington a few nights ago, to provide a tribute to the "The Women's Orchestra of Auschwitz", telling the stories of four women through the course of the evening. It is a very long time since I attended an evening of classical music, but I was intrigued to discover more about the awful events which took place during the Second World War.
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Dead Favours - Gig Review: Dead Favours @ Valhalla, Wellington - 12/11/2022
14 Nov 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
There was a palpable energy in Valhalla on Saturday night; something akin to an orchestra warming up before an opera or athletes preparing for a big game. Before the first act, standing patrons were clamouring for the front line to enjoy three fantastic (and quite different) rock bands.
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Stacked - Single Review: Atlas
13 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Last night I saw this young band open for one of the biggest bills of the year, and were not fazed by it whatsoever, and given what I witnessed then and what I am listening to now, I can see why. They performed this song at the finals of Smokefree Rock Quest two years ago, and now it is the lead single for their debut EP, Crushed by the Sky, which will be out soon.
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Come Together: The Beatles @ Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre, Auckland - 12/11/2022
13 Nov 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
The Beatles wrote much of their ninth album, their first double, on a Transcendental Meditation course in India with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in early 1968. They called it simply “The Beatles”, but, in contrast to the previous album cover for Sergeant Pepper, extreme in colour and pageantry, this album was just…….
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Late to Chelsea - Single Review: Permanent Stankface Disorder
13 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest single from the self-confessed “worse band in Auckland”, Late To Chelsea. There is only one small thing wrong with the comment, they’re not (either late, or the worst).
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Written By Wolves - Gig Review: Written By Wolves @ Tuning Fork, Auckland - 12/11/2022
13 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I, and a whole load of fans, have been waiting for this gig for way too long. The reason it is called “Third Time Lucky” is that the original gig, with a slightly different support line-up, was due to take place last September but thanks to Covid it was canned.
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House of Bonnie Presents @ Valhalla, Wellington - 10/11/2022
12 Nov 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
While Wellington’s Valhalla can often seem the perfect venue for dark and brutal music with the Viking themed attire, steep black walls, not to mention imposing decals (including some surviving Halloween decorations), the bar was all colour and light on Thursday evening when Sodalight, REID, Happy Two and Burnt Out Graduate came to brighten the corners. The event had been organised by The House of Bonnie; an organiser who regularly puts on pop shows that are often related to Massey University creative art graduates.
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This Silent Divide - Gig Review: This Silent Divide @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 11/11/2022
11 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back down to Dead Witch for the first of two consecutive nights of gigs for me which were both originally planned for last year but postponed due to the pandemic. Wellington-based quartet This Silent Divide were finally up in Auckland to promote their excellent EP, Tall Stories, which I reviewed last October.
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Goodnight My Darling - Gig Review: Goodnight My Darling w/ Ersha Island @ Whammy Bar, Auckland - 10/11/2022
11 Nov 2022 // A review by Lou Clement
Goodnight My Darling played at Whammy Bar along with Ersha Island last night. Ersha Island are a sister-duo, playing a classic (but not often seen in their genres) accompaniment of violin and piano.
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Swallow the Rat - Single Review: Other Rooms Feat. Yuko Miyoshi
10 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Swallow The Rat are back with a new single in time for their NZ tour (with Ripship in support, which makes a lot of musical sense to me), where they have also brought in Yuko Miyoshi of Memory Foam who provides additional lead vocals. This is a tough one to listen to, almost as if Can have been invited to a Stooges gig, and they have decided to fuzzily distort everything, bringing in additional instruments to create a carpet of sound for the vocals to rest on.
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Khailana - Single Review: Like A Demon
10 Nov 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Otaki based independent ethereal pop artist Khailana, has just released her third single Like A Demon. Four years in the making the track is a mystical and captivating song, a moody tale ultimately about “how people can construct an entire version of you based off of one little thing that you’ve said or done”.
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Ant Utama - Single Review: Biding My Time
10 Nov 2022 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Pop artist Ant Utama releases his new single Biding My Time today, Friday 11th November. The Kiwi born, now German based artist has enjoyed success with the release of his debut EP Brave in 2020, clocking over 300,000 streams.
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Investigator - Album Review: Shade
10 Nov 2022 // A review by Kerry MB
Investigator is a band that makes you think you know what they’re about after one song, when really there is so much more and you have it so wrong. Formed from the creative mind of singer songwriter, Adrian Drew, Investigator are in fact a five piece from Auckland doing everything right with their new album release, Shade If you’re familiar with their sound you’ll know their penchant for melody and darkness, an almost evolving sound each new verse or chorus.
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Book Review: Matthew Goody - Needles and Pins: The Flying Nun Story 1981 - 1989
09 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I have been a writer for more than 30 years, have written thousands of reviews and literally millions of words, while a publisher has also seen fit to put out four books and ask when the next ones are coming. Yet having been looking through this I feel totally inadequate, as this is one of the most incredible pieces of work I have ever come across.
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Pieces Of Molly - Album Review: Pieces Of Molly
09 Nov 2022 // A review by Carl Hayman
Have you ever heard a tune for the very first time, and within 10 seconds been like "holy crap this is insane, where did this come from???" Very few bands that I listen to ever give me that massive burst in energy like i got when opening the very first track Atomic Fuzz on Pieces Of Molly’s brand new self-titled album.
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No Cigar - Gig Review: No Cigar @ Galatos, Auckland - 5/11/2022
09 Nov 2022 // A review by Lou Clement
No Cigar played Auckland on the final date of their Bienvenido Album Release Tour. Nestled behind Karangahape Road, the venue, Galatos, was sold out and packed to the brim on an electric Saturday night.
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Eve Kelly - Single Review: Gotta Let Go
08 Nov 2022 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Gotta Let Go is the new contemporary anthem from Eve Kelly, a vocalist born and raised in Whakatane. Eve grew up performing in music theatre around Aotearoa, as well as singing in national competitions and at smaller gigs such as weddings and local fundraisers.
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laura. - Single/Video Review: Safety in Numbers (Graeme Woller Remix)
08 Nov 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Taranaki songwriter Laura Griffiths is releasing a banging dance remix of her hugely popular track Safety In Numbers. This version produced by Graeme Woller, transforms a “fun indie pop” tune into a dance banger.
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Finn Johansson - Single Review: You Look Down At Me
08 Nov 2022 // A review by Jack Grabham
I am SO having a golden run with these reviews! Yet another that has sent me to that place I like to go.
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NZTrio - Gig Review: NZTrio @ Pah Homestead, Auckland - 06/11/2022
08 Nov 2022 // A review by Clare Martin
NZTrio treated us to some very tasty mouthfuls of their Legacy 3 programme on Sunday night at Auckland’s Pah Homestead. It was the final third of their Legacy series, marking their proud twenty-year anniversary.
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Christine White - Single Review: Taken
08 Nov 2022 // A review by Dr Mark Baynes
Acclaimed music maker, Christine White, released a lush new single Taken on October 27th. The second single and video from her upcoming multifaceted release, The Raven Project due for release on November 24th 2022, is an epic collaboration with over fifty musicians and artists including legendary composer John Psathas.
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Kiero - Single Review: Kiero
07 Nov 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Kiero, a relatively new three-piece from Tamaki Makaurau, made up of musicians who are definitely not new to creating colourful noise. There is Michael Collier on keyboards, Jin Song on bass, and bandmate as well as a great friend of mine, Grant Kirkpatrick on drums.
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Adam Hattaway & The Haunters - Gig Review: Adam Hattaway and the Haunters @ Wine Cellar, Auckland - 04/11/2022
07 Nov 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
Rick Topp opened for Adam Hattaway and the Haunters on Friday night three hours before pumpkin time. You know Rick Topp, you might not think so, but you do.
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Crying Club - Single Review: Hide
06 Nov 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Poneke Wellington indie-emo maestros Crying Club, formerly and hilariously known as The Chonus Brothers, have made waves both in Tamaki Makaurau as well as in their usual stomping grounds of the Capital. After said name change, and the release of their brilliant 2021 single Taxi Man, the quartet pressed on, and are now proud to present to the world a dark, new single for all to sing along to, headbang with, and feel appropriately glum to.
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Riqi Harawira - Single/Video Review: E Rere Ai (Fly Away)
06 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
E rere ai is a song which originally came from a poem written by Riqi and his partner Floss (who appears in the video) which touches on love, hopes, and dreams. They are a Maori/Pakeha blended couple deeply in love with each other, with the idea of an equal union formed in Aroha (love) and respect even though they are from different cultures and backgrounds.
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Curlys Jewels - Single Review: Criminal
06 Nov 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Curlys Jewels' Criminal begins with one hell of a riff inspired by the glory days of 90’s grunge, but produced with a little more bite giving it a metallic vibe. I instantly thought of Alice in Chains, not only as an influence on the song but also as another band that drew heavily from both genres.
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Finger Tight - Gig Review: Finger Tight @ Zeal, Auckland - 05/11/2022
05 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This Saturday found me over in West Auckland for my first ever event at Zeal, which I have on good authority used to be the hub for punk/metalcore/hardcore shows back in the day. This was an all-ages show, so was starting at the ungodly hour of 7:30, but at least I had a great place to sit and write, on the desk next to the lighting and sound, with a proper chair with a back!
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Reece Milton - Album Review: Elixir
05 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the debut album from Wellington-born and Nelson-raised singer songwriter Reece Milton. As with many other young Kiwi musicians, Reece was involved with Smokefree Rockquest, where his band won their regional heats in 2018.
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Teraset - Album Review: Bones of Contention
04 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back in 2018, drummer Will Stairmand was undertaking interviews for Angie's Gunroom Sessions, when he came across a demo by a band called Teraset. He enjoyed it, so arranged an interview with those involved and discovered that it was guitarist Lee Mallett’s project along with some mates.
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Jack Robertson - Single Review: Dim Lights
04 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I must confess that I know nothing about singer songwriter singer songwriter Jack Robertson apart from the fact he released his debut album Broke and Broken back in 2019, and then released some singles earlier this year. When I think of a singer songwriter, I think of someone playing an acoustic guitar, with or without support, what I don’t expect is a song with an annoyingly catchy riff which owes more to the blues than anything else and contains a dynamite guitar solo near the end.
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Molly Devine - EP Review: Still Here
03 Nov 2022 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Otepoti musician Molly Devine releases her new EP Still Here today, on November 4th.The three track EP is a collection of thoughtful and powerful songs that tell the story of Devine's experience with dating app Bumble.
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Amanaki - EP Review: Tempest
03 Nov 2022 // A review by Paul Goddard
Hardcore.It tends to mean extreme.
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Deep Water Creek - Single Review: Bucket Spider
03 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This is the first time I have come across Otautahi-based singer/songwriter Deep Water Creek (Matthew Smith), but this single is taken from his forthcoming third album, so I obviously have some catching up to do. Recorded and mixed by Josh Logan at Loho studios, what we have here is a confident singer/songwriter very much in the classic Paul Simon style, and one where there has been a great deal of work undertaken in the arrangement which really makes this stand out.
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Adam Hattaway & The Haunters - Album Review: Bug Eyes
03 Nov 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
Have you ever looked a bug in the eye? It’s scary stuff.
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Nika - Single Review: Saviour Complex
03 Nov 2022 // A review by Darryl Baser
A song with an interesting title will always grab my attention, and the idea of people with a saviour complex has always fascinated me, so when the new song by Nika called Saviour Complex was offered to me to review I almost somersaulted. The song opens with a gently and alluring piano melody before Nika’s voice kicks in and from the first notes some vocal training is obvious.
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Scarlett Eden - Single Review: Real Life
02 Nov 2022 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Scarlett Eden’s new track released this October 21st, and it’s called Real Life. Coining herself a "funked up pop filled R&B singer", Scarlett experiments with blues, funk, jazz, R&B, and soul.
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Deprivacy - Single Review: Beneath
02 Nov 2022 // A review by Kerry MB
Beneath is the latest single from former one man metal act, Deprivacy, AKA Robbie Scott. If you’re familiar with his offerings, you’ll know what a powerhouse of talent he is and I’m so stoked to dive into his latest single for our listening pleasure.
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Jack Panther - Single Review: Weekend At Bernies
02 Nov 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Fresh off the success of his sophomore EP why don't you come over?, Auckland creative Jack Panther is back with new single Weekend At Bernies, a tight alt-pop release carefully positioned for commercial success.
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Jaggers x Ska - Single Review: Blue to Grey
02 Nov 2022 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Jaggers x Ska are a Dunedin duo made up of Ridge Jaggers (drums, bass, keyboard, production) and Skalisko (guitar, keyboards, bass, vocals). Blue to Grey is a dark disco-tinged goth pop song that sounds like it would play at the gates of purgatory in a David Lynch movie.
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Desbot - Album Review: Pass of Change
02 Nov 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Desbot is made up of Maurice Beckett (bass), from Napier’s post rock legends, Jakob. He is joined by Nick Blow (keyboards) and Tom Pierard (drums).
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The Dirty Tones - Album Review: Can't Stop
02 Nov 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
@page size: 21cm 29.7cm; margin: 2cm p { line-height: 115%; margin-bottom: 0.
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The Late Starters - Single Review: False Victim
31 Oct 2022 // A review by Jack Grabham
Okay, here's another belter. Christchurch's groovy rockers The Late Starters are releasing their new single False Victim on 1st November, and you need to hear it.
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Gig Review: Come Together - Tom Petty @ Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre, Auckland - 30/10/2022
31 Oct 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
Tom Petty hit us like a bullet train in 1976. It was London, and prog rock was being challenged by punk.
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Ryumas - Album Review: Brand. Construct. Form.
31 Oct 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Dunedin-dwelling producer and musician Hamish Crabb, under his stage-name Ryumas, has been creating experimental electronic music for the past four years. In the present day of October 2022, his collated work over that time has been released as a full-length album.
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Villainy - Gig Review: Villainy @ The Powerstation, Auckland - 28/10/2022
31 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It has been 10 years since Villainy released Mode. Set.
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The Treasury - EP Review: Shimmer / I'll Return From On The Sea
29 Oct 2022 // A review by Peter-James Dries
I get a lot of pretty obscure releases thrown my way. For every Six60 single, there are fifty songs you will never hear, from artists you have never heard of.
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Keeltys - EP Review: Strange
29 Oct 2022 // A review by Harry Platt
For a place that is the epitome of Aotearoa’s blokey sport-heavy monoculture, Otautahi is having a remarkable renaissance of churning out quality bands and artists. Jazz-rock infused pop band Keelty’s have just added their name to the roll-call sheet with their debut EP Strange.
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Thrashing Marlin - Album Review: Wildlife
28 Oct 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
I wasn’t sure about anything, let alone a band, called Thrashing Marlin]. Are they beating a marlin with a rod or are they invoking a marlin trying to shake off a hook?
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Aldous Harding - Gig Review: Aldous Harding @ Auckland Town Hall, Auckland - 26/10/2022
28 Oct 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
Ah, Aldous, it’s been three years since you filled the PowerStation twice and etched your name and face in our annals. Three long years, only relieved by a cameo at the Flying Nun birthday party last year.
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The Nukes - Album Review: Homespun
27 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I have always had a soft spot for folk music, and five years ago travelled to the other side of the world just for a folk festival (honest), but one instrument I did not come across a great deal in the UK was the ukulele, probably due in no small manner to everyone there relating that instrument to the entertainer George Formby. Here in Aotearoa, and in the Pacific in general, there is a far different approach to the instrument although this is the first time I have come across a ukulele trio (although they do also play additional instruments and also have numerous guest musicians and singers).
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Grant Haua - Album Review: Tahanga (Unplugged)
27 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Some 40+ years ago David Coverdale sang the immortal words, “I love the blues, They tell my story, If you don't feel it you can never understand” and they are as true today as they ever were. If you get the blues, really get the blues, there is nothing else like it and although I love the electric works of Lightnin’ Hopkins, T-Bone Walker and Muddy Waters, there is something about the pre-war acoustic blues which hold a special place, people like Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Blake, Lead Belly and so many others.
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Renee Millner - EP Review: Fly Me Back
27 Oct 2022 // A review by Hannah Jane
Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of reviewing New Zealand based Australian singer-songwriter Renée Millner’s single Not OK, and much to my delight I have been listening to her EP Fly Me Back over and over ever since. The five songs contained within this album all carry a gentle strength both lyrically and melodically, and the music surrounding them is truly lovely.
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Impostor Syndrome - Album Review: Oriens
27 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Impostor Syndrome is an experimental recording project based in Auckland, New Zealand. Becoming best of friends as seventeen-year-olds over a shared love of Alice in Chains, it took until 2019 before vocalist Ryan Culleton, drummer Scott Nicolson and multi-instrumentalist Shannon Coulomb were to create music together as a unit.
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Amanaki - Single Review: Tumor
26 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Amanaki are back with the second single from their forthcoming EP, Tempest, and is a song which they say was incredibly difficult to record, and even harder to play live given the emotions behind it. During the first lockdown, April discovered that her father’s cancer had spread, and she was unable to see her parents through much of that time.
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Kyla Greening - Single Review: Promises
26 Oct 2022 // A review by Dr Mark Baynes
Promises by Kyla Greening is described as a "funkadelic 'boy-bye' to promise-breakers that have led you on for too long" - inspired by the grooves and rhythms of neo-soul and hip-hop artists like D'angelo and Erykah Badu. Yes I hear those famous Soulquarians in this track, but I also hear Prince (or TAFKAP), Beyoncé-like pop sensibilities, all of this is wrapped up using an up-to-date production style.
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Racing - Album Review: Must Be The Moon
26 Oct 2022 // A review by Adrian Drew
Must Be The Moon is the sophomore album from electro-rockers Racing. Boasting the talented line up of Ed Knowles and Sven Pettersen (The Checks), Daniel Barrett (Sherpa) and Izaak Houston (Space Creeps), it's not surprising that the band have achieved some notable success.
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Gig Review: Emo Day Party @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 23/10/2022
25 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Being a glutton for punishment, I was back out the next day at an even more stupid time to catch the Emo Day Party which was taking place over the three floors of Ding Dong Lounge in conjunction with next door’s nightclub, Infinity. The stage was actually up in the nightclub, and it was the first time I had ventured in there so this was going to be interesting.
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Stonehurst - Single Review: Whispers
24 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Don’t let the first ten seconds of the latest single from Christchurch outfit Stonehurst lull you into a false sense of security. Admittedly, I was staring at the speakers trying to work out what was going on and equate the sounds with the band I saw play last year but then everything crunches, and we are off.
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Reece Milton - Single Review: Ms Mona Lisa
23 Oct 2022 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Born in Wellington, and raised in Nelson, Reece Milton is a singer songwriter and guitarist who’s recently earned a recording contract with Antipodes Records, and management with StudioBox Creative. Finding licks that match indie rock influence, pop and a bit of jazz, Reece has created a new single which follows the success of his debut.
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Festival Review: The Others Way Festival, Auckland - 22/10/2022
23 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This evening was my first visit to The Others Way, a festival being held up and down K Road in Auckland featuring eight different venues. This meant getting into the city unreasonably early as the first band on my list was starting at 6:15!
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Pitch Black - Single Review: Exodus
22 Oct 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Having been in the scene for over a quarter of a decade, Pitch Black would know a thing or two about the past and present. Consisting of producers and musicians Paddy Free and Michael Hodgson, the duo toured the globe and played countless numbers of festivals and gigs both in Aotearoa and abroad.
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Gig Review: Ding Dong Bands Competition Heat 3 @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 21/10/2022
21 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
In 2020 I attended the heats of this competition which was where I discovered bands such as White Noise Mafia, Café Fistfight, Channeled and so many others. Of course, due to the small matter of a global pandemic and a lockdown there was no competition last year, but here it is back in 2022.
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Jaz Paterson - Single Review: Older
21 Oct 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Geraldine-raised, Christchurch-based performer Jaz Paterson’s latest release Older takes a stripped-back approach to her electronic artistry. Soft, smooth and serious, it’s a unique single stepping into new territory for the pop musician.
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Finger Tight - Album Review: Messages From The End of the World
20 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
In June of last year I made my way to Wine Cellar to see Melanie for the first time, and one of the bands on the bill that night were Finger Tight, and when I reviewed them I said “I was extremely impressed by the end and found it hard to believe this is just their third gig – we are going to be hearing a lot more of these guys.” Since then, I have reviewed some singles, one of which (I Hear It Rains In Seattle) is included on this their debut album which is going to make a lot of people sit up and take notice as this is a punk/pop/emo banger from start to finish.
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Blindspott - Single Review: Pretty Violent
19 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
What can you say about Blindspott which hasn’t already been said? When it comes to metal icons from NZ, there are few who exist in the same rarefied atmosphere as these guys, and when I saw them play recently there was no doubt they were among friends who knew all the words to every song.
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Sounds Escape - Album Review: Voices
19 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Sounds Escape is a new project by multi-instrumentalist Logan Wedgwood, with Voices being the debut release. This six-track 30-minute-long instrumental album was conceived during the first Auckland lockdown when Logan discovered he and his wife were not coping well with the stresses of being at home all the time, attempting to combine parenting with Zoom meetings and each other.
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Crooked Royals - Album Review: Quarter Life Day Dream
19 Oct 2022 // A review by Kris Raven
Kiwi progressive Metalcore 5-piece Crooked Royals are a ticking time bomb, the anticipation and hype for their debut album Quarter Life Day Dream is brewing, and their path to global domination has been building since their inception. They have come out of pit swinging and have hit 2022 hard, heavy and ready to take on the international stage.
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Skank Bandit - Single Review: I Am The Master?
19 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
The latest single from New Plymouth outfit Skank Bandit explores themes of doubt, self-belief, and self-control, promoting awareness of the risks of drink driving and challenging people to take responsibility for their actions and choices in life. It is an unusual song in many ways, as while the repeated guitar riff is hypnotic and light, the lyrics are dark, and when the guitar crunches, we are taken away from summer and into something else altogether.
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Devils Elbow - EP Review: Riverlands
19 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It has been quite a while since we last heard from Hawkes Bay trio Devils Elbow, but here they are back with their latest EP Riverlands. One thing which is interesting to note is that only Alec Withers (vocals, guitars, percussion) plays on all four tracks, while the threesome play as such on just one, then they are joined by an additional guitarist on another, while the last two are just Alec and a different keyboard player on each track.
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Fear Up Harsh - Album Review: Fear Up Harsh (III)
19 Oct 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
It’s been described before here on Muzic.net.
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2Fly Ty - Single Review: Dance Floor
19 Oct 2022 // A review by 24KLegacy
2Fly Ty has released his single Dance Floor, a high energy rap song revolved around the artists story of a night out. Describing his night as he follows a woman through the nightclub, 2Fly Ty flows across the song with his catchy hook over the bass and kick instrumental.
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The Seizure Police - EP Review: Volume 1
19 Oct 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
When I say that this release is perfect for meditation I intend it as a compliment. It’s difficult to make music this laid back, this thoroughly reliant on delay; this austere.
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S H E - Single/Video Review: Everything Was In Black And White
19 Oct 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Everything Was In Black and White is the newest single from Wellington’s S H E, and it packs a wallop. The band have described their sound as "Lady Gaga meets My Bloody Valentine" and although I was sceptical of such a description at first, it all makes sense when you hear the song (or see the fantastic video that features members in drag alter-egos and is shot in glorious 4K, and of course, in black and white).
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Demons of Noon - Single Review: Sphere of Peace
18 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I first came across Demons of Noon when they opened for the mighty Beastwars at the Powerstation last year, and I came away very impressed indeed by raw sludge-driven doom, and also noted that when they had two female singers come on stage for the last few songs the dynamic changed considerably. Since then, singer Sophie Jackson has left the band and moved to Wellington, and they have just gained a replacement in Tamsyn Matchett but she does not feature on this single, just Aria Jones.
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Claudia Robin Gunn - Album Review: Sing For The Sea
18 Oct 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Auckland songwriter Claudia Gunn has recently released her latest family friendly album Sing For The Sea (Little Wild Ocean Friends). A robust 24 tracks of delightful marine themed songs.
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Troy Kingi - Gig Review: Troy Kingi and The Promises @ Powerstation, Auckland - 14/10/2022
17 Oct 2022 // A review by Lou Clement
Available on both vinyl and cassette, Troy Kingi’s (Te Arawa, Ngapuhi, Te Whanau-a-Apanui) new album, Year of The Ratbags and Their Musty Theme Songs, was debuted at the Powerstation, Auckland. It was a fun and fantastic return to live performance for 2022, following the years of COVID cancellations and absences.
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Sweet Mix Kids - Album Review: Stargazing
17 Oct 2022 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Sweet Mix Kids are an Auckland DJ/Production duo made up of Sandon James and Chris Scott. They've played some of the hottest parties around the world, including a sold out 14,000 Synthony show at Spark Arena.
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Into Orbit - Gig Review: Into Orbit @ San Fran, Wellington - 14/10/2022
17 Oct 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
A mere two days before Spook the Horses were scheduled to play a much anticipated show at Wellington’s San Fran, it was announced they would not be playing at all. Due to some of the members contracting Covid, the band posted on social media that the gig would be going ahead with fellow Wellingtonians Into Orbit taking their place as the headliner.
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Gig Review: Ding Dong Bands Competition Heat 1 @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 14/09/2022
16 Oct 2022 // A review by Gideon Voon
I remember entering this competition for 3 consecutive years (if I remember correctly), during my early days of playing in bands. Each time with a different act, 2 times making the Grand Final.
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Alba Rose - Single Review: Mountains
16 Oct 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Alba Rose’s new indie-pop track Mountains is indescribable. Bright and dynamic, simple yet full, it’s a song devoted to following through on your feelings and declaring, “I can’t be scared of love”.
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Mel Parsons - Gig Review: Mel Parsons @ Hollywood Avondale, Auckland - 15/10/2022
16 Oct 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
I’m slow on the lesson, I’m slow on the learn, getting into Mel Parsons has been a slow burn. Painting the fence got me started last November before her solo gig at Tuning Fork.
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Lorenzo Vichi - EP Review: Anima
14 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This 13-minute-long 3-track instrumental album is by Lorenzo Vichi, an Italian who now lives in Aotearoa. Everything we hear on the EP was written, arranged, recorded, mixed, produced and edited by Lorenzo who decided to record and produce this EP by himself to demonstrate that it is possible to make music without the need for expensive equipment.
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Eliezer - Single Review: Certified Professional Dreamer
14 Oct 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Eliezer is back after a little while with his new track Certified Professional Dreamer. Produced with long-time collaborator Ten Oh, the track continues to show why Eliezer is name you need to stay aware of.
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Teazse - Single Review: Love, Money Or Drugs
14 Oct 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
The new single from Teazse, an independent rap artist from Auckland, brings a lot of what people like about modern hip hop and brings it into his own world, while still acknowledging the sound of those that came before. For example, the sampled pitched voice works well when used well, and it's done here well.
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Scalper - Single Review: I'm Life Feat Nawazish Ali Khan
14 Oct 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Scalper is Nadeem Shafi, born and raised in East London of Pakistani descent. First seen in Aotearoa New Zealand at WOMAD 1997 as the vocalist for the British band Fun-da-mental.
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Christine White - Single Review: Raven
14 Oct 2022 // A review by Trevor Faville
Christine White is an experienced and accomplished composer, with an impressive musical background. Raven is the first part of what is being described as a ‘multifaceted release’ called The Raven Project and is available on video and audio formats.
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Roonie - Single Review: The Way It Should Be
13 Oct 2022 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Pop artist Roonie releases her new single The Way It Should Be today, Friday 14th October 2022. Taupo raised, Christchurch based Roonie is Michaela Pointon, who burst onto the scene in 2020 with the release of her debut single My Heart.
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TeamSquad - EP Review: All Dream
13 Oct 2022 // A review by Kerry MB
TeamSquad is a Whaingaroa/Raglan powerhouse (no pun intended) duo Ruth and Kane Power who have a unique synth rock blend, marching to the beat of their own drum. All Dream is their second EP compromising of four stunning tracks that are truly their own.
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Vogel Town - Single Review: Desert Toast
13 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest single from Wellington-based indie-alternative band Vogel Town who feature Andrew Roberts is on the guitar, and Aaron Mody on drums/percussion. This instrumental track starts with some hand drums and a single guitar playing a repeated riff, and then quickly builds so we have a full drum kit and at least three guitars and a bass being deployed.
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Anthea de Milo - Single Review: Dead Sea
13 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the second single to be taken from Anthea’s forthcoming debut solo album, The Vicar’s Daughter, which will be out later this year. Hailing from Lyttleton, she used to spend her Wednesday nights with The Eastern until Adam McGrath told her, ''you gotta write your own music'', so she did, forming the country, rock 'n' roll machine Runaround Sue with whom she recorded two albums and toured widely.
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Parasitic Infestation - EP Review: Intergalactic Harvest
13 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Brutal death metal Auckland quintet have just released their debut 5-track EP, following on from the two singles which were released from it last year. I was lucky enough to see these guys when they supported Pale Flag earlier this year, while I have also caught singer Liam Hand in his other band Silent Torture, with the band being completed by Aidan McGorry (guitar), Grady Gottler (lead guitar), Jacob Raffaelli (bass) and Blake Plester (drums).
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Broke - Single Review: Through Her Eyes
12 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
When Lisa sent me this, she said to me that Broke reminded her of The Rabble. Now, although I am playing rapid catchup on NZ bands, that is a band I know as they were connected with Orewa College and one of my daughters even wrote and recorded a song with Chas.
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Villainy - Single Review: The Launch
12 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I was chatting with singer/guitarist Neill Fraser from Villainy at a gig recently, and we agreed that the acoustic style gig they did with Dead Favours earlier in the year was fun, but we were both looking forward to having Villainy back on a rock stage (roll on next month, got your tickets yet?).
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Paddy and the Cryptids - EP Review: Demo EP
12 Oct 2022 // A review by Kerry MB
Paddy and the Cryptids are a three piece up and coming Punk/New Wave medley hailing from the sunny Hawkes Bay. This is their self- titled debut EP and straight off the bat there is everything to enjoy about this short, sweet and to the point 4 track ensemble.
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Erin Myers - Single Review: Bad Reception
12 Oct 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Hamilton based multi-talented musician Erin Myers has taken a new musical direction with her latest release Bad Reception. An evocative track as the name suggests, telling a story of miscommunication and loneliness within a relationship.
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Troy Kingi - Album Review: The Year of the Ratbags And Their Musty Theme Songs
11 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It is safe to say there is no other artist in New Zealand currently working at the pace of Troy Kingi. Earlier this year he released the te reo version of Holy Colony Burning Acres, Pu Whenua Hautapu, Eka Mumura, finished the tour for Black Sea Golden Ladder, and is now back with his latest album, Year of The Ratbags and Their Musty Theme Songs, while already in the studio with TeMatera Smith working on his next one.
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Xile - Album Review: I Am Your God
09 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Last weekend I was at Whammy Bar in Auckland to see the album release show for Xile’s I Am Your God. Thanks to a certain pandemic this album almost slipped out with people not realising, as it was released in May 2020 back when everyone in NZ was in lockdown.
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Blindspott - Gig Review: Blindspott & Written By Wolves @ The Factory, Hamilton - 8/10/2022
09 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
When the tour was originally announced there was no Auckland gig, so I quickly put my hand up for this one, and by the time an Auckland show was pencilled in I was already committed to see Reb Fountain on that date, but there was no way I was going to miss them this time around. It may be more than 100 kms to the gig, and it took me ages to find somewhere to park, but that all went out the window when I wandered to the back door and was greeted by Davie wanting to know if I would like a beer.
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Renee Millner - Single Review: Not OK
07 Oct 2022 // A review by Hannah Jane
New Zealand based Australian singer-songwriter Renee Millner has an ethereal voice that carries a gentle strength through the bars of a rhyme in a way that brings otherworldly artists Annie Lennox, Sinead O’Connor, and Dolores O’Riordan to mind like kindred spirits. Within moments of hearing her new single Not OK, Renee whispers something beautifully familiar in my ear, and her melodies carry me away somehow to Scottish Highlands I have never seen before.
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Crystal - EP Review: Garlic Ice Cream
07 Oct 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Aotearoa artist and producer Crystal delves into the complexities of youth on Garlic Ice Cream. The debut EP takes a heavily electronic approach to the anxieties of stepping into adulthood, empowered by Crystal’s honest songwriting and production skill.
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Volts - Single Review: When You Go
06 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Last month a gig I was planning to attend fell through, so I looked around and ended up going to Wine Cellar, where the headline band that night was a group from Christchurch I had not previously come across, Volts. Their combination of melodic classic rock with female vocals and great stage presence just blew me away, and I had difficulty comprehending that I had not come across them previously as there is something about them which is incredibly special.
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Amanaki - Single Review: Leech Feat. Luke Manson
06 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I had to smile when I saw this single, as while melodic hardcore outfit Amanaki is new to me, on this release they have a guest in the form of Luke Manson, who I have seen in both Antagonist AD and Xile in recent weeks. Punchy, fast, and hard-hitting, Leech has an underlying repeated sound (not sure if it is synth or treated looped guitar to be honest, could be either) and there is a lot packed into its 128 seconds.
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Glasshouse Keepers - EP Review: Scratching The Surface
06 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I was at a gig last week, and was really intrigued by the opening act, Glasshouse Keepers, very much enjoying their complex rock sound with female lead vocals, so when I realised they had released a four-track EP called Scratching The Surface earlier this year I knew I had to check it out. The band comprise Danielle Hawkins (vocals), Brian McDonald (lead guitar and screams), Linton Graetz (rhythm guitar and backing vocals), Giacobe Otty (bass) and Kevin Jaspers (drums), and they are an alternative rock band who have a great deal of complexity within the arrangement and then over the top there are Danielle’s vocals which are quite sweet and innocent in comparison.
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Mirrored Walls - EP Review: if i didn't have you here
06 Oct 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Mirrored Walls' first EP, if i didn’t have you here features a wide range of sounds and genre influences, but somehow it all makes sense. On the cover, a couple walks away from us in a faded blue image, but one figure is distorted perhaps through how they are remembered by the other.
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Blake - EP Review: Skeptical
06 Oct 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Queenstown-born, Auckland-based alt-pop starlet Blake is Skeptical on her newly released sophomore EP. It’s a smooth, soulful collection narrating the highs and lows of the dating scene, blending a range of genres into a compact pop format.
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Murmur Tooth - Single Review: Antidote w/ Lars Moston
06 Oct 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
I conducted an email interview a couple of years back with Leah Hinton, aka. Murmur Tooth, and was impressed by her work, thus I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hear what she’s been up to in the years during the pandemic.
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Madeline - Single Review: Consume
06 Oct 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
“These violent delights have violent ends”, opens Madeline’s debut single, an infamous quote from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet which sets the scene for the brutality of Consume. It’s the artist’s first solo release away from her alt-rock band She Loves You.
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The RVMES - Single Review: Simple Things
05 Oct 2022 // A review by Darryl Baser
Oh My God. There are bangers then there’s this tune.
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Leejun - Album Review: Leejunardo Da Vinci
03 Oct 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Leejun is a Hip-Hop R&B Artist who lives and works in the 03 Christchurch, New Zealand. His complex lyricism and smooth delivery alongside his soulful singing voice reflect the amount of time he's dedicated to working on his craft.
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Gig Review: Immolated Volume 3 @ Valhalla, Wellington - 30/09/2022
03 Oct 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
In the murky surroundings of Vivian Street I followed the sounds and smells to Immolated Volume 3 at Valhalla. Initially I was confused about the entrance to the gig, but soon found my way before the stage where bands were still being set up.
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Brown-E - Single Review: Give Me Your Love
02 Oct 2022 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Jenna Palmer, AKA Brown-E, is a self-managed and independent singer songwriter based in Auckland and Tauranga. Stepping on the scene at the right time, she’s got a single for the sweethearts!
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Xile - Gig Review: Xile @ Whammy Bar, Auckland - 01/10/2022
01 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
So, it is back out on K Road again for another gig, but strangely enough I am sure this is the first time I have been at Whammy Bar in more than a year, and tonight it is for Xile’s album release show. It shows just what strange times we have been living in as I Am Your God has been out for a couple of years, but this was the first opportunity for them to get out and play, so they were making the most of it.
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Dead Beat Boys - Album Review: Dead Beat Boys
01 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I’ve always had a soft spot for punk, ever since it exploded in the UK and my dad told me he would kick me out if he ever found any of that music in my collection. I was just 14 when the Pistols were due to play in the next town over (they were banned instead), and it was the most exciting thing to happen in the local music scene until 1980 when Genesis kicked off their national tour with two dates in Paignton.
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Gabriel Bond - Single Review: Temporary Insanity
01 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I was very impressed with the last single I heard of Gabriel’s, 2021’s Lights Burn Low, so when I asked to review this, I was looking forward to it. As I noticed last time, this is full of class with very high production, and does not sound like the performance of a musician who has yet to release his debut EP (out soon).
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Investigator - Gig Review: Investigator @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 30/09/2022
01 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back to Dead Witch for another night of rock ‘n’ roll. I have reviewed Investigator quite a lot and saw Crystalator support them the last time I saw them at the Cupid, but tonight the band opening was new to me, Glasshouse Keepers.
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Voodoo Bloo - Gig Review: Radicals w/ Voodoo Bloo @ Meow, Wellington - 29/09/2022
30 Sep 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
On a stormy, unusually wet Thursday, (even by Wellington’s standards), I approached Meow bar in the heart of the CBD to attend what would prove to be Voodoo Bloo’s homecoming gig of their recent tour. This event, their third to last, is in promotion for their latest offering, The Blessed Ghost.
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Miller Yule - Album Review: Let It Burn
29 Sep 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
You can tell by the name, can’t you, you can just tell. I mean, Dwight Yoakam couldn’t be anything but a country singer, could he?
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Dead Favours - Single Review: Sink or Swim
29 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Just the opening few bars of their new single lets the listener know that Dead Favours are back, and yet again they mean business. Charlie sets up an intricate backbeat, Kyle and Jared have their guitars in sync, and at the heart of it all is a filthy bassline with Alex providing melodies and countermelodies, so one is brought into the music long before Jared even starts singing!
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Impostor Syndrome - Single Review: I Talk Too Much
29 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest single from Auckland trio Imposter Syndrome, which is based strongly on a riffed acoustic guitar (the sound of which is superb, congrats whoever engineered this), with vocals over the top. Due to its nature this has plenty of space within the arrangements as even when additional instruments are added they are sparse, so the concentration is always on the voice and the guitar.
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Old Salts - EP Review: Stories Told by the Sea
29 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Alt rockers Old Salts hail from the shores of Bream Bay, Northland, and features John Buckle (lead vocals, guitar) Scott Brown (lead guitar, BV) Marcus Jones (bass, BV), and Lucas Hargreaves (drums, BV). This four-track EP contains three previously released singles plus the new one, Casual Smoker, which they describe as being reminiscent of Barry Manilow meets RHCP.
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BO And the Constrictors - EP Review: Love
29 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
These guys are new to me, and when I checked them out, I realised they are from Dunedin, which is why I have not come across them yet on the Auckland circuit, but I do hope they can make it up here at some point as these three songs are a nice slice of rock, and they are doing something quite different with their sound. Named after lead singer/guitarist Boaz Anema, the band also comprises Dean Armitage (bass, backing vocals), Jacob Rutherford (slide guitar) and Callan Carne (drums).
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Trepidations - EP Review: Time Flies
28 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
The latest EP from Trepidations follows a rather unusual format in that we have one vocal track which was recorded in a studio, and then three instrumental tracks which were played live which are quite different in approach and sound quality. Having not played any of their music before I must confess, I do not know if these distinctly different approaches are what one would expect from the trio, or whether one of these paths is new to them.
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Will McClean - Single Review: Man on a Mission
28 Sep 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Te Whanganui-a-Tara’s resident hip hop star Will McClean collaborates with Casual Healing on Man on a Mission, a mellow, emotive track that showcases his earnest lyricism. McClean’s verses capture a deceptively relaxed flow, that in actuality is carefully constructed with tight rhymes and subtle melodies.
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Ms.Take - Single Review: Grow
26 Sep 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Operating under the stage name Ms.Take, Lora Thompson has developed herself as a master of guitar pedals, as well as a producer, bassist, guitar player and audio engineer.
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John Michaelz and the Black Brothers Band - EP Review: Limited Edition
26 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It is not often that I am asked to review reggae, as it is an area which is very much a strange land to me, so I am coming at this as a straightforward listener as opposed to having any knowledge in the genre. This EP is a collection of three previously released singles, plus dub versions of the same, one of which has been broken in two to provide us with seven numbers.
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Ekko Park - EP Review: UnMute
25 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
There are times when it is just impossible to write a review as I am having so much fun playing the music that I find myself hitting the desk in time with the drums, bopping to the beat and fully in the groove. Then the damn thing is finished, and I have to put it on again (not really an issue) and the debacle repeats!
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Gig Review: Smokefreerockquest National Finals @ Q Theatre, Auckland - 24/09/2022
25 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I must admit I had to look up the address for Q Theatre on Google as I had never heard of it but having found it, I realized I must have been past it hundreds of times as it is right next door to Auckland Town Hall. Tonight, I was at the finals for Smokefree Rock Quest, the most important school competition for music in Aotearoa, and it would not surprise me if it was one of the longest running in the world as they were celebrating 35 years of the event.
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Looking For Alaska - Gig Review: Looking for Alaska w/ Chris Dent @ Wine Cellar, Auckland - 22/09/2022
24 Sep 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
Here we are on a cool, wet spring night, but as always, it’s warm inside the Wine Cellar. In The Shallows were originally on this bill but have been plagued by some ill health and we can guess what that might be, so instead Looking for Alaska step up and, no surprise, invite their old mate Chris Dent (Albi) along to open the show.
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Achilles Complex - Gig Review: Achilles Complex @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 23/09/2022
24 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I cannot believe I have not been at Dead Witch since the beginning of July, but there has been so much music going on that I kept having clashes. Luckily, Harley asked if I could come and see Achilles Complex quite some time back so this date was locked in.
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Chris Bates - Single Review: Lose My Mind
22 Sep 2022 // A review by Jack Grabham
In short, if I could give this a six out of five I would. Do I need to go on?
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Becca Caffyn - EP Review: The Replacement Blonde
22 Sep 2022 // A review by Jack Grabham
Dunedin-based singer-songwriter Becca Caffyn brings us her debut EP release The Replacement Blonde, a four song journey through pivotal experiences that have left their mark on her 19 years in this life. Produced by Christchurch-based Will McGillivray (Goodwill) and mastered by Joe Faris, Becca has traversed Parachute Music's great Artist Development initiative.
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Planet Hunter - Album Review: Moscovium
22 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
On April 19th, 2018, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite was launched on a two-year mission to find a rocky world with an atmosphere which could be probed for signs of life. Although it had an official name, the media just called it a planet hunter which seemed more exciting, and a Wellington rock band finally came across a name they felt was fitting for the music they were creating.
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Medusa Glare - Single Review: Lay It To Rest
21 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It is not unusual for me to have conversations with music lovers which revolve around me attempting to convince them there is a vibrant and exciting music scene in Aotearoa as sometimes it feels like I am coming across a wonderful new band on a daily basis, and here is another. I am sure if Medusa Glare were an Auckland act as opposed to being from the ‘Tron I would have come across them long before now, but given they were formed back in 2014 there really is no excuse on missing out on this classic hard rock band until now.
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Dark Divinity - Album Review: Unholy Rapture
21 Sep 2022 // A review by Kerry MB
Formed in 2017 and based in Wellington, Dark Divinity might be a name you’re familiar with if you’re a Death Metal genre fan, or maybe even if you’re familiar with the local Wellington Metal scene in general. If not, then sit tight, you’re about to experience one hell of a journey.
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PolarisRadio - Album Review: Legend of the Broken Claw
21 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I was not too sure what to expect from PolarisRadio, which is the pseudonym for Dean Moroney, but I am pretty sure this wasn’t it! Dean’s music is normally described as Synthwave, and in some respects that still fits as here we have an instrumental album which appears to be based on a video game, yet while there are some tracks (such as Sea of Stars) which are solidly sat within that genre, there are plenty of others which do not.
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CACO - EP Review: Chisme
21 Sep 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
CACO is a 23-year-old South Auckland raised Iraqi. Over the last 6 years, CACO has become an all-encompassing musical artist; producing, mixing, mastering, writing and recording the near extent of his 30+ track catalogue.
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Captain Festus McBoyle's Travellin' Variety Show - Single Review: Leaking - The English Whinging Song
20 Sep 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
New Zealand's award winning pirate Captain Festus from the family entertainment troupe, Captain Festus McBoyle's Travellin' Variety Show has recently released another single from his up-and-coming album Look Wot The Cat Dragged In. Leaking - The English Whinging Song is an unapologetic musical whinge of unfortunate events from this sometimes unlucky pirates adventures.
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Stu J - Single Review: Hyper Slow
19 Sep 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Aotearoa-born producer, DJ and musician Stu J is a self-confessed lover of electronic music. Under his mononym, he has created and released up to three singles over the past two years, including the light and airy We Love The Moonlight, and the soundscape-heavy Destination Unknown.
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Thousand Limbs - Single Review: The Aurouchs - Ensnared
19 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the second single from Auckland-based instrumental doom outfit Thousand Limbs. It is taken from their forthcoming debut album The Aurouchs, which is a ten-part song-cycle based on Kakuan Shien’s Ten Ox Herding Pictures, and is set to be released later this year, with each of the ten songs being based on one of the ten woodcuts.
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Jaqualyn Taimana Williams - Single Review: In Between
18 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
In Between is the third single from the upcoming 2023 EP Guns Of Dialogue, but is the first time I have personally come across Jaqualyn Taimana Williams. As with her debut album she has been working with producer Tim Skedden and Chris Chetland, and when I read that I was somewhat confused as the way this song starts there is no way that it sounds as if Chris has been involved as I have huge admiration for what comes out of Kog Studio.
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Dub Asylum - Album Review: Beg, Steel or Borrow
18 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I have no idea who many albums I have reviewed over the last 35 years, but it is countless thousands, while the words written are well into the millions, but I must confess this is the first time I have ever been asked to review an album where steel drums are the main instrument, let alone when they are being used to play dub versions of Kiwi classics! The man behind Dub Asylum is Peter McLennan, who formed this project after leaving reggae-thrash-punk-ska outfit Hallelujah Picassos in the Nineties.
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Volts - Gig Review: Volts @ Wine Cellar, Auckland - 16/09/2022
16 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
To be honest, I wasn’t supposed to be here tonight, but yesterday I was checking out the gig I was supposed to be attending only to discover the band had pulled out due to injury. Although I had already reviewed one show this week (the excellent Pop Will Eat Itself at Tuning Fork) I had been geared up for this one so wondered, what else was on in Auckland?
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Silcrow - Single Review: Keep The Silence
15 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Silcrow will be a new name to many, it certainly was to me as it was only when I was arranging to see them play recently that I discovered this is the new name for Close to the Bone. I was aware of that band, but had not seen them play, although I had seen lead singer Lorenzo Hazlewood undertake an acoustic set.
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Big Tasty - Single Review: Diamond Eyed
15 Sep 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Auckland based 9-piece funk and soul band Big Tasty have just released a groovy disco inspired track with an epic full sound. Diamond Eyed is possibly one of the best original 70's soulful disco beats I have come across in a very long time.
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Anxiety Club - Album Review: Old Dreams
15 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
A little while back I was fortunate enough to hear the single Carousel, and now Wellington-based Anxiety Club are back with the album. As I said in the earlier review, due to various reasons Kev Fitzsimons (Thom Cross) and Clint Meech (Matt Langley band) found themselves as the only band members left, and with Kev suffering an injury which meant he could not play guitar they could either quit or bring in some others to help out.
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Mel Parsons - Album Review: Slow Burn
15 Sep 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
Mel Parsons’ 5th album is out today, September 16 and it’s been a Slow Burn, a journey of highs and lows as the world of lockdown and locked out intervened in thousands of creative processes sometimes positively other times depressingly and if nothing else this record is a reflection of these times. The opening track, Lights “when the lights can’t always be on, you can’t expect that I’ll always be strong” captures the malaise which follows a pandemic, and the dark flavour and nuance of the songs on Slow Burn often conflate the sense of generic, world melancholy with deep personal issues.
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Honeybee - EP Review: From An Unreliable Source
15 Sep 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
After the success of their first EP Dusty, Honeybee return with a solid and positively shimmering five-track EP written and recorded during the uncertainty of the lockdown period. This offering contains the same heavily effects laden guitars from Dusty, but there is more energy and perhaps less influence from hip hop.
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Planet Hunter - Single Review: Humans of the Wild
15 Sep 2022 // A review by Adrian Drew
Humans of the Wild is the first single from Wellington rock band, Planet Hunter, off their upcoming album Moscovium. I profess to not having heard of Planet Hunter before, they are self-described as having a small but dedicated following in Wellington's heavy rock scene.
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Frau Knotz - Single/Video Review: Supernova
15 Sep 2022 // A review by Jack Grabham
Frau Knotz (Lauren Nottingham) has what her former Mexican host family would describe as cojones. She found herself stuck in Mexico City - not the world's most placid of places - for eight months during the height of the pandemic, thanks to a cruise ship gig being cancelled three days after she arrived there.
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The Hopkinsville Goblins - Album Review: Bite the Wax Tadpole
14 Sep 2022 // A review by Peter-James Dries
The Hopkinsville Goblins is always a challenging review. If you want it done right, you really need some hard-broiled journalist from a bygone era on the job, not some gumshoe with a grudge like me.
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Landlords - EP Review: Codeine
12 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the second EP from Hamilton-based quartet Landlords containing five songs at approximately 20 minutes in length. Interestingly the band are signed with a UK label, something I only realised when I checked out their Bandcamp page and could not work out why prices were in sterling instead of NZD.
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Shepherds Reign - Gig Review: Shepherds Reign @ Galatos, Auckland - 10/09/2022
12 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Tonight, was another rescheduled gig from Covid, as this was originally planned to take place to celebrate Matariki, the Maori New Year, but because of band illness could not take place at the time. Due to other commitments, I had missed seeing Shepherds Reign when they supported The Hu last month, so was really looking forward to this I had not seen them play since the middle of last year.
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Nadia Reid - Gig Review: Nadia Reid & Jenny Mitchell @ Auckland Town Hall, Auckland - 09/09/2022
11 Sep 2022 // A review by Lou Clement
Worth the wait might be the short summary of an epic and memorable evening with Nadia Reid with the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra and support from Jenny Mitchell. Both acts were accompanied by their bands and a packed Auckland Town Hall cheered every song.
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Lung - Album Review: Bad Acid Soundtracks II
11 Sep 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Lung was a legendary punk, noise band in the early 90’s that embarked on world tours in the Northern Hemisphere and were lauded by none other than the mighty John Peel. Despite this, by 1994 they were splintering after a tumultuous and short career.
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Dillastrate - Single Review: Taku Aroha
09 Sep 2022 // A review by Trevor Faville
Dillastrate is made up of drummer/vocalist Henare 'H' Kaa and Tim Driver who handles Keys/loops/vocals, adding MC Luis Mill for live work. This group comes with a background of considerable musical skill and experience and brings this all to bear with their latest single Taku Aroha.
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Loveta - Single Review: Drive
09 Sep 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Christchurch pop artist Loveta’s new single Drive finds the starlet “dreaming wide awake” of escaping her daily life into exciting new experiences. Polished to perfection and fizzing with dance-pop energy, the track is as radio-ready as anything currently spinning on commercial airwaves.
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DateMonthYear - Single Review: Slipping Through My Hands with Black Velvet Butterfly
08 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
The first thing which struck me about this single, even before I listened to it, is that the artwork is such a strange shape, but given that many of these are only released digitally these days there is no actual reason they need to be square at all, and I really like it! What we have here is the most recent collaboration from Trevor Faville of DateMonthYear who this time is working with fellow multi-instrumentalist James Castady-Kristament of Black Velvet Butterfly.
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Electric Tapestry - EP Review: The Origins EP
08 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Any group who say they are inspired by bands as diverse as The Beach Boys, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, King Crimson, Genesis, Van Halen, Radiohead, Crowded House, The Chills and Straitjacket Fits are going to be interesting to say the least, and with three guitarists in the line-up, they are going to have a distinctive sound. With this release, Electric Tapestry say they aim to mix the atmospherics of post rock with the immediacy and sensibilities of pop, and while I am not 100% sure if they have achieved this, they are certainly doing something different.
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Tablefox - Single Review: Give It All
08 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I thoroughly enjoyed the last Tablefox album, Battles, while I was also fortunate enough to recently catch them supporting Capital Theatre so was looking forward to their new single. Musically they are based in alt rock, but that covers a multitude of sins, and they are also heavily influenced by the sound of some Eighties bands such as Simple Minds, and that really comes through here.
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Greta O'Leary - Single Review: Body, Now
08 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It has been quite a while since Greta O'Leary released her debut single, Outnumbered, but now she is back with the follow-up which is a precursor for an EP which is hopefully not too far in the distant future. What we have here is a solid case of alt-folk/dream pop which is full of passion, pain, angst and so much more.
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Black Sands - Album Review: Black Sands
08 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Black Sands are a real rarity in that they are a totally instrumental act, and while they bring in plenty of progressive tendencies, they are always first and foremost a metal band. The band started life as a duo of Cameron Owens (guitars) and James Trimmer (drums), with Ruaidri Keens (guitars) joining later and it was only when they went into the studio with producer/engineer Matt Hammond who then offered his services on 5-string bass that they ended up as a quartet.
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Danica Bryant - Gig Review: Danica Bryant @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 7/09/2022
07 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back into central Auckland on a school night, but it was for a good reason as Danica Bryant was in town and as I had yet to see her perform but had heard some of her releases, I just had to make the effort. Before Danica started, we had Katie—Lee, (they/them), a young singer songwriter who was new to me.
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Serpent Dream - EP Review: Deadlock
07 Sep 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
You could be forgiven for anticipating a heavy metal with a cover and title like this. A glowing photogram of an Australian mental health institution key hints at themes of incarceration and of security or danger.
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felix danilo. - Album Review: The Territories West
07 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
The latest album by Felix Danilo finds him exploring different musical textures where the main (and often only) instrument is a multi-layered guitar full of reverb. Although the album is mostly instrumental, he is joined by singer Kayla McGee one song, and by his SkeletonCrew bandmate Nicole Obren on two others.
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Goodwill - EP Review: Incontrol
07 Sep 2022 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Otautahi musician Goodwill released his debut EP Incontrol on the 19th of August. The solo project of musician Will McGillivray, formerly of successful Kiwi band nomad, Incontrol is the result of six years of work in Will’s home studio in Christchurch.
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Saint Lane - EP Review: I Thought My Name Was Cursed
07 Sep 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Saint Lane’s newest EP begins with a highly predictable chord progression borrowed from The Righteous Brothers’ Unchained Melody and exploited in such songs as The Air That I Breathe by the Hollies, I Know It's Over by The Smiths, Magic City by Gorillaz, Underwear by Pulp and perhaps most famously in Radiohead’s Creep. More modern listeners might recognize the chord sequence from The Steven Universe opening theme or perhaps Akon’s rearrangement of Bobby Vinton’s Mr Lonely.
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Lando - EP Review: Lost at Sea
07 Sep 2022 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Lando is a 4-piece Alternative Rock band from Auckland's North Shore. They self-produce, mix and record their music.
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Personal Igloo - Single Review: Old Me
06 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Personal Igloo is the solo project of Auckland based song writer/producer, Hamish Nixon, which brings together soul and pop with some raspy vocals and a love for bands such as Kings of Leon. Old Me is the first track from his forthcoming second EP, which will be out in the next month or so and is a very clean representation of modern pop with some look backs to Eighties-style soul.
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Medusa Glare - Single Review: Something's Got to Give
06 Sep 2022 // A review by Kerry MB
With two EP’s and a single already under their belt since forming in 2017, Waikato three piece, Medusa Glare know a thing or two about catchy hooks, great rhythms and crunchy hard rock riffs. Something’s Got to Give is their latest single, and they’ve hit the nail on the head again with their signature sound that fans have come to know and love.
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Young Moon - EP Review: Paraverbal Orchids
06 Sep 2022 // A review by Peter-James Dries
There is this Japanese art form called Kintsugi – Golden Joinery – which is a method of mending cracks in broken pottery with gold. The idea is that the broken pieces are part of the object’s history, so are something to remember rather than something to hide.
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Marlon Williams - Album Review: My Boy
06 Sep 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
Shit, Marlon’s gone poppy. Not just My Boy.
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Coridian - Gig Review: Coridian @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 03/09/2022
06 Sep 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Let’s not dwell on the obvious.Lockdowns were not nice, we all missed live music, we’re all glad scanning QR codes in every doorway aren’t a thing anymore.
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Ripship - Single Review: Ripship Is Online
05 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I first came across these guys a few months back when I saw them open for Daniel Armstrong & The Monsoons and I was immediately impressed by their approach which was both effective and infectious, so I was pleased when this single recently came my way. They are a duo comprising Callum Lincoln (guitar, vocals, loops) and Eva-Rae McLean (drums, vocals), and they mix together live loops, crunchy guitar and live drums to create something which would be what Ozric Tentacles would be doing if they were more into space rock.
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One Man Bannister - Album Review: The Saddest Noise
05 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
One Man Bannister is the name used by Hamilton-based Matthew Banister when he is not performing in one of his bands such as Sneaky Feelings or The Changing Same, and this is his latest album. It is somewhat unusual in that for the 16 songs he took poems written by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) and then put them to music.
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Anthea de Milo - Single/Video Review: Mama Got It Bad
05 Sep 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Lyttelton based soulful songwriter Anthea de Milo (Anthea Struthers of Saint Satori, Runabout Sue & The Harbour Union) has just released her outlandish (in the best possible way) debut single accompanied by an eccentric music video full of originality and colour. A combination of song and visuals that invade your senses with delightful quirkiness.
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The Jordan Luck Band - Gig Review: The Jordan Luck Band & Ekko Park @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 3/09/2022
03 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Tonight, it was back to The Tuning Fork for another fun night of great rock music. I knew Midnight Oil were playing next door so got here early, and not only managed to get a free parking space, but the lighting guys made sure I had a great place to be able to review from and even provided me with power and my own lighting.
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Jason Parker - Single Review - How To Be Lonely
03 Sep 2022 // A review by Trent Graham
Jason Parker has been described as a "Popstar in the making", and it is easy to see why when listening to his music. From the catchy, upbeat sound of This Is My Year or the slow, yet powerful delivery of You Rescued Me, Jason shows so much promise, and the single from his upcoming EP of the same name is here to show you just that.
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Goldsmith Baynes - Album Review: E Rere Ra
01 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Earlier this year I was fortunate to be asked to review To Ihu, one of the four singles to be made available from this album so far, and I was just blown away by what I was hearing. Allana Goldsmith is a classic jazz songstress with warm and embracing vocals while Mark Baynes is a compassionate and empathetic accompanist on the piano, and together they create the bedrock of a very special experience indeed.
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Dolphin Friendly - Single/Video Review: Radical Desire
01 Sep 2022 // A review by Jack Grabham
And BOOM! Christchurch rock band Dolphin Friendly's new release Radical Desire is right up my street.
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Ema I'u - Single Review: Midnight Mistress
01 Sep 2022 // A review by Harry Platt
I’m going to speculate that most music scenes in cities around the world have someone like Ema I’u (AKA Ema Barton.) However I’d wager that all these other cities are in envy of our own Tamaki Makaurau and its “open mic queen”, whose remarkable talents are no secret to those who have traversed the various haunts around the city which generously let artists cut their teeth.
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Seaside Sloths - Album Review: Claws
31 Aug 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Seaside Sloths are a 7-piece, genre-defying outfit, here to remind everyone to slow down. Hailing from the jungle and now residing on luscious shorelines of the Kapiti Coast.
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Munro - Album Review: The Book Of Isaac
31 Aug 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Rapper/producer Munro makes all his songs in a humble caravan studio located in Matakana.On his new album, The Book Of Isaac, he explores different soundscapes that range from acoustic, east-coast jazz influenced hip-hop and others all influenced by the hip-hop sounds of the last 30 years.
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The RVMES - Single Review: What's Troublin' You
31 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It seems to have been ages since I last heard from The RVMES, and I can see from looking through my records that it is more than a year since I last saw them play, and also more than a year since I reviewed their excellent album, Lifetime. Now they are back with the first single from their next album, Simple Things which will be out in a few months’ time.
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Impostor Syndrome - Single Review: Locksmith
31 Aug 2022 // A review by Peter-James Dries
Across their body of work, Imposter Syndrome have been known for their blurring of the lines between sub-genres and laying waste to the traditional ideas of song structure. Well, that’s what they’re known for to me at least.
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Citris iNK - Single Review: Knowing You're Mine
30 Aug 2022 // A review by Jack Grabham
This release is the debut single for Kristin and Nick, two highly experienced and focused musicians based out of the City of Sails. Titled Knowing You're Mine, it's an homage to their influences of old school R&B, blended with the neo-soul of today, and it could be described as smooth and professional, and ready for radio.
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Fur Patrol - Gig Review: Fur Patrol @ San Fran, Wellington - 27/08/2022
29 Aug 2022 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
I finally arrived at San Fran just on 8pm, a little grumpy after spending 30+ minutes driving around trying to find a park in Wellington city, where, like many other cities around New Zealand, the councils have decided to eliminate as many parking spaces as possible with bollards, flower pots, bus stops, loading zones, road works, or just by erecting scaffolding barriers for no apparent reason!! The venue was wall-to-wall full, and I marveled that all these people had managed to find parking spaces also.
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Silcrow - Gig Review: Silcrow @ The Thirsty Dog, Auckland - 27/08/2022
28 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
After three gigs last weekend it seemed a little weird to be doing just one this, but that’s what happens sometimes. I had been planning to come to this gig to see support act Venom Dolls, as I had no idea who Silcrow were, so it was something of a surprise when Lorenzo Hazlewood responded to my message and let me know that Silcrow is the new name for Close To The Bone.
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VÏKÆ - EP Review: Love Games
25 Aug 2022 // A review by Darryl Baser
Veronika Bell, known to music fans as Vikae, has been composing and producing music for a good few years, and is gaining some crossover traction between the dance and pop worlds. While she writes many of her tunes on a piano, and can perform them beautifully with piano and her impressive voice, it is the dance-styled pop versions of her tune which have been garnering her acclaim.
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Pieces Of Molly - Single Review: I Don't Wanna
25 Aug 2022 // A review by JP Carroll
Pieces of Molly have been busy beavers, racking up a slew of international and major national support slots to go with their commercial radio play, EPs and single releases. I Don’t Wanna is their latest single, and you can hear influences ranging from Aerosmith to Red Fang, while Jet and The D4 also come to mind.
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Electric Temples - Single Review: I Want The World
25 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This is the debut single from Christchurch-based rock group Electric Temples, and the thing which impresses me most right from the off is the use of space. When a band starts, it is easy to throw the kitchen sink into a recording instead of understanding that often less is more, yet here we are provided with music in waves so there is plenty of contrast.
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Coridian - Single Review: Rakshasa
22 Aug 2022 // A review by Ben Sargent
Auckland-based 4-piece Coridian return in full force with their second single Rakshasa off their much anticipated upcoming album HAVA, which is due early next year. A winter storm of progression and melancholy proving once again that one of the fastest rising Kiwi Rock acts can still push the boundaries of their sound whilst still dialling in plenty of that early 2000's nostalgia.
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Matt Joe Gow - Gig Review: Matt Joe Gow @ Wine Cellar, Auckland - 21/08/2022
22 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
So, it was off into central Auckland for my third consecutive gig, this time to Wine Cellar to see country musician Matt Joe Gow on the final date of his NZ tour, where every gig had sold out. Given how difficult the market is at present, which has been some vindication for Matt, and it was no surprise he was happy with how things had gone.
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Haze Lane - Single/Video Review: Natural Feeling
22 Aug 2022 // A review by Andrew Smit
Matching the songs title very aptly South Auckland indie band Haze Lane has produced Natural Feeling, a very organic song that does indeed deliver a very smooth natural feeling. The ultra-cool ambient sound is reminiscent to the early roots sound of Six60 and L.
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Come Together: David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust @ Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland - 20/08/2022
21 Aug 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
Here we are, back in 1972, the year when if you hadn’t heard of David Bowie before, then wham!... an indelible stamp of wonder and amazement and disbelief is delivered to your consciousness for the next 50 years if not forever.
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Fur Patrol - Gig Review: Fur Patrol @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 20/08/2022
20 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This was the first time I had heard anything from support act Wellington-based Soft Plastics, who comprise Sophie Scott-Maunder (vocals/bass), Jonathan Shirley (guitar) and Laura Robinson (drums), but I had heard good things and right from the off I could see I was not going to be disappointed. They started with Day Job, and right from the distorted jangly guitar chord opening, the audience responded and made their way from the bar to the front.
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Troy Kingi - Gig Review: Troy Kingi @ Auckland Town Hall - 19/08/2022
20 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
At the Auckland Folk Festival last year, Tory Kingi and Delaney Davidson premiered material from the forthcoming Black Sea Golden Ladder album, which they had written together when Troy had the Matairangi Mahi Toi Artist Residency in Wellington. Looking around the full marquee, at that time no-one knew we would be going back into extended lockdown, or the impact it would have on the forthcoming tour.
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Ella Minehan - Single Review: First Light
19 Aug 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Auckland based emerging female singer / songwriter Ella Minehan has just dropped her third single First Light. A smooth RnB sounding track which has been described as an upbeat, flirty track about taking chances with relationships.
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The Infinity Chamber - Single/Video Review: Nothing
18 Aug 2022 // A review by Kerry MB
The Infinity Chamber is the brain child of musician, Dylan Paul Ware, a Kiwi currently based in Turkey. His blend of alt-rock, dark indie-folk jams is uniquely his own with some solid influential sounds thrown in for good measure.
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Adam Hattaway & The Haunters - Single Review: Salt
18 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Only nine months since their last album, and Adam and the band are back with the first single from the next, Bug Eyes, which is due out in November. Salt clearly shows that here we have a band who have paid their dues by working the circuit since they released their debut in 2018 and soon, they will be back with their fifth – the work ethic puts many other bands to shame.
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Taylor Roche - Single Review: day&night
18 Aug 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Auckland based Pop/RnB artist and TikTok personality Taylor Roche has just dropped his latest catchy offering day&night. Described as "rebellious 80's synth pop" this is an upbeat track detailing a broken relationship hanging by a thread.
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Danica Bryant - EP Review: Ego Death
18 Aug 2022 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Hawkes Bay songstress Danica Bryant is back with her sophomore EP Ego Death, released to the world on August 19th. Following on from her 2020 debut EP Cider, Bryant has continued to enjoy success with a string of singles, including sugary pop tune Heart Eyes and head-banging Ready To Bite.
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Big Scout - Album Review: Council Sport
18 Aug 2022 // A review by Paul Goddard
It’s finally here. The first Long Player from Blenheim noisy buggers Big Scout.
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Goldsmith Baynes - Single/Video Review: Hei Kawe i a Au
17 Aug 2022 // A review by Trevor Faville
Allana Goldsmith and Mark Baynes have worked together for a decade and form the creative heart of Goldsmith Baynes. They both have extensive experience in the international and local worlds of Jazz and have brought considerable skills and knowledge to this single Hei Kawe i a Au which is from their upcoming debut album E Rere Ra.
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Banks Arcade - Gig Review: Banks Arcade @ Tuning Fork, Auckland - 13/08/2022
17 Aug 2022 // A review by Gideon Voon
In you are a fan of the newer generation of Metal or Heavy Music. You really missed out.
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Brookes & Johnstone - Album Review: When Summer Calls, Break Down the Walls
16 Aug 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
Brookes & Johnstone sound like a pharmaceutical company, or a high street tailor with a side in patent leather shoes. But they are not.
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Sylvee - Single Review: Slow
14 Aug 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Sylvee’s latest single Slow is an impassioned love song dedicated to supporting someone beloved through struggles with their mental health. Featuring the artist’s signature soft, introspective vocals and honeyed melodies, it’s a dreamy release soothing listeners in the toughest of times.
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Scapegoat - Album Review: Reality and the Hanging Tree
12 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Rene Black can often be found out and about on the Auckland scene, either playing in the premier NZ Sabbath tribute band After Forever, or just supporting other bands and enjoying the vibe. We regularly bump into each other at our favourite dive, Ding Dong Lounge, but whereas that is a relatively new place for me, Rene has been on the circuit for years as he was also drummer and founding member of both His Masters Voice and {Cripple Mr.
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Caitlin - EP Review: States
12 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the debut EP from young Christchurch-based indie-pop musician Caitlin (Caitlin Bradley) who is currently studying at Ara Music Arts in the city. She took the songs to Ryan Chin (Fisherman), and together with Will McGillivray (Goodwill), Thomas Isbister, and Shaun Malloch they worked to capture her innocent vocals and songs in a manner which brings together lots of different styles.
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The BackChat - Double Single Review: Effortless and Conspirator
11 Aug 2022 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Auckland-based four piece The BackChat have created two new singles which are releasing this August 12th. Breaking through the loneliness of winter months, Effortless gives us an aural experience for closed doors.
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Corduroy. - Single Review: Ozone
11 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Ozone is the latest single from Wellington-based band Corduroy., and is taken from their forthcoming EP, Halftime Oranges.
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Mim Jensen - Single Review: Germaphobe
11 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This is the debut single from Otautahi artist Mim Jensen, and a load of fun it is too. It commences with jangly guitar and Mim’s vocals, and soon we are taken into commercial indie rock which has definite nods back to the likes of Fur Patrol.
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Moone - Single Review: I Am Who I Am
10 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
There are some people who come into this world and put the rest of us to shame as to what they achieve, and undoubtedly one of those was Eva McGauley, who at the age of 15 was diagnosed with terminal cancer, to which she succumbed a little more than 3 years later. Eva was involved with the Wellington Rape Crisis Organisation, was an intern with the Green Party, ran her own charity 'Eva's Wish' raising more than $70,000 to help sexual abused survivors, was involved in the '200 Women Who will change the way you see the world' book and exhibition and was nominated for Youth Wellingtonian of the year award, among others.
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Wallace - Album Review: And Other Colours
09 Aug 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Having spent her past few years across the ditch, Wallace now returns to her hometown in Wellington just in time for the release of her delightful new album, And Other Colours. It’s an exciting future soul affair, bathed in bright, simple lyricism and the voice of a charismatic rising star.
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Nick Burson Band - Single Review: Should Have Let You Know
08 Aug 2022 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Nick Burson spent a decade cutting his teeth on the covers scene of Christchurch city. The lockdown of 2020 allowed him to finally focus on releasing his own music to the world.
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Jodi Vaughan - Album Review: For The Love of Country
05 Aug 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
The moment Tennessee Dancing strikes up, we know we are in a deep country space. Somewhere just out of Nashville, maybe a famous farm, maybe an even more famous figure, but actually, no, fooled you, we’re in the country alright, but close to home, in our very own Waikato country.
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All I Seek - Single Review: Envy
05 Aug 2022 // A review by River Tucker
More than just a progressive Metal band, All I Seek have coalesced many of the best Alt Metal styles around, including at times Melodic Death (with a slight Djent edge) into their rip-roaring third single, Envy.This massive four-minute track fills a gap in New Zealand’s current progressive Metal scene and the juxtaposition of the songs uplifting message, delivered during mid-winter, makes it a very well timed release.
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Oliver Birch - Album Review: Burning Daylight
05 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This is the debut album from Auckland musician, Oliver Birch, although older versions of many of the songs contained within have already been made available as singles. When the album started with the lengthy keyboard chords and feedback intro I thought it would fall into krautrock, but instead it quickly changed into a psychedelic experimental art rock number with emotionally charged vocals and an outright refusal to conform to any expectations.
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n1ghtmar3cat - Album Review: Rat Race
05 Aug 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
n1ghtmar3cat is Dave Johnston’s alter ego and solo project, when he’s not busy drumming for Villainy or co-DJing as Delivery Boyz. Under this moniker, Dave has been crafting releases and remixing for nearly four years, and has returned again with his brand new, sophomore album Rat Race.
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Flaxxies - EP Review: Beach Rudes
04 Aug 2022 // A review by Lou Clement
Flaxxies release a four track EP, that heralds Spring with its’ playfulness and optimism. The band are a five piece who blend a number of influences: most obviously surf rock and reggae.
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Black Velvet Butterfly - Album Review: Black Velvet Butterfly
03 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Black Velvet Butterfly are a one-man band from Auckland featuring James Castady-Kristament. I was intrigued to be sent this as when I looked on their Bandcamp page it said, “It may just well be the coolest thing you’ve heard in the Goth scene since Type O Negative.
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Bill Angus and the Mighty Ways - Album Review: All Night Before the World Began
01 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Bill had a musical career in England before deciding to do something different, and returned to his roots when he started working in New Zealand. This is his third album.
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Blindspott - Gig Review: Blindspott @ The Trusts Arena, Auckland - 29/07/2022
31 Jul 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Still feels like a bit of a treat, walking into a large music venue. Having been through so many lockdowns and cancellations over the past couple of years, I felt both right at home yet also like I haven’t set foot at a big gig in a while.
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Antagonist A.D. - Gig Review: Antagonist A.D. @ Galatos, Auckland - 30/07/2022
31 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Once more into the breach dear friends, as I made my way into the city for the third night in a row. I knew this was going to be the most dramatic gig of the week and was one I had been looking forward to for months.
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Reb Fountain - Gig Review: Reb Fountain @ Town Hall, Auckland - 29/07/2022
30 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back into central Auckland for the second consecutive evening, this time to see an artist for whom I have great admiration for the first time, and whose latest album, Iris, was rightfully in my Top Ten of 2021. Until last month it had been years since I had been in Auckland Town Hall for a gig, but here I was again, this time for one of the series of Auckland Elemental events, and I could see lighting gantries across much of the venue so knew we were in for quite some night.
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Capital Theatre - Gig Review: Capital Theatre @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 28/07/2022
28 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Down to the Tuning Fork on a school night, whatever next?! Mind you, it was for a special occasion as Capital Theatre were back in town and it has been way too long since I last saw them play (thanks Covid).
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Banks Arcade - Album Review: Future Lovers
28 Jul 2022 // A review by Shade
For the last 23 years I've been completely immersed in New Zealand music, soaked through to my inner core. I've been living it, breathing it and drinking it in.
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Infinity Ritual - Infinity Ritual - EP Review: Infinity Ritual
28 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the debut EP from New Plymouth trio Adam Colless (guitars, vocals), Jason Karam (bass, vocals, mellotron) and Mark Thomas (drums and percussion). The four songs, 23 minutes in length, show a band who are bringing together groove metal with stoner, displaying plenty of bottom end with rich distortion.
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Sea Mouse - EP Review: Evil Heart
27 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
There is a time in many music lover’s lives when they finally fall into the caress of the blues. Everyone has their own genre they prefer, but the best blues is that which really calls to the listener on an emotional level, and for me that means two very different strands, and my favourite depends on what I am feeling like on any particular day.
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Brian Baker - EP Review: Open Up Your Heart
27 Jul 2022 // A review by Brendan McCarthy
Brian Baker is an established Kiwi songwriter whose career spans 40 years and is still going strong. His latest release is a 5-track EP entitled Open Up Your Heart and it brilliantly showcases Brian's musical experience and the journey that his art has taken him on.
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Krispy & The Pooch - EP Review: The Reckless Eclectic: Part One
25 Jul 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Waiheke’s electro-soul duo Krispy & the Pooch are back. And I don’t just mean back with brand new music, the lads relocated from Berlin back to little ol’ Aotearoa, and this new EP The Reckless Eclectic: Part One is the first produced and recorded on home soil.
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Reuben Hudson - Single Review: Gasman
24 Jul 2022 // A review by Harry Platt
I’m not gonna muck around with the preamble here, instead a question… Has Reuben Hudson written the most catchy chorus of the year? I’d wager it.
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Velvet Arrow - Single Review: Dark Was The Night ...Song For Blind Willie Johnson
24 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
When I started work on my first book some eight years ago, I decided I was not going to listen to anything I was supposed to be reviewing during this period, and instead threw myself into the world of pre-war acoustic blues and Sixties electric blues. I made some wonderful discoveries during this time, not least of which were the famous blind blues musicians such as Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Willie McTell, and of course Blind Willie Johnson.
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Gig Review: By The Power of Rock @ The Thirsty, Auckland - 22/07/2022
23 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Just a week after being at The Thirsty for Swamp Song XII, I was back for By The Power of Rock featuring three bands, two of which were new to me. First up were Living State, a band whose single One Sided I put in my Top 10 last year, but I had only seen them play live once before so was looking forward to this.
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Silent Torture - Single Review: Omnipotent Reign
21 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Auckland death metal outfit Silent Torture have been playing some well-received gigs recently, and now here they are back with their first new material since 2018’s Phallic Self Mastication EP. Formed in 2015, Ross Curtain (drums), Aidan McGorry     (guitars) and Liam Hand (vocals) have been there since the beginning while bassist Elijah Pinho joined back in 2017, and it is only guitarist Daryl Hodgetts who did not play on that last release.
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Mecuzine - Album Review: Locksmith Thief
21 Jul 2022 // A review by Darryl Baser
Now that’s a great way to open an album. Bruised and Broken is the first track of Mecuzine’s new album Locksmith Thief, and my god what an epic track to open their new record.
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Sonic Space Lab - Album Review: Cycles
20 Jul 2022 // A review by Jamie Denton
Sonic Space Lab is the musical pseudonym of Dunedin-based, Venezuelan composer and sound engineer Luis Rodriguez, who some may know from his guitar work in Dunedin’s Tomahawk Radio. Having spent more than 20 years writing music for television, film, and advertising and collaborating with countless musicians in both musician and producer roles, Luiz Rodriguez turned his hand to Sonic Space Lab (also the name of his studio) in the mid-late 2010’s.
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The Knids - Album Review: Rescue Me
19 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
The Knids are back with their second album, which has one of the coolest covers ever! I was a big fan of their debut, One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Manknid, and I am glad to report that this one continues exactly where that one left off.
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Gerry Paul - Single Review: The Fairy Child
19 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Gerry Paul surely needs no introduction, as not only he is an established musician who has shared his wares in more than 40 countries around the world (as well as more than 40 American states), a festival organiser and award-winning children’s author, but he is also incredibly well-known within the folk community. Most recently he and his colleagues in T-Bone well-deservedly made it to #2 in the NZ album charts with the excellent Good ‘n’ Greasy, and he has called on those friends to join him again in this new single.
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Heavy Chest - Heavy Chest x BENEE - Single Review: Sunday926
19 Jul 2022 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
I must say, I am thoroughly enjoying the new offering from Heavy Chest; a dreamy collab with BENEE, how exciting is that!? And a very new and different sound altogether for this band, led by the talented Andre Smith.
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Coridian - Gig Review: Coridian @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 15/07/2022
18 Jul 2022 // A review by Gideon Voon
Coridian, who I have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with in my band’s most recent NZ gig, have put on a gig titled ‘Power to Rock’. But we do not get the power part straight away, we build up to it.
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Gig Review: Swamp Song XII @ Thirsty Dog, Auckland - 15/07/2022
15 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Originally, I was not supposed to be in Auckland this weekend, which is why tonight I was not at Ding Dong watching the mighty Coridian, but as that gig was being covered by another writer from MNNZ I instead headed out to The Thirsty for another of Sean’s soirées. The Swamp Song events pride themselves on bringing together some of the most metallic and interesting bands around, and tonight was no exception with another four-band bill.
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The Black Seeds - Album Review: Love & Fire
15 Jul 2022 // A review by Chris Chick
What a privilege it is to review a legendary band that is The Black Seeds. The band has been entertaining and soothing the ears of many a listener now since 1998.
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Voodoo Bloo - Album Review: The Blessed Ghost
15 Jul 2022 // A review by Adrian Drew
Wellington Rockers Voodoo Bloo have released their second album The Blessed Ghost. This sophomore album follows on from the 2020 debut Jacobus.
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Gig Review: Dee and the Sweet Somethings @ Meow, Wellington - 13/07/2022
14 Jul 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
The crowd is electric at Wellington’s Meow this Wednesday evening, now the home of Dee and the Sweet Somethings, Walker and Clara van Wel for one marvellous night. Looking out into the sea of people reveals a particularly eclectic bunch, of all ages, genders and fashion styles - it’s all slicked back hair, bright scarves, leather boots, full suits and colourful beanies, a visual display of how many diverse people adore tonight’s acts.
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Ghost Merchants - Single Review: Careless Ones
14 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
While the band name may be new, and Careless Ones is their debut single, all three of the guys involved in Ghost Merchants are no strangers to success in the NZ rock market, as here we have a combination of drummer Nick Douch (Ekko Park) and multi-instrumentalists JP Carroll (Swerve City, Arrays) and Adrian Drew (Investigator). Both Adrian and JP are singers as well of course, but here Adrian takes the lead while JP is right behind with double-tracked vocals while we get the strong riffs we expect from JP, combined with the more commercial sound of Investigator with Nick always driving them forward.
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Arrays - Album Review: Patience Way
14 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
JP Carroll (Swerve City, ex-Armed in Advance) is back with his latest album as Arrays, yet again proving what a talent he is as Patience Way takes us on a journey through different styles of melodic rock, often with buzzsaw guitars, and always with hooks and a commercial understanding missing from many other releases. Many of the songs on this could happily find their way onto radio, as even when he is doing his best Devin Townsend impression the vocals and licks keep us tuned into what he is doing.
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Ben Woods - Album Review: Dispeller
14 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Firstly, this is an album which must be played on headphones as otherwise much of it will be lost, and secondly here we have music which is going to challenge a lot of what people expect from that term. However, of the many words used to describe my musical tastes (my children say it is weird, while I would rather use the term broad minded), conservative is not one of them and for me this is a delight.
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Masslands - EP Review: It Doesn't Matter Anymore
14 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Last month I reviewed the single Forget What You Heard from these guys, and now I have the four-track EP from which it was taken. Masslands started as a project between Jacob Tait of Orphic Décor (who I also recall reviewing last year) and Mason Blair of Highway Goth, but as they started to build up steam, they were joined by the rhythm section of Orian Green and Ben Liley and this is their debut EP.
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Wills & Wills - Album Review: Ain't Seen The Likes of You Before
13 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This trio is formed around singer/songwriters and father and son team Shayn (guitar, harmonica, viola, vocals) and Zephyr Wills (guitar, bass, vocal) along with Freddy Limbert (drums, vocals). Shayn is a well-established singer-songwriter and blues musician who has performed in almost every town in the North Island, as well as supporting artists ranging from Albert King to Junior Wells.
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Leigh Franklin - Single Review: So My Love
13 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have a song which every parent can totally relate to, as it is Leigh’s song to her 4-month-old son, although it took 4 years to come up with the final version. She sings about the changes taking place and how much she loves him, and it reminded me of sitting just looking at one of my daughters when she was about that age thinking my heart would break and I would do anything for her.
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Jenny Mitchell - Album Review: Tug of War
12 Jul 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
Jenny Mitchell releases her third album on July 22nd. It’s Tug of War, a collection of sweet songs which see Jenny wear her heart on her sleeve and talk about all the pushes and pulls of a still young life where “things don’t always work out the way they do in your mind”.
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DateMonthYear - Single Review: Thots and Prayers w/ Golden Plates
10 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Golden Plates from San Diego, California and DateMonthYear from Hamilton, New Zealand have teamed up for a new single song release called Thots and Prayers. DateMonthYear’s Trevor Faville wrote an instrumental track to which Golden Plates’ Elder Brycen added the vocals and lyrics.
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Gig Review: Crushfest @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 09/07/2022
09 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back down to The Tuning Fork for a night with six acts, all of whom had just 20 minutes to make an impact. This was going to be a hard one for bands, crew, Ginny and I, but hopefully the fans would have a great time for a great price.
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Forty Bucks Till Tuesday - Gig Review: Laid to Rest @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 08/07/2022
08 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Tonight’s show was called “Laid To Rest” as it was the last gig for the Yakushima Assassin Clan Metal band from the distinguished ghetto streets and suburbs of West & South Auckland (Forty Bucks Till Tuesday) with singer George Shinobi Mishinoku, who has decided to leave the scene for now. Opening act were Moshpitt, and this was the first time I had seen them since James Trimmer (Black Sands) had joined.
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NEEKOH - Single Review: Breathe
08 Jul 2022 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
NEEKOH is a Finland based fashionista, interior designer and former Pop Idol finalist. He took a break from celebrity status in Finland, traveling the world and has found himself in New Zealand.
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Moofish - Single/Video Review: Sparrow
07 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
A short while back I reviewed Ash Tree Lament by MOoFiSh, and the first thing I said was that I had no idea how on earth I was going to be able to describe it, and now I have their latest single I am wondering why on earth I volunteered as I have exactly the same problem! There is just so much going on in this arrangement, from complex layers to simplicity, that one really does not know where to start.
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Daniel Ashcroft - Album Review: Caramel Honey II: Ribbed For Her Pleasure!
07 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Daniel Ashcroft is a multi-instrumentalist who played in metal bands and released solo work during his mid-20’s, but stopped about six years ago, with no intention of creating any more music. These songs started off as tunes he would play with his acoustic, sitting on the floor next to his daughter when she was a baby.
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CHOEY G - Album Review: Time?
07 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It has been some 15 years since CHOEY G has been in a studio, and on this album, he provided all the lead vocals and guitars. Working with producer Reagan McKinnon at The Porch Recording led to Reagan playing drums, providing backing vocals plus all other instruments as well as polishing the result and assisting in the creative direction.
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Finger Tight - Single/Video Review: I Hear It Rains In Seattle
07 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
The video accompanying this song probably tells you all you need to know about the five guys from West Auckland, as interspersed with playing in the studio is them going to a fancy-dress party, and there is a real sense of humour throughout. Red is a vibrant frontman, even though he does leave the party on his own (or does he?
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Bird Machine - Single Review: Our Kind
07 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the second single from Kiwi/Aussie duo Bird Machine, and if the debut is anything like this then I can see I need to check it out. Jenna and Luke Grbin come from different musical backgrounds, one from alternative and the other from pop, and here they combine those influences to meet somewhere in the middle.
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No Man's Land - Single Review: It's All Over
07 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest single from No Man’s Land, which is quite different indeed to the last one of theirs I reviewed, West Coast. That was heavily based on the piano, but here the keyboards are much far more restrained, with held-down organ chords as there is a far greater emphasis on vocals, harmonies and guitars.
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Big Scout - Single Review: How Lovely
07 Jul 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Self-proclaimed “Hillbillies in Hiluxes” Big Scout from Blenheim (Jim Tannock, Mathew Hellriegel and Gregg Slatter) are an original 3-piece band full of loud fast paced energy that may (or may not) be post punk (not to be pigeonholed). The band's third single off their up-and-coming debut album Council Sport is How Lovely, an assault on your senses in the best way.
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Matt Joe Gow - Single Review: 'Til My Whole Heart Bursts
07 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I first came across Matt when I was asked if I could write a release for his tour, and I was fortunate enough to catch him in Auckland playing solo in the middle of last year. It was a great night, and since then I have investigated all three of his albums and am looking forward now to his NZ tour and his fourth.
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Blake - Single Review: You Don't Decide
07 Jul 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Hailing from Queenstown, soulful pop artist Blake’s new single You Don’t Decide is a breath of fresh air amongst today’s highly produced and often overly busy commercial material. Yet another splendid product of Covid lockdowns, it’s a whispered discovery of self-assertion, which reaches to the depths of human experience and compacts its realisations in a beautiful yet clearly comprehensible way.
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Sonic Delusion - Single/Video Review: Fingertips
06 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to come across the incredible album When Turkeys Fly by Turkey The Bird which meant I was determined to see them when they came to Auckland and had an amazing evening. One member of that trio is André Manella, who has also been touring as Sonic Delusion, and over the last eight years he has played more than 800 shows and released five albums.
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Big Sima - Album Review: Stereotypes of a Polynesian Misunderstood
04 Jul 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Currently one of the most active NZ Hip-Hop artists on the live circuit, The Underground King AKA Big Sima is no stranger to the big stage. During his come-up, he has played support for everyone from Busta Rhymes to Bone Thugs 'n Harmony, Guru (Gangstarr), Mobb Deep and Cypress Hill.
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T-Bone - Gig Review: T-Bone @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 03/07/2022
03 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Down to Tuning Fork for an early start with doors opening at 5:30 and the whole thing expected to be over by 9:30! I was so glad that Al from Hoop sent me the running times in the morning otherwise I would have missed their set altogether as well as possibly missing the beginning of T-Bone!
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Miles Calder - Gig Review: Miles Calder @ Wine Cellar, Auckland - 2/07/2022
03 Jul 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
There’s a warm and welcoming atmosphere tonight in the Wine Cellar. It seems to be lighter along with the mood.
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Y$O - Single Review: So Sexy
03 Jul 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Y$O returns with a new funky and R&B-infused track So Sexy.From the moment the track starts, I can feel that there is a lot of influence from N.
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Ange.Mac + Shaun Garea - EP Review: Ange.Mac + Shaun Garea
03 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
What we have here is the debut collaboration from Ange.Mac and Shaun Garea.
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Pale Flag - Gig Review: Pale Flag @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 01/07/2022
02 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Tonight, I was supposed to be at The Tuning Fork for Ekko Park and Jordan Luck but the dreaded Covid had cast its spell and the gig was cancelled earlier in the week. I did a quick check to see what was on at Dead Witch and discovered there was a four-band bill and knowing three of them I could see it was going to be a good night so decided to head that way.
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Molly Devine - Single Review: Shades of Blue
30 Jun 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Molly Devine’s sweeping waiata Shades of Blue, created in collaboration with guitarist James Bulter, is an emotive piano-led ballad carried by her strong, deep vocal. Like previous release Because I Love You, Shades of Blue takes Devine away from her earlier dance-pop works into experimental territory.
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Ayla Wesley - Single Review: Say To Me
30 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Normally, when I am reviewing singles for MNZ the turnaround time we work to is 7 days and it is not unusual for me to work on far tighter deadlines than that, but Ayla was incredibly well organised with the promotion for her second single, and I have been playing this for the last 3 weeks at least. In that time it has become a real earworm, and I have even found myself singing it as I walk around (not a pleasant experience for anyone in the vicinity, let me assure you).
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DiCE_NZ - Single Review: Feshh + DiCE_NZ - Undointerpolation (Meant 2 Be Remix)
30 Jun 2022 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
DiCE_NZ is back, after no delay! DJ/Producer Dave Ti and friends (Mr ‘House of Downtown’, DJ Christiaan Ercolano, Percussionist Matt Sawyer, & DJ Duncan Funk) have recently created and re-shaped a fresh take on a new tune.
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Ed Waaka - Single Review: E Kura
30 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It did not take long for me to fall in love with this song, probably the first 30 seconds I guess, as there is something about it which grabs hold the listener, puts them in a safe place, and lets the singer bare their soul. Soul, yes, this is full of it in a musical sense as well as an emotional one, and when I discovered he was singing about the upcoming birth of his first daughter, whether he would be a good father, and the need to reconnect to his Maori heritage it made a great deal of sense.
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Danica Bryant - Single Review: Crush
30 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the lead single from Danica Bryant’s forthcoming EP, Ego Death, and if this is fully representative, then that is something to look out for. For a young artist she has already had considerable success, mentoring with Bic Runga while also gaining a support slot for Elton John on his ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ tour, and while she has already tasted success on the NZ Hot Singles Chart, I am sure this is going to head the same way.
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Tia Ward - EP Review: Me and Me Too
30 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This is the debut EP from Hawkes Bay singer Tia Ward, following on from two singles which were released ahead of time, Under Wraps and Paint Dry, both of which are included here. The first thing which the listener notices are her vocals, which are both understated yet firmly to the fore.
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Dark Divinity - Single Review: Left For Dead
30 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Formed in 2017 by drummer Ian Moir, melodic death metal act Dark Divinity have been through quite a lot in the last five years, as not only have they supported the likes of At The Gates, The Haunted, The Black Dahlia Murder and Psycroptic but have already released an EP, some singles and have of course been running the gamut of line-up changes. The most recent of these has seen the departure of singer Jolene Tempest and the return to a male singer in Jesse Wheeler, with the line-up completed by guitarist/bassist Paul Stewart and guitarist Jiji Aligno.
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Tryonics - Album Review: Fragmented
29 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Tryonics is the solo project of Hap Richardson, formerly of My Little Pony, Go Victim and Freezer Child. It is completely a one-man affair as Hap not only provided all the music and vocals but also recorded and mixed it as well.
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Kev Rowland - Book Review: The Progressive Underground Volume 4
28 Jun 2022 // A review by Carl Hayman
Well, here I find myself in the weird situation of reviewing a series of reviews. What a novel idea!
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Memory Foam - Album Review: Steel Magnolias
28 Jun 2022 // A review by Paul Goddard
Did you know that Memory Foam creates a matrix of cells through which air can move? Me neither.
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Anamnesis - Single Review: Coms
26 Jun 2022 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Coms sounds like a clown rubbing wet crocks against a saxophone. After a few seconds it also sounds like somebody close is tracing their finger around a half empty wine glass and somebody far away is buffing a bird cage with an angle grinder.
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Anxiety Club - Single Review: Carousel
24 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest single from Wellington-based Anxiety Club, taken from the forthcoming album Old Dreams, but anyone expecting more of their guitar-led music is going to be in for quite a surprise as there has been a major shift in their sound, caused by circumstance as much as by design. Like many bands unable to perform or tour over the pandemic, they used the downtime to focus on new songs, but that was not their only issue.
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Capital Theatre - Album Review: A Hero's Journey
24 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back in March last year I made my way to the Tuning Fork to catch a three-band bill, one of whom was Capital Theatre. At that point I had not heard any of their material, so was mightily impressed to discover they had recorded a concept album for their debut with Mike Clink (Guns ‘n’ Roses, Megadeth etc) in America, and that night they were playing it in sequence.
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Sam Bartells - Single Review: Good Intentions
23 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Last year I saw Sam Bartells at The Tuning Fork with a full band, and then a few weeks ago he was playing acoustically at a tiny venue in Ponsonby with just a keyboard player for support (what an incredible night that was). In some ways his latest single is a combination of those two very different facets, as the central core of his music is always his acoustic and vocals.
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South for Winter - EP Review: Acoustic Sessions
22 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Earlier this year I agreed to review a concert of the Nashville-based husband and wife duo of Nick Stone (vocals, guitar) and Dani Cichon (vocals, mandolin), without previously having heard any of their music and it is fair to say I was blown away. I was fortunate enough to see them on two consecutive nights, and the mix of Dani’s pure, clear vocals with Nick’s more classical tones was something to behold.
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Achilles Complex - Single Review: Jack In
20 Jun 2022 // A review by Kerry MB
Achilles Complex hail from Hamilton and have been making a name for themselves since 2019, when they came on the scene with their explosive prog rock medley. The four piece, compromising of frontman, Harley Flynn (vocals and guitar), Zak Cole (drums), Reece Gielen (vocals and lead guitar) and Jordan Carpenter (bass) create a stunning blend of intricate sounds, both heavy and melodic.
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Recitals - Single Review: Rock Dove
19 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Recitals are a 7-piece band based in both Te Whanganui-A-Tara (Wellington) and Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland) and comprise Xanthe Rook (bass, vocals), Tharushi Bowatte (trumpet), Carla Camilleri (keyboards, vocals), Olivia Wilding (cello), Christian Dimick (guitar, vocals), Josh Finegan (drums), and Sam Curtiss (guitar). Even before playing the first single from their debut album Orbit I (released at the end of August on Flying Nun Records) I was intrigued by the line-up as it is unusual to find both a trumpeter and cellist in the same band, and having now listened to the single I am still intrigued, but now it is because I am wondering what the album is like.
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Matt Joe Gow - Album Review: Break, Rattle and Roll
19 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
After touring and playing numerous festivals in support of Seven Years, Matt returned to the studio in 2018 to record the follow-up, Break, Rattle and Roll. Released to wide acclaim, it went one better than his previous release and was awarded Best Country Album in the 2019 Music Victoria Awards.
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Jenny Mitchell - Gig Review: Jenny Mitchell @ Kumeu Live, Kumeu - 18/06/2022
18 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Over to Kumeu Arts Centre tonight to catch two Country singers, along with ace photographer Steve Bone who I had not worked with since Dragon in February last year due to both Covid and his schedule getting in the way of things. We both got there early enough to catch up with the ladies and listen to the soundchecks beforehand and it was obvious we were on for a good night.
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Arun O'Connor - Album Review: Songs From The Reading Room
17 Jun 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
Arun O’Connor is as good as gold when I speak to him in dark and gloomy Invercargill about his new album, his debut album, Songs From The Reading Room, which came out sneakily in late April.  You can see my interview with Arun in my interview series, ‘It’s a Wrap with Roger” here, but the dark and gloomy winter afternoon seems appropriate when you play the first song on the album, When the Darkness Comes Around.
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T-Bone - Album Review: Good n Greasy
16 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the debut album by Wellington-based Kiwi folk Americana act T-Bone, and mighty fine it is too. The quintet comprises Gerry Paul, Aaron Stewart, Richard Klein, Michael Muggeridge, and Cameron 'Dusty' Burnell, and they bring together an acoustic mix of zydeco, old-time, blues, bluegrass, and folk with Americana to create something which is incredibly enjoyable and full of depth.
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Steve Wells - Album Review: Songs For Summer Rain
16 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
When I heard that Steve Wells (ex-Fur Patrol) was releasing his debut solo album I had no idea what to expect, but I know it wasn’t this! For a musician who made his name as guitarist in a multi-platinum band, there are way more keyboards here than one would expect, and the production makes this album sound huge.
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Hoop - Single Review: The Brightest in the Land
16 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I have seen Hoop play twice this year so far (the third will be in a few weeks) and each time I have come away impressed with the depth and breadth of their Americana-inspired folk. This is due in many ways to having two songwriters in the band, both of whom are singers and multi-instrumentalists while they also have an excellent rhythm section and a great fiddler.
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Coast Arcade - Single Review: Tattoo
16 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I don’t know how old these guys are, but given they formed in High School towards the beginning of last year I am guessing not that old, especially as they have been playing mostly all-ages gigs, although they did also open for The Beths in Auckland earlier this year and would have also opened for Clap Clap Riot if the tour hadn’t been cancelled due to Covid. Bella Bavin is the lead singer and lead guitarist, and here she sings about wanting to tattoo a girl on her neck.
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SKRAM - Album Review: Walk Into the Sun
15 Jun 2022 // A review by Ben Sargent
Floating in a sea of offset guitars and Fender reverbs, SKRAM manage to swim not sink with their debut album Walk Into The Sun. This Wellington 4-piece's 12-track album is drenched in cerveza-popping Summer vibes and pop-rock madness.
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MELLIS - EP Review: Escape
14 Jun 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
There’s been a retro-wave revival simmering around the world, with groups like Drab Majesty, Gunship, Perturbator, plus Kiwi artists PolarisRadio establishing themselves in various electronic and rock circles. Many have performed live to vast audiences and also racking up healthy amounts of plays on streaming platforms.
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Turkey The Bird - Gig Review: Turkey The Bird @ Ministry of Folk, Auckland - 11/06/2022
11 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It was a very wet and windy drive over to The Ministry of Folk, but one I was willing to make as I loved the latest Turkey The Bird album and tonight was the last night of the tour. I made it safely to the old hall, which was very dark and atmospheric which was certainly enhanced by the Northumbrian and Uilleann pipes care of Helen Douglas and Mark Muttley Sanders, otherwise known as The Underdrones.
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Becca Caffyn - Single Review: Stair Kid
09 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the debut single from Hamilton native Becca Caffyn who discovered Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan when she was 15 and has spent the last four years developing her own songwriting and performing style. This song is all about the vocals, which are double tracked, so playing on headphones is the best way to really appreciate them and they have deliberately been kept and clear and not over polished.
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Gideon Voon - EP Review: EPsode II: Wanderer's Path
09 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Gideon Voon is of course guitarist with the mighty Shepherds Reign, one of the finest metal acts in Aotearoa, so when I saw a post from him on FB earlier this week where he put up a teaser for a new track I was intrigued. What would a solo piece be like from someone who is known for crunching out mighty riffs?
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Stealphish - EP Review: No Road To Shadesmar
09 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It has been quite a while since we last heard from Stealphish, probably due to a combination of Covid and guitarist Josh Barker busy recording an EP with Café Fistfight, but this time around we have a 3-track EP instead of just a single. He is again joined by his brother Dan who wrote and arranged the drums, while pianist Caitlyn Abbott again makes an appearance on one track.
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Nuggiez - Album Review: Toil In The Time of Monsters
09 Jun 2022 // A review by Trevor Faville
In something of a classic Punk tradition, the opening paragraph in the press release for this release begins with some social commentary, and a position statement- establishing Nuggiez’ attitude and intent before mentioning the band or its music, and if ever there is an appropriate introduction to this band, that would be it.Nuggiez are based in Tamaki Makaurau , and have been evolving the material for Toil In The Time of Monsters over a period of quite some time.
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Josie Moon - Album Review: Paint Me How You Need Me
09 Jun 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Independent Wellington artist Josie Moon’s debut album Paint Me How You Need Me is a highly conceptual, artistic alt-pop exploration, questioning identity, and the search to be perfect for others. With a voice full of childlike innocence and yet deepfelt cynicism, Moon establishes herself as an unmissable artist emerging on the scene.
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Lee Mvtthews - ShockOne x Lee Mvtthews - Single Review: Thinkin About
09 Jun 2022 // A review by Brendan McCarthy
If you are entrenched in and or familiar with the world of EDM (specifically Drum n Bass) then Lee Mvtthews will require no introduction, but for those of us that are perhaps not keeping up, here is the group summary in three sentences from a Kiwi perspective: A few years back in 2012, a couple of Auckland blokes named Graham Matthews and Tom Lee were knocking the top off a few beers while shooting the shizness about the music business. They found that they were both into the same stuff, right and decided to have a crack at making a few tunes on the computer.
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Masslands - Single Review: Forget What You Heard
08 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the debut single from Hawkes Bay quartet Masslands who feature Orian Green (drums), Ben Liley (bass), Mason McNaught-Blair (vocals, guitar) and Jacob Tait (guitar). They describe themselves as Indie-Rock / Post-Punk, but while I understand the first and agree, I don’t necessarily hear the latter, at least not in this number which sits solidly within alt rock to my mind.
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Celeste Music - EP Review: Beautiful Words
06 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Beautiful Words is the latest release from Tauranga-based musician Amanda Sloan, who goes under the name Celeste Music. This five-track EP is under 13 minutes long, and for the most part is based around the vocals of Amanda, accompanying herself on picked acoustic guitar, with additional instrumentation such as keyboards laid over the top.
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Arrays - Single Review: Glass Traps
06 Jun 2022 // A review by Jamie Denton
Auckland-based rock/metal act Arrays is the brainchild and ‘creative sandbox’ of musician/producer JP Carroll (ex-Armed in Advance, and currently also with Swerve City). Having known JP for a number of years, and having followed his career through Stitches, which became Armed in Advance, and then into Arrays and later Swerve City, he has consistently remained a strong creative force, a passionate and prolific producer and performer of music, and possibly kiwi-music’s most genuine, nicest, and most down to earth personalities (albeit one that is loaded with a plethora of terrible puns that he will unleash at any and all opportune moments).
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Midwave Breaks - Gig Review: Midwave Breaks @ Whammy Bar, Auckland - 03/06/2022
05 Jun 2022 // A review by Gideon Voon
Tauranga and Hamilton joined forces to send some of their best Alt-Rock acts to show Auckland a thing or two. First up is a 5-piece band from Hamilton, Retro Valley.
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Gig Review: NZ Music Month Wrap Party @ Tuning Fork - 31/05/2022
05 Jun 2022 // A review by Lou Clement
Live music is back with swagger as event numbers grow and crowds swarm for a crucial mark of ‘return to normal’ in Auckland. At the Tuning Fork, sandwiched between the Port and the central city streets, a diverse crowd gathered at this all-ages event, to mark the end of NZ Music month, 2022.
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Investigator - Gig Review: Investigator &, Crystalator @ Cupid Bar, Auckland - 04/06/2022
04 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
So, it was back out to Point Chev tonight to catch Investigator who are currently on a high with their song Shade at #15 in the Official NZ Rock Airplay Charts. It was my first time to see Crystalator, who may have a new name but may well be known to many on the Auckland Scene as they used to be called Meridian Vibe, and with both Investigator and Crystalator having albums in the works it promised to be an interesting night.
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SNRXG - Single/Video Review: Makaveli-C Feat. SNRXG - Brothers
04 Jun 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
The new video from Makaveli-C Feat. SNRXG takes Hip-Hop and puts some New Zealand flavour in it.
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Written By Wolves - Gig Review: Written By Wolves & Coridian @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 3/06/2022
03 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
When I was told a few weeks back that Written By Wolves and Coridian were doing another fundraiser for Dead Witch I was blown away, as the same gig last year was my #1 for 2022, and in my Top 10 of all time. I arrived early to ensure I could grab one of the limited-edition t-shirts (only 50, and only being sold here tonight) and was fortunate enough to catch the boys before the soundcheck and then stayed for that as well.
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Gig Review: Tuning Fork Birthday @ Tuning Fork, Auckland - 01/06/2022
03 Jun 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
It’s the Tuning Fork’s birthday although it’s unaware. Inertness.
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Aanvi . S - Single Review: I See You Now
02 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I first came across Aanvi last year when I was approached by her mother to see if I would mind writing her first ever press release. The reason it was from her mum and not Aanvi herself was because at the time she was just nine years old.
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Phil Doublet - Album Review: Journeyman
02 Jun 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
Phil Doublet is yet another of our unsung heroes in terms of New Zealand musicians plying their trade under the radar. For forty years.
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Paul The Kid - Single Review: Close My Eyes
01 Jun 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Paul The Kid is an extremely diverse artist, combining an eclectic mix of contemporary genres with prominent themes of hip-hop, dance and reggae to create absolute bangers. Paul is most at home performing live and his shows generate an eccentric energy that invites the audience to get involved in the party.
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Mister Unit - Album Review: Wake Me When We Get To Utopia
31 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
There are times when nothing will hit the spot like a dirty filthy good old-fashioned hard-hitting rock and roll band, and that is exactly what we have here. If I didn’t know they were from Wellington I would have guessed possibly New York, as there is no way they sound Kiwi.
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Revulva - EP Review: Girl's Gotta Eat
31 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the debut EP from Wellington-based octet Revulva which contains six songs at 27 minutes in length, three of which have been released as singles. They describe their music as “nu-jazz, nu-pop, nu-wave” which puts me at something of a loss, as when I think of the word “nu” I tend to put it in front of “metal” which gives us Slipknot et al.
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NZTrio - Gig Review: NZTrio @ Town Hall, Auckland - 29/05/2022
31 May 2022 // A review by Clare Martin
NZTrio celebrated mighty masterpieces alongside contemporary genre-busters for its twenty-year anniversary at Auckland Town Hall ’s Concert Chamber on Sunday night. NZTrio comprised of Somi Kim (piano), Ashley Brown (cello) and Amalia Hall (violin) have a proud legacy of performing works by Kiwi composers with over 70 commissions over two decades.
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Konarucchi - Single Review: Tongue-Tied
29 May 2022 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Konarucchi is a multi-genre solo artist from a small town in New Zealand called Wainuiomata. He likes to experiment with many styles of music, without focusing on how they will fit together, because he believes that cohesion in music comes from the artist, rather than the genre.
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Geneva Waves - Single Review: Wild Arrivals
29 May 2022 // A review by Darryl Baser
Geneva Waves is a one person musical project, based in Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland. Steven Tait is the man behind the moniker, who’s produced this wonderful piece of music.
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Sam Bartells - Gig Review: Sam Bartells @ Ponsonby Social Club, Auckland - 28/05/2022
28 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Over to Ponsonby on a Saturday night – I must confess I cannot remember the last time I was in this part of Auckland, very different indeed to the rock dives I normally frequent. But given Sam Bartells was playing a special acoustic show, and it had been a year since I last saw him, it had to be done.
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Daniel Armstrong & The Monsoons - Gig Review: Daniel Armstrong & The Monsoons @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 27/05/2022
27 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Only a few weeks back I was saying I had not been to Tuning Fork for well over a year, and now here I was back again, this time to see a three-band line-up which was due to start at 8:00 pm with the last band due on at 9:30 which is a very sensible state of affairs if you ask me! First up was Ripship who comprise Callum Lincoln (guitar, vocals, loops) and Eva-Rae McLean (drums, vocals).
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Ariana Tikao - Single Review: Fly You Home
27 May 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Ariana Tikao’s Fly You Home is a beautiful track devoted to “indigenous solidarity” across the nation. Produced by Brooke Singer and Ben Lemi of French for Rabbits, the track is dreamy and gentle, offering a true sense of tranquility amongst the stress and sound of current times.
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Torn Chorus - Single Review: The Meaning of Light/Rhythm of Sound
26 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Torn Chorus is Franklin Davis, an Auckland-based songwriter, musician, and photographer, who provides bass, various guitars, and vocals. This is about how he perceives the world through light and sound, as a photographer and musician.
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Moofish - Single/Video Review: Ash Tree Lament
26 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I must confess to knowing very little about MOoFiSh apart from that they are a duo of Rhonda Hofmans Johnson and Chris Fish Johnson, and while Rhonda is the lead singer I don’t know if they create all the music themselves or if other musicians are involved. They have been releasing music since 2018, and my first thought on playing on this was “how on earth am I going to be able to describe this”?
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Shadowcaster - Single Review: Cast a Shadow
26 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Although there is a band when it comes to performing live, in the studio Shadowcaster is a one-man affair with Trent Graham performing all manner of guitars and some keyboards. While it contains elements of the likes of Mumford & Sons there is also a very definite nod to The Levellers and our very own Albi & The Wolves (although with no violin).
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Wiri Donna - EP Review: Being Alone
26 May 2022 // A review by bethany_rachell
It’s been two years since Wiri Donna’s first and only official release - a double single Manuka Money and Wandering Willies. Those who are in Wellington and have had the opportunity to see Wiri Donna live will be more accustomed to the heavier sound that they bring live.
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STATES - Single/Video Review: Hostage
26 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It has been a year since States released their last single, Relentless, but they were caught up in the COVID lockdowns and even though they recorded drum tracks at the end of 2020 they were unable to complete the songs. However, they are in the studio right now with Zorran Mendonsa (Devilskin, Coridian, City of Souls, Blacklistt) and hopefully they will be releasing material throughout the rest of the year as if this is anything to go by then we are on for a treat.
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Substax - Album Review: Linear Shift
26 May 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Those familiar with Kiwi dub and breakbeat music will likely be familiar with the name Substax, the electronic musical duo consisting of Nick Farrands and Claudia Gunn, who have been in the scene for well over twenty years. And those not yet familiar with Substax will undoubtedly get a good introduction with their newest full-length release Linear Shift.
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Al Park - Album Review: Pony
26 May 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
Last year it was a Rooster. This year it’s a Pony.
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Rhombus - Album Review: After Party
26 May 2022 // A 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.
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Riqi Harawira - Single/Video Review: Walk of Freedom
26 May 2022 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Musician, Support Worker, Maori Customs Teacher, Non-violence Facilitator, and basically all-round amazing human being Riqi Harawira (aka ‘Creative Native’) presents his new single Walk of Freedom with accompanying music video on 24th June 2022. This will coincide with the release of the full-length feature film Whina – ‘A biopic of the trailblazing Maori leader, Dame Whina Cooper, whose extraordinary life saw her break gender boundaries, champion the rights of Maori, and fight for the land - all the while staying true to her heart and her beliefs.
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Michael Signal - Single Review: Magnetism
25 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Now, I must confess to being as much a fan of short song as I am of long ones and given how much I listen to Napalm Death that is probably a good thing. But all short songs I know tend to fall into one of two camps, in that they are either complete in their own right (and are generally brutal), or are introductory tasters for a longer piece of music and I cannot help but feel that what we have here is the latter and my only complaint is that it stops after 90 seconds and I feel somewhat bereft.
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Skank Bandit - Single Review: Suck On That
25 May 2022 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Taranaki band Skank Bandit are excited to be releasing new music once again, in the wake of all the Covid lockdowns, hold-ups, and disruption to the music scene. As soon as they were able to jam together in person, this track was the first song they wrote.
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Infinity Ritual - Single Review: I'm Gone
25 May 2022 // A review by Kris Raven
New Plymouth three piece Infinity Ritual are blasting out the gate, fresh off the boots of their debut first single I'm Gone from their self-titled upcoming EP. The song begins with a thunderous drum fill courtesy of drummer Mark Thomas, making way for a big groovy, distorted onslaught of guitar riffage.
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Max Hill - Album Review: M.H.
23 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Max Hill (they/them) originally started as Slow Rage, which became a duo with the addition of drummer Sam Hatley, building quite a reputation in the all-ages scene. However, like many other musicians they decided to make the most of the first lockdown in 2020 and started work on what would turn out to be a totally solo album recorded in their bedroom.
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Stephen McDaid - Album Review: Trail Maps
23 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the debut solo album from Stephen McDaid, who has been somewhat busy helping out his in-law’s by playing on both Guy Hobson and Kay Duncan’s recent releases, but now he has found time to go out on his own. Given that he has been adding guitar to both those other albums it is no surprise that this is the primary instrument, but here it is an acoustic which is the perfect accompaniment to his strong vocals.
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Kay Duncan - Album Review: Interstellar Refugee
23 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
On this her debut album, Kay Duncan provides vocals and guitar, and she is joined by her husband Guy Hobson on keyboards and brother-in-law Stephen McDaid on lead guitar. I was initially listening to this while working outside on the farm and it took me a while to work out who her voice often reminded me of, namely Karen Carpenter.
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Guy Hobson - Album Review: Latitude
23 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Guy Hobson is a Christchurch-based composer and performer who specialises in instrumental music for film and was featured most notably on one by Force Five Films about the unveiling of Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Spaceship Two SS2. He is a classically trained pianist who describes his music as Ambient, hypnotic and alt/modern classical, bringing in influences from classical, jazz, blues, and funk.
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Oliver Birch - Single Review: Docile Healthier
21 May 2022 // A review by Harry Platt
There is a strange paradox in the independent, self-produced musician who laments the seemingly ever dangerous trajectory of technological society. Because that same trajectory enables them to find liberation in creating new soundscapes without any objection.
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The New Things - EP Review: Pink Chocolate
20 May 2022 // A review by Darryl Baser
If I had to sum up The New Things four-song EP Pink Chocolate in two words they would be ‘perfectly imperfect’. The New Things are Tina McIvor and Jason Tamihana-Bryce, both have been around the indie music scene for a number of years separately and together; touring Japan a few years back.
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Caitlin - Single Review: Hardly
19 May 2022 // A review by Kerry MB
Caitlin Joy might not sound familiar but you’re a fan of some great acoustic pop/folk tunes, then you’ll want to read on. Having been raised by musicians, it’s no wonder that her musical beginnings started young.
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Cafe Fistfight - EP Review: Mourning Brew
19 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It feels like a lifetime ago now, but I guess it must be closer to 18 months, when I started daring to head into central Auckland and Dead Witch. I had agreed, in a moment of madness, to cover all the heats for the local battle of the bands competition and had no idea what I was letting myself in for.
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Elliott Dawson - Single Review: CEO
18 May 2022 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Elliott Dawson plays angry art rock inspired both by British post-rock and South London jazz. CEO is the first single from his album Hang Low which will be released independently in September 2022 and was recorded at Surgery Studios in Te-Whanganui-a-Tara with engineer James Goldsmith (Avant-Glass, Recitals, Wiri Donna, Mermaidens, Earth Tongue).
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Voodoo Bloo - Gig Review: Voodoo Bloo w/ Friends @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 14/05/2022
16 May 2022 // A review by Gideon Voon
It’s mid-2022 and yet another gig is at the mercy of Covid. This time, Melanie was not spared.
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Anthonie Tonnon - Gig Review: Anthonie Tonnon @ Hollywood Cinema, Auckland - 14/05/2022
16 May 2022 // A review by Andrew Smit
On a coolish Saturday evening it was great to see a rather large crowd that clearly were so happy and eager to experience a night of live music, and what a perfect venue to stage it at the slightly musty but still majestic Hollywood Cinema in Avondale. Opening the proceedings was the cool 4 piece band Lips with their ambient 80’s groove thanks to the techno synth sounds from keyboardist and singer Steph Brown.
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Antebellum - Single Review: Resolve
16 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
There has never been any doubt in my mind that the most difficult musical format to get right is that of a trio, as while it is expected that the sound will be full and complete, there is also no room to hide. That is even more the case when that trio decide to be instrumental as there is no singer to take some of the load, and then what about when the musical grounding is in metal?
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Boy Virgo - EP Review: VILLAIN
16 May 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Despite hyperpop’s impressive rise in pop culture over the past few years, there’s a surprising lack of Kiwi artists in the genre. Boy Virgo is here to remedy that.
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DiCE_NZ - EP Review: The Situation
15 May 2022 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
DiCE_NZ is a DJ and Producer from Auckland, Aotearoa. DiCE has worked with epochal bands such as Fat Freddy’s Drop and The Black Seeds, with his own collection of Disco, Funk, and Jazz edits to his name.
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French For Rabbits - Gig Review: French For Rabbits @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 13/05/2022
15 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
So it was back to The Tuning Fork for the first time in quite a while. I am struggling to remember the last time I was there, but possibly it was for Dragon, which was well over a year ago.
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No Life - EP Review: Radical Thoughts
14 May 2022 // A review by Kris Raven
Whilst fairly fresh to the NZ music scene (original formation in 2019), South Island quartet No Life are here to leave a pummeling imprint on 2022 and beyond with the release of their debut EP. Radical Thoughts delivers three massive tracks of progressive metalcore with embellishments of modern nu metal and industrial.
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Yung Ludd - EP Review: Yung Ludd - Two Tone
13 May 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Born and raised in Lyttelton, Yung Ludd is the rap alias of musician Connor Strati. Having spent some time in Auckland in his twenties, he was exposed to a lot of the underground Hip-Hop scene there which proved to be very influential on his sound.
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Violet Highway - Single Review - Sick of Waiting
12 May 2022 // A review by Tony McDonald
I love the ending to this pop rock song - it's not your typical finish... so, make sure to check the song out all the way through.
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Samuel Philip Cooper - Single Review: Forever Loved
12 May 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
Somewhere, over the rainbow, Samuel Philip Cooper’s Nana is still sitting in her favourite chair, a grey-haired old lady with a hint of a smile enjoying the late afternoon sun dappling into her garden. In reality Samuel’s Nana passed away during lockdown and he never got to say goodbye.
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Tess Liautaud - Album Review: Tess Liautaud
12 May 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
Oh, the people of Christchurch have got music and soul everywhere, and yet another singer/songwriter emerges with an astonishingly mature debut and an international pedigree. Tess Liautaud is French, American and now Kiwi.
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Tony Jacob - Single Review: Just One Step
11 May 2022 // A review by Darryl Baser
The 2021 released single Just One Step by Tony Jacob is a sumptuously produced song, with lyrics and a very positive vibe. "You can move on mountains with just one step, you could take the world on with no regrets..
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James Hunter and The Gatherers - Gig Review: James Hunter and the Gatherers @ San Fran, Wellington - 7/05/2022
08 May 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
San Fran is absolutely bustling with people on Saturday night, all buzzing to see the unique line-up. With only two weeks' notice of the event, the turnout is astounding, proving the crowd's devotion.
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Tablefox - Gig Review: Tablefox @ Anthology Lounge, Auckland - 06/05/2022
08 May 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
It’s New Zealand Music Month and here we all are at Anthology Lounge for the much awaited and much postponed Tablefox new album launch for Battles. It’s been a right old battle getting the new album out and played live, and this gig was originally scheduled for last August.
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In The Shallows - Gig Review: In The Shallows @ Spirit Festival - 05/05/2022
08 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I left work a little early on Thursday, and then fought my way from South Auckland, West to Kumeu Showgrounds, where Spirit Festival was taking place. In many ways this is a sister festival to Earthbeat which I attended last year in that it is very much for the alternative culture movement, with lots of stalls and a wonderful vibe.
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Colette Rivers - Single/Video Review: Memory Lake
08 May 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
New Zealand-American indie folk artist Colette Rivers has just released a video for her latest song Memory Lake. The video was filmed on the shores of Lake Taupo and is also the theme of her song.
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Imperial Slave - Gig Review: Imperial Slave @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 07/05/2022
07 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
And so, it came to pass I was back in Dead Witch for the second consecutive night, and my third gig in as many days, which really shows how the scene is ramping back up again under the orange settings. We have all been deprived of live music for so long, and bands are now dipping their toes back in the water while others are resetting dates which previously had been cancelled.
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Pull Down The Sun - Gig Review: Aotearoa Prog Alliance Tour @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 06/05/22
07 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This was the first night of the Aotearoa Prog Alliance tour, which is a showcase of progressive rock/metal over 9 shows in May, featuring three of Aotearoa's leading progressive rock/metal bands - Pull Down the Sun (Whanganui), Elidi (Christchurch), Claemus (Wellington) plus a local support at each stop. First up was Claemus, or at least a close approximation, as due to the wonderful lurgy which is COVID, plus a family commitment, the band was down to a duo of Taylor and Dan.
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The Hootz - Single Review: Stay Away
06 May 2022 // A review by Chris Chick
Hailing from the Garden City and just a short 15-minute drive from yours truly, the 4-piece band known as The Hootz are releasing their upcoming single Stay Away. This song has a very melancholy vibe to it, but not in the sense of it being a negative thing, if anything it has a very Summer vibe feel to it.
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Samuel Gaskin - Single Review: Rain
05 May 2022 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Samuel Gaskin is a New Zealand born, Melbourne dwelling artist; he has just released his latest single Rain. Sam is an inspiring and innovative artist that stands up for the BIPOC LGBTQIA+ community; addressing his Indigenous heritage and ancestry in each art piece he produces.
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Bleeding Afterglow - Album Review: Find Your Taboo
05 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back in 2004 guitarist Sharne Scarborough was looking for a new rhythm section for Just One Fix, and he asked Ant Ward and Gaylene ‘G-Force’ to join. Although the bassist and drummer had bumped into each other on the circuit they were not really friends, and G actually complained to Sharne at one point that she was not sure if she could handle Ant’s persistent innuendos.
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Big Scout - Single Review: Redwood St. Massive
05 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It’s not often that a song can take me straight back more than 40 years on the first time of hearing, only to reinforce that with repeated plays, but that is exactly what happened with this angry trio from Blenheim. This is stripped back music which has a great deal in common with the post punk Oi!
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Saint Mercury - Single Review: Ominous Warning (Ft. Shooless)
05 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Saint Mercury is the artist name for electronic producer Mark Linton who doesn’t see himself being at home in any particular genre but is more of a shapeshifter and on hearing this track one can understand why. Ominous Warning is his debut single, and he has given himself enough room to move around as it is more than five minutes in length.
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Davey Beige - EP Review: Rise Above
05 May 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
Davey Beige comes straight out of the blocks on his new EP Rise Above. 80 In A 50km Zone is just what it implies, we’re off and running at almost top speed, even though “Life goes way too fast”.
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Goodspace - Single Review: Sit Down
05 May 2022 // A review by Brendan McCarthy
Goodspace are an Auckland 4-piece band in the style of what I want to call Glitch Dream Rock. A style that fuses together traditional songwriting styles with modern EDM soundscapes over Dream Pop vocal styles.
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LVST Night - Single Review: Roller
03 May 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Having recently nailed down releases with the sensational The Not Okays, as well as the mind-twisting alt-rock outfit MIRA, guitar player and songwriter Nori Wong has continued to keep himself occupied. Now trying his hand at producing electronic music, Nori has emerged under a new moniker, LVST Night.
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Arrays - Single Review: Forget Fast
03 May 2022 // A review by Carl Hayman
Remember the Names Armed In Advance or Stitches? Perhaps you should!
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No Man's Land - Single Review: West Coast
02 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This is the third single from all-girl Wellington-based quartet No Man’s Land, which I am guessing is the rationale behind the name and I must admit it made me smile. That smile continued as I listened to West Coast as there is a naivety and pop sensibility to it which just a delight.
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ARIA - EP Review: Love Songs Till Midnight
02 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the debut EP from ARIA, and a really interesting release it is as well. The focus throughout is on her pure clear vocals which have a tone that bring the listener in close, no matter what style they are performing.
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This Little Badge - Single Review: Think of A Number
01 May 2022 // A review by Darryl Baser
Think of A Number is the first of a series of seven singles being released by This Little Badge, a project led by Dave Pope. This song is an upbeat little number, based around the house lyrical phrase "think of a number", with the title line being repeated for the chorus.
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Jackie Bristow - Gig Review: Jackie Bristow @ Anthology Lounge, Auckland - 28/04/2022
30 Apr 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
Jackie Bristow brought her new album Outsider to Anthology Lounge in Auckland on Thursday night, inside it’s warm and intimate and the seats are out. We’re still getting used to an almost post-Covid world but enough brave souls have come out to make this a proper gig and to experience the little things which make live music so special.
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Gig Review: Rock Resurrection @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 29/04/2022
30 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Tonight, was my first gig at Dead Witch since we moved into Orange, so I was looking forward to a hot and sweaty night from the three bands involved. First up was Venom Dolls, whose EP I reviewed last year, then Living State who’s single One Sided I had in my top 10 for 2021, while the only band I had seen previously was Gravity Road, who now had a new bassist in Nathan Field who told me he had joined in February, but this was his first live gig in two years.
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Channeled - EP Review: Channeled II (Part One)
29 Apr 2022 // A review by JP Carroll
Channeled, the facet of musical expression for Auckland’s Ben Ruegg are returning to the fold with Part One of Channeled II, a 3 part album that is being released over the next 6 months. Originally this was purely a solo project, and Channeled now has a live element as well as a debut album under their belt.
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Daniel Armstrong & The Monsoons - Single/Video Review: The Company
28 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Realistically, the cover art for this single tells the listener all they need to know about this song, as here are a band who are determined to have a load of fun and bring everyone along with them. It is actually a still from the video, more of that later.
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Pretty Stooked - Single Review: Wanted
28 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Eddie Kiesanowski has been involved in music from a young age, and while studying at ARA he formed his first band, Skelter. After they had released their debut EP they headed off to Melbourne with mentor Tom Larkin (Shihad).
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InDuna - Single Review: Love and Affection
28 Apr 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
South African artist InDuna teams up with Jah Tung and Kasa on the Tiny Triumph produced track Love and Affection. It’s a thrilling Afropop release encouraging a woman to keep pursuing true feelings and relationships, demanding her not to “call murder on love and affection”.
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Will McClean - Single Review: Ego Prison
28 Apr 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
I'm getting to hear more Will McClean... yes please!
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Ellery Daines - Album Review: Failure Thirty Minutes Deep
28 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Since I came across the single No-One I have been waiting for this album to drop, a feeling which was only exacerbated by the follow-up, Imposter Syndrome, but at long last it is here. I could quibble that there are only eight songs, and it is only 31 minutes long, but seeing as how it took Ellery some five years to get to this point, I am happy to have it at all!
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Taiotims - Single Review: All For You
28 Apr 2022 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
This charming track from Mataio Timaloa AKA Taiotims really put a smile on the dial today. With simple uncluttered beats and a nostalgic feel, backing close, intimate vocals that have been recorded in such a way as to capture that up-close-and-personal vibe, and the subject matter “A love letter to my significant other half” is so lovely to hear in Hip-Hop, or any style of music really, what’s not to love about it?
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Brown Sugar Factory - EP Review: Halina't Sumayaw
27 Apr 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Brown Sugar Factory’s latest EP Halina't Sumayaw is an incomparable blend of funk, house, pop and dancehall, boasting the diverse musical backgrounds of producer Reid Ulberg and singer-songwriter Roberto Jatulan.Opening to silky vocal adlibs and gentle rain, Til Next Saturday pulses under smooth guitar and incredible harmonies.
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Sonic Space Lab - Single Review: Coming Out On The Other Side
26 Apr 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Based in Dunedin, Venezuelan producer and sound engineer Luis Rodriguez has been amongst the Aotearoa music scene since 2018, and he doesn’t appear to have lost steam along the way. His latest offering is entitled Coming Out On The Other Side, a new venture in which he places more focus on instrumental, electronic music and less on the structures of conventional songwriting.
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Mojo Alice - Single Review: Sad Face
26 Apr 2022 // A review by Paul Goddard
If there is a phrase I can't stand right now it's "let's get ready for the new normal."Fuck that.
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WLF - EP Review: Kook
26 Apr 2022 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
WLF (Wolf) is the solo project of Otautahi Christchurch, NZ musician Aaron Hogg. With over 25 years as a vocalist, guitarist & bassist for bands such as Pumpkinhead, Slim & Thunderwülf, Aaron has amassed a wealth of experience both live & in the studio.
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Vogel Town - Single Review: Sludge City
24 Apr 2022 // A review by Andrew Smit
Interestingly Vogel Town's new song Sludge City begins with an automated telephone voice, and then a street argument which is soon accompanied by a very groovy walking bass line, quickly growing from just a couple of notes to a broad melody of its own. At first the only addition is some nice, nonchalant drum fills, but as the background street noise fades away, the introduction of vibrant reverberating guitar strums adds a final element that completes the ensemble perfectly, and altogether this provides a very cool bluesy vibe.
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Fin Rah Zel - Single Review: Negativity No More
21 Apr 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
If you’re looking for a quintessentially Kiwi kickstart to your day, Negativity No More is the perfect toe-tapping new release from New Plymouth surf-pop band Fin Rah Zel. It’s a barbecue jam about “having the courage to let go of the negative influences in our lives,” and a showcase of musicianship so strong, it sounds entirely effortless.
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Janine Mitchell & The Haewai Collective - Album Review: Etched In My Soul
20 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Janine is a Wellington-based folk artist steeped in the 60’s tradition of protest singers and environmentalism, and on this album, she is joined by Jack Binding (acoustic lead guitar, vocals), Kevin Ikin (mandolin, harmonica, percussion, backing vocals), and Shaun Clifford (production, various instrumental overlays), while she provides vocals and acoustic guitar. On the rear cover she details what each song is about, the message she is conveying, while the songs always have her vocals front and centre, with others joining in on the chorus.
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Hans. - EP Review: Kimyuntak
20 Apr 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Hailing from Auckland, New Zealand, Hans. is an exciting Korean artist that has been dubbed by VICE Magazine as "One of the rising stars of New Zealand Hip Hop.
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Eliezer - Album Review: Diary Entries Vol 1
20 Apr 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
This is a great album. Even at 30 mins long, the overall feel and vibe of it is fantastic.
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Ignatia : Rising - Single Review: Not One Step Back
18 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Apparently, these guys were around in the Nineties before they went on an extended sabbatical, getting back together in 2019. Since then, they have released a few singles, of which Not One Step Back is the latest.
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Pale Flag - Gig Review: Pale Flag @ The Thirsty Dog, Auckland - 16/04/2022
16 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
So, it was back up to The Thirsty Dog tonight for the first time in quite a while for a three-band bill. I was looking forward to this as the last time I saw Pale Flag they were very good indeed, but it did mean I was missing Deathnir at Ding Dong.
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Hybrid Rose - Album Review: Hyperkunt
14 Apr 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Wellington based electronic artist Hybrid Rose has just dropped her fifth album which goes by the no nonsense name of Hyperkunt. A futuristic cyberspace like character with attitude occasionally courting controversy, Hybrid Rose continues to deliver inspiring original dance tunes infused with an abundance of attitude.
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Checaine - EP Review: Black River
13 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to catch Hamilton-based Checaine on the Auckland leg of the tour to promote the EP I am now listening to. I came away impressed that night and playing these five tracks remind me again of just why that was.
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Neil Beales - Single Review: Missing Words
13 Apr 2022 // A review by Brendan McCarthy
Missing Words is the latest solo offering from Wellington based songwriter Neil Beales who is also a member of the band Tower of Flints. The track was Recorded at the Outland Sessions, a week long songwriting collaboration event where Neil has been a regular attendee for the last few years.
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Joseph E Harrison - Single Review: Blameless
11 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Joseph E Harrison came over to NZ from Sheffield at the end of the 90’s, since when he has been performing in different bands, most notably in Brave New Void. His new single, Blameless, is a totally solo performance, with Joseph writing, performing, and recording this on his own, and it immediately evokes one performer and period in particular.
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Nigel Parry - Album Review: Tales of Common Folk: Salt & Sweet Kisses
11 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Much of the folk music I hear in NZ has other elements added to it, such as bluegrass, Americana and country, but after only a few seconds of the opening number Three Danish Galleys, on Nigel Parry's new album Tales of Common Folk, Salt & Sweet Kisses, I knew we were in for what I think of as “the real thing”, namely English Folk Music which has been brought up to date yet  staying true to the tradition. Even though I think of myself primarily as a metalhead or proghead, there is no doubt that folk has always had a powerful hold on me, and when I travelled from one side of the world to the other for a festival some five years ago, it was to attend Cropredy not Wacken.
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Steve Tofa - Album Review: Koko Stax: The Legend Of Leni Mafu
11 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
There are times when an album is put on, and the listener starts to smile virtually immediately, warming to what is going on in their ears and Steve Tofa's new album, Koko Stax: The Legend of Leni Mafu, is just one of those. I loved this the very first time I played it, and it has just got better each and every time since then.
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Tony Lee - Album Review: Man on Mars
11 Apr 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
Tony Lee is a Man on Mars. With a “here we go” Tony Lee’s band launch into a hootenanny rocking billy of an opening song which reminds me of the kind of frantic rhythm you might see and hear at Roberts Western World of a night, any night, on Broadway in Nashville.
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Gravel Pit - EP Review: Wolves/Gravel Pit Split EP
10 Apr 2022 // A review by Kris Raven
Open your ears, get your windmill arms ready and brace yourself for 5 tracks of hardcore punk from some of New Zealand’s finest. Bringing back the classic 7” vinyl split EP on side one are the relatively new Auckland 4 piece Wolves featuring members of the Bleeders, City of Souls and Evil Priest.
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Mousey - Gig Review: Mousey @ Meow, Wellington - 7/04/2022
08 Apr 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
It’s the first truly cold night of the year as Mousey and her band fill out Wellington’s Meow. The venue’s eclectic vibe, covered in bookshelves, clocks and colourful walls, perfectly match the energy of the two indie acts of the evening, and the room buzzes with anticipation from many devoted, excitable fans.
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The Mechanism - Single Review: Living in Colour
08 Apr 2022 // A review by Carl Hayman
People who follow the NZ music scene will have probably noticed by now that musicians tend to move in circles dabbling in different types of music, and often work on each other's projects or play in multiple bands throughout their careers. One of those awesome names to have hit the scene in recent times with 3 of his own EP’s is Geoff Ong.
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Pale Lady - Single Review: Never Satisfied
07 Apr 2022 // A review by River Tucker
2017 Battle Of The Bands national champions Pale Lady have hit another home run with their latest single; Never Satisfied. Contrary to the song title, you can tell these four young guys who hail from Wellington are having shit loads of fun playing this fantastic song.
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Turkey The Bird - Album Review: When Turkeys Fly
07 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
When one sees cover art where the band are wearing clothes which were never in fashion even in the height of disco, combined with a somewhat unusual name then this is either going to be something incredibly special, or something spectacularly bad. However, I had high hopes from this band and when the harmonies hit just 25 seconds into opener Orbit, I knew I was in for a fun time.
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End Boss - Album Review: They Seek My Head
07 Apr 2022 // A review by Kris Raven
Wellington's End Boss featuring members of Beastwars and Ghidoragh and the incredible vocals of EJ Thorpe, have delivered one of the finest albums of 2022. A heavy music juggernaut, which combines huge lashings of doom, stoner and heavy metal with cinematic, post metal, ethereal vocals and elements that leave your ears comfortably bleeding and your mind blown musically and lyrically throughout.
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REID - Single Review: Savannah
07 Apr 2022 // A review by Lou Clement
REID is solo artist, based in Wellington, who is making straight-up fun and catchy pop music. Inspired by a desire to simply get people to sing and dance along, REID’s debut single, Savannah, is one of those songs that is the soundtrack to sunny days.
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Michèle Ducray - Single/Video Review: Manifesto
06 Apr 2022 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Christchurch-based pop artist Michele Ducray releases her sophomore single Manifesto, complete with slick video clip produced by Shae Sterling, courtesy of NZ On Air. This dark and intriguing track opens in a foreboding room, filled with polaroid pictures hung on strings, and a somewhat disturbed-seeming character sitting on a step, alone.
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Hannah May - Single Review: Written in the Sea
05 Apr 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
There is no time for “beating around the bushes” with Hannah May’s latest single Written in the Sea, a warning call to act on climate change that also introduces her debut EP, out later this year.Led almost exclusively by a jaunty acoustic guitar, every musical element of Written in the Sea sounds warm and comforting, thanks to a skillful mix by Tay Oskee, and mastering from Paul Blakey.
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Imugi - EP Review: It's OK To Be A Lil Alien
05 Apr 2022 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Auckland-based Imugi is comprised of beatmaker/producer Carl Ruwhiu and songwriter/vocalist Yery Cho. With regular releases since 2017 and some big shows and festivals under their belt, Carl and Yery have carved out a space for themselves in the New Zealand music scene, and don’t look to be going anywhere anytime soon.
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Arrays - Single Review: Obsidian Oceans
03 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I can’t believe it is more than a year since I wrote about JP’s last album, Light Years, but it was and now here he is with the new single from the forthcoming third album, Patience Way. Arrays never sound like the work of just one man but always come across as a full band, which says a great deal about the skill of the person behind it all.
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Album Review: Various Artists - True Colours New Colours
03 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Unless you live in NZ it is probably unlikely you will realise just what an important band Split Enz was/is to the local scene. Sure, they had some international hits and I remember hearing I Got You back in the UK when it was released as a single, but in NZ/Aus they were/are royalty and True Colours has rightly taken its place as one of the most important albums ever released in Aotearoa.
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Marianne Leigh - Gig Review: Marianne Leigh w/ Edera and Rose Lubransky @ Valhalla, Wellington - 30/03/2022
31 Mar 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Behind Valhalla’s metal doors and graffitied walls, you would be surprised to find a trio of young acoustic performers playing to a sold-out student crowd this Wednesday night. Auckland’s Marianne Leigh took to the stage for the final night of her release tour for the Simple Things EP.
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Jeivenchy - Album Review: Fatal Attraction
31 Mar 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Jeivenchy, not to be confused with “Givenchy”, is a singer/songwriter based in Wellington, New Zealand. His debut album Seenzoned introduced his melodramatic lyrics, 80's inspired vocals and catchy choruses.
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Sam Bambery - Album Review: Songs About Sailors
31 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
One of the real delights in discovering so much NZ music is most of the artists I am asked to review I know nothing about beforehand, so each piece of music is a total surprise and I have no preconceived opinions ahead of time. I also never read press releases until I have played the album/single, so I approach the music very clean.
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Voodoo Bloo - Single Review: Small
31 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Wellington band Voodoo Bloo are back with the second single from their forthcoming album, The Blessed Ghost, and given what I have heard so far that it definitely one I am looking out for. I was impressed with Skin, which came out towards the end of last year, and while this one obviously has similarities it is also very different indeed.
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No Broadcast - Album Review: Lie In Orbit
31 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back in May last year I was fortunate enough to catch No Broadcast supporting Dead Favours in Christchurch, since when I reviewed the title cut of this album when it was released as a single. Their last album was all the way back in 2015, but after four years hard work the guys are finally back with their third, and it was worth the wait.
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The First Child - Album Review: Sincerely Yours
31 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I’ve seen The First Child play a few times over the last year, so was pretty sure I knew what to expect from this 7-track EP, but when it commenced with Lunacy, You’re So Beautiful, I was nothing short of shocked. The reason for that is these guys are a post hardcore act with stacks of aggression, so to have the album start with gentle vocals and plenty of keyboards was not what I expected at all!
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Sin City - Album Review: Welcome to Sin City
31 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the full-length debut from Sin City, a duo formed around Jack Beesley and Nick Armstrong, who here have combined with producer Delaney Davidson on bass, John Segovia on lap steel and Alistair Deverick (Boycrush) on drums. Jack and Nick are probably best-known for their antics with garage punk rockers The Cavemen, and it was after that band’s world tour in 2019 that they relocated to Spain and knocked out about 100 songs.
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Slimivich - Single Review: Desert Shimmer
31 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This release is probably going to confuse quite a few people when they realise that the person behind Slimivich is none other than Slim Jenkins from Christchurch metal outfit Tainted, here back with his first new music in some time. But this isn’t metal, it is rap/hip-hop being taken in a new direction.
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Corrella - Single Review: Seafarer
31 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Corrella are a 7-piece band based in Auckland who have real links to the sea as some of their members have been in the navy while others are still serving. The sea is something to which I have always had a close affinity, as I was raised in a small fishing community where most of the men on my mum’s side of the family were trawlermen while my dad was in the navy, and his father was a coastguard.
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Odds & Ends - Single Review: Something Else
31 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
When I reviewed their last single, Picture, I said I could tell Odds & Ends had a sense of humour just from the cover, and that is the case again as here we have a digital release which features a pile of cassettes (which are apparently very much in fashion again, although I have no idea why). That song saw them break the Top 40 Singles chart, while it was in the Top 10 NZ Singles, and it is possible to see this going the same way.
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Sabreen Islam - Single Review: Count Me Out
31 Mar 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Auckland based young singer-songwriter Sabreen Islam, has just released the third and final instalment of her “pop trifecta” the last of three songs called Count Me Out. A light and airy original based around being stood up on a first date.
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Kyla Greening - Single Review: Rich Girl
31 Mar 2022 // A review by Trevor Faville
Kyla Greening hails from Cambridge, and while Rich Girl is her first release as such, she is already known to many in the Waikato as an experienced performer and  very capable singer who is comfortable in range of music situations. Fair to say that for many it could be said that for many, this release has been keenly anticipated, Greening combines three key elements into Rich Girl - A thorough understanding of RnB/ Soul songwriting and arranging, sensitive and intelligent production/arrangements, and a sophisticated, melodic sensibility.
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Hamish Gavin - Album Review: I've Been Waiting For This
30 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This album was originally recorded as home demos while Hamish Gavin was living in a community in Germany. Drums were later recorded at a home studio at a different volunteer project in Pisa, Italy while the mixing took place over the following year.
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The Chaddington Street Milk Collective - Album Review: Crescendo Ultima Morendo
30 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
When Wellington-based Juddy first heard Love Junkie by California-based Sonnyboy he was so inspired that he started recording similar music himself. From there it was just a simple matter of contacting Sonnyboy and suggesting they collaborate on an album together, and this is the result.
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Juddy - Album Review: I Am A New Tie Wearing
30 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Juddy originally started off as a guitarist in punk bands before discovering Love Junkie by Sonnyboy, which inspired him to invest in a MIDI keyboard and pull together an album which is apparently influenced by his love of mid 90’s video games. Mind you, even then those games must have been retro, as the sounds being utilised on this have a much better fit with the decade before.
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The Late Starters - Single Review: Quarter To Ten
30 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest single from Christchurch band The Late Starters, which is a precursor to the EP due out later this year. They released their debut album, Age – A State of Mind, back in 2019 and lovingly describe their music as “an enjoyable nostalgic trip into the future.
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Bach Musica NZ - Gig Review: Bach Musica NZ @ St Matthew-in-the-City, Auckland - 26/03/2022
29 Mar 2022 // A review by Clare Martin
A night of opera choruses and arias performed live in the wake of the peak of Omicron was the miracle delivered by Bach Musica NZ at St Matthew-in-the-City, Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland. A miracle because choral singing has proven to be a super-spreader of Covid and was avoided like, well, the plague.
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Fear Up Harsh - Fear Up Harsh - Album Review: Fear Up Harsh (II)
28 Mar 2022 // A 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.
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The Flow Collective - Album Review: Flow
27 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This is a wonderful album, very New Zealand, but also very much classic singer-songwriter in a way which is not often heard these days. It took me a while to think who they remind me of, but in the end, I settled for English singer Talis Kimberly and Australian Maryen Cairns, both incredible performers who have released essential albums.
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Fire For Glory - Gig Review: Fire For Glory @ Save Ding Emothon, Dead Witch, Auckland - 25/03/2022
26 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Tonight was the Save Ding Emothon, with DJ sets in the main bar and then Fire For Glory playing a gig at Dead Witch upstairs. Of course, the decision was made that they would not start their set until 10:30 which was a pain in the neck as I decided that I was going to have dinner at the bar, so I was there for just after 7:00!
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Wiri Donna - Single Review: No Follow Through
24 Mar 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Te Whanganui a-Tara's Bianca Bailey, better known as Wiri Donna, shares her enticing indie rock jam No Follow Through as an introduction to her hotly anticipated debut EP due for release later this year.Its message insists that the only person with real expectations for you is you, making No Follow Through an excellent single as it offers something of a thesis statement for the quality of music Wiri Donna plans to share.
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Birdfeeder - EP Review: The Vile Isle
24 Mar 2022 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Led by keyboard player and songwriter Stephanie Cairns, Birdfeeder makes music for time travellers, tea leaf readers and full moon gazers. Their south seas art-pop is characterised by unearthly melodies, surprising shifts and vintage timbres.
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SKRAM - Single Review: Living Our Lives
22 Mar 2022 // A review by Andrew Smit
Beginning with some straightforward but quite funky keys your soon steered to a very upbeat and chunky ensemble of music that energetically drives along with its super groovy reggae vibe. SKRAM are a very high energy 3-piece pop group that have delivered a fine tune that embodies their claim of “energetic” perfectly.
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Goldsmith Baynes - Single/Video Review: To Ihu
20 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
There are times when one is sent a song which oozes class from every pore, and that is exactly what we have here in one of the most delicious and delightful jazz numbers I have ever come across. Goldsmith Baynes is a musical partnership between singer Allana Goldsmith and pianist Mark Baynes, but in this number they bring it out to a full band with Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa (drums), Alex Griffith (electric bass), Cameron Allen (saxophones), Jono Tan (trombone) and Mike Booth (trumpet and horn arrangement).
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OTTS - EP Review: Overboard The Troubled Ship
20 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
OTTS are a trio from the Taranaki, and this two-track EP is their fourth to date as they work towards their debut album. Formed in 2020, they have a sound which takes me back more than 40 years to the indie commercial punk style which came through in the second wave in the UK when bands decided they would actually like to be featured on Top of the Pops and the radio after all.
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Crystalator - Single Review: Sludge
18 Mar 2022 // A review by Adrian Drew
I have the pleasure of introducing THE new rock act hailing from Auckland, Crystalator. I'm listening to their debut single Sludge.
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Jarrod Ross - Single Review: Hail
18 Mar 2022 // A review by JP Carroll
Jarrod Ross, formerly of Pan Am and Valedictions, brings us Hail, a solo effort of the rock variety, born of lockdown conditions. Reminiscent of some of the dreamier aspects of American and British rock of the recent and distant past, Ross’ solo project was a long time plan, enabled by the pandemic.
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SOJØURN - EP Review: Mystic Ways
17 Mar 2022 // A review by Harry Platt
Surf, Sun, Sojøurn. If it isn’t a catchphrase of a quintessential Kiwi summer, then it will be soon.
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Ellery Daines - Single Review: Imposter Syndrome
17 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Ellery Daines is back with the second single from his forthcoming album, Failure Thirty Minutes Deep, and I really wish he would hurry up and release that as it something I am really looking forward to, given just how different this is to the last single, No-one, which I also really enjoyed. Originally from Nelson, but now residing in the Norwegian Arctic city of Tromsø, Ellery is a multi-instrumentalist who has been working on his album for some five years.
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Eurenza - Single Review: Victim of Circumstance
17 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Following on from last year’s Good Luck... You're Gonna Need It EP, Eurenza are back with their next single.
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Sins of Eve - Single Review: I Am
17 Mar 2022 // A review by Carl Hayman
Sins of Eve have just released their wickedly evil new single I Am. I’ve not heard of Sins of Eve before personally, but a little bit of a back story tells me that they have been around for quite some time on the rock scene in Christchurch but have recently rejigged their line-up with the inclusion of Lexie Mia Le Cocq on vocals.
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Scapegoat - Single Review: The Dead of Night
16 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Rene Black is best known as being the man behind the kit for Cripple Mr Onion and His Masters Voice, and these days can be found in premier NZ Sabbath tribute band After Forever, but anyone expecting a similar bombastic approach to the debut single from his solo project Scapegoat is in for quite a surprise. The Dead of Night commences with a pre-war ballad, even down to the crackly vinyl, before it is replaced by a simple repeated motif on acoustic guitar.
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TOOMS - Album Review: Fake Teeth
16 Mar 2022 // A review by Lou Clement
So, a 15 tracker, entitled Fake Teeth, released on limited vinyl, from the excellent duo which are Tooms. They are: Nich Cunningham and Dorian Noval.
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Partyboi Pan - Single Review: Mystical Barz
16 Mar 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Partyboi Pan is the founder of The Mason, a vision to upgrade the very idea of what parties are with the sole purpose of showcasing local passions and talents.His latest track Mystical Barz opens with a dialogue that really sets the mood for the track.
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Revulva - Single Review: One Puff Wonder
15 Mar 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Revulva are an eight-piece band from Wellington who describe themselves as “nu-wave, nu-jazz, nu-pop”. A jazzy-pop octet who have just released their third single One Puff Wonder, which follows on from debut singles Sniffy Lady and Turning Out and builds on the foundation for their up and coming EP Girls Gotta Eat, set to be released late March 22.
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Video Nasty - EP Review: Menthol b/w Filthy
15 Mar 2022 // A review by Kerry MB
Video Nasty are a three piece hailing from Auckland. Having formed in 2020, their cacophony sound is a blend of noise rock that gives you reason to listen.
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Lauren Gin - Single Review: Remedy Feat. Janayah
14 Mar 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Lauren Gin has her goals set high. She has confessed that ever since the age of 20 she’s determined to set her name among the world of Kiwi producers.
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Flying Man - Single Review: Since You've Been Gone
14 Mar 2022 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Dunedin based; Irish born artist Flying Man released his debut single Since You’ve Been Gone on the 28th of January. A haunting acoustic ballad about the aftermath of losing someone close to you, Since You’ve Been Gone is a reflective look at life after death, and the struggle that comes with trying to go about everyday life when you’ve lost someone special.
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Lee Martin - Gig Review: Lee Martin @ Wunderbar, Lyttleton - 09/03/2022
11 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I had been waiting a very long time for this gig, but finally it was the night of Lee Martin’s album launch for Gypsy Soul. I had promised her I would be there for it, so I had taken time off work and had flown down from Auckland back home to Oxford just for this.
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David Sutton - Album Review: X
11 Mar 2022 // A review by Darryl Baser
Wellington based songwriter David Sutton has been regularly releasing albums of his original songs for a good few years now. This year he’s changed tack a bit and released a covers album.
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The Not Okays - Single/Video Review: Better Days
10 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the second single from The Not Okays, following on from their cover of Bite Me which came out towards the end of last year. Noriel Wong (guitar), Aaron Prictor (guitar, vocals), Lauren Kate Borhani (vocals), Caitlin Clark (bass) and Bahador Borhani (drums) started this band as a fun excuse to be able to go out and blast some of their favourite Emo tunes, and this is their first original.
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Lorenzo Hazelwood - EP Review: Vol. 3
10 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I first came across Lorenzo Hazelwood last year with his single Same Mistake, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but due to one or two lockdowns I had been unable to catch either him or his band, Cut To The Bone, in concert. Thankfully, that was rectified last Saturday when he performed an acoustic gig (it’s hard to undertake rock gigs in Red Traffic Light) and I came away mightily impressed with his voice and approach to music.
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Mousey - Album Review: My Friends
10 Mar 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Christchurch artist Mousey is well-recognised for her tremendous list of achievements, from Silver Scroll and Taite Music Prize Best Debut nominations, to support slots for industry giants. But the best way to prove an artist is worth listening to is simply telling you they make good music.
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Ersha Island - Double Single Review: Good Day/Gut Feeling
09 Mar 2022 // A review by Trevor Faville
Ersha Island consists of Auckland based siblings Danielle Hao-Aickin (vocals and keys) and Tee Hao-Aickin (violin) both of whom bring extensive musical training and experience into this foray into a more contemporary genre. Quite a bit of press attention has already gone the way of this duo, and even a cursory read of this reveals two highly motivated women with a clear vision of what they are doing- in terms of both the musical intent and cultural perspective.
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Aro - Single/Video Review: Tohora
09 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
When it comes to describing the music of husband and wife Charles (Ngapuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngati Te Ata, Te Ati Awa) and Emily Looker (nee Rice), AKA Aro, I have long lost all rationality as I love what they do so very much indeed. I was devastated (as were they, to be honest) when their national tour was cancelled last year when we went into lockdown, as I have not heard anyone quite like them.
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David Kirby - EP Review: Songs To Depress Your Dog
09 Mar 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Originally from Middlesbrough UK now based in Wellington, David Kirby is a singer/songwriter focusing on the unusual musical combination of folk/folk-punk acoustic songs. Songs to Depress Your Dog is Kirby's second EP, following on from his 2020 debut EP Can’t Move For Doom.
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Phil Stoodley - Single/Video Review: Shame Shame
08 Mar 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
The new single from Phil Stoodley, Shame Shame, is a fantastic track that is not only catchy but has such a vibe to it that you will be hitting repeat over and over. With a solid bass line propping up the main guitar riff, the drums hold it all together and allow for Phil's vocals to sit neatly in place, which by the way sound real and authentic.
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Ekko Park - Single Review: Breakdown
08 Mar 2022 // A review by JP Carroll
After a phenomenal-yet-pandemic-maligned album release cycle with Horizon, Ekko Park are back with a new single, Breakdown. Ekko Park (Joe Walsh (lead vocals, guitar), Bryan Bell (bass), Nick Douch (drums) and newest addition Jessie Booth (guitar, backing vocals)), are a well-established Auckland rock quartet with an international pedigree and a penchant for hooky tracks of the highest order of quality.
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Nuggiez - Single Review: The Creeps
08 Mar 2022 // A review by Paul Goddard
Zeitgeist.One of my favourite words.
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Ella Minehan - Single Review: Lavender Hearts
07 Mar 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
A despondent story of lost love boldly released the week of Valentine's Day, Christchurch pop-R&B singer Ella Minehan shines on her latest single Lavender Hearts. The track is an easy yet affecting tune, which somehow sounds exactly like its titular colour, lavender, if colours could be heard.
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Sidewinder - Album Review: Vines
05 Mar 2022 // A review by Kris Raven
Wellington's Sidewinder have just dropped their debut album Vines and coinciding NZ tour. The five-piece formed in 2020, have already made a mark on the rock NZ scene, releasing three singles (featuring on the Vines), along with national and international radio play and playing extensively in their home town and beyond.
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Jamie McDell - Album Review: Jamie McDell
04 Mar 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
What a year it has been for Kiwis in Nashville. Just last month we had Cy Winstanley from Tattletale Saints pass through (on holiday), South for Winter play a few cameo gigs supporting the release of their great little record Luxumbra, and then Jackie Bristow releases her 5th album, recorded in Nashville, while she stayed locked down here in New Zealand.
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Celeste Music - Single Review: Celeste
03 Mar 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Though the album was released last year, it’s not uncommon for artists to retroactively release songs or submit to publications. The song of choice, interestingly, is the final song off the LP Let's Go, simply entitled Celeste.
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Daniel Hayles - Album Review: Other Futures
03 Mar 2022 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Daniel Hayles is a piano and keyboard player, performing regularly in a variety of styles and settings. He also writes and arranges music for local and international artists, bands and shows.
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Tarn PK - Single Review: Street Noise
03 Mar 2022 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Singer songwriter and producer Tarn PK has been emerging in New Zealand's music scene. He is a Wellington-based artist who, so far, has released two EP’s, received over 500 thousand streams on Spotify, and has landed himself in various Apple and Spotify playlists.
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Jackie Bristow - Album Review: Outsider
03 Mar 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
Jackie Bristow has travelled a long, rough-hewn road. It’s nearly seven years since her last album, the gentle and sweet Shot of Gold.
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Metrosideros - Single Review: If This Be Love
02 Mar 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Steve S AKA Paul T Gheist was honoured to be invited into the Metrosideros camp for a hearty sample of their newest single If This be Love. Having not sat down with a cup of tea and some electro-dub music in years, Steve was completely and utterly all ears as he delved in.
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One Dead Man - Album Review: The Deal
27 Feb 2022 // A review by Kerry MB
If his name sounds familiar, Michael Baxter also fronts the Tauranga punk/noise-pop band, The Dead Man 6 and The Knids. The Deal is a 13 track slab of rock opera genius created from the confines of 2021’s lockdown and revels in honesty about anxiety and the extreme of relationships with the idea of making deals with the devil and the power of attraction and revenge.
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Gig Review: Beauty and the Bogans @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 26/02/2022
26 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I have lost count of the number of times I have been to Dead Witch, but I do know that tonight is my third visit of 2022, and definitely the very first time I have been here when everyone had to be seated. For those outside New Zealand, the current rules are that there are set maximums which venues have to work with, everyone must be seated, and wearing masks with spacing between seats.
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Die! Die! Die! - Album Review: This Is Not An Island Anymore
26 Feb 2022 // A review by Darryl Baser
Die! Die!
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Speech Act Theory - Single/Video Review: Old Versus New
25 Feb 2022 // A review by Jamie Denton
Initially conceived of as purely a studio project to fuse electronica with live drums and other instruments, Auckland-based alternative/electronica Speech Act Theory is the brainchild of producer/musician Pete Hickman alongside drummer Ben Bradford. With the project kicking off in the latter end of 2019 — which is probably not the greatest timing, with all the upcoming turmoil and disruption to live music etc.
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Glad Rabbit - EP Review: Pophits & Coffee
24 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
You must give this Dunedin quartet plenty of kudos for their name, as I don’t think I have smiled so much on seeing one since I came across Mice on Stilts years back. This is the debut release from Jack Ringhand (vocals, guitar), Ayumu Kobayashi (bass, vocals), Tom Corrigan (organ, vocals) and Ryan Finnie (drums, vocals).
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Don McGlashan - Album Review: Bright November Morning
24 Feb 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
Don McGlashan is gliding into iconic, almost patriarchal status in New Zealand’s musical heritage. His narrative is ours, his perspective the everyday, the mundane, the tragic and the joyful; snapshots of Kiwi normal, and occasionally not so.
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The Barry Holt Cohort - Single Review: 21st Century Rant
24 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Wellington band The Barry Holt Cohort comprises of Barry on guitars and vocals, Chris Coad on fretless bass and Louie Levin on drum machine. Hailing from Liverpool, Barry grew up when that city was going through a period of austerity, and it is no surprise to hear punk and post punk in his style as well as The Beatles (of course) and T-Rex.
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Greta O'Leary - Single Review: Outnumbered
24 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Outnumbered is the debut single from Poneke alt-folk artist Greta O’Leary, and from the first delicate picked notes on guitar, violin and double bass, the listener is being brought into an incredibly atmospheric world. Her voice belies her age, as one can never believe that anyone as young as this could have suffered the pain this voice brings us.
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Lee Martin - Album Review: Gypsy Soul
24 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I think I need to start this review with a series of statements. I first came across South African born Lee Martin when she signed to AAA Records for her debut NZ EP Lost Girl back in 2019, and my good friend TeMatera Smith asked me to write the press release.
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Ezra Phoenix - Single Review: Storm
24 Feb 2022 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Wellington based R&B artist Ezra Phoenix returns with his dreamy single Storm. Released on the 18th of February, Storm follows on from Ezra’s debut self-titled album, which was released in February of 2021, as well as the November release of Diamond Dress.
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Darryl Baser - Album Review: Voicemails to my Fiancee
23 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
There are some albums where the listener feels they are intruding way too much on something which is incredibly private. Back in 1979 Dennis DeYoung had a major argument with the rest of Styx as he felt that even though he had played them Babe it was way too private for it ever to be recorded and made available, but we all know he lost and even though it only made it to #3 here in NZ, it did top the charts in plenty of other countries.
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Little Ripples - Single Review: Little Bee
23 Feb 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Little Ripples are a children's music act from Whangarei Heads comprising of Sam and Emily Benges, plus their youngest son Arlo. The trio have recently released the first song from their album In My Garden.
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Human Susan - EP Review: Fun Is Fun
20 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
According to their Bandcamp page, Human Susan is an alien trying to assimilate herself into the world, navigating the absurdity and mundanity of human embodiment. A crunchy and sparkly cosmic soup.
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Viices - Single Review: Coffee
20 Feb 2022 // A review by Carl Hayman
Something a little different landed on my desk this morning, a new release from a Wellington rock trio Viices featuring Jake, Geordie, and Will. I’ve not heard Viices before, so I thought I’d read a few of their previous reviews and see if I could form a picture of what they might sound like.
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Sean Bodley - Album Review: Past Present Future: Vol. 1
20 Feb 2022 // A review by Harry Platt
The electric guitar may have faded in its pre-eminence as the foundation of popular music, but New Zealand’s own Joe Satriani Sean Bodley won’t let that get in the way of producing the most delectable and technically mesmerising instrumental guitar music in Aotearoa. His first release since 2020’s full length album Neon Daydreams; Past Present Future: Vol.
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Kendall Elise - Gig Review: Kendall Elise @ Kumeu Live, Kumeu - 19/02/2022
20 Feb 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
It’s an easy drive out west on this balmy February evening because everyone must be somewhere else or dodging aerosol missiles at home or flinching at the news from Ukraine. Kumeu Live is a small venue fashioned out of the Arts Centre with seating for 40-50 inside and an open flow outside to benches on a concrete court.
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Looking For Alaska - Gig Review: Looking For Alaska & Albi & The Wolves @ Nivara Lounge, Hamilton - 18/02/2022
19 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Last Friday saw me drive more than 100 km north to the middle of nowhere to see Looking For Alaska and Albi & The Wolves on their A Little Less Space tour which sees them share the stage throughout the night. They were just so good that tonight I drove a little further in the other direction down to Hamilton to see them all over again, with the added bonus that South For Winter were tonight’s support.
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Rewind Fields - Album Review: Rewind Fields
19 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Rewind Fields is the experimental pop recording project of Auckland singer-songwriter Callum Lee, who discovered some previously unfinished and abandoned songs on an old laptop and revisited them to make an album. When one understands where the songs originated from, this makes far more sense as it feels exactly as if it has been recovered from somewhere, as opposed to something organically pulled together at a single point in time.
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South for Winter - Gig Review: South For Winter @ The Ministry of Folk, Auckland - 17/02/2022
19 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I knew tonight was going to be a first for me, although in more ways than I originally expected. We had been asked if we were interested in reviewing an American/Kiwi folk duo, South For Winter, who live in Nashville but were in New Zealand for a couple of months and of course I agreed.
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Saurian - Single Review: Ice Cream Man
18 Feb 2022 // A review by Paul Goddard
I am going to say it. This might be controversial but the best Ice Cream is a simple Vanilla Whip in a cone.
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Boy Virgo - Single Review: Blood and Guts
17 Feb 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Ushering in the "villain era" of Kiwi hyperpop artist Boy Virgo, Blood and Guts is a messy, brutal, and endlessly exciting new single, released in collaboration with Old Pup. It’s a defining statement for Boy Virgo’s promising upcoming EP, showing the artist in a more vulnerable light than previous releases, as he makes an effort to delve into the personal whilst maintaining his trademark sound.
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Iveta & Simone - Single Review: Ticking Bomb
16 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Iveta & Simone are back with their latest single, following on from Obsessed which I reviewed back in October. This starts with some gentle piano chords, with a delicate 80’s synth over the top, and then we get some riffing distorted guitars and bass, one of the ladies starts singing gently, with a husky edge to her voice, we get some more guitars and then we are into the chorus which is bouncy and bright.
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Steven Hue - EP Review: Assembly
15 Feb 2022 // A review by Jamie Denton
At the start of December, I had the opportunity to review the double single Brainstare / Manatorquim by Tasmanian-based ex-pat Kiwi, Steven Hue. At that time, I noted that another three songs would be following shortly, and that, based on the strength of these original two, I was eagerly anticipating what this next batch would have in store.
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Mild Orange - Album Review: Looking For Space
13 Feb 2022 // A review by bethany_rachell
Mild Orange are back in New Zealand and back on the scene with their new album Looking For Space. Here is a breakdown of the key moments in the album.
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Looking For Alaska - Gig Review: Looking For Alaska & Albi & The Wolves @ Leigh Sawmill, Leigh - 12/02/2022
12 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
So, Aotearoa is in the red traffic light setting for Covid 19, gigs are being cancelled left and right, yet somehow, I found myself attending two on consecutive nights. Whereas the Thursday saw me in the middle of Auckland, Friday saw me out in the middle of nowhere.
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Villainy - Gig Review: Villainy & Dead Favours @ Raynham Park, Auckland - 10/02/2022
12 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
For those outside New Zealand, you may or may not be aware that we are currently in the red traffic light response setting for Covid 19. There are a whole load of rules and regulations around this, but the largest impact on gigs is that for anyone to attend they must be fully vaccinated and be able to prove that, while indoor limits are set to a maximum of 100 people, and everyone must be seated.
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TUi MAMAKi - EP Review: A L'Aube
11 Feb 2022 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
What an absolute pleasure to dip my toes into the cool water beneath the pier with TUi MAMAKi, and listen to her beautifully immersive EP A L’Aube. The title track is described by TUi MAMAKi as “inspired by a dream in which I met my animus : we sat together on a pier and, feeling no need to speak, played music til dawn.
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The Wax Birds - Single Review: Kansas
11 Feb 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Based in Oxford Canterbury, smooth sounding acoustic duo The Wax Birds have just released their latest single Kansas. This is the follow up to their first album Slow Rise released in 2020, which impressed me with a lush country/folk mix of beautiful harmony and gentle flowing guitar.
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Gramsci - Album Review: The Hinterlands
10 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
My personal introduction to Gramsci was 2020’s wonderful Inheritance album, and in many ways that was a rebirth as it was the first album Paul McLaney had released under that name for 15 years. He credits the revitalisation with his teaming up with Greg Haver, an award-winning Welsh record producer most renowned for his work with The Manic Street Preachers.
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In The Shallows - Single Review: Let It Go
10 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
One can discover pretty much everything they need about the new single from Wellington duo In The Shallows by looking at the cover, as Let It Go is packed full of sunshine, festivals and fun. Although related to their normal folk style, this sees Danni Parsons and Lance Shepherd produce something which is crossing the boundaries of reggae, ska and pop, with some folk in there just for good measure.
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Tryonics - Single Review: Hey
08 Feb 2022 // A review by Darryl Baser
Tryonics is the solo project of Hap Richardson, formerly of My Little Pony, Go Victim and Freezer Child. And that’s about there is to know about Tryonics, apart from a growing catalogue of tunes.
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Pencarrow - Album Review: Live At San Fran
08 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
One of the (dis)advantages of writing about music for so many years is that it is not unusual for other writers to contact me about bands/albums they feel I should be aware of. So it was, that not long after the release of Wellington band Pencarrow’s second album Growth In The Absence of Light a mate of mine in Norway contacted me to ask me if I had heard it?
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Western Dip - Album Review: Warm Ups
08 Feb 2022 // A 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.
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Stephen Riddell - Album Review: Acapella
05 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Performing with no instruments or studio trickery to hide behind is not for the fainthearted, so probably it of little surprise that it is unusual to find solo artists willing to put themselves out there like that. Possibly the one form of “popular” music where it can be found is folk, particularly folk from the British Isles where there is a long tradition of performing in that manner, deriving from the times in history when performers did not have instruments and songs were passed from one generation to another not through sheet music or recordings but by one person learning it from another.
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Brody Leigh - Single Review: Sad Club
04 Feb 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Sad Club is the debut single from 19-year-old Brody Leigh, a brooding, emotional ballad mourning the loss of a first love. It presents the incredibly intimate musings of a teenage girl on the cusp of adulthood, processing the complexities of real heartbreak in an almost frighteningly honest yet still relatable way.
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Built - Album Review: We've Been Hoping You'd Wake And Now You Have
03 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Dean Young is probably best known in New Zealand for being a radio DJ on stations such as Radio Hauraki and The Rock, but he has also been producing and releasing his own material since 1998 in different bands and guises. He started using the name Built a few years back, with the last release being the 2018 EP Here's To Sweet Sabotage.
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End Boss - Single/Video Review: Punished
03 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Lisa (MNZ) sent me a YouTube link one day and said, “Have you heard this?” I was shortly getting back to her saying no I hadn’t but was going to contact the band directly as I could not quite believe what I was hearing.
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Bevan Mical - Single Review: This Year/Resolution
03 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Thames-based lo-fi alternative indie pop musician Bevan Mical is back with his first single since last year’s Exhausting The Muse album. That was his third album, and following on from the success of that, he is bringing us into 2022 with a song of hope.
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The After - Single Review: Doesn't Matter
01 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Andrew Featherstone has been a mainstay of the New Zealand music scene for years, running his label/studio Intergalactic Records while for more than 25 years he has been running Battle of the Bands in NZ, as well as launching it internationally. If that wasn’t enough, he is also a bassist and songwriter who has performed alongside No Doubt, Collective Soul, Silverchair and Everclear.
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Fathom - Album Review: The World To Breathe
31 Jan 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I have often said that to me the purest form of music is when a musician is performing acoustically, with no effects whatsoever, just stood on the stage with no room to hide. There is nothing then between the artist and the listener, just their voice and the unplugged nature of their instrument, relying solely on their songs and performance to make that important connection.
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Motel Midnight - Single Review: Save Me
28 Jan 2022 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Motel Midnight are Reuben Keeling (vocals, bass guitar), Bruce Ferguson (vocals, guitar) and Ben Stanley (synths, beats, production). Emerging from the smoky neon haze, Motel Midnight have arrived with their new single Save Me.
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Floor Five - EP Review: The Garden
28 Jan 2022 // A review by Jamie Denton
Indie-pop/rock band Floor Five are relative new-comers on the Kiwi music scene. Following up a couple of previous singles (2020’s Overthinking and 2021’s Strawberry Wine), the Wellington based four-piece’s partially crowd-funded EP The Garden was released just as the country returned to the red light setting of the Covid protection framework.
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East York - EP Review: Origins
28 Jan 2022 // A review by JP Carroll
East York (Daz Coppins, Tarquin Keys, Zane Rosanoski, Eric Boucher) are an international amalgam of band members hailing from one part of the world, and living in another, with a Kiwi link. If their Origins EP is anything to go by, the band is certainly blessed with an international calibre.
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Tom Lee-Richards - Single Review: Human
28 Jan 2022 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Kiwi Alt-Folk artist Tom Lee-Richards is releasing his new single this January 28th. Human is a song about being out of one’s depth, confessing one’s human state of “losing ground”, and accepting their chosen fate.
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The Sam Loveridge Band - Album Review: Recovery
27 Jan 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Some albums are intense, some are incredibly hard work and only open up (sometimes, if at all) after a great many plays, and others will never be destined for mainstream radio play as there is nothing there to attract the masses. Then there are albums like this one, where all you need to do is check out the cover to have an idea of what it is going to be like inside.
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Cy Winstanley - Gig Review: Cy Winstanley @ Freida Margolis, Auckland - 26/01/2022
27 Jan 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
Zone red, and everything is being cancelled except the smallest of gigs, and best of all, an impromptu one at that, as Nashville based Cy Winstanley ventures out solo at the suggestion of old covers band mate Dave Khan. Which means of course that he’s not actually solo, just not Tattletale.
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Old Salts - Single Review: Take a Breather
27 Jan 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Old Salts are an alternative rock band that are set to leave listeners buzzed with the release of their debut single Take a Breather.Citing influences as Primus and Them Crooked Vultures, you can definitely hear this in the way the song, not only sounds but how it is written and arranged.
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Bad Llamas - Single Review: Day Dreamer
27 Jan 2022 // A review by Harry Platt
As someone who suffers from chronic mind wandering during daylight hours, Day Dreamer, the latest track from Otautahi indie rockers Bad Llamas, happens to find a resonant audience.With an almost Oasis-like commitment to the core elements of rock ’n’ roll, Day Dreamer is a fascinating song of two halves that defies conventional song structure.
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Melanie - EP Review: ABCD
25 Jan 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Since releasing their debut EP back in 2018, Auckland pop/punk outfit Melanie have been making quite a name for themselves in the old-fashioned way of doing things, namely playing anywhere and everywhere, and having total belief in themselves and their music. When I first saw them, I was impressed that here was an unsigned band who had invested in having their debut album pressed in vinyl and had a few different t-shirts available as well as some other merch including stickers.
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Trip Change - Single Review: Never Seen A Boy Like Me
24 Jan 2022 // A review by Chris Chick
It is not hard to know that I am fan of all music, I think the ability to pick up a musical instrument and compose a song is impressive. The intricacies of bringing many parts together and making the final product sound so good is beyond my capabilities.
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Gig Review: Come Together: The Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers @ Civic Theatre, Auckland - 21/01/2022
23 Jan 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie
Oh man, what a funny old time. Here we are on the brink of climate catastrophe, and another Covid wave which threatens to lock us down if not out, and yet over the past 3 months we have been able to reflect on and enjoy the two song writing partnerships which have arguably defined modern rock.
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Checaine - Gig Review: Checaine & After Forever @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 22/01/2022
23 Jan 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
As normal I got in early to the venue, then soon left again to have a beer up the road with the guys from Checaine. I was mightily impressed as they had brought a bus up from Hamilton with a load of fans onboard – one way of guaranteeing playing in a strange town in front of a friendly crowd.
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Sit Down In Front - EP Review: Fuelling My Rage
20 Jan 2022 // A review by Kris Raven
3-Piece Punk Rockers Sit Down in Front have been consistently cranking out music and gigging nationally since they began in 2017. With two full length albums, a slew of charting radio singles and music videos as well as an impressive gigging resume, they have been making their mark, leaving their statement and creating a solid body of straight up punk hits ever since.
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Wisteria Falls - Single Review: Temperamental
18 Jan 2022 // A review by Kris Raven
Introducing you to Wisteria Falls, the latest project from Auckland musician and songwriter Will Walker. Will is no stranger to the Auckland & NZ music scene or the Australian rock scene for that matter.
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Blindfolded and Led to the Woods - Gig Review: Blindfolded and Led To The Woods @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 15/01/2022
16 Jan 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I have been looking forward to tonight for ages, as Auckland went into lockdown in August with all gigs being cancelled until just before Christmas, and even then, that was with limited attendance. This means that tonight was going to be my first gig in five months, and given that I covered more than 30 in the first part of the year, that was some cold turkey.
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Fool's Lagoon - Single Review: Bizarre
13 Jan 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Bizarre is the debut single from Auckland-based quintet Fool’s Lagoon. Mark, Connor, Joe, Matt and Joshua have created a bright and summery indie pop jangler which is heavily guitar-based yet is somehow light and airy throughout.
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Powder Chutes - EP Review: Sweet Noise Pollution
11 Jan 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
There is always that little hint of concern when reading a press release for a new EP and realise it contains a quote from yours truly for the single which was taken from it. How would they take it this time around if I panned this release?
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Tall Folk - Album Review: Wiser
11 Jan 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
2021 was a wonderful musical adventure for me as I threw myself into the NZ music scene, and towards the end of the year I realised that with nearly 200 reviews of local music I really should work out my Top 10 singles, EP’s, albums and gigs (check out https://www.muzic.
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Pass The Peas - EP Review: Pop
06 Jan 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This three-track EP is the latest release from Poneke-based quintet Pass The Peas, who describe their music as Wasabi spicy Rock n' Roll, whatever that means. To my ears it means they play mid-paced alternative pop rock with a strong concentration on the gravelly and emotional vocals of Kurt with loads of space within the arrangements, which are well-produced.
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Tomorrow People - Album Review: 21
02 Jan 2022 // A review by Andrew Smit
Tomorrow People have produced a wonderful assemblage of uplifting reggae tunes that are performed and sung with heart and purpose. All 16 tracks are packed with brilliant harmonies that are propelled along by the glorious uplifting off beat rhythmic delight that reggae music delivers so well.
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Kokomo - Album Review: A Little Something From The Attic
01 Jan 2022 // A review by Chris Chick
16 Blues songs to review was my mission if I chose to accept it, well naturally I did, otherwise you would not be reading this, but let me just tell you something, was I excited? Oh you can bet your bottom dollar I was.
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Night Bus - Single Review: Fine Lines
29 Dec 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
The latest track Fine Lines from self-described electronic bedroom pop artist Night Bus is a chill affair. It is a song that builds upon a simple melodic idea and explores it while a consistent beat runs through the background.
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Justin Sane - Album Review: Rising w/ Huz
29 Dec 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Justin Sane has been DJing at clubs and events around the world since 1997, released countless remixes and bootlegs on numerous labels, hosted Party Hard Mix on The Edge for 5 years and had singles in the Top 20 New Zealand Singles Chart. In 2020, Justin Sane again teamed up with fellow singer/Songwriter Huz and began releasing music again, both tracks of which ended up in the #3 dance singles on iTunes and in the Top 30 overall NZ singles, one reaching the #10 spot.
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Stu J - Single Review: Destination Unknown
29 Dec 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
A Kiwi-born musician, producer and DJ, Stu J loves to create energetic, up-beat indie-dance songs which have an electronic feel, but still include the best parts of rock and pop. His current music feels similar to artists like MGMT and Empire of the Sun.
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Wubchaser - EP Review: Signal to Noise
29 Dec 2021 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Wubchaser is the electronic music project of Auckland-based sound engineer and producer Luke Finlay of Primal Mastering. Hailing from the alternative music scene and having previously played in metal bands, Finlay has more recently been doing live sound at big events such as RnV, Shipwrecked, Aum, and Splore.
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Lady Bonestripper - EP Review: Awaken The Snake Hips
27 Dec 2021 // A review by Harry Platt
December it a strange time. Truly exasperating month.
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Craig Payne - Album Review: A Long Time Coming
23 Dec 2021 // A review by Paul Goddard
Life's a journey.Different phases, ranging from feeling bulletproof to feeling paranoid to eventually feeling resigned to whatever happens.
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Black Sands - Single Review: Apocalypse of Eden
22 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
To my mind this single is long overdue, as I have been lucky enough to catch these guys play live a few times this year and they always put on an amazing show. Comprising Cameron Owens (guitars), Ruaidri Keens (guitars), Matt Hammond (bass) and James Trimmer (drums) they are one of those very rare breeds, a hard-hitting metal act with no need for a singer.
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Kev's Top 10's - 2021
20 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
2021 has been a strange year, of that there has been no doubt whatsoever, but although everyone in Auckland is champing at the bit to be let out into the real world, it is probably best to remind ourselves that until we went into lockdown in August we were the envy of the world with festivals, plenty of beer, and the country being totally open (apart from the borders). At that time, I had been to more than 30 gigs, and was on course to hit 50 for the year, never thinking for a minute that August would be the last time I saw a band play live.
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Samantha Josephine - Album Review: The Finished Touch
19 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
This is a direct continuation of the work displayed by Samantha on the Fly Bird Fly EP which came out a few months ago, except this time around she has managed to secure the services of drummers Mars Slater Vitai and Olive Konai, who between them share the duties on this 16-track 39-minute-long album. They fit in well with the ethos and spirit of Samantha, not attempting to bring in any finesse of polish, but instead keeping to the very lo-fi and naïve approach demonstrated by the singer/guitarist.
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Mel Parsons - Gig Review: Mel Parsons @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 16/12/2021
17 Dec 2021 // A review by Roger Bowie
You could hear a pin drop at the Tuning Fork tonight. Not the usual hum and bustle and sometimes annoying back of hall chatter.
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Brent West - Single Review: Run From The Fear
15 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
It has been a couple of years since the last release from South Auckland boy Brent West, but he is now back with his latest single. Run From The Fear is fairly lengthy for a single, at more than 5 minutes, and is packed full of emotion and angst.
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Gabriel Bond - Single Review: Lights Burn Low
14 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Class, sheer class. When I first heard this a face kept popping into my head as to who this reminded me of, but it took ages for the synapses to snap and finally it came into focus, Richard Marx.
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Fragile Colours - Album Review: Dancing With The Shadows (In Plato's Cave)
14 Dec 2021 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Studio project Fragile Colours released their second album Dancing With The Shadows (In Plato’s Cave) in June 2021, this time featuring Kamaea Harry on vocals. Nine out of the 10 tracks on the album were penned by Tim Julian specifically with Kamaea’s voice in mind after she sang most of the backing vocals on the previous album Southern Utopia.
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Brian Baker - Single Review: Everywhere You Go
13 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Brian Baker left Aotearoa some 40 years ago to find fame and fortune in Australia, and after a successful recording and touring career he has now returned home, setting up a studio and settling in an off-the-grid permaculture farm north of Auckland. His long-time sparring buddy Eddie Rayner (Split Enz, Crowded House) has provided tips and critique on this his new single, but multi-instrumentalist Brian not only produced this, but provided all the instrumentation and vocals.
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Summer Thieves - Album Review: Paradise Down The Road
13 Dec 2021 // A review by Lou Clement
As a cyclone bears down on the city, I’m hoping that Summer returns to us… especially with this, what could be the soundtrack to the summer, the second album release from pop-indie outfit Summer Thieves. The opening track Pages straddles a gentle reggae beat and a chorus that cries out for a beach day party.
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Coridian - Single Review: Endless War
12 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
If you had told me at the beginning of the year that we would be ending 2021 and I had only seen Coridian play a few times I would have laughed at you. Mind you, we also expected the full-length album, Hava, as well but COVID 19 has a way of messing up the best laid plans.
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Channeled - Single Review: Breathe
12 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Multi-instrumentalist Ben Ruegg is back with his latest single as Channeled, which also now appears to have a new logo. I have always been impressed with this band, either live or in the studio, but here Ben is moving in a slightly different direction, and I am not sure if it has come off entirely as he would have liked.
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Kaylee Bell - Album Review: Silver Linings
12 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Kaylee Bell is the most streamed female Country artist from Australasia, with more than 30 million to date, with her recent hit single That Summer breaking the million and being the most added song to mainstream radio in New Zealand in the month of release. That is one of the eight songs on this rather short album, which is less than 25 minutes long with every song being just either side of the three-minute mark with the longest being the title cut at 3:33.
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SuperFly Killa - Single Review: Hold I Down
10 Dec 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
A vast array of interests, influences, and experiences have come together in an amalgamation of soul, reggae, Dub, and rock. SuperFly Killa are a fresh new sound who reside on the sunny shores of Gisborne, NZHold I Down is a fantastic, fantastic track!
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Investigator - Single Review: Don't Touch Me!
09 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Earlier this year Investigator made it into the official NZ charts for the first time with Lake of Eyes, a wonderful achievement for a fully independent self-funded outfit. Since then, there has been the minor issue of an Auckland lockdown which prevented them from building on that success on the live circuit, but now they are back with the next single.
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Written By Wolves - Single Review: Papercut
09 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
There is no doubt that 2021 has been a hard ride emotionally for Written By Wolves. They went through the process of re-recording tracks from their ‘Secrets’ album and putting them out as The Collab Project//Secrets, baring their soul to get people talking about mental illness.
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In The Shallows - Single/Video Review: There You Are
09 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
2021 has been a voyage of discovery for me in the NZ Music scene, and it may have taken a lengthy road trip, but earlier in the year I finally managed to catch up with In The Shallows who have the temerity to live in the capital as opposed to Auckland. I fell in love with their debut album last year, which includes the wonderful singles Hold On and Take It Easy, and here they are now back with new music.
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Ayla Wesley - Single Review: Salamanders
09 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
This is the debut single from Ayla Wesley, a young alt folk/indie artist who has been playing gigs in Tauranga and Auckland over the last few years. It commences with a few electric guitars combining to set an ambience until it settles down to just one guitar being gently played as if it were acoustic, just strummed to accompany Ayla’s fresh and inviting voice.
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Aro - Single Review: Muramura
09 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
At this time of the year, it is common to look back and think about what we have experienced, and while anyone living in Auckland will happily complain about the last 3+ months (with good reason), we were all able to experience live music earlier in the year if we so wished. One of the highlights of 2021 for me was seeing Aro at Auckland Folk Festival, and since then I have been busy discovering their music.
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Neutrikk - EP Review: E-P 2
08 Dec 2021 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Auckland duo Neutrikk have just released their second EP. Cleverly called E-P 2, I must admit to spending longer than I should have trying to find the name of the EP in the Bio.
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Tony Lee - Single Review: Closer
08 Dec 2021 // A 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.
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Lee Martin - Single/Video Review: Finally Going My Way
07 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
One of the sheer delights of Lee Martin’s new album, Gypsy Soul, which is due out in February, is the incredible amount of diversity contained within it. During the recording process, songs were rearranged, many discussions were had, and the album ended up being taken in some directions which probably were not in anyone’s minds at the beginning of the process.
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Pass The Peas - Single Review: Too Much Touch
07 Dec 2021 // A review by Adrian Drew
Right from the off Too Much Touch roars into life, Pass The Peas are back with a big sound and massive hooks... I'm hooked.
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Ella Pollett - Single Review: Hold On
07 Dec 2021 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Hawkes Bay singer songwriter Ella Pollett released her second single Hold On on the 20th of November.The 16 year old songwriter has already celebrated success with Hold On, with the song taking out the top prize in the solo category at this year's regional Smokefree Rockquest competition.
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Solo Ono - EP Review: Lavender
06 Dec 2021 // A review by Steve Shyu
Poneke/Wellington three-piece garage rock act Solo Ono recently unveiled their newest effort, the EP Lavender. Recorded in Newtown, Wellington by Warwick Donald, mastered by Mike Gibson, and boasting a dazzling cover art by Tristam Sparks, the collection of tunes is set out to be the group’s best effort yet.
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Steven Hue - Double Single Review: Brainstare / Mantorquim
06 Dec 2021 // A review by Jamie Denton
Ex-pat Kiwi now based in Tasmania, Steven Hue may be familiar to many through his previous work as former vocalist and co-writer for popular experimental band Full Code, his stint studying at the Nelson School of Music, or his commission work which has seen him produce work for art installations, short files, and video games. Turning his hand to solo electronic music, Steven has just released a double single of two new tracks: Brainstare and Manatorquim.
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One Dead Man - Single Review: Angeline
05 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
One Dead Man is Michael Baxter from Tauranga bands The Dead Man 6 and The Knids, who came up with the idea during lockdown of putting together a collection of songs which would work together as a rock opera or concept album, and he settled on the idea of relationships and making deals with the devil (both metaphorically and spiritually) to satisfy your own needs and wants. The Deal will be released by the end of the year, so for now here is the single, Angeline, which is sung by the character of Gabriel, played by Kingsley Smith (Knightshade) who also provides piano on the track.
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Nigel Parry - Single Review: One Word War
02 Dec 2021 // A review by Darryl Baser
“Me job to pick off the Hun, In the sights a lad like me, One shot, and I’m alone;” just a few of the lines of this stunning, beautiful and at times harrowing poem based on Nigel Parry’s family history of relations serving in World War I. 7:56 is typically too long for a single, Queen found that out when they first tried to release Bohemian Rhapsody.
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Mahoney Harris - Single Review: Band in Town
02 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Band In Town is the latest single from folk/pop singer Mahoney Harris. Inspired by memories of her mum and friends getting ready for nights out, the cover actually features both her mother (on the left) and her godmother.
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SWEATR - Single Review: Every Time Feat. teens
02 Dec 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
Music producer Will Henderson, known for efforts with Janine, CHAII and Foley, launches his own artist project SWEATR with the release of single Every Time, in collaboration with teens. It's an electronic fanfare booming with bass, 808s and distinct personality.
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Lazy Fifty - Album Review: 2021: A Lazy Odyssey
01 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Lazy Fifty are Adrian Athy (vocals, guitar), Ryan Raggett (bass), and Ali Sochacki (drums), and they play traditional solid Seventies-style melodic hard rock. This is their fourth album, and to put is simple is an absolute blast from start to finish and a load of fun.
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How To Escape Reality - Single Review: Not Another Pop Punk Christmas
30 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
How To Escape Reality were formed in 2020, by songwriter Samuel Fistonich with the help of his brothers and his wife to create music which was heavily influenced from the Emo and pop punk movement. Samuel and his family grew up in China, and this song was written with Mason May, a friend of the band from those days.
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The Treasury - EP Review: It's Warm Now
30 Nov 2021 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
The Treasury had exactly the genre of sound I expected from the bio, but with a presence and rich darkness to the tone thatI wasn't anticipating. Not dark like the musings of a goth rock icon destined to die at 23 but dark like a sexy old vampire.
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Dylan Storey - Single/Video Review: Foreign Sands
30 Nov 2021 // A review by Trevor Faville
Dylan Storey is based in Auckland and is the kind of musician who steadfastly treads his own path, be it as a contributing guitarist for the likes of Reb Fountain and Fleur Jack, or working in a variety of pro bands- as well as writing and releasing his own work. Storey maintains an impressive work rate and eclectic output.
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Rei - Album Review: Enjoy The Ride
29 Nov 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Enjoy The Ride showcases Rei’s diversity and prowess as a musician and producer with its mix of rap, pop, R&B and UK flavour, it’s a fusion of innovative styles. Written over the past 2 years, mixed and mastered by Kog Studio’s Chris Chetland and supported by NZ On Air, this project is a musical ride in itself.
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A Radical Sun - Single Review: Love Shakes
28 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Everyone in Auckland has been incredibly frustrated with the lockdown which has now stretched past 100 days, impacting everyone inside the borders. Obviously one group which have been unable to work are the gigging musicians, which has seen some of them go into the studio or even start new projects.
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The Not Okays - Single/Video Review: Bite Me
28 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
The Not Okays are a band who originally formed a few years ago just to have some fun at the Emo nights put on at Ding Dong Lounge. They comprise Noriel Wong (guitar), Aaron Prictor (guitar, vocals), Lauren Kate Borhani (vocals), Caitlin Clark (bass) and Bahador Borhani (drums).
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Ellery Daines - Single Review: No-One
27 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Ellery Daines is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer, and mixing engineer from Nelson, now based in the Norwegian Arctic city of Tromsø. Over the last five years he wrote, recorded, and mixed his debut album, Failure Thirty Minutes Deep, scheduled for release in 2022 and No-One is the first single and is a truly solo affair as Ellery performed all instruments and vocal parts, as well as producing and mixing the song.
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Fathom - Single Review: Mother Star
26 Nov 2021 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Mother Star is the debut single that introduces Fathom, solo project of Auckland-based Nancy Howie, to the world, with an extravagant and emphatic throwing back of the curtains, and a celebratory sense of letting the sun shine in. I suspect the incredibly creative and resourceful Howie has single-handedly ushered in the Age of Aquarius with this wholesome and uplifting alt-folk anthem.
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Cloudy - Single Review: Worth It
25 Nov 2021 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Kiwi-Austrian artist Cloudy’s new single Worth It ushers in a new sound and a new era for the Auckland-based singer/songwriter. Now accompanied by a full band, the vibe and the energy of the material has been lifted, and this has opened up exciting new songwriting territory for Claudia Paine and her upcoming EP.
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Jaz Paterson - EP Review: Ache
25 Nov 2021 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Emerging pop artist Jaz Paterson launches her debut EP Ache today, Friday 26th November. The Geraldine raised, Christchurch based artist has proved she is one to watch with previously released singles Lonely, Ache and NZ On Air funded LA.
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Radius Kink - Album Review: Orange Room
24 Nov 2021 // A review by Kerry MB
Radius Kink have been around for a while now with a few releases up their sleeve, so it’s hard to believe this ‘new’ release of theirs is actually ten years old. The five piece hailing from Christchurch is made up of father and daughter, Dawn Hendriske (vocals, guitar) Gary Hendriske (vocals, bass), a next door neighbour and couple of mates (in no particular order) Gordon Goodinson (vocals, guitar) and Simon Gemmill (drums, keyboard, guitar).
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Street Georges - Single Review: Different Kind of Girl Feat. Aung Zin
24 Nov 2021 // A review by Chris Poipoi
Street Georges' front man maestro Richard Beckmannflay brings us his third single Different Kind of Girl, another lockdown song hot off the press following on from previous 2020 lockdown project which was fittingly entitled Last Lockdown. My initial reaction brought back memories of 70's funk band Parliament.
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Aidan Ripley - Single Review: Let Us Bloom
24 Nov 2021 // A review by Darryl Baser
Teenage singer-songwriter Aidan Ripley released his new single Let Us Bloom on all platforms October 2021. The song is a stripped back acoustic guitar song which sounds like a solo love ballad, until Ripley’s partner Caspian Wilder adds her voice.
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The Sam Loveridge Band - Single/Video Review: I Wanna Dance
21 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Sam and the guys are back with the second single from the forthcoming album, Recovery, and if ever they were looking for radio play I can pretty much guarantee this will not be getting it with this one. The simple reason is that in the key part of the chorus, people get asked to go forth and multiply, and somehow, I don’t think the mainstream are quite ready for that yet.
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Gramsci - Single/Video Review: Ourselves
18 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
I first came across Gramsci last year when they released the amazing album Inheritance, which was then followed up with a theatre performance which was stunning by all accounts (I was gutted not to be able to make it). But I am very late to the piece indeed, as Gramsci are the brainchild of Paul McLaney who is so productive that he has lost count of the works he has undertaken to date.
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Pervertor - Album Review: Putrid Dominion
18 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Wellington-based blackened thrash outfit Pervertor are back with their third-full length album, Putrid Dominion, some four years since Perverted Tales of Depravity. Since they released their first demo back in 2009 the band have had the same line-up throughout of Necroar (vocals), Inebriator (guitar), Carnage (bass), and Rots (drums).
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Adam Hattaway & The Haunters - Album Review: Rooster
18 Nov 2021 // A review by Roger Bowie
There’s a rooster down south, hiding out in Woolston, Christchurch and this rooster struts around like Jagger, high kicks Van Morrison out of the henhouse, and wakes you up in the morning with a raucous squawk. Why won’t that rooster shut the fuck up?
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On Tick - Album Review: Nothing New
18 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
On Tick was formed by brothers Brendan (vocals and drums) and Aidan O'Loughlin (vocals, guitar), out of the ashes of their previous band, Evil Tomato. They decided to work as a rough and raw punk duo, adapting some of the older songs to their new style, a few of which can be heard here.
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Ladyhawke - Album Review: Time Flies
18 Nov 2021 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Ladyhawke returns with her highly anticipated fourth studio album Time Flies. Her first album in four years since 2016's Wild Things, Time Flies is a shift away from Ladyhawke's more pop rock sound, and a return to her 80's synth pop roots.
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Goodspace - Single Review: Kicking Stones
18 Nov 2021 // A review by Harry Platt
"Catchiness" is a strange creature sometimes. It can lurk in places unexpected, or even uninvited.
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Neverwoz - EP Review: The Elysian EP
18 Nov 2021 // A review by Adrian Drew
Neverwoz - The Elysian EP, is the follow up to the 2018 Minor Words and Major Thirds album. The album was recorded towards the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 on the Kapiti Coast by Karl and Charlie Wootton (Merrin).
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Powder Chutes - Single Review: Take It Or Leave It
17 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
I must confess to doing a little bit of a double take when I first saw a photo of these guys, as it looked like none of them were old enough to shave! A check of their bio and I was able to see that the band comprises Archie Orbell (16), Clarke West (16), Henry McConnell (16) & Otis Murphy (14) – when a group put their age into their bio you know they are young.
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SOL3 MIO - Album Review: Coming Home
17 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to catch these guys at Spark Arena and it was truly one of the greatest concerts I have ever attended. Given that my idea of a great night often consists of high energy metal of one type or another, I would not normally say that about an evening of light opera.
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DeLaye - EP Review: Blankspace.
17 Nov 2021 // A review by Gareth Heta
20 year old producer DeLaye creates music that defies easy description. Inhabiting the experimental electronic space pioneered by the likes of Aphex Twin and championed by modern masters such as Flying Lotus and Four Tet, his music features fat glitch-hop bass kicks and chopped beats anchoring sonic explorations that ebb and flow with intent.
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Henika - Album Review: Strange Creatures
16 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
It is safe to say that I listen to more varied music than the average person, and I have no idea how many albums I have reviewed over the last 30+ years but it is many thousands, and I have written well in excess of a million words on the subject. This means I am rarely surprised, and it is not often I come across something and can honestly say I have never heard anything quite like it before, but this is one of those times.
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Charles Aston - Single Review: Pedestal
16 Nov 2021 // A review by Lou Clement
Pedestal appears to be a song about doubt. Self-criticism is one of those things that many wrestle with, and listening to Charles Aston’s new single is a chance to hear a perceptive lyricist with a hearty country-esque vocal tone tackle the subject.
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Mac Summer - Single Review: Web of Life
16 Nov 2021 // A review by Gareth Heta
Mac Summer  may be a brand new name to drum & bass fans, but this new alter ego comes from Malcolm Welsford, who has been involved in the NZ music scene for over 30 years, most famously as the man behind the legendary York Street Recording Studios. Having produced a range of guitar-based Kiwi bands from Shihad to Supergroove, he has perhaps surprisingly turned to electronic music production with this foray into the saturated drum & bass market.
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Sabreen Islam - Single Review: Like A Movie
16 Nov 2021 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Auckland based young singer-songwriter Sabreen Islam has just released her follow up single to Glow in the trilogy of pop-oriented singles. Like A Movie is a track firmly aimed at the youth market "capturing the rift between romcoms and real life".
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Alba Rose - EP Review: Silhouette
12 Nov 2021 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Wellington based singer songwriter Alba Rose has released her lush four track EP, Silhouette. A beautifully rich collection of soulful jazz, contemporary in its delivery incorporating an indie-pop and neo-soul sound wrapped around playful harmonious lyrics.
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Sit Down In Front - Single/Video Review: Pixie Caramel Feat. Tiki Taane
11 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
When punk hit the UK in 1976, I loved the high-octane high energy music which came out of the scene and was quite surprised when the adults around me said there was no melody, and it was just a load of noise. The first wave of the new punk scene was made up of musicians who had been part of the earlier pub rock craze, so they knew what they were doing, and were far more musically inclined than many gave them credit for.
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NOVA - EP Review: NOVA
11 Nov 2021 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
A pleasure to review this debut self-titled EP from NOVA; the new musical project of Wellington locals Bryn van Vliet and Eliza Pickard, joined by Jeremy Richardson and Phoebe Johnson. The vibe is soothing, relaxed, and calming, and is a very nice listen indeed.
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Abby Wolfe - EP Review: Lose Myself
10 Nov 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
Abby Wolfe’s Lose Myself collects three previously released singles alongside the all-new titular track into an empowered EP, blending sweet acoustics with vibrant pop into a distinctive debut for the Dunedin-raised pop artist.Enthralling opener Lose Myself boasts credits from heavyweights like Djeisan Suskov, Nik Brinkman, Ciaran McMeeken, and Ambian & Sleo, thanks to its creation at APRA Songhubs.
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Before The Snooze - Album Review: Wipe The Slate
09 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Dunedin alt rock jangly indie pop heroes Before The Snooze are back with their debut album, following from the EP which was released a few years back. The lead track of that set, That’s A Fact!
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French For Rabbits - Album Review: The Overflow
09 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
French For Rabbits are back with their eagerly awaited third album, which is their first for AAA Records (home of Troy Kingi, Lee Martin etc.).
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Graham Candy - EP Review: Keep On Smiling
09 Nov 2021 // A review by Madeleine Howard
If you’re looking for the perfect sound track to summer, Graham Candy has got you covered with his latest release, EP Keep On Smiling, released on October 22nd. After relocating to Berlin to begin his music career, New Zealand born Graham Candy has enjoyed success collaborating with popular German DJ Alle Farben on the international hit She Moves.
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Scalper - Single Review: Toxicity Toxifies
08 Nov 2021 // A review by Steve Shyu
There appears to be no down-time for artists like Scalper. Album after album, one impressive single after another.
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Will McClean - EP Review: Will McClean and The Zooks - Live At The Surgery
06 Nov 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Will McClean and The Zooks - Live At The Surgery EP is a hat tip to live hip-hop. The band is super tight with wonderful guitar licks working wonderfully over top of the rhythm section.
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Jackie Bristow - Single/Video Review: Without You
06 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest single from Nashville-based Jackie Bristow, and no-one coming across this for the first time would realise that she hails not from America but from Gore, a small town towards the bottom of the South Island with a population in the district of just 13,000. Mind you, one of Gore’s claims to fame is that it is the centre of Country & Western music in Aotearoa (New Zealand), which obviously had a huge impact on Jackie in her formative years.
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Imperial Slave - Album Review: Imperial Slave
04 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Sam Sheppard is probably best thought of as the powering drummer for the likes of 8 Foot Sativa and Sinate, and now he is back with his latest project, Imperial Slave. This time around, as well as providing drums on the album, he is also the lead singer and main songwriter.
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Lee Martin - Single/Video Review: What If I Die
04 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
I guess I really ought to disclose that as well as writing the press release for Lee Martin’s last EP, and for the album from which this song is taken from (called Gypsy Soul, it is out in February!), but I was also in the studio when some of the album was being recorded.
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Marianne Leigh - EP Review: Simple Things
04 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
A few months ago, I came across the debut single from young Auckland-based singer-songwriter Marianne Leigh, Sweet Goodbyes, and now she is back with a six-track EP titled Simple Things. I thoroughly enjoyed her release gig, and at the time I said I would have enjoyed it more if she had utilized an acoustic more, but on that night, there were some technical problems, so she played electric, but the acoustic is well to the fore in this set.
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Bediquette - EP Review: Not Now
04 Nov 2021 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
If somebody decided to make an EP out of samples they ripped from a pirate alien distress beacon it might sound like Not Now. It feels like somebody's beaming a scrambled signal from a haunted bunker.
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Something Zesty - Single / Video Review: Footprintz
03 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Something Zesty are back with their fifth single, Footprintz, which sees the vocal debut of Isaac Chamberlain. This sees the duo of Isaac and Andrew Conlon move away from heavy funk they have become renowned for, and instead strip their music down to its most basic, guitar and voice.
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False Heights - Single Review: Inhale
03 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Inhale is the third single from Taupo based duo False Heights, April Pirie (vocals, keyboards) and Ashley Pirie (drums, guitars, vocals). They say they are inspired by a wide range of artists (Jimmy Eat World, The Cranberries, Taylor Swift, Bring Me The Horizon, Sigrid, Blink 182, Lorde etc.
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On Tick - Single Review: Rats
03 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
The On Tick trio are back with the next single, Rats, from their forthcoming album, Nothing New, which will be out later in November. I don’t know how many times I have seen guitarist/singer Aidan, his brother Brendan (drums) and 5-string bassist Matt play over the last 12 months, but it has been a few, and each and every time it is a blast.
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EM/FM - Album Review - Quixote
03 Nov 2021 // A review by Gareth Heta
Fitting snugly into the still-relatively underground retrowave sound (an umbrella term loosely used to describe the synthwave/vaporwave microgenres), EM/FM’s debut LP Quixote taps directly into the 80’s nostalgia vein and mines it for woozy pathos and dreamy yearning. Utilising many of the hallmarks of 80’s synth-heavy composers and movie soundtracks, from Phil Collins-esque reverbed drums, plucked bass twang, and all the analog synth tones you could dream of, it’s a fascinating re-composition of elements elevated to pastiche by focusing on real emotion and modern songwriting.
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Head Like A Hole - Single Review: Goliath
03 Nov 2021 // A review by Carl Hayman
Head Like A Hole, arguably one of the greatest and most influential kiwi rock bands of our time. These guys have been around since longer than I’ve been listening to Rock!
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Jazz Night at the Aquarium - EP Review: Tabula Rasa
02 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Tabula Rasa is the first of three EPs being released by Julian van der Krogt under the name Jazz Night at the Aquarium, who wrote the songs, provided the vocals and guitars (and the artwork) while James Cartwright played bass and drums. Originally, he was planning to release a single 12-track album, but when he was working on the songs, he realized that they were better grouped in three sets of four, which is why he is releasing them in this format.
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Mini Simmons - Single Review: Railroad For Two
01 Nov 2021 // A review by Chris Chick
I had the privilege of listening to another cracking song by Mini Simmons. Their latest release Railroad For Two hit my ears and I am happy to say, my heart was warmed by such a melodic and poignant song that is perfect for any setting where peace and calm are the order of the day.
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Harry Hodgman - EP Review: Puzzle
01 Nov 2021 // A review by Roger Bowie
Harry Hodgman plays the piano. He sings a little as well, a bit like Rufus Wainwright or Perfume Genius.
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This Silent Divide - EP Review: Tall Stories
31 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
I first came across Wellington-based melodic rock band This Silent Divide last month when they released the excellent single Lucinda, so when I heard they would be playing in Auckland and also releasing an EP I of course signed up for both. While the gig may have been postponed due to a certain lockdown (hopefully they will make it up here next year), the 4-track EP has still been released, which is what I am now listening to.
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Jacquie Walters - Album Review: The Forest
31 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Jacquie Walters has been active in the folk scene for more than 30 years, firstly as part of the group Pounamu before turning solo, and now performs regularly with bassist/guitarist James Wilkinson. James appears on the final track of this album, and harp player Maria Oxnam also makes an appearance - both James and Maria played on Jacquie’s first album all the way back in 1993.
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Older - Album Review: HUMAN+
31 Oct 2021 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Waikato based British producer Jel Legg and Kiwi singer Julie Legg are Post Punk band Older. Following on from their debut album Silence (2019) is their anticipated second album HUMAN+, which is due for release 1st November 2021.
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Bundy Lore - Album Review: Failures Peach
30 Oct 2021 // A review by Darryl Baser
Duncan Harwood (Dumb Dumb Head, Happy Hearse) releases his debut solo album Failures Peach under the moniker Bundy Lore. I’ve heard a lot of great first albums and Failures Peach sits nicely amongst them.
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Samuel Philip Cooper - Single Review: A Perfect Vision
28 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Wellington-based pianist Samuel Philip Cooper released his debut album in 2020 to raise awareness around mental health and raise funds for the Voices of Hope Mental Health Charity through a Givealittle fundraiser and physical CD sales. In January of this year, he was sat at home one night reflecting on what had happened so far and what the future may hold, and in that quiet time he sat and gently improvised some music which has now become the basis for this, his new single.
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Voodoo Bloo - Single Review: Skin
28 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
I first came across Voodoo Bloo at the time of their debut album, Jacobus, which was released towards the end of last year. Back then the band was pretty much ex-Lucifer Gunne frontman Rory McDonald, but now he has been joined by Daniel Maslen (guitars), Oli Cass (bass) and Jackson Kidd (drums) while still providing guitar and vocals himself.
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Rain - EP Review: No Promises
28 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
I first came across Rain in August last year with the release of the debut single Forget About You, since when there has been a string of singles, all of which have been thoroughly enjoyable. Rain came to fruition when Cathy Elizabeth, lead singer of Wellington-based band No Surrender found herself in lockdown and decided to form a studio-based project with sound engineer and producer Thomas Te Taite.
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Mat Gat - Single Review: Washed Away
27 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
There are times when some music is so personal that the listener feels they are intruding in an area they have no right to be involved with. That is the case here, as Mat Gat and his fiancée suffered the heartbreak of a miscarriage at 3 months.
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Oh Indigo - Single Review: Wondering
27 Oct 2021 // A review by Lou Clement
Oh Indigo are a new electronic musical duo composed of Sofia Machray and Connor Taumoepeau, based in Wellington, both with their own significant musical projects behind them. Their debut single Wondering was released on 22 October, 2021.
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Curlys Jewels - Single Review: Liberate
26 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Curlys Jewels are a Wellington-based hard rock band comprising singer person, Jel Pollock, Aaron Ludlow (guitar), Andy van der Heyden (bass) and Corey Bell (drums). Over the years they have played with some of the heavyweights of the NZ scene such as Villainy, Devilskin and The Feelers as well as supporting international acts such as Living Color and have also had success in the NZ Top 40 Singles chart.
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Apollo SteamTrain - Album Review: Generation Overload
25 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
It is safe to say that the debut album from Apollo SteamTrain, which is guitarist/singer/songwriter Brendan McCarthy plus assorted musicians from the Tauranga area, has been quite some time coming. I can count at least 7 singles which have been released from this 11-track album over the last five years, but a project which started in 2014 and took in 3 studios has finally been completed and we should all be grateful for that.
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Claemus - Album Review: Daydream
21 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
When I heard that Hutt Valley band Claemus had released their debut album I was immediately intrigued, as I came across the single Hedonist a few months ago, and given the number of influences and styles they had managed to ram into 5 minutes what could they do with a full album? These guys have managed to secure support slots with bands as diverse as P.
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Belladonna - Single Review: Wide Awake
21 Oct 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
Indie-pop darling Belladonna offers a blissful new musical fantasy with her latest release, Wide Awake. Musing on the great questions of life that keep her up at night, the song finds Belladonna “starting to take comfort” in her curiosities, creating a spacious, tranquil number ideal for late-night meditation.
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Kevin Posey - EP Review: The Story of Francis
21 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Oklahoma native Kevin Posey lives in Auckland these days, and throughout his musical career he has investigated different types and styles of music, and for this EP he has moved into yet another area, as what we have here is classical music that has been inspired by Halloween and psychological thrillers. Some, such as Fog Forest No.
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Jolandi Ford - Single Review: I'm Ready
21 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
This is Jolandi Ford’s third single since moving to Aotearoa from her native South Africa, and right from the first note one can why she has already been making a dent in international Country music charts. Although her voice is lighter in some ways, with a nice twang, her approach is quite reminiscent to the more rock-based approach of the likes of Shania Twain.
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Cking - Single/Video Review: No Snakes Feat. Dilz
21 Oct 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Cking is the Brisbane-based, New Zealand-bred rapper who’s eclectic catalogue of hits has seen him share the stage with everyone from T-Pain to Kerser, and now, he’s linked up with fellow NZ emcee Dilz for a hard-hitting banger, No Snakes. Cking and Dilz each come lyrically strapped with passionate and emotive verses, matching the energy of the rapid-fire, earth-rattling production alongside them.
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Khailana - Single Review: The Gnome King
20 Oct 2021 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
The delicate ringing of a single piano chord, like the rhythmic tolling of a funeral bell, seems fitting for a song about the potential ending of a relationship … stark in its simplicity, yet beautiful in its tragedy. An ethereal choir of voices are the only other accompaniment for Khailana’s poignant and resolute opening lines, concluding with the single strum of a tremolo-heavy electric guitar.
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Dallas Harvey - Single Review: Patience
20 Oct 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Auckland City’s up and coming Hip-Hop artist Dallas Harvey is a breath of fresh air with his honest lyricism, piecing his life together through story-telling and music. Mentored by the likes of Church from Church & AP, Chris RL and Melodownz, Dallas has built a well-versed understanding of self throughout his development at Te Karanga Navigators songwriting and production sessions.
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Comf - EP Review: Water
20 Oct 2021 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Comf is the solo project of sonic artist and electronic music lover Jazz Kane. With an appreciation and fascination for a diversity of genre, Comf connects their own personal experiences with manipulated samples of anything and everything, to tell a story that is a constant state of re-evaluation.
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Eurenza - EP Review: Good Luck... You're Gonna Need It
19 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Eurenza were originally formed seven years ago as Timeless, but eventually decided to go with a more uncommon name, and now have delivered their first five-track EP. Interestingly, much of this was recorded some time ago in preparation for an album, but they instead decided to go with the strongest tracks instead and cut it back.
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Stewart Allan - Album Review: 9 Rooms
18 Oct 2021 // A review by Roger Bowie
Oh my goodness, how many more hidden talents do we have in this lockdown land? Stewart Allan has been a musician for over 20 years and first made a name for himself in a forest in Poland before the wall came down.
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Sam Bartells - Single Review: Bring You Down
17 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Sam Bartells is back with his new single Bring You Down, which finds him taking quite a different approach to Where We'll Go, which also featured Mema Wilda. Whereas he normally sits quite happily within alt country, here we see him using that as a base and then moving in a much rockier direction.
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Bingo Fighter - Single Review: Hobbits
17 Oct 2021 // A review by Steve Shyu
From the get-go, you knew this wouldn’t really be a ballad on social issues or an ode to unrequited love. No, the track is titled Hobbits, so if it wasn’t themed around fictitious, village-dwelling humanoids of short stature then confiscate my second breakfast and call a fool of a Took.
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Danica Bryant - Single Review: Ready To Bite
16 Oct 2021 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
I'm loving this dynamic pop explosion from Danica Bryant! The rock edge is really working for you, girl!
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Michael Llewellyn - Album Review: Oh My Darling
14 Oct 2021 // A review by Darryl Baser
Even though the press for Michael Llewellyn’s Oh My Darling album describe it as "a break up album in its purest", it seems he may have worked through some of the heartache and misery by the time he recorded it. It begins with the up-tempo Doolie, which sounds like a new romance beginning, full of love and hope.
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Jessica Leigh - EP Review: Summerland
14 Oct 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
Following her popular June release Summer Royalty, Jessica Leigh proudly offers her second EP Summerland, a sweltering collection of songs telling the story of a doomed summer romance through synth-pop and singer-songwriter stylings.Summerland opens subtly, with gentle guitar and quiet synths on Met Him At A Party, where Leigh introduces the EP’s vital romance with utmost sincerity.
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Jenny Mitchell - Single Review: Trouble Finds A Girl with Tami Neilson
14 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
The Auckland Folk Festival earlier this year was an embarrassment of riches, with so many great Kiwi artists playing multiple sets, and I spent the weekend trying to soak in as much as possible. There is no doubt that one of the highlights was Jenny Mitchell, who with her sisters Nicola and Maegan, provided warm and emotional country music in a style which seemed very much at odds with her age.
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Bianca Rae - Single Review: Flower
14 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
There are times when the music world is very small indeed, which is why earlier this year I found myself at The Portland Public House in Auckland to see a singer-songwriter, having been put in contact by a fellow reviewer who is in the UK. Even though Bianca Rae was the support, and everything was running late, she refused to let anything get to her, and I thoroughly enjoyed her set.
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Blue River Baby - Single Review: Green Cones
14 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Following on from the single Pay, which I reviewed a few months back, Blue River Baby (BRBB) are back with the second single from their second album, which is due next year. We find them moving much more into a dub style, with Ree Thomson’s wonderfully clear vocals very much the centre of attention.
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Slow Rage - Album Review: The Low-Down
14 Oct 2021 // A review by River Tucker
Every once in a while a release comes along that is just oozing with originality and that’s the case with Slow Rage’s debut album The Low-Down. Eleven tracks of pure musical goodness integrate a number of diverse styles that you cannot help but appreciate.
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Solo Ono - Single Review: Domesticated
13 Oct 2021 // A review by Kerry MB
Solo Ono are one of those bands that has been kicking about since 2011, yet still feel like a hidden secret. Over the years they have released singles, a full-length self-titled album and a handful of EP’s.
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Darryn Harkness - Album Review: Rare Grooves And Tone Research Volume 1
13 Oct 2021 // A review by Roger Bowie
I met Darryn Harkness a few weeks ago when he supported Andrew Fagan in a little gig in a little bar called The St Heliers Bay Pigeon Racing Club. Yes.
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The Hopkinsville Goblins - Album Review: Mundivagrants
12 Oct 2021 // A review by Peter-James Dries
Mundivagrants is a weird release. Probably one of the strangest I’ve had to review.
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The Jesse Wilde Band - Album Review: Headin' South
12 Oct 2021 // A review by Roger Bowie
With a name like Jesse Wilde you’d be sure he must be an outlaw. Especially when he looks a lot like Duane Allman in his cover photo.
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Ms.Take - Single Review: Maybe That's Just What I Am
11 Oct 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
The dystopian Trap Jam Maybe That's Just What I Am is the second official single from Ms.Take, a follow up to 2018's Silver & Gold, and a 2020 lockdown collaboration with Melbourne-based artist F.
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Downfall of Humanity - EP Review: Deceit
10 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
It is not often that a band can say they have had the same line-up for more than 10 years, but Auckland metal act Downfall of Humanity can claim just that. Daniel Carleton (lead vocals), Alex Carleton (guitars, backing vocals), Bryce Patten (guitars, backing vocals), Ben Pegman (bass) and Ben Bakker (drums) have a reputation for always delivering the goods, and I count myself lucky to have caught them a few times in the last year.
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The Rocky Bay Midnights - Album Review: Songs About People We Know
10 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
The Rocky Bay Midnights are a Waiheke Island-based group who first started some three years ago when Meredith Wilkie (vocals, percussion) and Kyla Dyresen (keyboard/piano) were both independently looking for musicians, to work with, and decided to form a band together. It took quite a while for them to settle on the current line-up of Simon McDowell (drums), Dione Denize (bass) and Julion Wright (guitar, saxophone) and now they have just released their debut album.
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Iveta & Simone - Single Review: Obsessed
07 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Although Iveta & Simone have been around for a few years, this single is the first time I have come across them. When it commenced, I felt we were in for some sort of electronic dance music, but I soon realized that in many ways they remind me much more of the Eighties band Yazoo.
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Shihad - Album Review: Old Gods
07 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
There is no doubt that Shihad are the Kiwi rock band who should have broken America 20 years ago, and if it wasn’t for a series of unfortunate events such as the attack on the Twin Towers, which caused the band to change their name (Shihad being too close to Jihad, but while Pacifier may have seemed a good idea on paper, it wasn’t and they eventually switched back), or accidently upsetting virtually every record label at a showcase gig, then they would have been. The first time I saw Shihad was at Western Springs opening for AC/DC, and there is no doubt that the guys were blown away by the reaction, as it seemed that although everyone was there for the main event, they were all diehard Shihad fans as well, singing along to every song.
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Stray Theories - Album Review: This Light
07 Oct 2021 // A review by Jamie Denton
Based in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australian musician/composer Micah Templeton-Wolfe has a long, successful history with crafting works that explore rich, lush melodies within vast ambient, cinematic soundscapes. While some of his works have become the soundtracks to independent short films, television and radio commercials, multimedia projects, art installations, and specifically commissioned sound design or compositional pieces, he has also maintained an interest in releasing material as a musical artist.
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Vera Ellen - Album Review: It's Your Birthday
07 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Vera Ellen (Girl Friday, Maple Syrup) is back in Wellington after some time in Los Angeles, where she wrote most of the material which can now be found on her debut for Flying Nun Records. Written over the space of a few years, the album captures a time in Vera’s early Twenties where she was going through extremes of emotions.
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Finger Tight - Double Single Review: ineedsomespace vs. Polar Bears & Party Chairs
07 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
The other night I got a notification to say there was a new episode of The Distortion Transmission available on YouTube (subscribe to the Muzic.net.
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Bevan Mical - Album Review: Exhausting The Muse
07 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
For anyone who has come across Bevan Mical’s single, Weekend, we now have an album which is very similar in style and approach to that song, which is one of the 11 songs in the set. When I reviewed that previously, I said it needed repeated playing to get the most out of it, but somewhat strangely the familiarity throughout the album works in the same way, so that the more one gets through this the more there is to enjoy.
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Arjuna Oakes - EP Review: First Nights
07 Oct 2021 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Arjuna Oakes & Serebii have just released their collaborative EP, First Nights. Arjuna Oakes is a singer-songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist.
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Moonflower - Single Review: Karma
05 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Moonflower are one of those really rare bands, where the drummer is also the lead singer. They are normally described as being an incredibly tight outfit heavily inspired by 60's and 70's soul/rock and blues, but to be honest that is not what I am listening to.
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Y$O - EP Review: Young And Slept On
05 Oct 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Y$O. Note that down.
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Lake South - Album Review: The Light You Throw
03 Oct 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
“Let’s talk about politics, let’s talk about feelings”, sings Lake South on his latest album The Light You Throw, an excellent thesis statement for an album which covers such a spectrum of thought. It’s an astoundingly innovative album, melding electronic synth-pop with introspective folk, and resulting in a record I cannot call anything but pure magic.
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Aoturoa - Single/Video Review: Brothers Part I: Spirit
01 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Aoturoa is a new project from Tom Scrase, one of Aotearoa's leading drummers, who performs with the likes of dDub, Corrella and in the percussion ensemble Strike! Percussion.
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Reb Fountain - Album Review: Iris
01 Oct 2021 // A review by Roger Bowie
Psyche emerges from an opening string sequence which evokes a western movie soundtrack before simplifying to a naked piano behind a barrage of poetry and sailing under a vast star….”who are we in this life?
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Renee Millner - Single Review: So Much
01 Oct 2021 // A review by Lou Clement
Taranaki-based artist, Renee Millner, brings substantial quality to her music – it’s effortlessly sung, lyrically modest and full of emotional impact, because of her unique and skillful talent. Her new single So Much was self-penned and produced by Sam Johnson.
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OdESSA - Single Review: It's Gonna Get Better
30 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
They may have disbanded in 2009 after seven years and three albums, but Wellington-based OdESSA are back. Given that lyricist/vocalist Matthew Pender had been living in London for an extended period, it was never thought that this would ever happen, but he returned from overseas just two days before New Zealand went into lockdown last year.
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Dark Water - Single Review: While the World is Bleeding
30 Sep 2021 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Dark Water are a New Plymouth based alternative rock band formed in 2009. While the World is Bleeding is their new single, mixed and mastered by Crazy Daisy Productions, USA.
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Jeivenchy - Single Review: 360
29 Sep 2021 // A review by Peter-James Dries
Take some heartbreak. Write it down.
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This Silent Divide - Single Review: Lucinda
28 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Formed in 2018, Wellington-based melodic rock band This Silent Divide comprise Shaun Jones (vocals, guitar), Kieran Williams (lead guitar, backing vocals), Peter Stitt (bass, backing vocals), and Sunil Jolly (drums). Lucinda is the first single from their forthcoming EP, Tall Stories, which they will be promoting with a North Island tour, and I am definitely looking forward to catching them in Auckland.
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Louis Ross - Single Review: Here To Help
27 Sep 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Local Tauranga DJ and Producer Louis Ross has created a new song Here to Help to bring awareness to mental health issues ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week. After losing his father and Grandma within a few months of each other and navigating his way through loss and grief, Louis is combining his own mental health struggles with his love of music to help others.
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Jason Parker - Single Review: This Is My Year
26 Sep 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
On his latest release This Is My Year, pop newcomer Jason Parker calls back to the cheerful anthems of early 2000s pop, firmly announcing 2021 as his moment to be “happy again”. After appearances with TVNZ’s Popstars and Wellington’s Peachy Keen festival, Parker now sets out to shape his own brave, colourful identity in Aotearoa’s bustling music landscape.
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Plum Green - Album Review: Somnambulist
25 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Born in a squat in England, raised in New Zealand, and presently residing in Melbourne, here we have the latest release from dream folk artist Plum Green. I have not previously come across any of her other albums, but somehow, I can see I need to undertake some investigations as this is a very special album indeed.
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Diehards of Deep Dish - Album Review: Traditional Speciality Guaranteed
25 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
There is a long history of band members using pseudonyms, with Ramones probably being the most famous, and here we have a band who use pseudonyms for their pseudonyms, so we have Cheese (Joey Provolone), Tomato (Ryley Base), Wheat (Beef Richards), Mushrooms (Mattzarella Gibson) and Herbs (Herbie Handcooked). I thought Cafe Fistfight had probably taken the foodie elements to the extreme with songs such as King Hit Quiche, but here we have six songs all aimed at the pizza lovers among us.
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Power The Light - Single Review: Snowing
23 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Power The Light is Max Roskilly, an 18-year-old musician who is based in Auckland , and has been self-releasing music for the last four years already, including the album Blueprints a while back. This is his second single in recent months, following on from Skys where he showed an interest more in krautrock than in is normal indie-jazz style.
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Glass Throne - Single Review: Glass Throne
23 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Glass Throne are an Auckland-based power trio comprising Justin Robinson (lead vocals, bass, guitar), Owen McKibbin (guitar, organ, backing vocals) and Daniel Cutfield (drums, percussion, backing vocals). I have managed to catch them play live a few times over the last year, and what always strikes me is just how different they are to the rest of the local scene, coming through as a mix of classic Seventies hard rock, progressive and modern alt rock.
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Sofia Machray - Single Review: The Untold
23 Sep 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
Wellington’s “singer-songwriter gone rogue”, Sofia Machray, crafts a spacious indie ballad with her latest release, The Untold. The track is highly reminiscent of bands like Daughter and Placebo, the former of which Machray cites as an influence.
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YAHYAH - Single Review: Little Joy
23 Sep 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
Named after a beloved bar in Los Angeles, Little Joy is the latest from pop singer-songwriter YAHYAH, reminiscing on the girls’ nights of her four-year stint living overseas. After writing professionally for other artists with Genuine Music Group, YAHYAH turns her eye back to her own artistry with this track.
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On Tick - Single Review: Nothing New
21 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
On Tick is the brainchild of brothers Brendan (vocals and drums) and Aidan O'Loughlin (vocals, guitar), and was formed from the ashes of their previous musical outfit, Evil Tomato, who began as a band in 2012. They came across 5-string bassist Matt Hammond when they heard the demoes for Black Sands, which he not only produced but played on, and he joined forces to work with them on the album and to allow them to play in the Ding Dong Battle of the Bands.
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Ravenhall - EP Review: The Coming Storm
21 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Ravenhall were formed by guitarist Joe Ravenhall and singer Chris Brebner in 2015. They were both already veterans of the Auckland scene, and wanted to perform music which concentrated on the power of acoustic guitar, wonderful vocals, plus some gentle electronic backing, and that is certainly what we have here.
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Lunavela - Single Review: Six-Out-Of-Ten Friend
21 Sep 2021 // A review by bethany_rachell
I'm not gonna lie; Six-Out-Of-Ten Friend was stuck in my head for a solid week after I listened to it for the first time – so be warned. Perhaps the reason it stuck so solidly in my head was that I kept finding myself in the painfully mundane and tricky situations that it laments.
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FRE3DOM - Single Review: On and On
20 Sep 2021 // A review by Paul Goddard
Who is pissed off right now? No?
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Black Alpine - Album Review: Black Alpine
19 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
The very first time I looked at the cover of this album I was reminded of Deep Purple’s In Rock, as even though that was a stylised version of Mount Rushmore, there we had dudes with long hair playing Seventies hard rock and that is the same here. I mean, we even have aviator sunglasses!
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Secrets Of The Sun - Album Review: Obon
19 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Obon is the debut album from alternative metal band Secrets of the Sun, a quartet based in Wellington. It has been a while in the making, in that the first single, Suffer With The Moon, was actually released a year ago while Wretched Tracks came out in February: both are included here.
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Montgomery - Single Review: Lonely, Only
17 Sep 2021 // A review by Darryl Baser
George Manning AKA Montgomery releases Lonely, Only today, and, oh my gosh, it’s a hauntingly beautiful song. In a world where for many artists their next single release has to be even more of a banger than their last, Montgomery’s Lonely, Only is packed full of heart and gentle charm.
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Written By Wolves - EP Review: Secrets - The Collab Project
16 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Since I started writing for New Zealand’s #1 music site, https://www.muzic.
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VÏKÆ - Single Review: Moon City
16 Sep 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
Vikae melds pulsating commercial pop with the climatic reach of drum and bass on latest release Moon City. Produced by Will Henderson and written during the March 2020 nationwide lockdown, the song is an emotionally charged ode to the end of a relationship, mourning physical separation and filtering through feelings needing to be “put to rest”.
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Alien Weaponry - Album Review: Tangaroa
16 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
There is no doubt whatsoever that Alien Weaponry have captured the imagination not only of the New Zealand public, but metalheads worldwide, with their combination of groove and thrash metal mixing with their Maori heritage to create something very special indeed. There really is no other band quite like them, although I do sometimes find myself thinking of the impact of Sepultura and their Roots album, but one does need to remember that was Sepultura’s sixth album, some 12 years after their first release.
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Domingo Candelario - EP Review: Sin Palabras
16 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Although there is always a very Cuban base to his music, Domingo has covered many different styles, as he transcends culture and language: music is about expressing emotions honestly and he tries to be as unique as he can.  As a child, his parents listened to a lot of Brazilian music, and he was fascinated by the way they used harmonies: it was so beautifully put together, so soft and in connection with the soul.
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Glenn Bodger - Album Review: I'll Leave The Light On
16 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the debut solo album from Glenn Bodger, who provided most of the instrumentation himself, although he has also been assisted by former Braintree bandmate Darryn Harkness, who helped with additional guitar, bass and keyboards where required. From the gentle, almost cautiously picked acoustic guitar notes on opener I’ll Leave The Light On, we are brought carefully into a world which is dated yet fresh, comfortable but new, as he mixes together different musical elements in an independent, alternative style which is often somehow commercial and others when they are definitely not.
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Samantha Josephine - EP Review: Fly Bird Fly
15 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Samantha Josephine's six-track Fly Bird Fly EP is less than 13 minutes long, but in many ways that makes total sense, as there is a feeling within this that we are being allowed into a secret and very personal world and that it would be intrusive to stay for too long. One can imagine Samantha performing in a corner, hoping that no-one will see or hear her, and when I read in her bio that only her girlfriend has seen her perform in the last year, and that even she is not allowed to be around when Samantha is writing, then it makes perfect sense.
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BrokeBoi Ace - Single Review: Watered Down Dreamz
15 Sep 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Oh man. I like this.
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NahBo - Album Review: Ruptured
14 Sep 2021 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
NahBo (Taranaki Ah Young-Grace) is breaking down creative barriers with their new album Ruptured. The intro track Download is a futuristic video game-esque prelude which sets the scene for what can only be described as the creation of a new genre (perhaps?
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John Martin - Album Review: Zealander
14 Sep 2021 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Wellington based Drummer/Singer and multi-instrumentalist; John Martin has just released his third album Zealander. His love of strong pop melodies and James Brown covers shine through on this album mingling with his uniquely upbeat sound.
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Comf - Single Review: Do You Feat. Ilena
12 Sep 2021 // A 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.
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The Night - Single Review: Untouchable
12 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
This cannot be right. According to the information I have in front of me, this Wellington-based band was formed from a group of music students in 2017, started performing live in 2018, and their ages now range from 15 to 18!
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Channeled - EP Review: Perception
12 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
As I have said previously, 2020 was a breakthrough year for Channeled, as Ben Ruegg recorded the second album and formed an operational live band to make it more than just a studio project. They made it through to the final of the Ding Dong Lounge Battle of the Bands and set up a headline show at the same venue with Cafe Fistfight and Mariner as support to celebrate the release of I Heard Penelope Sing, but then disaster struck with Ben being rushed to hospital following a Grand Mal seizure.
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Torn Chorus - Single/Video Review: This City Floats
10 Sep 2021 // A review by Andrew Smit
From a simple opening beat to a wonderful flourish of acoustic guitars layered with luscious chorus and flange effects, the new single from Torn Chorus, This City Floats, is brought to life with wailing electric lead guitar licks and slides that sound melodically precise and emotive. Crisp vocals tell you about the labour and reward that you get for following the beaten path to the top, which as the video shows so well, is Auckland’s remnant volcanic cones, but the metaphor could be used for any journey in life.
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D.Matthews - Single Review: Africa
10 Sep 2021 // A review by bethany_rachell
One thing is for sure. Wellington is not warm enough to do this song justice.
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Hotel Death Star - Single Review: The Daylight
10 Sep 2021 // A review by Gareth Heta
Hotel Death Star are a relatively new duo, finding life in 2020 when singer-songwriter Phil Stoodley collaborated with composer-producer Andreas Arianto to craft their interpretation of melodic deep-house blended with more traditional songwriting elements. Fans of electronic genres will find plenty to like here, but crossover appeal might be limited.
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SKRAM - Single Review: Freaking Me Out
10 Sep 2021 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Wellington based pop trio SKRAM released their debut single Freaking Me Out today, September 10th. Just in time for the warmer weather, the track is a fresh, uplifting pop tune, sure to be a crowd favourite this summer.
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Sam V - Single/Video Review: Wired
10 Sep 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Sam V's newest track Wired is another demonstration of how Sam keeps refining his sound. His vision has been getting more focused over time, based on his previous tracks like Cotton Candy which is actually a Y$O track, and Up Up Down.
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Empress - EP Review: Trash Dynasty
10 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Empress were formed by guitarist/singer Lora Thompson and drummer Craig Gilliver after the demise of their previous project, Cheshire Grimm with whom they toured the length of NZ, played with international acts and local superstars, as well as releasing material along the way. The lead track from this EP, Sailing the Seas of Grease, was actually released towards the end of 2020 but it has taken until now for their six-track 23-minute-long debut EP to made available.
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Seas of Conflict - Single Review: XII.IX
09 Sep 2021 // A review by Kris Raven
Hamilton heavy hitters Seas of Conflict are back and mark their return with one of their most emotionally charged, progressively beautiful and heavily sombre tracks to date, entitled XII.IX.
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Venom Dolls - Venom Dolls - EP Review: Venom Dolls
08 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Venom Dolls are an all-female indie punk trio who formed at the end of last year, and comprise lead guitarist Carawai Gao, drummer Summah Auvae, and vocalist/bassist Jessica Frank. From looking at their photos I can see they have played Dead Witch, so I am going to have to pay closer attention to the gig listings as I have been to that venue a lot this past year, but somehow have missed these guys.
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Roulettes - Album Review: Demosphere
08 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
One may be able to discern from the title that the latest release from Roulettes (they dropped the “The” a while back) is taken from a series of demos and home recordings. Since forming the band in the early 2000’s there have been some additional musicians here and there, but the core has always been Justin McLean (guitars, vox, bass, piano and drum sequencing) with Ben Grant (bass, vox, drum sequencing, synths, and mixing).
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InDuna - Single Review: Strange Fruits
08 Sep 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
InDuna's approach to Hip-Hop/Rap is something that listeners should pay attention to. It fits into what kind of feels as almost progressive in regards to the styles it compasses.
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Tempist Fujit - Single Review: Fallen
07 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
It has been a few years since Northland quartet Tempist Fujit (yes, the spelling is quite deliberate) have released a single, but they are back with Fallen, which is a great introduction to the band for anyone who has yet to come across them. The band are a hard rock outfit with a kick ass singer in Lisa Walters, who has a great ability to hit long notes and keep them pure and on pitch, yet also has plenty of emotion and breadth in her range.
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Captain Festus McBoyle's Travellin' Variety Show - Single/Video Review: Love Song 4 Lucy
06 Sep 2021 // A review by Paul Goddard
Sometimes we need a distraction, and a reminder of the basic core reasons as to why we exist.Sometimes, perhaps now more than ever, we need to be reminded of the simple joy that comes with being who we are and of the love that we share with other people.
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Soda - EP Review: Nineteen Ninety Seven
05 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
In the Nineties, guitarist and singer Scott Pilgrim had a band in Melbourne called Soda, who released the Pan EP. Fast forward 23 years and he walked into Warwick Donald’s control room and saw a multi-track tape deck which could play the original tape of that recording.
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Malachim - Album Review: Vitasphere
05 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
I was sat working away at my desk one evening recently, when I had a message come through from TeMatera Smith, asking if I would be interested in hearing a brand-new album which he had literally just finished mixing. Of course, I said yes, and he provided me with a Soundcloud link to this release, which immediately blew me away.
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Hazza Making Noise - EP Review: Vengeful Millennial
05 Sep 2021 // A 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.
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2Fly Ty - Single Review: That Track Feat. Dilz
03 Sep 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
2FLY TY's newest track entitled That Track is out now and features bars from Dilz. Both Ty and Dilz perform well here with TY’s flow being delivered on a rather flat way; not hyped and not like he’s not trying.
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Stephen Galvin - Album Review: Modal Behaviour
02 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Stephen Galvin is a multi-instrumentalist who was invited to teach at the New Zealand Guitar Academy at the tender age of 23, before opening his own teaching studio in 1984. Since then, he has performed in bands of different genres, as well as teaching music to thousands of Aucklanders.
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Anderson Rocio - EP Review: We're Fine
02 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to see Sol3 Mio at Spark Arena, and I came away as suitably impressed as one would expect, not only from the main act, but also by the support who impressed everyone with her wonderful vocals and delicate touch on the piano. Anderson Rocio was not someone I had come across prior to that night, although one of her songs, Paradise, had previously featured on an episode of Lucifer, but I came away incredibly impressed and said how much I would be looking forward to hearing more of her material.
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Aro - EP Review: He Wai
02 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
One of the absolute highlights of the Auckland Folk Festival this year were Aro, the husband-and-wife team of Charles (Ngapuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngati Te Ata, Te Ati Awa) and Emily Looker (nee Rice). At that event Charles provided vocals and guitar, while Emily “just” vocals, and I was blown away by the mingling of their voices, in both Te Reo and English, and how they made their stories so wonderful and real.
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Jaz Paterson - Single Review: Lonely
02 Sep 2021 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Alternative Singer-Songwriter Jaz Paterson released her debut single Lonely on the 13th of August. Produced by Will McGillivray (nomad, There’s A Tuesday, Bexy) and mastered by Kamandi, Lonely is the first of three singles to be released from Jaz’s anticipated debut EP Ache, set to be released in November.
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Oceanspace - Single Review: Silver City Rain
01 Sep 2021 // A review by Chris Chick
Now and again a song comes around that makes you stop and think "well that certainly surprised me". This is in no way a negative connotation, I would hate to think that my initial perspective was one of which, when I was given the task to review this song, I was already looking to the one-star rating.
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Odds & Ends - Single Review: Picture
31 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
The picture on the album cover is a picture, neat! That got me thinking the guys probably had a sense of humour and when I saw they describe themselves as a perfect fruit salad; filled with juicy melodies, tasty songs, and sweet, sweet harmonies, then I was sure of it.
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Lilith NZ - Single Review: Tears of Blood
31 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Just one look at the band name, song, and font, and one knows that here we have an act aiming to be on the heavy side. A quick look at Encylopaedia Metallum and one can see they have another nine bands listed with the same name, while this Lilith isn’t even the only one operating in New Zealand.
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Bevan Mical - Single Review: Weekend
31 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Bevan Mical is a lo-fi alternative indie pop musician from Thames, and Weekend is taken from his third full-length album, which is due out later this year. He says he is inspired by all forms of music from Fraggle Rock to Eminem, Crowded House to Pink, and it must be said that anyone who finds a way to reference Fraggle Rock is always going to be interesting.
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Samuel Gaskin - Single/Video Review: Reckoning
31 Aug 2021 // A review by bethany_rachell
Reckoning is a new single and video release from Samuel Gaskin that follows in the wake of his stage production by the same name. New Zealand born and now based in Melbourne, Gaskin intertwines his own roots and the roots of his current placing in this video, with a cast of 20 First Nations Aboriginal and Maori performers.
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Crying Club - Single/Video Review: Taxi Man
29 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Crying Club were formed in Wellington at the start of 2021 by friends Sean Beales (drums), Chrissy Pantelakis (bass) and Datu Beech (vocals/guitar), with the stated intention of starting a new emo movement in the capital!  They have been gigging over the last few months, mainly in community halls and house shows, but of course that has now stopped with NZ back in lockdown, so it is somehow fitting that their debut single was written after the first lockdown and is about feeling anxiety on a night going out to town, and the taxi drive has them wondering if they should just go back home.
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EM/FM - Single Review: Close Enough
28 Aug 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
From the library of mysterious Kaitaia artist EM/FM, Close Enough is a synth-filled slow jam, introduced by its bright retro wave artwork which visually represents the track’s creative blend of machine-generated instrumentation with traditional jazz.Close Enough offers a unique song structure, with its groovy chorus not hitting until just before the two minute mark, and a lengthy final chorus section.
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The Human Kind - Single Review: Ready To Live
27 Aug 2021 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Ready To Live is a beautiful inspirational track from The Human Kind; a collective with a focus on health and wellbeing. The song features a diverse array of instrumentation including strings, flute, synths, and something that sounds to me like maybe a Gudok or similar?
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Kendall Elise - Album Review: Let The Night In
26 Aug 2021 // A review by Roger Bowie
The new album from Kendall Elise is out today. It’s called Let The Night In, and once again Kendall recorded at Roundhead.
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Alba Rose - Single Review: Eve
26 Aug 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
The captivating hook of Alba Rose’s debut single, Eve, warns listeners of the likelihood that they will be “swept away”. It’s a truthful mission statement for a track which introduces Rose as a soloist, outside of her performances in Wellington band Corduroy.
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WHITE NØISE MAFIA - Single Review: Let It End
25 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
The boys are back with their second single, continuing from where the last one left off. This was again recorded in sessions with the mighty David Rhodes (Blindspott, Stylus, These Four Walls etc.
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Gig Review: Loserpalooza Festival 2021 @ Tauranga - 21/08/2021
24 Aug 2021 // A review by Mattmyth
What’s everyone bitching about with level-4-lockdown and cancelled shows? This one ruled.
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Club Classic - EP Review: Greetings From Club Classic
23 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Club Classic like to portray themselves in photos as being an interesting bunch of jokers, and indeed their Facebook page says, “Welly’s favourite grass roots sports club + indie-funk band hybrid”, but don’t let any of that fool you, as when it is time to start playing music these guys are serious, and seriously good. This 13-minute-long 3-track EP finds them demonstrating just how slick and powerful they are, with different styles of funk and soul.
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Henika - Single/Video Review: The Future of the Species
23 Aug 2021 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Henika is the moniker of Slovak born multi-instrumentalist Henrieta Tornyai. Her self-titled EP won Best Independent Debut at the Taite Music Awards in 2017.
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SOG - Album Review: Blooming Buzzing Confusion
19 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Wellington quartet SOG are back with their third album, with a somewhat unusual but very Kiwi cover photo. There has just been the one line-up change since their 2018 Slate Clean debut, as Bianca Bailey (vocals, drums) joined in time for 2019’s, alongside James Shanly (vocals, bass), Ethan Roberts (guitar, vocals) and Luke Cox (guitar).
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Arjuna Oakes - Single Review: Satellites w/ Serebii
19 Aug 2021 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Satellites launches with a bump and instantly draws you into its gravitational pull by way of smooth lo-fi synth tones and spacey beat. Percussion floats in, further enticing us into its dreamy orbit, while deep fuzzy bass and envelope-filtered guitar play in parallel, setting up melody lines which become the anchor of the song.
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Louis TM - Single Review: Mercedes Car
19 Aug 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
After years backing other artists on the keys, Louis TM is out to make his own mark on the musical world as a soloist. The resulting track, Mercedes Car, is a biting track directed at wasted wealth, carefully crafted with the help of Tiny Triumph Recordings, JJ Golden and Diver Records.
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HATT - EP Review: Vol.1 - Emulate + Dissipate
19 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
HATT are a new band on the scene, but they are already here with their debut 5-track EP. Mind you, although HATT are a new name, those behind it are definitely not, as anyone who has been involved with the Auckland music scene will recognize all those taking part.
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Disciple Pati - Single/Video Review: Serious
19 Aug 2021 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Auckland’s newest pop/RnB powerhouse Disciple Pati has just released her latest single Serious, along with a “revenge fantasy” style music video which the artist explains as “channeled my violent inner sadist for this moment so y’all don’t have to”. The video ultimately is about getting payback after a production meeting doesn’t go according to plan.
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Kerryn Fields - Album Review: Water
19 Aug 2021 // A review by Roger Bowie
At last, some 2 ½ years after seeing her for the first time and hearing some new songs, Kerryn Field’s sophomore album, Water hit my inbox (thanks Kerryn) and is now firmly ensconced in my hard drive. Now I can listen to the whole collection, and from the opening unaccompanied courageously operatic shrill, Atlantis emerges… we’ve heard this song before, the one which pays homage to Rust Never Sleeps and Pocahontas and the death wish which surges in response to the way Kerryn’s partner loves that song.
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GiGi Genie - Single Review: The Phoenix
19 Aug 2021 // A review by bethany_rachell
Wow! I knew this track would be something else before I even listened to it.
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Villainy - EP Review: Dead Sides (The Lost EP)
18 Aug 2021 // A review by Andrew Smit
How wonderful it is to hear 5 new Villainy songs of rip roaring rock tunes that coalesce intimately in this EP format. There is a so much more spice added to this rock pot than the standard rock fare that you might consume from mainstream radio, and while comparisons to Shihad are apparent with their sound influenced by previous Tom Larkin produced material, but these tracks are self-produced and is a touch more raw and edgy.
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Sophie Gibson - Single Review: Deeper Waters
17 Aug 2021 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Singer-songwriter Sophie Gibson will be releasing her single Deeper Waters on 20 August. The hauntingly beautiful acoustic folk track is a tribute to Gibson’s brother who she lost to suicide in 2015.
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Shapeshifter - Album Review: Rituals
17 Aug 2021 // A review by Gareth Heta
Shapeshifter (affectionately known as ‘Shapies’ by fans) are a New Zealand music institution. With over 2 decades of live shows, 4 EPs, 5 full-length studio albums, a handful of music awards and a reputation as the best live Drum & Bass act in the world, they’re both revered locally and ambassadors of the sound worldwide.
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Graeme James - Gig Review: Graeme James @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 13/08/2021
15 Aug 2021 // A review by Roger Bowie
On a cool spring evening (spring always started in August where I grew up, down south) the Tuning Fork is nicely staged with a clutch of instruments neatly arranged in anticipation. The modest crowd bunches up to form an intimate cluster and a familiar face takes the stage in the form of Chris/Albi without the Wolves, or at least half of them because the willowy, billowy puppet-like figure of Pascal Roggen also joins him on half a dozen instruments more commonly known as the violin.
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The After - Gig Review: The After @ Anthology, Auckland - 12/08/2021
14 Aug 2021 // A review by Roger Bowie
It’s a year and a bit on and here we are again at Anthology for a night of rock curated by Andrew Featherstone and featuring his band The After. Last year we were left a bit muddled about promises of things to come and whether it would be the hereafter, but no, it’s more like an AfterFest.
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French For Rabbits - Single/Video Review: Ouija Board
12 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
French For Rabbits started life as the duo of Brooke Singer and John Fitzgerald some ten years ago, but by the time of their last album, 2017’s The Weight of Melted Snow they had become a quartet with the addition of Ben Lemi and Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa, while Penelope Esplin (Grawlixes) has joined since then. The quintet has just released the second single from their forthcoming album, and based on Ouija Board I am definitely looking forward to hearing that when it is available.
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Mako Road - Album Review: Stranger Days
12 Aug 2021 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
4-piece indie rock band Mako Road are back once again, this time with their first full-length album. Their sound is an interesting blend of indie and funk, layered with reverb and delay-heavy guitars, creating that classic kiwi “dub” feel, but with a live-jammed garage-band twist.
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Dillastrate - EP Review: Narrative
12 Aug 2021 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
I was excited to review Dillastrate after I saw them play live in Wellington recently and absolutely loved their energy and musicianship. I must admit I was playing catch-up from there, and after having had a quick listen to their previous album, I have to say that Narrative is definitely a step up; both in production value and over-all song crafting.
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Lauren Gin - Single Review: Say No
12 Aug 2021 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
25 year old Lauren Gin has been DJing for some 5 years now, playing popular shows and festivals in and around New Zealand, as well as internationally. 2021 marks the third year of making her own music, releasing her first single in 2019, and debut EP Supernova in 2020, effectively establishing herself as an electronic music producer in her own right.
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Valentina - Album Review: Renaissance
10 Aug 2021 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Wellington based Transgressive vocalist and producer Valentina, has just released her debut album Renaissance. Described as a "Hyperpop album", it is filled with wonder, exploring a diverse range of genres such as Bubblegum Pop, UK Garage, Techno, 90's House with elements of Classical and Baroque.
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Goodlynx - Single/Video Review: Purple Blue
10 Aug 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Starting Purple Blue off with a real honest vibe is the sound of a major 7th on a guitar. This interval sets a tone and mood that allows Goodlynx to be direct and honest with his audience.
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Speech Act Theory - Single/Video Review: Holding Out
08 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Speech Act Theory is a new project by producer and musician Pete Hickman which allows him to explore his vulnerable side, putting his insecurities out there for all to see. Musically this is bringing together elements of Alternative, Shoegaze, Electronica and pop, with the focus on keyboards and vocals, although special mention should be made here of the drums (and I still cannot make up my mind if they are programmed or real), which provide cut through.
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Cafe Fistfight - Cafe Fistfight @ The Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 07/08/2021
08 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back to DD for the second night in a row, but tonight was going to be a very different crowd and musical experience to what had been happening here only 24 hours earlier. First up tonight was Green, which features three members of Big Tasty and in some ways is quite a similar band.
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Marianne Leigh - Gig Review: Marianne Leigh @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 06/08/2021
06 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
I am pretty sure this is my first time at Dead Witch for a gig which is non-metal or at least hard rock, and that combined with the fact that most of the people playing were younger than my children meant that I was in for quite a strange night indeed. They were planning for the gig to end long before the headline band normally starts, so it was promising to be a nice early night to gently ease me into the weekend.
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No Broadcast - Single Review: Lie In Orbit
05 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
When I was back in Christchurch a few months ago, I went to The Dark Room to experience the mighty Dead Favours in concert, and that night the support act was No Broadcast. They were a band new to me, but they have been around in one form or another since 2004, and the current line-up has been together since 2007.
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Edge Of The Woods - EP Review: Lookin' For Somethin'
05 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
This six-track EP from West Coast trio Edge of The Woods shows there is still plenty of room in this musical world for well thought out and delivered music with real soul and heart. They bring together folk, alt-blues.
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TOOMS - Single Review: Dead Birds
04 Aug 2021 // A review by Kerry MB
TOOMS is possible the most unique two piece I have recently had the pleasure of reviewing. With a nebulous genre that seems to fit where things aren’t supposed to fit, I like it a lot and so should you.
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Marianne Leigh - Single Review: Sweet Goodbyes
03 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Marianne Leigh may only be 18 years of age, but she has already won Smokefree Rockquest, has been on TV and Radio NZ, is a three-time finalist of the Play It Strange songwriting competitions as well as being mentored by Bic Runga, so perhaps it should be no surprise that her new single Sweet Goodbyes is like a breath of fresh air in a market that often over-produces young singers. This is indie-pop, and is annoyingly catchy and infectious, so much so that I have been finding myself walking along absentmindedly humming the tune.
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Simp Vader - Single Review: All The Time
03 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Simp Vader are a South Auckland alternative rock band, heavily influenced by the Shoegaze movement, who were formed by Rory Maddren (vocals, guitar) and Josh Banning-Taylor (lead guitar) towards the end of 2020. With the arrival of Branden Pritchard (drums) and Scott Parker (bass, backing vocals) they have been working on recording their debut EP this year, and this is the first track to be released.
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The Sam Loveridge Band - Single Review: Run Into You
02 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
It has been a couple of years since I last came across Sam Loveridge and his excellent album, Clarity, and in the intervening time he has turned himself into a full band. At the time of that album release, AAA label boss TeMatera Smith could not stop talking about it, so it is no surprise at all that the new single, Run Into You, was recorded at Red Room Studio by Jamie Crerar, mastered by Chris Chetland at Kog, and again released by AAA.
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Capital Theatre - Single/Video Review: Fire
02 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Capital Theatre are back with the most recent single, Fire, from the forthcoming album (which is due out in October), following on from the incredible People, which has been on constant repeat at my place. Given just how much I have been playing that, I did have some concerns that Fire may not live up to the same level, but these were soon blown away.
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Underscore - Single Review: Never Coming Back
02 Aug 2021 // A review by Adrian Drew
Never Coming Back is the second single release from Auckland alternative rock band, Underscore. The relatively new band in town consists of; Jonathan Meyer - guitars/vocals, Hon Manawangphiphat - bass and Josh Johnston - drums.
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Shapeshifter - Gig Review: Shapeshifter @ Christchurch Town Hall - 30/07/2021
02 Aug 2021 // A review by Gareth Heta
Back on the road after a few months of downtime, Shapeshifter return for a national tour in support of their seventh studio album Rituals. Kicking things off in their hometown Otautahi, the Christchurch Town Hall was host to another explosive, uplifting performance by one of NZs most treasured and traveled live acts.
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Sidewinder - Single Review: Walk of Ishi
01 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Sidewinder are back with their third single Walk of Ishi, which follows on from the powerful Mississippi Fire, which came out a few months ago. Again, what we have here is stoner rock, with very strong links to QOTSA, which are based around the vocals of Jason Curtis.
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Capital Theatre - Gig Review: Capital Theatre @ Botany Commons, Auckland - 31/07/2021
01 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
I was fortunate enough to catch Capital Theatre earlier this year at The Tuning Fork, and hearing that they were playing Botany, which is not too far from me, meant a trip to a pub venue situated in a shopping complex, not the sort of place I normally visit. Still, it is always good to come to a place which has a nice permanent stage and lighting and walking in I could see the CT drumkit on stage, along with multiple guitars and Marshall amps – the guys certainly know how to make an impression even when they are not performing.
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Andrew Fagan - Gig Review: Andrew Fagan and the Person @ Pigeon Racing Club, St Heliers Bay - 31/07/2021
01 Aug 2021 // A review by Roger Bowie
Down on the St Heliers strip, just a stone’s throw away from the Village Hall captured in the late 70's by the punk rockers, there sits a little hole-in-the-wall bar which is also the HQ for the St Heliers Bay Pigeon Racing Club. Pigeon Racing is an ancient sport which carries on to this day.
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PRINS - Gig Review: PRINS @ Dog With Two Tails, Dunedin - 31/07/2021
01 Aug 2021 // A review by Darryl Baser
Solo guy Alex Dykes opens up the evening using a kick drum trigger for a regular thump, an acoustic guitar, and a voice which is well-worn beyond his years. As he begins playing those who were hanging out in the cafe come through.
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Julia Belle - Single Review: No Way I Can Sleep
31 Jul 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
No Way I Can Sleep is an indie pop dream come true. With the release of her debut single, Wellington's Julia Belle blossoms onto the music scene, exploring a hazy world of late-night loneliness in the modern age.
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Dianne Swann - Gig Review: Dianne Swann @ Mt Eden Village Hall, Auckland - 30/07/2021
31 Jul 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Friday night had me out to yet another “new” (to me) venue, namely the village hall in Mount Eden. I stood in the doorway and was stunned by what I saw, as the hall had been filled with long tables covered in black cloth, all with tealight candles.
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Salt Rock - Single Review: Six Appeal
30 Jul 2021 // A review by Chris Chick
Any song that has a sultry baseline and some trumpets are always going to grab my listening ear and have me easily fall in love with, that is just how I roll. Salt Rock are a funk-dub group based in Christchurch made up of seven pals doing their thing to the wonderful New Zealand music scene.
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Skank Bandit - Album Review: Blood, Sweat and Beers
29 Jul 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Blood, Sweat and Beers is the second album by Skank Bandit, a quartet who describe their music as an explosive combination of reggae, rock, ska, funk, metal, and punk, and to be honest they have hit the nail right on the head. When people think of punk, particularly British punk, they tend to focus on the out and out aggression of Sex Pistols and the like and tend to forget that some of the bands had far broader tastes and influences, and such was the case of The Clash.
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D.Matthews - Single Review: Suffer
29 Jul 2021 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Nigerian vocalist and songwriter D.Matthews (Aka David Matthews) is making his way in New Zealand music with his captivating character of sound and entertainment style.
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Graeme James - EP Review: Field Notes on an Endless Day
29 Jul 2021 // A review by Roger Bowie
Graeme James wasn’t planning on becoming a folk singer. Yes, he trained as a violinist from the age of seven, gradually extending his prowess to include other instruments, most prominently the guitar, and other genres, specifically folk, because the family had a band.
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Sweet Mix Kids - Album Review: Radio With Pictures
27 Jul 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
Sweet Mix Kids are just as flamboyant as the cover of their debut album, Radio With Pictures, would have you believe. Stepping off stages at Coachella, Peachy Keen and Rhythm and Vines, the DJ and production duo have created a record of sensual experience, bending genre and sound to their will.
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Something Zesty - Single/Video Review: Fishtank
27 Jul 2021 // A review by Lou Clement
Something Zesty have launched their new video for Fishtank, their latest single which was released earlier this year. The track itself is catchy with warm electric guitar chords framing the laidback lyrics -  dare I say it – it’s refreshing.
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Tablefox - Album Review: Battles
26 Jul 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
What strikes one most about the third album from Tablefox is the sheer diversity of styles on display. True, they are very much rooted in the Eighties and their style is also often very Kiwi, but after that they move all over the place.
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Hazza Making Noise - Gig Review: Hazza Making Noise w/ Mikaela Cougar @ The Thirsty Dog, Auckland - 23/07/2021
26 Jul 2021 // A review by IslaMusic
Another Friday, another epic gig at local favourite The Thirsty Dog.Mikaela Cougar warmed up the audience with a haunting rendition of Seven Nation Army.
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Shepherds Reign - Gig Review: Shepherds Reign w/ Coridian and Just One Fix @ Whammy Bar, Auckland - 22/07/2021
25 Jul 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
As soon as I heard this gig was taking place, I knew I was going to be there, as with three of NZ’s best bands in attendance it was going to be a “must see” event for any serious metalhead living in Auckland, but on a Thursday night guys? Really?
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Scalper - Single Review: Silence Speaks
24 Jul 2021 // A 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.
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Truth - Album Review: Acceptance
23 Jul 2021 // A review by Gareth Heta
Low-tempo maestros Truth return to their Deep, Dark and Dangerous imprint with a long-player of sublime electronica. Billed as their most personal album to date, Acceptance captures the duo at their most introspective, a response to a world in crisis evoked as nostalgia-inducing reveries and cavernous meditations.
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Miss Leading - Album Review: Minor Thing
23 Jul 2021 // A review by Darryl Baser
When reviewing albums by artists you’ve never heard of can be a lottery, sometimes you don’t quite ‘get’ the album, and sometimes you’re like ‘wow’. Minor Thing by Miss Leading is totally in the ‘wow’ category.
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Lizard Prom - EP Review: Unusual Pain
22 Jul 2021 // A review by Andrew Smit
The alternative sound force is strong in this one! With its hypnotic mystical sound Lizard Prom have produced a 3-song EP that is full of compelling transcendent power.
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Lisa Crawley - EP Review: Looking For Love - (In A Major)
22 Jul 2021 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Indie pop singer-songwriter Lisa Crawley launches her new EP Looking For Love - In "A Major" today. Enjoying success with the release of multiple albums, EP’s and singles, the four time APRA Silver Scroll nominee has also been selected twice for the prestigious Banff Centre Songwriters residency.
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Dilz - Single Review: Resurrection Feat. He Ra
22 Jul 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Dilz is real. He is authentic.
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Sarah Valintine - Single Review: Flown Away
21 Jul 2021 // A review by Chris Poipoi
Spotify App - SelectSearch - Sarah Valintine - SelectFlown Away - SelectRecline Close eyes Float!!!As I listen to Sarah Valintine's recently released single, Flown Away, I can't help but float off to a lovely place, prompted by a beautiful melody and artfully descriptive lyrics.
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Souldrop - EP Review: Gypsy Lizard King
21 Jul 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Kiwi new-wave indie-soul 4-piece Souldrop have released their brand new and much-anticipated EP Gypsy Lizard King via label Meow. Featuring the stunningly smooth singles Cadet and Jive, and new single/ title track Gypsy Lizard King, this latest EP release furthers their reputation as a talented band on the rise.
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False Heights - Single Review: Caught Up
21 Jul 2021 // A review by Chris Chick
The Taupo based pop duo False Heights have released their new single Caught Up and it is a corker. From the get go, the song takes me from the mid-winter blues (as I write this review) to the yearning of a wonderful sun filled summer on its way.
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Grawlixes - Album Review: Love You To Death
20 Jul 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
I have been reviewing music for more than 30 years and estimate I have written something like 2 million words on the subject, and I have often been asked the question, “Why?”.
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Blue River Baby - Single/Video Review: Pay
20 Jul 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Blue River Baby, AKA BRBB, are back with the first single from their second album, which will be due out next year. They created quite a stir with their debut release in 2019, hitting the Top Ten on the Official NZ Music charts as well as topping the NZ Indie (IMNZ) charts.
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Compilation Review: Blood And Wires Volume Two
20 Jul 2021 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Independent record label Tauranga based Blood And Wires have released Volume Two, the second instalment in a series of original electronic and experimental tracks which takes the listener on a journey through distorted synths through to serene ambient instrumentation. Blood And Wires Volume Two combines the talent of 8 talented New Zealand artists united by the idea of an experimental approach to creating music.
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Tall Folk - EP Review: Live From Martin's
19 Jul 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Tall Folk are a relatively new band, only coming together at the end of last year and feature Dunedin singer/songwriter Lara Robertson and mid-Western import Jack Ringhand, with both providing lead and harmony vocals and acoustic guitar. It really is a coming together of styles as Lara is obviously more from the folk end of the spectrum, while Jack’s gravellier rasp is far more set in Americana.
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Shihad - Single / Video Review: Tear Down Those Names
19 Jul 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
It is probably hard for anyone outside Aotearoa to realise just how important Shihad have been to the NZ music scene, but they have had five #1 albums, including the most recent, 2014’s FVEY, and hold the record for the most Top 40 singles entries by a local band. The first time I saw them play was at Western Springs supporting AC/DC, and the way the crowd reacted and sang along to all the words was one heck of an experience, and now at long last they are back with their tenth studio album.
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Rain - Single Review: Pretty
19 Jul 2021 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Rain is the music making moniker of Wellington artist Cathy Elizabeth. She has been active since 2018, collaborating with producer Thomas Te Taite to create songs that are genre fluid, but all wrapped around the singer songwriter heart.
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Investigator - Gig Review: Investigator @ Cupid Bar, Auckland - 17/07/2021
18 Jul 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
This was a gig I thought I would have to miss, as I had been invited to a wedding, but after the ceremony I realised I could still make it, so it was back into Auckland for another venue which is new to me. Cupid Bar is situated in the foyer of the old Ambassador Theatre, and with the bar on the right-hand side, there is quite a narrow entrance which then opens into a small space where bands can set up.
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Louis Baker - Gig Review: Louis Baker @ The Opera House, Wellington - 17/07/2021
18 Jul 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
“It’s been a crazy day”, Louis Baker laughs, in front of a captive audience at Wellington’s Opera House. Indeed, it’s been one of the capital’s stormiest in recent memory.
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Gig Review: Come Together: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Civic Theatre, Auckland - 17/07/2021
18 Jul 2021 // A review by Roger Bowie
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was never my favourite Elton John record, even though it turns out to be everyone else’s. At 76 minutes, it was long for its day, a ramshackle, mixed metaphor affair which reflected the prolific nature of the John/Taupin creative partnership in the early 70s, seven albums in five years, too many songs and too much excitement to attempt to cull and reject.
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The Gemini Effect - Single Review: Gridlock Party
17 Jul 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
There are some songs which are infectious from the start, with a sense of humour coming through the vocals even before listening to the lyrics, all combined with great hooks and Summer joy. Here we have a number which has been released in the middle of winter, which I am listening to on yet another rainy day in Auckland but is full of the joys of Summer – even if those joys are constrained to being stuck in overheating tin boxes as people make their way out of the city to the beaches or far North.
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Amos/Anon - Album Review: The Empty Afterwards
13 Jul 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Amos/Anon are a Wellington-based project who have been releasing music for more than a decade now. Mind you, if you have not heard of them then that is probably more by design that you may expect, given that on the Bandcamp page it states If you haven't heard of [amos/anon] then the system is working.
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Boy Virgo - Single Review: Dirty Company
12 Jul 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
Hyperpop is a revolutionary genre, and with his latest single Dirty Company, Boy Virgo and collaborator Thayerperiod prove they understand its every element. Equally satirising, paying tribute to and experimenting with the vast array of conventions in popular music, Dirty Company is a bubbling, bright ode to gay desire, exploding with exciting electronic sounds.
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Viices - Single Review: Breath
11 Jul 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Viices have been around the Wellington scene for a few years now, but up until now it has always been the work of Jake McComb, but towards the end of last year the band turned into a trio with the arrival of Liam Crawford on drums, Will Jakicevich on bass. Not only has this meant there has been a change in personnel but also a move in musical direction, which has seen them embrace the punk end of the indie genre.
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Burn the Bridges - Gig Review: Burn The Bridges w/ Bianca Rae @ The Portland, Auckland - 10/07/2021
11 Jul 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
The world of reviewers is a small one, and many of us are in touch with others in all parts of the world, and it is through this network that I know Nick Hudson, a Dunedin lad who writes for The Progressive Aspect and now resides in the UK. He in turn introduced me to Linz Eel, a well-known musician who is back in NZ after spending some time overseas, and at the beginning of the week he in turn contacted me to ask would it be possible for me to go and review a young singer-songwriter?
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Stonehurst - Gig Review: Stonehurst @ Whammy Bar, Auckland - 09/07/2021
11 Jul 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Friday night saw me yet again in central Auckland for a gig, this time to catch Stonehurst and Elidi who were both up from Christchurch, my neck of the woods. I had been looking forward to this for months, ever since I reviewed the last single by Elidi, Witches Brew.
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Shivers - Single Review: Runaway
09 Jul 2021 // A review by Trevor Faville
This is the second release from Shivers since the group evolved in Wellington in 2018. Founders Adrian Win and Timmy Porter are at the heart of the sound, but Runaway involves a larger cast of contributors-notably drummer Rick Cranson.
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Bluey Green - EP Review: Bluey Green
08 Jul 2021 // A review by bethany_rachell
July 9, 2021, sees the first ever release of Bluey Green – the self-titled EP. As I sometimes do with reviews, I dived right into this EP before reading about, or even having heard of Bluey Green, and nothing could have been a more fitting description than the wavering, reflective shine of the ocean that the name alone evokes.
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James Constable - Album Review: Tui
06 Jul 2021 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Indie singer/songwriter James Constable has launched his debut album, Tui. The 17-year-old from Rangiora showcases an incredible knack for writing mature lyrics and catchy melodies.
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The Knids - Album Review: One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Manknid
06 Jul 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
I must confess that when punk first started rearing its ugly head in 1976, I was not a huge fan, as while the energy was interesting, too many songs sounded as if they had been created by people who had no musical ability or ideas whatsoever. What was way more fascinating to me was what came out slightly afterwards, the independent alternative scene, where the only commonality between bands was the DIY ethic.
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Louis Baker - EP Review: Love Levitates
06 Jul 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
Love Levitates is a triumph for Aotearoa soul star Louis Baker. Merging a diverse range of genres including funk, pop, soul and R&B, Baker's assured sense of identity grounds each song as a cohesive whole.
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Star Control - Gig Review: Star Control & PolarisRadio @ The Wine Cellar, Auckland - 03/07/2021
05 Jul 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Yet again I find myself heading into central Auckland for the second consecutive night on my way to a gig, this time to a two-band bill at The Wine Cellar featuring Star Control and PolarisRadio. A few months ago, I bumped into Felix Lun at a gig where he was guesting, and while our discussion of course concentrated on the mighty and much-missed Shepherds of Cassini (where he played violin), he told me that he and drummer Omar Al-Hashimi were now two thirds of a totally different outfit called Star Control.
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Lakius - Single/Video Review: Here We Are Still
05 Jul 2021 // A review by Kerry MB
Post-Industrial Metal duo Lakius have another explosive single, this time directly in reference to our country’s marijuana legislation falling short by a 2% margin last year.Here We Are Still is another assault to the senses.
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Drax Project - Gig Review: Drax Project @ Dunedin Town Hall, Dunedin - 02/06/2021
04 Jul 2021 // A review by Darryl Baser
Auckland based singer AACACIA was onstage and singing with her band as many people walked in at 7:25pm ahead of the advertised start time. In 2019 AACACIA posted a clip asking to play support to Drax Project, and last night she did.
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WHITE NØISE MAFIA - Gig Review: White Nøise Mafia @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 02/07/2021
03 Jul 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
So, it was back down to my favourite venue for another night of great music as it was the launch gig for White Nøise Mafia’s debut single, The Divide. Last year they won the battle of the bands competition, and the prize was a recording session with Dave Rhodes and a video shoot with Francis Wheeler, who was there in the audience tonight.
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Jessica Leigh - Single Review: Summer Royalty
02 Jul 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
Introducing her upcoming second EP, Summerland, Jessica Leigh's new single Summer Royalty paints a picture of a white-hot seasonal romance. The track is a road trip anthem produced by Leigh's long-time musical collaborator, Jules Evans.
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Bingo Fighter - Single Review: On My Guard
02 Jul 2021 // A review by Andrew Smit
The latest release from Bingo Fighter, On My Guard, is a very cool song with vivid pulsating guitar which is driven along by stomping drums, that pump through the song with outstanding clarity. The chorus is simple enough with its straightforward repeated phrase "on a far-king train", delivered in a unique singing style from vocalist Hayden, which is strikingly distinct with a clear enunciated style that makes the track sound super sublime.
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The Infinity Chamber - Various Artists - Reflections of the Infinity Chamber
01 Jul 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Dylan Paul Ware was born and raised in New Zealand, and was exposed to music from a young age as his father was a radio rock journalist who interviewed the likes of Chuck Berry. At home there was a massive record collection, and consequently his tastes in music are very broad indeed (I read a fascinating interview where he lists his favourite albums as Dire Straits’ debut album, NIN’s The Downward Spiral, The Beatle’s Abbey Road, CCR’s Bayou Country, ACDC’s Powerage, Simon & Garfunkle’s The Sounds of Silence, Bob Dylan’s Bootleg Series #4 1966 Royal Albert Hall Concert 1966 Disk: 1.
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Personal Igloo - Single Review: Material Girl
01 Jul 2021 // A review by Peter-James Dries
No. This is not a Madonna cover.
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freya - EP Review: Wildest Creatures I've Dreamed
01 Jul 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
Auckland songwriter freya storms into July with her debut studio EP, the beautifully titled Wildest Creatures I’ve Dreamed. Recorded with Harry Charles and Morgan Allen at The Depot, this EP does a fantastic job at taking its listener to the poetic realm of a sleepy, nostalgia-filled seaside town like Devonport.
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Orphic Decor - EP Review: Overcross
01 Jul 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
This five-track 14-minute-long EP is the latest release by multi-instrumentalist Jacob Tait, who goes under the name of Orphic Decor. He released his debut EP, Ida, in 2020 and this is the follow-up.
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Sam Bartells - Single Review: Where We'll Go Feat. Mema Wilda
29 Jun 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Rock The Folk event at The Tuning Fork, and two of the three artists there that night can now be heard on this single. Sam Bartells is closer to alt country than he is to alt folk, and has been studying his craft in Nashville, but like many Kiwis he has been in his home country again for quite some time.
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WHITE NØISE MAFIA - Single/Video Review: The Divide
29 Jun 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Last year I was fortunate enough to see all the heats and one of the semi-finals for the Ding Dong Lounge Battle of the Bands competition and came away incredibly impressed with a band who had formed just in time to play a gig at the venue, and to be then allowed to enter the competition. When they played their heat, I was immediately impressed, as were the judges, and I came away wondering if they were like that at their second ever gig what on earth would they be doing in a few years’ time.
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Rachel Leo - Single Review: Conversation
28 Jun 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
Everything about Rachel Leo's debut single, Conversation, is picture perfect. A collaboration between Leo and some of Kiwi's pop greats, Joseph Corban-Banks, Em Basa and Simon Gooding, Conversation sees the 22-year-old stepping out with an incredibly well-thought-out release, one which will undoubtedly see her bringing audiences to their feet in hundreds of summer festivals to come.
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Troy Kingi - Album Review: Black Sea Golden Ladder
28 Jun 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
I was first introduced to the music of Troy Kingi when I was over at Red Room Studios one day at the invitation of TeMatera Smith some years back, who told me I just had to hear the person he was currently working with. I was fortunate enough to be there for some of the sessions of Shake That Skinny Ass All The Way To Zygertron, and I was blown away by the sheer musicality and ear of Troy who was able to listen to a track for a few seconds and then say, “it needs this” and then go back into the studio and record it.
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Alien Weaponry - Single Review: Tangaroa
26 Jun 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
It has been a long three years since debut album Tu, but at long last Alien Weaponry are back with the first track taken from the new album of the same name, Tangaroa. The album is not due to hit for another few months, so until then we will have to satisfy ourselves with this track which sees the sound moving in a more mature, deeper, and more produced aspect than what we have heard in the past.
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And$um - Single Review: Ride The Wave Feat. Valle
26 Jun 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
I’m a big fan of Hip-Hop - I teach it at school to my students. Hip-Hop is about being real and it has an honest vibe to it.
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Melanie - Gig Review: Tsunami Warning @ The Wine Cellar, Auckland - 25/06/2021
26 Jun 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Tonight was my first trip to The Wine Cellar in the centre of Auckland, a venue of which I was aware but just hadn’t been to, and is exactly as it sounds. I had also been told that lighting would be incredibly dark, which was also correct, and given tonight was a sell-out I really didn’t want to fight my way through to take a couple of photos on my phone and then fight my way back to where I was perching to write the review, so I have no shots of the night.
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Black Gravel City - Single Review: Internal Fix
24 Jun 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Internal Fix is the debut release from Auckland-based trio Black Gravel City, who describe themselves as metal/rock/metal which in terms of this song definitely makes sense. Formed just a year ago, the band comprise Hemi Sachin (drums, formerly Broken Season, Lakius, Order of Mammal), Kerry Cooper (guitars, vocals, formerly Djen, Order of Mammal, various cover bands) and Caz (bass and backing vocals, past groups Tegan, Sairalei, Madame Youth, Lakius).
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Capital Theatre - Single/Video Review: People
24 Jun 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Earlier this year I was lucky enough to catch Capital Theatre in concert, and their catchy, layered, art rock approach to music certainly struck a chord. Since then, I have eagerly been awaiting the release of the album, but until that comes to fruition, we will instead just have to play this single, People.
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Danica Bryant - Single Review: Heart Eyes
24 Jun 2021 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Hawkes Bay born, now Wellington based singer-songwriter Danica Bryant returns with her latest offering - Heart Eyes. A bold, catchy track about young girls being obsessed with male celebrities, Heart Eyes is sugar coated and sweet, but with an underlying darkness oozing through its cynical lyrics and distorted melodies.
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James Hunter and The Gatherers - Single Review: Suburban Dystopia
24 Jun 2021 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
James Hunter is an alt folk musician from Poneke. He writes, records, and produces records that are minimal in scope, but intimate through his vocal delivery.
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Tony Daunt & The Dauntless - Gig Review: Tony Daunt & The Dauntless @ The Wallace Arts Centre, Auckland - 20/06/2021
22 Jun 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Whoever thought of holding an evening concert at The Wallace Arts Centre is a genius, as not only is it just 20 minutes from my flat, and a wonderful venue, but the start time was 6:00 with an aim to be finished by 8:30! I mean, that is almost civilized!
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Aanvi . S - Single Review: Music Is My Religion
22 Jun 2021 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Aanvi S is possibly New Zealand’s youngest singer / songwriter, who at just nine has released her debut single Music Is My Religion. Encouragement from her family and friends has seen her blossom into a prolific songwriter inspired by her poetry.
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Jason Kerrison - Single Review: The Timing
22 Jun 2021 // A review by Adrian Drew
Jason Kerrison, the prodigal pop rock son returns with the lead single from his upcoming debut solo album, The Timing. This is four years in the making and the (ahem) timing couldn't be better, released the day after becoming the inaugural winner of the Masked Singer NZ.
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Molly Devine - Single Review: Because I Love You
21 Jun 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
Molly Devine estimates her latest track, Because I Love You, has seen at least seven versions prior to its release last week, having been written over five years ago. It is the second in a series of self-produced works Devine plans to share throughout 2021, setting up an incredibly emotional soundscape for her music.
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Daniel Armstrong & The Monsoons - Album Review: Everything Is As It Shouldn't Be
21 Jun 2021 // A review by bethany_rachell
Everything Is As It Shouldn’t Be is the latest release from Daniel Armstrong & The Monsoons, and boy it is a wild ride. The album takes self-proclaimed inspiration from “Bob-Dylan, Talking Heads, Claude Debussy, Velvet Underground and Radiohead,” so I went in with eclectic expectations.
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The Jordan Luck Band - Gig Review: Jordan Luck Band with Ekko Park @ The Mangawhai Tavern, Mangawhai - 19/06/2021
20 Jun 2021 // A review by Adrian Drew
I'll start with an admission; I was well up for this gig! A Kiwi icon, at an iconic venue, with a superstar rock opening act...
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Wax Chattels - Gig Review: Wax Chattels @ San Fran, Wellington - 18/06/2021
20 Jun 2021 // A review by dmcgurk
Starting almost right on time – not quite as precise as the militant time slots enforced at the now-closed ‘Puppies’ but closer than you would normally expect in Wellington – Soft Plastics took the stage. It took me a little while to get it.
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Albi & The Wolves - Gig Review: Rock The Folk @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 18/06/2021
20 Jun 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
So, it was back to the lovely little venue which is The Tuning Fork. It is somewhere I always enjoy going to, as not only is the food and beer very good indeed, but there is a good sound and everyone can see.
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LearningToDive - Single Review: You Said It Best
17 Jun 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Learningtodive is one of a series of projects from Bravo Bonez, a musician and producer currently based in Wellington, New Zealand. He released his first single under this name back in November last year, since when he has followed it up with more singles and his debut album Norwegian Pop, which came out in April.
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Lisa Crawley - Single Review: The Right Way
17 Jun 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
The Right Way is an absolute delicacy. Introducing her new EP due out later this year, Lisa Crawley’s latest single explores the feeling of frustration and awkwardness in the struggle to impress others.
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TOI - EP Review: TOI
17 Jun 2021 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Award winning seven-piece Wellington band TOI (Tunes of I), are releasing their highly anticipated self-titled EP. Accompanying the release is a four date nationwide tour of Wellington, Christchurch, Auckland and Raglan.
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Y$O - Single Review: Cotton Candy
16 Jun 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Tracks like this deserve a good amount of attention. It's funky, groovy and makes you feel good.
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Gig Review: Blitz Metal Fest @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 12/06/2021
13 Jun 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Well, today was a first for me, coming to Ding Dong in the daylight! This was because it was time for Metal Blitz, a 13-band event being held which was planned to run for 10 hours but we all thought was probably going to take longer.
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Justin Sane - Single Review: You Bout That
10 Jun 2021 // A review by Jamie Denton
Ex-UK, now Auckland-based DJ/producer, Justin Sanehas a long history in the music industry. He has been releasing music for over 15 years, both within Aotearoa New Zealand and the UK, and has a long list of collaborations with a wide range of artists (including Dane Rumble, Kids in Space, {3Oh!
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Gatekeepers - Single Review: Always a Rebel, Never a Rogue
09 Jun 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Gatekeepers may be a new name to most of you, but this New Plymouth quartet have managed to secure the opening slot in Hamilton for the Devilskin and Kora show, so they have already started to gain some attention and based on this single one can hear why. The band was only formed earlier this year by guitarist/singer Jeremy Donoghue, rhythm guitarist Sean Phillips and bassist Mat Pipe, since when they have been writing and recording tracks before sending them to the UK to be mixed by Adam Wain.
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Investigator - Single Review: Lake of Eyes
09 Jun 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Adrian Drew and his band of merry men are back with the third single from their forthcoming album and given what I have heard to date I am really looking forward to that when it comes out. While Adrian provides guitar and vocals, the band is now firmly settled with David Crowhen (bass) Undercut, Craig van Kan (drums), The Couch, and lead guitarist Adam Morton-Mason, These Fine Galleons.
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Oh Sweet Nothings - Gig Review: Oh Sweet Nothings @ Valhalla, Wellington - 06/06/2021
09 Jun 2021 // A review by bethany_rachell
I’m not sure what I expected, but last Sunday’s Oh Sweet Nothings album release party painted a very interesting scene at Valhalla. The following day, Monday, was to be Queen’s birthday bank holiday and town was consequently busier than the usual Sunday, littered with drunkards and litter.
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Turkey The Bird - Album Review: Turkey The Bird
07 Jun 2021 // A review by Chris Chick
The self-professed ‘Simon & Garfunkel’ of Aotearoa bring their first album to the listening ears of all New Zealanders and let us not beat around the bush, this is a corker of epic proportions. From the steadfast sound of the banjo piercing your ears delightful receptacles, to some rather incredibly smooth harmonies backed up by some rasping bass lines.
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Mudbelly - Single Review: Baby U No Good
07 Jun 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Last weekend I was fortunate enough to both survive the ravages of Canterbury’s wild weather and experience the force of nature which is Mudbelly, with the latter more than making up for going out in the driving rain to get to the gig. This means I am in the somewhat unusual position of having heard this song played in concert prior to coming across the recorded version, and it is interesting to hear just how different it is in this setting.
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DRXNES - Single Review: Junkie
07 Jun 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Prior to hearing this single I had heard only positive things about Whanganui band DRXNES and having now played this I can see exactly why. This is a highly polished, highly produced number which sounds as if it has come out of a top American band and studio as opposed to little old Aotearoa.
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Dead Favours - Gig Review: Dead Favours @ Darkroom, Christchurch - 04/06/2021
07 Jun 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
For the second time in less than a week it was back into the centre of Christchurch and St. Asaph Street, but whereas last time it was to the 12 Bar, this week it was next door, to Darkroom.
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Dead Favours - Gig Review: Dead Favours @ Valhalla, Wellington - 03/06/2021
06 Jun 2021 // A review by Tony McDonald
In the sweaty snake pit that is Valhalla I was ordering a Fireball when two feet appeared next to me at the bar. Looking up I discover it’s the one and only Jared from Dead Favours.
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Max Earnshaw - Single Review: What We Made
04 Jun 2021 // A review by Steve Shyu
Renowned Auckland pop-rock musician Max Earnshaw is back again with the new single What We Made, released just last week. Muzic.
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Kaela - Single Review: Obsessions
04 Jun 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
Kaela is not one to let herself be forgotten. Returning from a brief hiatus, her new single Obsessions delivers an otherworldly exploration of her struggle with OCD.
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OddJive - Album Review: Hell Yeah Nah
31 May 2021 // A review by Lou Clement
Multi-genre mining act OddJive released their second album in May 2021, and the release is accompanied by vibrant, beautiful artwork by Alex Hoare. Titled Hell Yeah Nah, it is birthed by the five members of the band and promoted as a work created with the ongoing support of friends and family.
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Iris Zhang - Single Review: Castle
31 May 2021 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Auckland based indie artist Iris Zhang launched her second single Castle on the 28th of May. The track is a delicate, intricate song that touches on isolation, desire and self-sabotage.
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Oh Sweet Nothings - Album Review: The Math
31 May 2021 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
"Completely DIY and 8 years in the making, “a tribute to the pipe dreams of the struggling indie artist”.The tagline for The Math by Wellington based indie post-everything band Oh Sweet Nothings is a likeable description.
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Mudbelly - Gig Review: Mudbelly @ 12 Bar, Christchurch - 29/05/2021
30 May 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
In the middle of a red alert weather warning, I trekked from Oxford into Christchurch to attend Mudbelly’s album launch. It has been a while since I last went to a gig down here, but I have been to some real killers in the past (Sepultura, Death Angel and Blindfolded And Led To The Woods at Canterbury University’s The Foundry will long stick in my mind), so was looking forward to this.
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Lorenzo Hazelwood - Single Review: Same Mistake
28 May 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Lorenzo Hazlewood is probably best known as front man for Auckland hard rock band Close To The Bone, but he also released some solo singles last year in slightly different fashion, and now he has returned with his first for 2021, Same Mistake. This is reminiscent in some ways of classic ballad-style grunge like good Alice In Chains or Soundgarden, with his vocals very much to the fore.
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Dead Favours - Album Review: Riffing & Yelling
28 May 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
A few weeks ago Dead Favours released the single Move On and now they have released Side A of Riffing & Yelling, six songs determined to grab hold of your brain and never let go. When I reviewed the single, I attempted to describe it as possibly Kyuss mixed with Foo Fighters, My Chemical Romance, and The Darkness and here we have 22 minutes which makes me think that comparison still mostly holds true.
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Keeley Shade - EP Review: Give Me Time
27 May 2021 // A review by dmcgurk
While researching this review I was baffled to see that Keeley Shade’s Facebook page only had ~160 likes. I find it hard to understand why somebody with this much talent doesn’t command legions of fans, but I expect that her gorgeous new 5-track EP Give Me Time will win her a few more.
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KITA - Album Review: KITA
27 May 2021 // A review by IslaMusic
KITA are a vision straight from a synth-pop dream. Hailing from art capital Wellington, the three-piece sew elements of modern jazz, vintage rock, polished pop and grounding soul into a sonic tapestry.
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Michèle Ducray - Single Review: Midnight
27 May 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
As a self-professed “fan of the peculiar”, it’s somewhat surprising that Michele Ducray’s first single Midnight is such a carefully cut pop song. Midnight is an unusual but not unwelcome match to her intriguing magic and circus-themed branding.
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Daniel Armstrong & The Monsoons - Single Review: Just Shut Up for a Minute
27 May 2021 // A review by Harry Platt
Just shut up for a minute.A sentiment I can fully endorse.
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Swerve City - Single Review: Moving Pictures
23 May 2021 // A review by Kerry MB
If the name of Swerve City sounds familiar to you, you’re probably right in thinking that yes, it is in fact borrowed from a Deftones song. You might also recognize some of the line-up of Swerve City that were formally of/currently in bands like Fire at Will, Saints of Taboo and Armed in Advance (or for those that can remember way back, AKA, Stitches) Having just had the pleasure of reviewing Swerve City’s recent third single, Moving Pictures, I can tell listeners are in for a treat, especially if you’re a fan of alternative rock, metal undertones and pop sensibilities.
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Reuben Hudson - Single Review: Baby Bedside
23 May 2021 // A review by Darryl Baser
There are many things which can derail a musician’s career, although Reuben Hudson’s reasoning may be a little less common than most. He had kidney transplant surgery in 2020.
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Y$O - Single Review: M.I.A
23 May 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Combining the forces of artists Sam V, Aidan Fine, JARNA, Brokeboi Ace and producers EDY, CreationKit & M4, Young & $lept On (Y$O) is New Zealand's newest supergroup. This stable of talent is set to disrupt airwaves and social media with their eclectic sense of style, talent and vision - demonstrated by the group's first release M.
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DateMonthYear - EP Review: The Exodus Suite
22 May 2021 // A review by malexa
The metamorphosis of the genesis of Exodus into The Exodus Suite while not quite of Biblical proportions is nevertheless on a grand scale. These five degrees of separation, with accompanying videos (the final installment – which is on its way) might share the same source material but, as always, DateMonthYear founder Trevor  Faville twists and shape-shifts with an informed sense of musical invention.
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Ryan Farrell - Single Review: Teenage Dreamer
22 May 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
I love it when these sorts of things happen. At just 18, the new track Teenage Dreamer from Ryan Farrell is another example of a young artist who had a vision for their sound and delivers on it.
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Scizzorhands - EP Review: Iron Flowerz with Kevin Posey
21 May 2021 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Kevin Posey and Scizzorhands have released their very own collaborative EP. This is a 4 track relic-themed project with some darker, heart-felt content.
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Merk - Gig Review: Merk @ Cassette 9, Auckland - 15/05/2021
18 May 2021 // A review by Lou Clement
Merk is Mark Perkins and he played alongside four accompanying musicians for this his first headline tour, celebrating the recent release of his second album Infinite Youth.The first date of his tour was at Auckland’s Cassette 9, nestled above Vulcan Lane on a busy Saturday night.
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Rose Lubransky - Single Review: Head Over Heels
18 May 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
Wellington’s indie dream girl Rose Lubransky’s latest bedroom pop single, Head Over Heels, is another unique production with home producer and frequent collaborator BushJungle. The song is undoubtedly catchy, with a more anthemic structure and sound than their preceding work.
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Dead Favours - Single Review: Move On
16 May 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
There has been a slight shuffling in the ranks since the last album from Dead Favours, and Skinny Hobos frontman Alex Elvis has come in on bass, joining frontman Jared Wrennall, drummer Charlie Smith and guitarist Kyle Wetton. Their new album, Riffing & Yelling, which has been produced by Six60’s Chris Mac, is being released in two parts.
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Hunter Davison - EP Review: Headspins
15 May 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
Hunter Davison’s debut EP, Head Spins, explores the love, lust and mental health struggles of young people today. It is a vulnerable collection of songs with a knack for interesting rhythmic and melodic ideas.
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Mad Cow - Single Review: Alone
15 May 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Mad Cow are a Taranaki band who formed way back in the 1990’s and have been going one way or another ever since, releasing their debut EP in 2000 and following it up just 10 years later with the next one. Then in 2013 guitarist Joe Smither returned to Aotearoa after living for a while in Melbourne and made contact again with original singer Jon Churchill (who also provides bass) which resulted in the third EP, Disturbing The Peace.
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Claemus - Single Review: Hedonist
13 May 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Hutt Valley quartet Claemus are back with their latest single, Hedonist, which puts them firmly in the prog metal scene, but possibly not quite in the area one might imagine just from that alone. Most people tend to think of prog metal as being typified by the likes of Dream Theater or Threshold, but as with many of the sub genres, itself covers a multitude of different styles and Claemus are musically all over the place - truly progressing and blending as opposed to attempting to sound like anyone else.
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Album Review: Blood & Wires Volume One
13 May 2021 // A review by malexa
It’s still very much a brave new world when it comes to releasing music with its ever diminishing returns for physical product and the pecuniary stranglehold the major streaming services have on the industry. That’s why Tauranga-based boutique label Blood & Wires deserves a huge thumbs-up for its innovative and down-to-earth but wildly musically ambitious launch.
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Metanoia - Single Review: Sonder
13 May 2021 // A review by malexa
It’s always handy for a reviewer to have a bit of background information about an artist to get a creative context of where they have come from and where they might be heading. Metanoia is a bit of a mystery in this respect.
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Simon Hirst - Single Review: No Turning Back
13 May 2021 // A review by Trevor Faville
Hamilton Singer-songwriter Simon Hirst has released a new single No Turning Back. This is his first new material since the Feet of God collection from 2018.
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Barnaby Weir - Gig Review: Laughton Kora and Barnaby Weir @ Auckland Museum, Auckland - 10/05/2021
12 May 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Up until tonight, I am sure the most unusual venue I attended for a gig was the Canadian Embassy in London, when they put on a media showcase for a Canadian rock act. I remember then looking at the walls and candelabra, trying not to spill my wine on the posh carpet, wondering what I was doing there.
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Saurian - Single Review: Tyre Tracks (In The Sky) – Acoustic Version
11 May 2021 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Alternative rock band from Dunedin, Saurian (meaning “lizard-like”), have recently re-released a new single of an old favourite, Tyre Tracks (In The Sky) as an acoustic version. Removing the loud distorted guitars, drums and big vocals, resulting in a restrained sound consisting of acoustic guitar, strings, percussion and softer vocals.
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Georgia Lines - Gig Review: Georgia Lines @ Grater Goods, Christchurch - 07/05/2021
10 May 2021 // A review by Madeleine Howard
On the 7th of May, Christchurch was treated to an evening with pop artist Georgia Lines, at the intimate vegan eatery Grater Goods. The final show in her first nationwide tour, Georgia had been touring alongside pop duo LAIIKA, playing shows in Auckland, Tauranga and Wellington.
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Beastwars - Gig Review: Beastwars with Earth Tongue and Demons of Noon @ Powerstation, Auckland - 08/05/2021
09 May 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
I was a little concerned when I made my way to the Powerstation just 15 minutes before the doors were due to open, as there was no-one else there! A quick check of the billboard confirmed I was in the right place on the right date, but possibly this was somewhat indicative of the poor weather combined with so many great gigs on tonight.
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Coridian - Single/Video Review: Wicked Game
09 May 2021 // A review by Carl Hayman
Well well well, the boys in Coridian have been at it again. Their new release is an absolute banger!
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The Flaming Bridges - EP Review: Water/Sand
09 May 2021 // A review by dmcgurk
It only took two weeks for Matt Schobs to write and record Water/Sand, a collection of sombre folk songs that walk a line between past defeats and unknown futures. It’s Schobs’ second release under the name The Flaming Bridges and was written at the point where his life as steam punk in Oamaru collapsed and, in his own words, “lay in ruins.
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Vann Dizon - Single/Video Review: Let You Go
08 May 2021 // A review by Darryl Baser
Wow. Beautifully written, lyrics with heart, the composition is top form, and the production sets this song as a potential chart topper.
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Hummucide - Single Review: Exothermic Feat. Luca Sturny
06 May 2021 // A review by dmcgurk
Hummucide’s 2020 self-titled EP was a collection of older pieces written by the group in high school. It highlighted the quality of the musicianship but felt more like a collection of reigned-in jam sessions than precise compositions.
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Emily Rice - EP Review: Auhua
06 May 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Over the last few months Emily Rice has been building up to the release of this EP, and of the six songs included on Auaha (which means to shape, create, form, fashion), four have already been released as singles, and I have reviewed three of them myself, so the EP feels already very much like an old friend, but for anyone yet to come across Emily and her work then this is a wonderful place to start. I first came across Emily and her husband in the wonderful folk duo Aro, but here her music is far more dance oriented as she brings in lots of different styles such as soft jazz, RnB, dub, and even a little touch of folk, but always with her wonderful vocals front and centre.
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House Of Downtown - Album Review: Re-Release
06 May 2021 // A review by Jamie Denton
Electronica/house music legends House of Downtown return from a near-twenty-year hiatus with a new album entitled Re-Release that revisits, remixes, remasters, and reconceptualises 2001’s critically and commercially successful debut album Release. Having been very familiar with House of Downtown during their original heyday and having spent a lot of time listening to their previous releases (the aforementioned Release and 2003’s Mutha Funkin’ Earth), I was nervously excited to check this new album out.
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Reshma - Single Review: Loneliest Girl
05 May 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
Reshma’s enchanting new single Loneliest Girl takes a dark approach to the story of a collapsed romance. Having previously built a career in her birthplace of Kuala Lumpur, Loneliest Girl serves as Reshma’s debut musical endeavour into the English language, answering her ambition to release a song in New Zealand, where she grew up.
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Alice Tozer - Single Review: Pink & Blue
05 May 2021 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Christchurch pop artist Alice Tozer released their debut single Pink & Blue on the 26th of April. A groove tinged, jazz infused tune about gender identity, the track is a strong introduction to this brand new artist.
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Living State - Single Review: One Sided
04 May 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Whenever I hear anyone bemoaning the state of music on the radio, I tell them to get out to places like Ding Dong and actually live and breathe what is really going on in the scene, not what some people just want to tell you. Last Saturday I was there at yet another gig, and while I was having a chat with one of the musicians a guy came up and joined in.
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Stealphish - Single Review: Auri
04 May 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest single from Cafe Fistfight guitarist Josh Barker in his alter ego as Stealphish. The only other person involved on this recording is his wife Nicole who provides piano for the first 35 seconds of the nearly 7-minute-long song.
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Dan Sharp - EP Review: Water Went Away
03 May 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Proud Coromandel boy Dan Sharp is back with his latest EP, Water Went Away, and I can only concur with Corinne’s review of his last EP, Slack Tide, in that we really need an album! This collection of five songs loosely follows through the various stages of a breakup and the significant life changes that happen as part of that such as moving to a new house, moving town, being unable to access certain things, wondering what was going to happen next etc.
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Pencarrow - Gig Review: Pencarrow @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 01/05/2021
02 May 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
I have lost count of how many times I have been to Ding Dong in the last year, I think it is somewhere between “lots” and “loads”, so consequently it is starting to feel very much like a place where every barman knows my name (and what I drink). I have been looking forward to catching Pencarrow since I came across their debut album Growth In The Absence of Light which was released last year.
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Big Tasty - Gig Review: BOTB Winners Tour with Big Tasty & guests @ Anthology Lounge, Auckland - 30/04/2021
01 May 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back off to the Anthology Lounge for a 4-band bill, which I was really looking forward to. It was going to be the first time I had seen Cafe Fistfight in a while, I had heard good things about The Minnehahas (and I know drummer Neo from White Noise Mafia), I had reviewed the album by The RVMES while this was the last night of the tour for BOTB winners Big Tasty so it was all set for a great session.
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Metrosideros - EP Review: Var.
30 Apr 2021 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
From the south coast of Wellington, Metrosideros' Matt Dalzell and Ellie Rose have created somewhat of a cool and funky trip hop sound with swirling’s of dub and journeys into backbeats. Their latest EP, Var.
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JoshDannMusic - Single Review: Just For A Moment
29 Apr 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Josh Dann is a Hamilton-based multi-instrumentalist whose musical journey started at the age of eleven when he was inspired to pick up an instrument when he heard someone playing a clarinet. Since then, he has also taken up other instruments such as saxophone, piano and bass, and his latest single finds him playing all instruments apart from drums, which are provided by Luke Rodgers.
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Banana Mundo - EP Review: Hola
29 Apr 2021 // A review by Chris Chick
You just know with a name like Banana Mundo that you are in for a good time, as my old man once said to me "Chris, I am short and so is life, we are here for a good time, not a long time". It's a shame he did not have this EP at hand to use it in his timely philosophical saying.
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D.Matthews - Single Review: Melanin Skin
29 Apr 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Melanin Skin is a new single from Auckland-based Nigerian singer-songwriter, D.Matthews (aka David Matthews) who has curated his own brand of energetic calm Afrobeat/Afropop.
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Marsha - Single Review: Last Night
28 Apr 2021 // A review by Trevor Faville
Marsha’s history dates from 2018 or so, and Last Night is the latest release for these "four dudes from Christchurch". It's an accomplished track - a considered melody and thoughtful vocal arrangements are an early and immediate take-away.
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House Of Downtown - Single Review: Rise Above (OOJ Remix)
27 Apr 2021 // A review by Jamie Denton
Auckland-based electronic scene-legends House of Downtown break a near twenty-year hiatus with new single Rise Above (OOJ Remix). Coming from their forthcoming album entitled Re-Release (an album that revisits, remixes, remasters, and re-conceptualises their debut album Release for its twentieth anniversary – my review for that is also coming soon!
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Street Georges - Gig Review: Street Georges @ The Portland Public House, Auckland - 22/04/2021
27 Apr 2021 // A review by Chris Poipoi
THE PARTING WORDS from the mouth of a truly understated musician genius, Richard Beckmannflay bids goodnight to a grateful crowd of followers, who had been treated to a Masterclass performance from his band Street Georges (yes, that's his BAND's name!!)As one of those grateful followers I found myself Engulfed, Enthralled and Enspired!
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Age of Destitute - Single Review: Voiceless
26 Apr 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Age of Destitute are a new band formed by Rezwan Ashraf (vocals, lead guitar) and Sammy Iqbal (rhythm guitar, bass). The duo are both originally from Bangladesh, and only met by chance here in New Zealand, and were soon jamming and trying out different ideas.
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Plague of the Fallen - EP Review: Bleeding and Vehement
25 Apr 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
It has been a long road for Plague of the Fallen who released their debut EP Unleash the Vermin some 10 years ago, but the intervening years have seen line-up changes and even a hiatus, but now they are back with a six-track 15-minute-long EP, Bleeding and Vehement. This is brutal death metal, making for a wonderful attack on the senses.
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Grumblewood - Album Review: Stories of Strangers
25 Apr 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
A friend of mine in Cyprus put me onto this Wellington quartet who are signed to an English label, so I checked in with a Norwegian prog reviewer I work with to see if he had heard of them, and when he responded in the negative, I did not feel quite so bad. But I must confess to taking it personally if there is a progressive rock band in this part of the world of which I am unaware, given that I have spent more than 30 years singing the praises of the genre and bands within it.
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Renée Therése - Single Review: The Train Man
22 Apr 2021 // A review by bethany_rachell
The Train Man is the third single from the album Better With Friends by Renée Therése, due to be released in May. The song tells the tale of a passionate train driver, dutiful and modest, a real working-class man.
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Silas Futura - EP Review: Pluto
21 Apr 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
The new EP Pluto from Silas Futura feels like a tip of the hat to Hip-Hop, with its roots coming from Jazz and all the breaks that bought together that style.On the opening track Care, the time signature plays games with you but that is fine because you won't really notice.
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Hawkins - Album Review: Hawkins
21 Apr 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Yep. I knew that voice immediately.
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Sidewinder - Single Review: Sirens
19 Apr 2021 // A review by dmcgurk
"It feels like I’m dying" is a heavy statement to open your band’s first recorded song with; the lyric hangs momentarily in a swamp of muted guitar before the big opening riff of Sirens confirms that heaviness is what Sidewinder are all about. Singer Jason Curtis unleashes a throaty “Heyeah” as a fuzz of guitar somewhere between grunge and stoner rock hammers down.
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Dr.Reknaw - Gig Review: Dr.Reknaw @ Anthology Lounge, Auckland - 16/04/2021
19 Apr 2021 // A review by Lou Clement
Epic eight-piece, Dr.Reknaw, took to the stage at Anthology Lounge on a wet Friday evening for their only Auckland gig.
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Personal Igloo - Single Review: Shades of Blue
19 Apr 2021 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Personal Igloo is the solo project of Auckland based song writer/producer, Hamish Nixon. Following the release of the début EP Phone-in Serotonin, Shades of Blue takes on a new-found energy on top of Nixon's signature laid-back delivery.
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Jiahu Symbols - Single Review: Northern Exposure
17 Apr 2021 // A review by Darryl Baser
An interesting song, Jiahu Symbols' Northern Exposure opens with a guitar swathed in chorus, maybe a little tremolo, with a couple of bars before the song crashes into life. The verse structure is played a couple of times, before Andrew Murray-Brown begins singing.
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Mark de Clive-Lowe - EP Review: Midnight Snacks Vol.1
16 Apr 2021 // A review by malexa
Mark de Clive-Lowe’s musical palette has always been so refreshing engaging and diverse that each new release is like receiving a care package – you don’t know what’s inside but you know you’ll find comfort in it. The Los Angeles-based Kiwi musician, DJ and night club and record label owner has been particularly busy in the last few years with albums and EPs ranging from the chillingly melodious jazz quartet outing Live At The Blue Whale, the steamingly funky club party Church Sessions with various cohorts and the conceptual Heritage I and II, which celebrated his bi-cultural heritage (he is half-Japanese).
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Magnalith - EP Review: Instrumentality
15 Apr 2021 // A review by River Tucker
If you ever had the inclination to record some music, heading over to Auckland’s LAB studios to lay down some drums is a good way to begin. Not only have they provided Mathew Bosher’s solo release with the depth of sound his chosen genres demand but they also ensure the contagious rhythms on Instrumentality, his debut EP under the moniker Magnalith, have the cut through required to get listener’s fully engaged.
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Oh Sweet Nothings - Single Review: Shinbone
15 Apr 2021 // A review by bethany_rachell
Poneke based Oh Sweet Nothings' new track Shinbone is exciting from the start. It is the first release to follow their debut EP Emergency Procedures, released in 2019.
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The RVMES - Album Review: Lifetime
14 Apr 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
The RVMES (pronounced “rooms”) are back with a ten-track release entitled Lifetime, following from their 9-track self-titled EP in 2019, plus numerous singles. Here we have a band who are determined not to sit within any particular genre, and while much of what they perform could fall under the banners of indie, alternative, pop and/or psychedelic, they bring much more than that into the mix.
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Dr.Reknaw - Album Review: Rektified
14 Apr 2021 // A review by Lou Clement
Dr.Reknaw are an eight-piece psychedelic group who happily straddle genres: funk, soul, hip-hop and dub.
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Merk - Album Review: Infinite Youth
13 Apr 2021 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Merk has been up and running since 2016, collecting a few accolades and getting some attention in that time. He is a Red Bull Music Academy alumni and winner of the Auckland Live Best Independent Debut award in 2017.
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FYVEYES - Album Review: Elephant Room
12 Apr 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
FYVEYES, a young Hawkes Bay trio were formed by Harry Champion (guitar, lead vocals) with Harry Young (bass) and Harper Champion (drums) to play some gigs which had already been booked by Harry C prior to his previous band breaking up. The Champion brothers had already been in a band together called Elephant Room and loved the idea of picking out an elephant in the room when you are in a room full of elephants, so this time around they used it as an album title.
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Written By Wolves - Gig Review: Written By Wolves @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 09/04/2021
11 Apr 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Tonight was going to be a few firsts for me, including that this was going to be my first time at Ding Dong for a sell-out gig, as well as the first time I had seen Written By Wolves in concert. For the latter, I had been told I was a WBW virgin, while a certain photographer commented he must be a WBW slut!
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Serpent Dream - EP Review: Nova
11 Apr 2021 // A review by malexa
Serpent Dream's Nova is the debut release on Blood & Wires. The Tauranga-based boutique label was founded by Scott Brown last year with the express aim of raising the “profile of New Zealand based electronic and experimental artists.
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The Veils - Gig Review: The Veils @ Dive, Dunedin - 08/04/2021
10 Apr 2021 // A review by Darryl Baser
Purple Pilgrims take to the stage. There's a round of polite applause after their first song, and half way through their second, I start to hear a very 4AD sound; think Cocteau Twins, circa the Iceblink Luck period.
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Eden Iris - Album Review: The Fuchsia & The Grey
07 Apr 2021 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
LA based New Zealand musical artist Eden Iris has just released her debut album The Fuchsia &The Grey; an evocative eleven track album of beautifully crafted indie-folk songs, which "showcases the evolution of an artist who is highly dedicated to her craft". Eden has been growing her fanbase with a steady release of singles in between major projects, ever since moving to Los Angeles when she was nineteen.
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Elidi - Single Review: Witches Brew
06 Apr 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Christchurch quintet Elidi are back with their latest single, released just in time for their South Island gigs with Pull Down the Sun in April, before they head out on a NZ-wide tour with Stonehurst in a few months’ time. They describe themselves as progressive, but before you start thinking these guys are Genesis or Pink Floyd clones, understand they are talking progressive in its truest sense, which is blending together different styles and types of music into something which refuses to sit sedately within any particular sub-genre and instead goes wherever it leads, being taken on a journey in the same way as the listener.
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Album Review: The New Blue - Pixie Williams Reimagined
06 Apr 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Before starting on the music on this tribute album, we first need to understand who Pixie Williams was and the impact she had on NZ music. Pixie was the first wahine Maori vocalist to reach number one on the New Zealand singles chart, with the song Blue Smoke in 1949.
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KITA - Single Review: Private Lives
06 Apr 2021 // A review by IslaMusic
2020's nation-wide lockdown was a time of creativity and motivation for some. Six weeks at home allowed for more time spent on passion projects, and an opportunity to spend time with family.
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LBFRmikey - EP Review: Aim & Fire
05 Apr 2021 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
LBFRmikey is a Wellington-based artist who just released a new EP called Aim & Fire in March 2021. Music to this artist is the stepping stone in their life that helped create a sense of new beginning, as well as a sense of hope; being a part of something greater than the past.
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STATES - Single/Video Review: Relentless
03 Apr 2021 // A review by JP Carroll
Auckland band States have been around the local scene for some time, in various incarnations. Through changes in the band line-up and direction in sound, the band has settled on a roster in which there is vision and optimism to invest deeply in their music and visuals.
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SOL3 MIO - Gig Review: Sol3 Mio @ Spark Arena, Auckland - 30/03/2021
02 Apr 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Tonight was always going to be interesting, as this was the first time myself and my eldest daughter had been to a concert together for more than 16 years. The last time was for Bowling For Soup, and one of her achievements that night was reducing the average age of the audience, something she did again this evening.
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Bridge Burner - Album Review: Disempath
30 Mar 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Following on from 2018’s Null Apostle, Auckland’s Bridge Burner are back with their second album, Disempath. Featuring guitarist Josh Hughes (Vassafor, Graves), vocalist Ben Read (ex-Ulcerate, In Dread Response), bassist Gary Brown, drummer Louis Malloy (ex-Anabyss) and guitarist Maxwell Gravelle (ex-Hexis, Setentis), here we have a group who are determined to push their music and their listeners to the very limits.
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Gig Review: Biscuits, Cootie Cuties & Fuzzies @ UFO, Auckland - 26/03/2021
30 Mar 2021 // A review by Mattmyth
The flat mate parks up outside a mechanics which is still open, dudes are lying on their backs under the bodies of cars twisting tools, fiddling with socket sets, or hanging around the door outside drinking Woodstocks and smoking cigarettes. We walk awkwardly past them, stepping over potholes and erosion, the concrete being eaten away by weather and heavy vehicles.
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East York - Single Review: Damned Anthem
29 Mar 2021 // A review by Kerry MB
East York are back with their third single, Damned Anthem. With two singles firmly under belt, East York continue to go from strength to strength with their creativity and musicality.
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Elemeno P - Gig Review: Elemeno P @ Mornington Tap House, Dunedin - 25/03/2021
27 Mar 2021 // A review by Darryl Baser
The opening act Marlin's Dreaming slide into a well-chosen opening number. Opening with gently strummed chords, and a drum machine, which the drummer synced with well when he came in.
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Blindfolded and Led to the Woods - Album Review: Nightmare Withdrawals
25 Mar 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
I first came across Christchurch-based band Blindfolded and Led to the Woods some four years back when they released their second album, Modern Adoxography. It had a huge impact on me, and I described it as having a musical foundation built upon brutal death metal, elements of demented grindcore and bizarre sci-fi tones weaving their way into the complex structures, resulting in an engaging and damaging listening experience.
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Danny McCrum - Gig Review: Noise Play @ Vic Theatre, Devonport - 18/03/2021
24 Mar 2021 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Noise Play are a collaborative band and recording blueprint; a match-up of experience, talent, as well as friendship. The band co-writes and produces together, having released their first single Just A Little Bit during lockdown in Auckland, New Zealand.
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La Coco - Single Review: Another Feat. Hawkins
24 Mar 2021 // A review by samv1010
La Coco is no stranger to captivating an audience with her prolific vocal talent, piercing lyricism and tasteful delivery. A frequent flyer at the Pacific Music Awards and recipient of the 2019 Waiata Maori Music Award for Best R&B album; the proud Mangere reping talent is one worth keeping your eyes and ears firmly locked onto.
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Wells* - EP Review: Tape 3
24 Mar 2021 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Auckland based singer, song writer and producer Wells* (Josh Naley) has just released the latest and final instalment in a three part series of mini EPs. Tape 3 concludes his unique personal project.
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Crowded House - Gig Review: Crowded House @ Claudelands Arena, Hamilton - 23/03/2021
24 Mar 2021 // A review by Brendan McCarthy
The Crowded House To The Island tour strolled into Hamilton last night and took a seat at Claudelands Arena. A strong crowd of 4000 fans, comfortably arranged in a theatre style setting waited patiently for this long overdue performance from our favourite sons.
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The Wake Up - Single Review: House of Cards
23 Mar 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back in October I reviewed Palmerston North outfit The Wake Up's latest single, Worthy, which introduced new bassist Nathan Charles, and now here they are back with the seventh single of their career, and this time around they have a new guitarist in Trent Fairhurst. It sounds as if he has made an immediate impact as this is much heavier than their last one, and drummer Caleb Hickmott says, “it is the demon love child of Devilskin, Billie Eilish and Motley Crue”.
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Alders - Single Review: Hounds
23 Mar 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
The new track from Alders, Hounds, is quite a fun time alright! With a feel that seems inspired by the likes of Smash Mouth's Astro Lounge, The Dandy Warhols and 60's psychedelic pop-rock.
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Capital Theatre - Gig Review: Capital Theatre, Cherry Blind & White Noise Mafia @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 20/03/2021
22 Mar 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
On Saturday night it was back to The Tuning Fork, at an ungodly hour as this was an All Ages show. It was only from looking at White Noise Mafia’s Facebook page in the afternoon that I realised they were going to be onstage at 7:15pm, so if I had not seen that I would have missed their complete set!
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Steffany Beck - Gig Review: Steffany Beck @ Made in Canterbury Festival, Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch - 20/02/2021
22 Mar 2021 // A review by Madeleine Howard
On the evening of Saturday the 21st of March, I had the pleasure of seeing Christchurch based singer songwriter Steffany Beck perform at the famous Isaac Theatre Royal, as part of the first ever Made in Canterbury Festival. Originally from the United States, Steffany released her debut EP Blue Eyed Girl back in 2019.
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The Infinity Chamber - Single Review: No Honey (Anymore)
22 Mar 2021 // A review by Darryl Baser
For those of you who aren’t amongst the 1340 subscribers to his YouTube, or the nearly 47,000 who follow his Facebook page, The Infinity Chamber is Dylan Paul Ware. PC, or Pre-Covid, he travelled in the true style of a troubadour, spending time in many countries across Europe, which is kind of documented in one of the lyrics in the song; "…it’s just my old guitar and me..
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The RVMES - Gig Review: The RVMES @ Pumphouse Theatre, Auckland - 19/03/2021
21 Mar 2021 // A review by IslaMusic
The magic began when I ducked under a fallen tree to reach the venue. Dimly lit by street lamps, the path held mystery in its stones.
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Aidan Fine - Single Review: CLV
21 Mar 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Quick fire rapid lyrics. That’s what I like here.
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Fanfickk - Single Review: Everything's On Fire (Feat Wellie)
20 Mar 2021 // A review by bethany_rachell
Everything’s on Fire is a fresh, synth-heavy, cynically futuristic track – new from Fanfickk and featuring Korean rapper Wellie. The song itself is immediately engaging, but it has proved to only get more interesting the more I listen to and read about it.
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Tim Allen - Single Review: Love is a Pill
20 Mar 2021 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
UK born New Zealand artist Tim Allen has been a mainstay in the NZ music scene for the last decade. You might have seen one of his songs with Stormporter on New Zealand music TV or caught one of his shows on tour with Hangar 18.
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In The Shallows - Gig Review: In The Shallows @ Earth Beat Festival, Kaipara - 18/03/2021
20 Mar 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
I have been trying to catch up with In The Shallows for ages, but even though they have been touring nationally, I have somehow managed to always be in another part of the country so kept missing them. We were going to meet up at Spirit Festival a few weeks back, but thanks to COVID that was postponed, and then I heard they would be playing at another Auckland festival, so I contacted Danni and we agreed Earth Beat was going to be the one.
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Native Soul Project - Single Review: Time
19 Mar 2021 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
The groove of Native Soul's new track Time sets off with a kicking swing from the bass drum. The vocals are deep, calm and persuasive.
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Soul Circle - Single Review: Y.O.U.
19 Mar 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Soul Circle describe themselves as a group of musicians dedicated to making music that touches the soul, and at least in this instance include Rhonda Hofmans (vocals), Chris Fish (guitars, keyboards, noises) and MPhatic (bass). The cover credits this release as featuring Moofish and Mphatic, so I really not much the wiser as to who Soul Circle actually are.
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Little Fang - Album Review: Violence
19 Mar 2021 // A review by bethany_rachell
Picture: You’re in your beat up first car, girlfriend in the passenger seat. It’s late and raining.
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Lunah - Single Review: Good Man
18 Mar 2021 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Pop singer-songwriter Lunah has released her soulful, sassy single, Good Man. Lunah is Nika Januszkiewicz, an Auckland based musician heavily influenced by R&B and Soul.
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Thunderground - Album Review: Thunderground
18 Mar 2021 // A review by Paul Goddard
Headphones in, let's go.So the drummer keeps beat, guitars wail and scream, the singer....
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Indie Soull - Album Review: The Book of Angels
17 Mar 2021 // A review by Trevor Faville
Indie Soull is the working name for much-travelled author and musician Mutch Katsonga and The Book of Angels is his latest release and forms part of an extensive catalogue of work that stretches back to 2016.The Book of Angels is an eight-track album including two versions of the final song The Lord Taketh Away that projects the voice of an experienced, mature and considered singer-songwriter.
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The Saddleblasters - Single Review: Aupouri Ange
16 Mar 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
There cannot be many acts who can say they kept The Beatles off the number one slot in their heyday, but when John Grenell aka John Hore released Encore back in 1965, he did just that, outselling Help! and going into the charts straight at number one.
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Max Merritt & The Meteors - Album Review: i can dream
16 Mar 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
There is no doubt that Max Merritt is a Kiwi icon, seen as one of the region’s most important musicians to come out of the Fifties, with his impact on soul, rock and R'n'B meaning he was inducted into both the ARIA Hall of Fame and the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame. Sadly, he was diagnosed with a rare auto immune disease in 2007, and died in Los Angeles, California, on 24th September 2020, at the age of 79.
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Hazza Making Noise - Single Review: NoMoreGaps
16 Mar 2021 // A 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?
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Mecuzine - Single Review: Blue Skies
15 Mar 2021 // A review by malexa
The slim-line edition of Mecuzine - brothers Joseph and Tony Johns – seems to have gained more than it might have seemingly lost. Blues Skies is the second single released since five became two and it’s another brooding, sonic masterpiece with an but almost tragically self-effacing punch line: “She wanted him to stay/Instead she got me/What an unlucky break”.
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Swerve City - Swerve City @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 13/03/2021
14 Mar 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
It's a packed house. That's for sure.
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Foley - EP Review: Vacation
14 Mar 2021 // A review by IslaMusic
Tamaki Makaurau's Foley are at the heart of New Zealand indie pop. The duo consistently release polished and infectious music that's lovable from the first listen.
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MARY. - Single Review: Day To Day
12 Mar 2021 // A review by Chris Chick
MARY. is the ‘dreamy’ alter ego of the songs creator Stef T, a robust and staunch woman making her way in what can be perceived as a very male orientated world in many aspects.
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FRE3DOM - Single Review: Back To The Beginning
12 Mar 2021 // A review by Paul Goddard
Looking back to move forward. Musicians have done this from the beginning.
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Crowded House - Gig Review: Crowded House & Reb Fountain @ Dunedin Town Hall, Dunedin - 11/03/2021
12 Mar 2021 // A review by Darryl Baser
The exquisite Reb Fountain opens up with Hawks and Doves, and it's game on right from the get go. Sliding into the second tune, Fountain's dramatic songwriting style really suits opening this sell-out show at Dunedin's Town Hall.
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Cloudy - EP Review: Good Grief
11 Mar 2021 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Auckland based alternative pop artist Cloudy launches her debut EP Good Grief today, 12 March 2021. Kiwi-Austrian singer songwriter Claudia Paine has previously released four singles, three of which are featured on Good Grief.
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Keeley Shade - Single Review: On My Mind
11 Mar 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
On My Mind is a perfect example of how simple ideas can become fleshed out to provide the listener an experience worth repeating.Keeley Shade, a Canadian-born New Zealand-based singer-songwriter is releasing her debut single On My Mind.
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Mirrors - Single Review: Love In My Own Time
11 Mar 2021 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Christchurch pop act Mirrors return with their third single Love In My Own Time. Mirrors are no strangers to the local music scene.
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Scorn Of Creation - Album Review: Annihilation Cult
11 Mar 2021 // A review by Kerry MB
Following the success of their debut album released in 2018, Scorn of Creation are back with another explosive piece of their unforgettable doom death metal with an edge, Annihilation Cult. With ten tracks full of creativity, guttural screams and intensity there is no mistaking the high energy chaos that descends upon your ears and sends you into oblivion.
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Chores - EP Review: Working From Home
10 Mar 2021 // A review by Harry Platt
Fresh off the back of a string of Summer festival shows and several years of stand-alone singles, Electronic Pop duo Chores have landed their debut EP, the aptly named, Working From Home. Recorded in the Melbourne lockdown of 2020, WFH features 6 exquisitely put together dancefloor epics and showcases why Chores are en-route to becoming certified royalty in the Australasian electronic scene.
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MCK - EP Review: Hot Sounds
10 Mar 2021 // A review by bethany_rachell
Hot Sounds brings a sinuous step up from MCK’s Confessions EP released last year. The new four track EP keeps the silky lo-fi base, which has foregrounded previous tracks, and builds on it with a new energy.
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James Loan - EP Review: The Loan To Society
10 Mar 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
James Loan is a new young Rap/Drill artist that at only age 16 has just released his EP, The Loan To Society. I commend this effort.
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Emily Rice - Single Review: Arise
09 Mar 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Arise is the second single from Emily’s upcoming EP, Auaha. During the first lockdown, Emily set herself a challenge of being creative everyday in April, and at the end of the month she had 26 songs, of which Arise is one of her favourites.
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Ezra Phoenix - Album Review: Ezra Phoenix
09 Mar 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Ezra Phoenix is the alter-ego of Solomon Esera, who began songwriting some ten years ago when he attended Excel School of Performing Arts in Auckland. Some of the seven songs on this his debut album stretch back nearly as far, all inspired by what has been happening in his life, telling the story as he connects with listeners to have a real conversation.
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Ant Tarrant - Single Review: Candle Lights
09 Mar 2021 // A review by malexa
Ant Tarrant has served his apprenticeship and it shows. Now back in New Zealand after following his muse to Central America and the US, where he was mentored in the art of song-writing and production, he’s settled in Kare Kare and opened up a music studio.
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Evan Rhys - EP Review: Flickering Stars
08 Mar 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Evan Rhys first came to public attention when he was front man for Somersault, and after working on other people’s material and also with Maori Television, he is now back with an EP of four of his own songs. Recorded with Sam Johnson at Rhythm Ace Studios with drummer Ben Payne and bassist Nate Betteridge, this is a release where the music is brutally honest, and the singer wears his heart on his sleeve.
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Aro - Single Review: Baby Beat
08 Mar 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Any parent will say that the feeling of hearing their baby’s heartbeat for the very first time is an overwhelming experience, but there cannot be many who turn that sound into the basis for a song. Less than three weeks after their appearances at Auckland Folk Festival, Charles and Emily Looker celebrated the birth of Olive Koanui Terangioteata Looker, who took the words of the chorus, "kaua e aukumea" (don't take too long) to heart and appeared three weeks before due date.
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Something Zesty - Album Review: Funk’t Up
06 Mar 2021 // A review by Lou Clement
Something Zesty is a musical project from solo-artist Iain Chamberlain and Funk’t Up, released in early 2021, is his debut album. It offers a mix of easy going funk riffs and enjoyable guitar-infused tracks overlaid with urban vocals.
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JAN - Single Review: Wud?
06 Mar 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Wud? is a new track from JAN featuring Anna Bennetto and Sam Higham.
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Elmo Strauss - Album Review: Light and Dark
02 Mar 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Elmo Strauss began his musical career on Waiheke Island with the B Squared Blues Band which he formed with Louie Bo Charles IV. Eventually they morphed into Vessel, making the Battle of the Bands final in 2012.
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Polaroids of Polarbears - EP Review: This Is What I Heard
02 Mar 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
This 22-minute-long 5-track EP is the latest release from Daniel Brown, proudly recorded in his shed, in Feilding with Daniel providing guitars, drums and vocals. For those who have previously not come across Polaroids of Polarbears, this is lo-fi which combines shoegaze, post punk, Simple Minds and ambient styles in a way that is naively engaging.
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Louis Baker - Single Review: Overdrive
02 Mar 2021 // A review by IslaMusic
Louis Baker has one of the most distinctive voices in modern Aotearoa music. He has gathered a loyal following worldwide.
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Primacy - Gig Review: Primacy @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 27/02/2021
28 Feb 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Saturday at the Ding Dong is always guaranteed to be a good night, and tonight was to be no exception with Primacy finally launching their album Seeds of Change. I say “finally” as previous gigs had been cancelled due to lockdown, and in fact this was going to be their first gig since 2019!
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Lasair - Single Review: Running
27 Feb 2021 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
After years making music constrained by labels and opinions, Lasair's musical approach is "genre fluid" and built from the inspiration he finds around him wherever it happens to come from. Rather than talk about his persona, Lasair prefers to let his music speak for him.
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Elemeno P - Gig Review: Elemeno P @ San Fan, Wellington - 25/02/2021
27 Feb 2021 // A review by Tony McDonald
New Zealand’s very own Blink 182, Elemeno P, with support from Fruit Juice Parade and Valentina hit San Fran, on a fantastic warm Wellington evening. It was packed out; beers were flowing, and the sticky smell of the low-ceilinged venue was absolutely buzzing.
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Big Scout - Single Review: Mr. Slice
27 Feb 2021 // A review by Darryl Baser
Straight Outta Blenheim, noisy angular post-punk band Big Scout have released an addictive new song, Mr. Slice.
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SHAYNA - Single Review: Alchemy Feat. Rei
26 Feb 2021 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Christchurch singer-songwriter SHAYNA has teamed up with Wellingtonian hip-hop artist Rei to create a slick new single Alchemy. Described as "Pop & RnB hooks over a progressive bass line & glittery high-level production", this is a track which flows seamlessly.
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Jericho - EP Review: Rhythm
26 Feb 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Jericho are a 3-piece band made up of people who obviously love music. I say this because on their opening track Silence Won't Last, I kind of think it went through a lot of different styles and ideas that I actually didn't expect.
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Grace Duncan - EP Review: Ruminations
25 Feb 2021 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Originally from Hawkes Bay and currently residing in Wellington is composer and singer-songwriter Grace Duncan who has just released her eight track EP, Ruminations. Offering delicate layers of sound and graceful vocals, making this a haunting yet serenely beautiful collection of previously released singles.
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Revulva - Single Review: Sniffly Lady
25 Feb 2021 // A review by Chris Chick
I had the privilege and honour to review the debut single from Revulva, Sniffly Lady, a song all about the grand boogie on a Saturday night. No matter how old or young you are, the intense anticipation of getting out and amongst the people for a boogie, especially in this day and age, is the great equalizer to the capitalistic machine we all find ourselves under.
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The May Project - Single Review: The Last Waltz of Summer
23 Feb 2021 // A review by Madeleine Howard
On the 2nd of February, Auckland based dream pop act The May Project launched their new single The Last Waltz of Summer, a swirling, dreamy track that says goodbye to past journeys and hello to new beginnings.The May Project is the work of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Katie Brown.
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Raw Collective - Album Review: The Good Things
18 Feb 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
The Good Things is the latest LP from the 10-piece live hip-hop band Raw Collective from Wellington. The album is quite something that showcases the versatility of the group's ability to swing from different styles of hip-hop, funk and soul.
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Jed Parsons - Album Review: Brunch
17 Feb 2021 // A review by Harry Platt
Otautahi indie-pop groover and purveyor of 'Seriously Engaging Social Media Content', Jed Parsons, has returned with his sophomore effort Brunch. A smorgasbord of bouncy, 60’s inspired, guitar-pop complete with tasty mimosa melodies.
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EJ Barrett - EP Review: Call Me EJ
17 Feb 2021 // A review by Andrew Smit
EJ Barrett creates a very fresh and vibrant sound thanks mostly to the organically produced backing loops of breaths and whispers, creating a very emotive ambiance, EJ’s voice and style are comparative to other Kiwi artists like Lorde and Gin Wigmore, but is also quite worldly like Adele and Enya. The backing loops that EJ performs provide a unique kind if organic beat that is full of soulful expression.
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Cafe Fistfight - Single Review: Pocket Change
16 Feb 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Cafe Fistfight describe themselves as New Zealand's premiere Acoustic-driven Progressive Rock band, with their music fitting in somewhere between John Mayer/Six60 and Incubus/Tool. To be honest, that is probably as good a description as any, but before someone expects to see the latest Yes, Genesis or Pink Floyd clone, be aware that when they describe themselves as progressive, they mean it in the true sense of the word, in that they are blending and mixing  genres and pushing the music in unusual directions.
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Fire For Glory - EP Review: Life Of The Party
16 Feb 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Yeah, bro. Get that punk-pop/rock vibe.
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You, Me, Everybody - Album Review: Southern Sky
16 Feb 2021 // A 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.
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Jadukor - Single Review: King of the Ring
14 Feb 2021 // A review by Jamie Denton
Originally hailing from Bangladesh, Jadukor (which literally means magician in Bengali) is a global citizen who now calls Aotearoa, New Zealand home. The previous sentence is about all that is known about this mysterious solo act, and that is exactly how he wants it.
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Craig Payne - Album Review: I'm Not Giving The Game Away
10 Feb 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Ah. That's refreshing.
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Loud Ghost - Album Review: All In A Day
06 Feb 2021 // A review by Darryl Baser
Loud Ghost are a self-described "Rock n Roll trio from Auckland, New Zealand." It’s been 4 years since the first Loud Ghost record, and band members say they’re looking forward to getting All In A Day out and available to the public.
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Channeled - EP Review: Interpretation
05 Feb 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
2020 was a breakthrough year for Channeled. Instead of just being a studio project, multi-instrumentalist Ben Ruegg was convinced to turn it into a full operational live band which quickly gelled into an incredibly tight unit which grew with experience and confidence each time they gigged.
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Swerve City - Single Review: Sink Like Stones
05 Feb 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Right now, across New Zealand, there is a storm that keeps getting bigger and stronger. That storm is made up of an incredible group of artists and bands who are working to get more exposure to and notice from what I would call 'the mainstream'.
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David Sutton - Album Review: Planet B
04 Feb 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
This is the ninth album from David, and while he wrote all the songs, he was assisted in the performances by his son Joseph, and between them we get plenty of keyboards, electronic drums, acoustic, bass, Stratocaster, harmonica and vocals. The result is something that does not really sound like a multi-instrumentalist performance, but rather a band, and even before putting it on I had to smile as while the CD booklet itself is low key, I cannot remember before seeing a track listing for Side A and Side B for a CD, plus the album is less than 45 minutes long so it really is harkening back to the 70’s.
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Dragon - Gig Review: Dragon @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 3/02/21
04 Feb 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
When The Biggest Pub Gig In The World took place at the end of last year, I truly felt there was a band missing from the bill who would have made the line-up complete, Dragon. Not only are they an  iconic New Zealand band, with countless hit singles and songs to their name, but they have been a solid gigging unit since their rebirth around bassist Todd Hunter in 2006.
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The Butlers - Single/Video Review: One Flew
04 Feb 2021 // A review by bethany_rachell
The Butlers are continuing the momentum of their festival filled summer with a new single - One Flew. Bonus: there’s a music video too.
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Naircol - Single Review: Turbo Outrun
04 Feb 2021 // A review by malexa
In an interview with Naircol, following the release of his debut album Isolate late last year, he put collaborative ventures at the top of his wish list. It seems Santa Claus came calling in the form of Canadian producer Tokyo Rat, the result of which is the dynamic driving anthem Turbo Outrun.
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Festival Review: Auckland Folk Festival 2021 - 31/01/2021
02 Feb 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
The final day of the Auckland Folk Festival 2021 started up, and I headed over in time to catch Being. at Midday.
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Festival Review: Auckland Folk Festival 2021 - 30/01/2021
01 Feb 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
The last folk festival I went to prior to this one was when I flew to the other side of the world, attending Fairport Convention’s 50th Anniversary Cropredy Festival in 2017, but for some reason I had never been just down the road to Kumeu to attend the Auckland Folk Festival, which has been running for a great many years. However, based on this weekend’s experience, I know I will be back.
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Bad Llamas - EP Review: Wunderlane
31 Jan 2021 // A review by Chris Chick
The new 6 track EP Wunderlane by Bad Llamas is a breath of fresh air when it comes to NZ music. Situated down in the depths of Christchurch, this is the band's second EP release after their debut 2019 EP What Even is Bad Llamas.
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JANG - EP Review: COPS
31 Jan 2021 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Auckland based, energetic three piece punk outfit JANG have just released their debut EP COPS. The band’s sound described as "Surf Punk Slam" is summed up in this catchy tumultuous wave of five tracks, which took almost two years to complete.
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Dilz - Single Review: Don't Trip
30 Jan 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Don't Trip is the latest track from Dilz, and slick production with a catchy chorus kicks this song off.  In what I would classify as pop-rap (this isn't a negative), it captivates the audience with a catchy hook.
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Will McClean - Single Review: One Way Road
30 Jan 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Will McClean's new track One Way Road is a stunner. The way the beat starts with backwards loops and trap style beats that have a hip-hip feel all work well.
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WHITE NØISE MAFIA - Gig Review: White Noise Mafia @ The Thirsty, Auckland - 28/01/2021
29 Jan 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
So, it was back to The Thirsty, who are starting to put on more metal gigs, and if they are all like this one then I am sure they are going to be deemed to be a raging success. Tonight, it was a three-band bill and a sensible finishing time, which made something of a pleasant change, especially as many of us would be working on the Friday.
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Cloudy - Single Review: I'll Stay
28 Jan 2021 // A review by bethany_rachell
Claudia Paine AKA Cloudy is an alternative-pop singer songwriter from Auckland. I’ll Stay is the first single to be released from her upcoming EP, titled Good Grief.
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Magnalith - Single Review: Intimacy's End
27 Jan 2021 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Magnalith is the brain child of Mathew Bosher (Decortica, Domes). Intimacy's End is a two-and-a-half minute monster mixed by Dave Holmes (Jakob, Saint Agnes, Maisha).
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Kev Rowland - Book Review: The Progressive Underground vol 1 - 3
27 Jan 2021 // A 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.
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Etheran - EP Review: Doppelganger
26 Jan 2021 // A review by Kerry MB
Etheran is a funky metal rock hybrid hailing from Christchurch. Formed in 2016, they officially started touring in 2018 and this is their first EP, released at the beginning of the month.
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The First Child - Gig Review: The First Child @ The Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 22/01/2021
24 Jan 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
When I sent Mariner the review of their gig the previous week, singer Adam told me they were playing Ding Dong again on the Friday, so I thought to myself why not? So, for the second consecutive Friday I made my way into central Auckland to everyone’s favourite rock dive.
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Achilles Complex - Single Review: Vice
22 Jan 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Achilles Complex started life in Hamilton as a 3-piece power trio in 2019, releasing their debut single Shut It in September of that year, and are now back with their new song Vice having transformed themselves into a quartet of Harley Flynn (guitar, vocals), Jordan Carpenter (bass), Zak Cole (drums) and Reece Gielen (guitar, vocals). They describe themselves as a progressive rock band with roots in rock, funk, indie and metal while also exploring ambient textures such as synthwave, trap, pop and more.
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James Hunter and The Gatherers - EP Review: You
21 Jan 2021 // A review by Darryl Baser
There are tough days and good days in all aspects of life. In music reviewing there are recording which don’t grab you and professionalism is necessary.
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Mema Wilda - Single Review: How I Long
21 Jan 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Mema Wilda's newest track How I Long starts off with a simple acoustic guitar and vocal, but it's quick to showcase a track full of plenty of goodness. It's the type of song I would want to hear on modern pop radio; it's catchy and you can easily sing-a-long to it.
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Dark Water - Single Review: Seas of Fallen Concern
21 Jan 2021 // A review by Paul Goddard
I like to be transported. Moved to a different place.
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Pale Lady - Single Review: Lost and Found
19 Jan 2021 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Pale Lady formed in 2016 when a bunch of guys with a love for rock and roll found themselves in the same music degree. By 2017 they had won that years Battle of the Bands competition.
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JANG - Gig Review: Jang @ DIY Anarcho Backyard Fest, Auckland - 16/01/2021
18 Jan 2021 // A review by Mattmyth
Jimmy stands at the gate of the festival site, in black boots, black shirt, and a black dress, swinging a machete. "Hey bro.
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Six60 - Gig Review: Six60 @ Waitangi Sports Ground, Waitangi - 16/01/2021
18 Jan 2021 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
The very start of the Six60 Summer Tour began in the heart of Waitangi, the birthplace of Aotearoa, on the land where it all began. January 16th marked a very special time; a time where no other country could host an event of this kind.
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Anthony Coulter - Album Review: Memories
18 Jan 2021 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Tauranga based singer, song writer and musician Anthony Coulter has just released his debut album Memories. Twelve tracks resplendent in smooth melodic vocal style and theatrical wonder.
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Cafe Fistfight - Gig Review: Cafe Fistfight @ The Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 15/01/2021
16 Jan 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
After going back home to Canterbury for Christmas, it was back up to Auckland last weekend and looking forward to my first gig of the year. When I realised that Cafe Fistfight had organised a 4-band bill at the Ding Dong Lounge on the Friday then of course that was the only place to be.
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Colette Rivers - Album Review: Memory Lake
12 Jan 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Colette Rivers is an American-born, New-Zealand raised, self-proclaimed 'Kiwi', with a deep connection to the earth and sea and has named her album after "the bonny, bonny banks of Lake Taupo" where she moved when she was just 11 years old. Her roots are in folk and singer-songwriter, yet while the acoustic guitar is always very important to the sound, she is not averse to bringing in other electric instruments to create soundscapes which mean the songs are very different to each other.
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Grant Haua - Album Review: Awa Blues
12 Jan 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
2020 saw me write more than 650 reviews of all manner of music, but the one song which for me really stood head and shoulders above the rest was This is the Place - Tenei Te Ao. It has a raw simplicity and passion which is hard to describe, yet is incredibly effective and grabs me each and every time I play it, and I still enjoy listening to it now as much as I did the very first time.
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Ignatia : Rising - Single Review: Don’t Know For Sure
12 Jan 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Ignatia : Rising are a 4-piece, occasional more piece, pop/rock group who crafted their style in the Wild West (Auckland, NZ) party and club circuit in the mid 90's. Their newest track, Don't Know For Sure brings about a sense of nostalgia.
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Jon Toogood - Gig Review: Jon Toogood @ Waihi Beach Hotel, Waihi Beach - 04/01/2021
05 Jan 2021 // A review by Brendan McCarthy
The Jon Toogood Solo, Acoustic tour rolled into the Waihi Beach Hotel last night and I was indeed an eager attendee. Jon has been regularly performing in this format for the last few years but the stars have not always been aligned to allow me to catch the gig, so I wanted to make sure that I did not let this opportunity pass by again.
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Jon Toogood - Gig Review: Jon Toogood @ Leigh Sawmill, Leigh - 03/01/2021
04 Jan 2021 // A review by TheMechanism
I’ve enjoyed many Shihad shows over the years. Visceral guitars and bass, thunderous drums, and powerful vocals are the hallmark of Shihad’s sound… But, what happens when you strip it all back to just Jon Toogood, and an acoustic guitar?
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Anna Wild - EP Review: WOOL
22 Dec 2020 // A review by Gareth Heta
WOOL is the first project from Wellington-based artist Anna Wild, and it comprises 3 ambient/electronic instrumental tracks in conjunction with a 10 minute short film providing visual accompaniment. This visual EP was created to go hand-in-hand; while the music can certainly be absorbed on its own, it’s through the film (directed and animated by Taizan Yamada) that the depth of meaning shines through.
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Michael Morris - Single Review: Pseudoephedrine
20 Dec 2020 // A review by Brendan McCarthy
Dunedin based Alternative Pop/Rock/Punk musician Michael Morris returns home following an extensive journey throughout Europe while based in France. The first single from his upcoming sophomore album is called Pseudoephedrine and is a nice example of what is shaping up to be a noteworthy body of work.
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Claire Cowan - Composition Review: Hansel and Gretel
16 Dec 2020 // A review by malexa
The Brothers Grimm fairy tale Hansel and Gretel is, ah, rather 'grim' to say the least. It’s the story of a brother and sister who get lost in the woods and are befriended by a cannibalistic witch who lives in a house made out of sweet things, most notably gingerbread.
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Cherry Blind - Single Review: Cherry Blind
16 Dec 2020 // A review by Lou Clement
Cherry Blind's new single; a pace, energy and a dash of screamo. I recently attended a punk-weekender: two days of what seemed like seven minute sets, where there were really only fans and no bystanders and bands that moved from one song to the next as quickly as the flip of a pancake.
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Farandicus - Album Review: It Doesn't Make Sense
15 Dec 2020 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Northland six piece Farandicus have released their debut album It Doesn’t Make Sense. Launching on the 27th of November, the twelve track album is a funk infused, soulful collection of songs.
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Voodoo Bloo - Album Review: Jacobus
14 Dec 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
Voodoo Bloo is the new project from ex-Lucifer Gunne frontman Rory McDonald who has decided to take his music in a new direction, and consequently has created a new entity, where for this album he recorded it all himself. Mind you, he hasn’t totally left his old band behind, as the opening song on the album was also the opening number on the last Lucifer Gunne EP, One Day You'll Be The Best Thing That's Ever Happened To Someone, but here Pigs On Antibiotics (Exploding Song) is far more dramatic with the song being way more edgy.
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Dr.Reknaw - Single Review: Bassline Meditation
14 Dec 2020 // A review by IslaMusic
Dr.Reknaw is a psychedelic super group with roots in soul, hip-hop and dub.
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Solo Ono - EP Review: Now We Know Who to Blame
14 Dec 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
Wellington’s Solo Ono are currently operating as a trio, with guitarist/singer Frank Eggleton (Tidal Rave, Echo Beach, Kittentank) and drummer Jordan Stewart (Pleasant Surprise) now joined by bassist Birgit Bachler. It has been two years since their last EP Rogue Planet, which was released as a duo, and these three songs were all partially written that same year, being completed during the 2020 NZ lockdown.
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The Knids - Single Review: Habit
14 Dec 2020 // A review by KevinLakius
The Knids are a Tauranga based alternative rock band. At first listen this is a very low-fi recording, although I get the impression that is on purpose.
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Iris Zhang - Single Review: Small Ache
14 Dec 2020 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Iris Zhang is a lawyer by qualification, but a musician by heart. She is an incredibly talented young lady, not only academically but also in the musical arts.
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Hateseeker - Album Review: Let's Talk About Death
13 Dec 2020 // A review by Kerry MB
Formed in 2013 in New Plymouth, Hateseeker is a hybrid punk rock metal outfit with a twist. While they have been described as sounding a bit like Motorhead and The Ramones they are uniquely their own and bring their versions of hard and heavy riffs with a relentless energy.
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Gig Review: The Biggest Pub Gig In The World @ Spark Arena, Auckland - 11/12/2020
13 Dec 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
On Friday evening Spark Arena took us all back in time, to a period when many of the punters there that night were going out and having a blast. When I picked up my tickets, I was a little surprised to see they were General Admission, and then as we made our way inside, we had our wrists stamped (with a little guitar).
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Imugi - Gig Review: Imugi @ Meow, Wellington - 19/12/2020
11 Dec 2020 // A review by bethany_rachell
Wednesday. Mid-week.
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The Big Lawn - Album Review: Silverspoon
10 Dec 2020 // A review by Darryl Baser
Dunedin band The Big Lawn have just released their first album, Silverspoon. The album following on from the success of their debut EP Help Myself.
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LearningToDive - Single Review: Falling Leaves
10 Dec 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
This is the second single released by Learning To Dive, the alter ego for musician, producer, vocalist and composer Bravo Bonez. By creating a new persona he is able to create music in a different style to what might be expected from him if he had released it in his normal style, allowing him a great deal of artistic freedom.
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James Hunter and The Gatherers - Single Review: You
10 Dec 2020 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
James Hunter is a singer songwriter based in Wellington. He’s been an enthusiastic musician for some time, writing songs throughout his childhood, and also having a big interest in acting and theatre.
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Emily Rice - Single Review: Over Time
10 Dec 2020 // A review by Trevor Faville
Emily Rice is an experienced singer/songwriter with considerable international experience and perspective. Working with We Stole The Sun, New Jungle Order and Aro among others, her prior work has garnered the stamp of approval from artists of the calibre of Kimbra-no-mean-feat.
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Downtown Shakedown @ Waitangi Park, Wellington - 5/12/2020
10 Dec 2020 // A review by thenelbc
Who would’ve thought while most of the world is in isolation the one place that would have a festival during a global pandemic is Poneke, Aotearoa. Downtown Shakedown turned Waitangi Park into the largest festival in the world right now.
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VÏKÆ - Single Review: Angry Girl
09 Dec 2020 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Auckland based songwriter and vocalist VïKÆ was originally born in Ukraine, and post-Chernobyl sought refuge here in New Zealand. She has an interesting backstory and brings forth her unique life experience to give a voice to important themes surrounding mental health, growth and expression.
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Paul The Kid - Single Review: Palm Trees & Ciggies
08 Dec 2020 // A review by Chris Chick
If you were wondering what you Summer song was going to be for this year, the year of the 'what the hell just happened' Palm Trees and Ciggies could well be your winner to take you through to the next Winter. Any song that drops a humdinger of a ska/reggae beat is a sure fire way to get noticed by this reviewer, especially as the temperature starts to warm up and the stock of cold ones increases in the fridge.
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Alien Weaponry - Gig Review: Alien Weaponry @ The Powerstation, Auckland - 5/12/2020
07 Dec 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
Saturday evening saw me head towards The Powerstation for the first time in years, and I must confess to really looking forward to the gig as although I interviewed the boys from Waipu a few years ago, this was the first time I was seeing them in concert. I bumped into Matt Holden from White Nøise Mafia outside the venue, perhaps unsurprisingly given he is acting as guitar tech on this tour and was soon chatting with Henry de Jong who really is still very down to earth, even though he has achieved more in his mere 20 years than many metalheads can even comprehend.
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The Response - Single Review: New Pair of Pants (Coming Collapse)
07 Dec 2020 // A review by bethany_rachell
The new single New Pair of Pants (Coming Collapse) from Christchurch's The Response seemed a little common. This may be owing to the fact that the song was created as part of a challenge set out by American band, Deep Sea Diver, to use a drum beat that they created to write a song.
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Jennifer K. Austin - Album Review: Journey
07 Dec 2020 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
American born Kiwi singer Jennifer K. Austin has recently released her second studio album Journey, following on from the release of the first three singles (Shadow, Misery and Old Gin), this beautiful ten track album is highly influenced by her life story.
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Manzo - Single Review: Working Class Hero (John Lennon Cover)
05 Dec 2020 // A review by Paul Goddard
In 1946 John Lennon almost became a Kiwi. His estranged father took him to Blackpool with the intention of heading over with John to start a new life in NZ.
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theajsound - theajsound and NEEKOH - Single Review: Minefield
04 Dec 2020 // A review by Jamie Denton
Collaborations are inherently risky propositions; how will two distinct and strong personalities work together? Will their visions of the output align?
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The Finalists - Album Review: First
03 Dec 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
The Finalists may be currently based in Sydney, but ¾ of the guys are actually from prominent Auckland bands with guitarist Robert Young (Semi Lemon Kola), bassist Chris Familton (Fontanelle, Thorazine Shuffle) and drummer Matt Brown (Shaft, {SLK)) joining forces with singer/guitarist and songwriter Mark Tobin (Scarlet, Panic Syndrome, The Black Halo). The coming together of these musicians has resulted in jangly guitar-based indie rock, with elements of psychedelia, power pop, shoegaze and post-punk.
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Max Earnshaw - Single Review: Love It When You Hate Me
03 Dec 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
Love It When You Hate Me is the latest single from young Auckland singer Max Earnshaw, who has already received from recognition and radio airplay for his last release, Lonely Love. What we have this time around is a pop/rock number which is incredibly infectious and annoyingly catchy.
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Imperial April - EP Review: An April Christmas
03 Dec 2020 // A review by IslaMusic
I was dubious at the thought of reviewing a Christmas album. It’s not often that modern holiday tracks dodge the danger of cheesy cheer and forced rhyme.
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Corduroy. - Single Review: I'm So Bored
03 Dec 2020 // A review by bethany_rachell
I’m So Bored is the first single release from Corduroy.’s upcoming EP Poor Man’s Velvet.
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Cafe Fistfight - Single Review: King Hit Quiche
03 Dec 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
For anyone who has yet to catch these guys in concert, they are probably best summed up by how they describe their debut single, "An oven baked heavy hitter packed full of protein and sprinkled with cheese." Here we have a band who refuse to take themselves or their music too seriously, yet are producing incredibly complex arrangements, and are a stunning live act.
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Dolphin Friendly - Single Review: Killing Silence
01 Dec 2020 // A review by Harry Platt
I don’t think anyone would argue Aotearoa’s music scene is lacking in contribution to the indie rock sphere. The country seems to be inundated with surfy looking Pakeha parading shimmery single-coil guitar tones.
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Viices - Single Review: Viices: Double Denim 7”
01 Dec 2020 // A review by Darryl Baser
Viices, known to his mum as Jake McComb, has been making music for a number of years, releasing the Toxic EP in 2017. Double Denim is released on a grey marble 7", which was lovingly packed well in a box.
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Earth Tongue - Gig Review: Earth Tongue @ Whammy Bar, Auckland - 27/11/2020
30 Nov 2020 // A review by Mattmyth
Earth Tongue is a psychedelic stoner rock band, they’re playing Whammy, and everyone’s going. This is what The Flatmate says a week ago.
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Stealphish - Single Review: Procidens
28 Nov 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
I was chatting with the guys from Cafe Fistfight before their recent gig at Ding Dong, when guitarist Josh Barker asked if I would be interested in his brand-new solo release, and I was definitely intrigued. Apart from classical pianist Caitlyn Abbot, and some assistance from Dan Barker who assisted in programming the hi hat rolls at the start and some of the fills, everything on this instrumental release is by Josh.
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French For Rabbits - Gig Review: French for Rabbits @ Bark, Dunedin - 27/11/2020
28 Nov 2020 // A review by Darryl Baser
Port Chalmers songwriter Lucy Hunter opened up the evening with Please Just Break My Heart and Let Me Go. Announcing to the rapidly filling Bark space at Dunedin’s Dog With Two Tails "this is my first [piano] gig standing up".
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Cafe Fistfight - Gig Review: Cafe Fistfight @ The Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 27/11/2020
28 Nov 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
Today was set to be the launch party for the second album by Channeled, I Heard Penelope Sing, but unfortunately singer and songwriter Ben Ruegg was rushed into hospital on Tuesday, only being allowed home on the Friday itself. The thoughts of everyone at Muzic.
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Jolandi Ford - Single Review: You Ain’t In The Picture
28 Nov 2020 // A review by Darryl Baser
I love me a good break up song, and You Ain’t In The Picture is such a song with a good dose of ‘don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out’. The joy in the subject of the song comes across in the lyrics; it's in the way you can hear the smile on her face as she delivers the lines, and also in the song’s composition, especially in the lift to the leading note of the chord, when Jolandi sings; "…will I cry a million tears?
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Samantha Heart - Single Review: Alaska
27 Nov 2020 // A review by IslaMusic
After years of "scribbling lyrics and humming melodies", Samantha Heart is ready to "call herself a musician". She's taken on this new identity with the goal of staying honest, especially when it's difficult.
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Lady Larisa - Single Review: Four Walls
27 Nov 2020 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Aotearoa born jazz artist and songwriter Lady Larisa has just released Four Walls, her latest single from the yet to be released up and coming debut EP Honeychild. Currently based in Hawkes Bay, Lady Larissa has learned a lot from her time in LA, New Orleans and New York.
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Miss Used - EP Review: Paraland
26 Nov 2020 // A review by KevinLakius
Miss Used are a four-piece psychedelic blues/grunge band from Auckland, New Zealand. These guys get the big tick from me!
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The Solomon Cole Band - Single Review: Lucifer's Rising
26 Nov 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
The Solomon Cole Band comprise Solomon (vocals, guitar), Fonnie Jo Davies (vocals), Lee Catlin (bass) and Loujean (LJ) Philander (drums), and one has to ask the question as to when did Waiheke Island become part of the Deep South and go back in time? Their latest release, Lucifer’s Rising, is taken from their second album, A Little South Of Heaven, and takes us almost 100 years into the past and geographically into the Southern states of America.
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Anna Coddington - Album Review: Beams
26 Nov 2020 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Anna Coddington returns with her fourth album Beams - a collection of personal and emotive indie pop songs. Produced by Kiwi duo LIPS (Steph Brown and Fen Ikner), Beams is Coddington’s most personal piece of work to date, touching on themes of identity, self-reflection and Coddington’s place in the world as a woman, Maori and a mother.
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Samuel Philip Cooper - Album Review: Breaking The Silence
26 Nov 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
Young Wellington-based pianist Samuel Philip Cooper is now releasing his debut album, which contains both of his earlier singles, Broken Heart Recovery and Hope In Your Heart. One of the problems I had with Samuel’s work is that it was too short, but hearing the 18 songs on this album (47 minutes long) it makes far more sense as here the different songs become part of one much larger work.
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Album Review: It's Already Tomorrow
25 Nov 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
This compilation is the brainchild of leading New Zealand composer, John Psathas, and past-student guitarist, electronic musician and composer, Jack Hooker. With everyone in bubbles around the world, the idea was to create a collaborative environment for New Zealand artists, where John and Jack created nuggets for others to amend and use as a base for their own musical adventures.
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Channeled - Album Review: I Heard Penelope Sing
25 Nov 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
I was at a gig the other night and bumped into Channeled's main man Ben Ruegg, and of course we soon started up a conversation. I introduced him to some other friends of mine and tried to think how long I had actually known him, and Ben promptly said, "Six weeks".
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Arrays - Album Review: Light Years
25 Nov 2020 // A review by Kris Raven
Arrays, the all in one independent vision of Auckland musician JP Carroll (ex-Armed in Advance, Swerve City) has grown from strength to strength, consistently putting out material over the last few years and imprinting the Arrays name as its own unique force in the NZ music community. While earlier material may have been a little reminiscent of previous outfits, the new album Light Years, which is all produced, written and played by Carroll himself has become its own defined musical machine, weaving influences of modern metal, post hardcore, grunge and alternative rock, among others.
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Garden Party Riot - Album Review: Garden Party Riot
24 Nov 2020 // A review by River Tucker
Garden Party Riot’s self-titled debut album is full of intense energy, odd time signatures and cohesiveness often only found in three-piece bands. But above anything else these nine original tracks are party inducing, which is exactly what we need in this time of doom and gloom.
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Na Noise - Album Review: Waiting For You
24 Nov 2020 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Low-fi Duo-wop group from Auckland Na Noise have just released their debut album Waiting For You, giving us an insight into their sonic, original approach to music. Described as the "Thelma and Louise of modern DIY guitar based music", they have created a sound which is a unique blend of organ, percussion, call and response vocals and a whole lot of fuzzy dark carnivalesque attitude.
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City of Souls - Gig Review: City of Souls @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 21/11/2020
22 Nov 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
Tonight it was off to one of my favourite venues, The Tuning Fork, to see recent Aotearoa Music Award winners for Te Kaipuoro Rakapioi Toa (Best Rock Artist), City of Souls, at the launch party for their debut album, Synæsthesia. Outside the venue I bumped into Ben Reugg (Channeled) who had brought some of his music students from Waiuku College to see what a proper rock show is like while I spent the evening in the company of Jodie (Miss Peach and The Travellin Bones) and Te Matera Smith (AAA Records), also bumped into Chris Webb (White Nøise Mafia), Francis Wheeler (SIS Studios, a judge at the recent Ding Dong competition), and so many others from the local scene.
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On Tick - Gig Review: On Tick @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 20/11/2020
21 Nov 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
When everyone at Ding Dong greeted me by name, and soundman Dave asked why I wasn’t at the final of the bands battle the previous week, it made me realise that possibly I have been attending the venue quite a lot in recent times. But when they have bands playing who are as good as these, where else would I be on a Friday night?
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Th' Dudes - Gig Review: Th' Dudes @ Town Hall, Auckland - 19/11/2020
21 Nov 2020 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Arriving at the Auckland Town Hall and subsequently finding parking was a lot easier than I had anticipated. The town seems very quiet at around 7:30 pm, although there is a large gathering of people around the Town Hall, an indication that something big is happening.
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Scalper - Album Review: The Beast and The Beauty
20 Nov 2020 // A 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.
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Kendall Elise - Album Review: Red Earth
19 Nov 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to see Looking For Alaska at their album launch, and the opening act that night was Kendall Elise accompanying herself on an acoustic guitar. I enjoyed her set a great deal and was intrigued enough to seek out her debut album, Red Earth, which was released in 2019.
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Russell Harrison - EP Review: Something Over Me
19 Nov 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
This four-track seventeen-minute-long EP, Something Over Me, is the debut EP from Russell Harrison, who has been performing on stage since the age of nine. Listening to this is like stepping back in time, to a period where singers had no use for auto tune, and it was all about the voice and the performance.
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Geoff Ong - Album Review: Maybe It’ll Be Alright
19 Nov 2020 // A review by TheMechanism
It was a hot Summer’s night, and I was crammed into the King’s Arms, waiting to see Animals as Leaders opening for Periphery, back in 2014. Suddenly, there was an announcement over the PA.
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Mahoney Harris - Single Review: The Shifting of the Light
19 Nov 2020 // A review by malexa
There's an evocative image conjured up early on in The Shifting of the Light that beautifully illustrates the underlying theme of letting go. In referring to "paradise ducks made for life returning to their bowers time after time" singer-songwriter Mahoney Harris might well be talking about 'soul-mates' or a similarly intimate relationship that felt as if it was meant to last but didn't.
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Madie - EP Review: Modern Mind
18 Nov 2020 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Wellington-based singer songwriter Madie is releasing her debut EP titled The Modern Mind. She has been passionate about music from a young age, and has finally released something with a lot of talent, and a lot of depth.
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Oakley Grenell - EP Review: Style Dem Ripe
18 Nov 2020 // A review by Gareth Heta
Oakley Grenell caps off 2020 with a wicked dancefloor-oriented EP showcasing a range of vocalists over bouncy, bass-fuelled tunes with a trademark reggae flair. A few years in the making, it’s another solid addition to an already impressive discography.
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Personal Igloo - EP Review: Phone-in Serotonin
17 Nov 2020 // A review by Brendan McCarthy
For the last couple of days I have driven home with my windows down to allow the beautiful Bay of Plenty sunshine to stream into my life and for these journeys I have chilled to the most excellent musical sounds of Phone-in Serotonin by Personal Igloo. This has been perfect timing all round and a joyful reminder of how privileged we are as kiwis to live in paradise and be able to consume our own unique culture.
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Ida Lune - Album Review: Ida Lune
17 Nov 2020 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
In 2013 Deanne Krieg (WHIM, Dawn Diver), Rose Blake (Blaek, Dawn Diver) and Anna Wooles formed Poneke/Wellington avant-folk trio Ida Lune, forming a strong bond over their shared love of harmony. The trio have released their self-titled debut album which promises to be a lush blend of three part harmonies, yet each bringing to the fore their own unique style of vocals.
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Gig Review: Ding Dong Lounge Bands Competition Grand Final @ Ding Dong, Auckland - 14/11/2020
17 Nov 2020 // A review by Mattmyth
Wanna know a secret?Bands that write their own music, record and tour their own albums, book their own shows, play every or almost every weekend, they don't play a Battle of the Bands.
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Looking For Alaska - Album Review: Light and Shadow
16 Nov 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to see Looking For Alaska in concert promoting their new album, Light and Shadow. It was a very special event indeed, as while Aaron Gott and Amy Maynard were joined that night by a full band, there was no doubt indeed that the evening was all about the magic created by just the two of them.
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Alice Foulds - EP Review: The Quieter Ones
16 Nov 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
The Quieter Ones is the second EP from singer-songwriter Alice Foulds, following on from her 2018 debut Oxygen. This time around she has partnered with Emily Riordan who produced it as well as providing piano and backing vocals, while Noah Goddard is on guitars and bass.
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Boy Virgo - Single Review: Psycho
15 Nov 2020 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Here is a track that takes what you think you know about genres of music and says, "Nope, you are wrong". On the new track Psycho from Boy Virgo, I think this is the one thing I really enjoyed.
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Devilskin - Devilskin @ The Brownzy, Auckland - 14/11/2020
15 Nov 2020 // A review by Steve Shyu
Being one of few live hard rock shows in Aotearoa at this point of 2020, it would have been hard for any Kiwi fans to pass up this gig. Considering 24 hours ago, no one was sure if this event would even happen should another lockdown occur!
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Sean Bodley - Album Review: Neon Daydreams
15 Nov 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
Sean Bodley was first inspired to pick up the guitar at the age of thirteen, being heavily influenced and inspired by Joe Satriani. He followed the normal route of playing in different bands, including cover outfits, and released his self-titled debut album as long ago as 1999.
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Superturtle - Album Review: Wait For It
13 Nov 2020 // A review by Harry Platt
Superturtle have returned! The Auckland post-punk four piece’s fifth album Wait For It is self-described as branching out with a fresh direction "but still firmly grounded in their post-punk roots".
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Moonflower - Single Review: Poison
13 Nov 2020 // A review by IslaMusic
Moonflower is a smooth Christchurch three piece releasing music riddled with dark twists and societal narratives. Comprised of singer/ songwriter/ drummer Nicole Schaap, and accompanying musicians Josh Fairless and Hamish Ellis, this band is not to be missed.
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Gabriel Bond - Single Review: History
12 Nov 2020 // A review by Darryl Baser
First thing; wow what a voice. Gabriel Bond has a stunning voice, I would frankly amazed if he hasn’t had a bunch of formal vocal training.
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Eden Iris - Single Review: I Just Can't Turn It Off
12 Nov 2020 // A review by malexa
Having exorcised a few ghosts, so to speak, on her soul stirring 2018 EP Demons, Eden Iris is finally set to release her debut album next year. It’s been an age since the now LA-based, singer-songwriter first came to national attention through Mike Chunn’s Play It Strange competition.
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Redwoods - Single Review: Redwoods
11 Nov 2020 // A review by Darryl Baser
In their brief blurb, Redwoods describe themselves as "a Kiwi band formed on the Jurassic lake of Tarawera, featuring members of Fire at Will and Dead Favours". The band comprising of members Josh Dillner, Will Kearney and Hannah Kearney have recently released their debut single, which is self-titled.
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Motel Midnight - Single Review: Closer
11 Nov 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
Motel Midnight are Reuben Keeling (vocals, bass guitar), Bruce Ferguson (vocals, guitar), Ben Stanley (synths, beats, production) and they have just produced their debut single, Closer. When asked to describe their music they say they draw their influences from house, hip hop and indie rock, while combining shimmering synths with screaming guitars, fuzzed-out bass and stomping beats.
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Pinn Tweaks - Single Review: Tear The Walls Down
11 Nov 2020 // A review by samv1010
Drummer and producer Jason Peters is no stranger to the NZ Music Industry with a career spanning over 20 years. With a decorated catalogue that includes grunge Rock band; Pumpkinhead and funk/disco fusion Kong Fooey, he’s a man armed with experience and savvy.
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In The Shallows - Album Review: In The Shallows
10 Nov 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
I was mightily impressed with the single Hold On, so of course jumped at the opportunity to hear the debut album by Wellington-based duo In The Shallows before the official release date. This finds Danni Parsons (vocals, guitar, percussion) and Lance Shepherd (vocals, guitar, percussion) on a musical journey; sometimes it is just the two of them while at others it can be a full band, or any combination with the likes of  bassist Andy Bain (Fur Patrol),  drummer Nick Brown (Eb & Sparrow, Vorn), cellist Bonnie Schwarz (Good Habits), Steve Rokosh (keyboards), Chris Winter (trumpet), Chris Peirce (sax), Pete Shaw (accordion), Davie Dubman (keyboards) and Matiu Te Huki (guitar).
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Sam V - Single Review: Up Up Down
10 Nov 2020 // A review by Jamie Denton
Earlier this month, Auckland-based hip-hop/R&B artist Sam V dropped his latest single entitled Up Up Down. Continuing his productive and prolific collaboration with producer EDY, Up Up Down retains many of the stylistic qualities and signature sound that was established in Sam V’s previous outputs.
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Fat Freddy's Drop - Gig Review: Fat Freddy's Drop @ Spark Arena, Auckland - 7/11/2020
10 Nov 2020 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
On November 7th, Fat Freddy’s Drop at Spark Arena was an ultimate highlight to the year of 2020, playing with opening act Avantdale Bowling Club. Avantdale Bowling Club kicks off with a symphony of percussion, keys, horns, and a big double bass.
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Spook The Horses - Gig Review: Spook The Horses @ The Thirsty Dog, Auckland - 7/11/2020
08 Nov 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
I had been waiting for this gig for months, but eventually it arrived so just before heading out I checked what time they were playing, which is when I got a shock, as Spook The Horses  were no longer playing at The Whammy Bar, but at The Thirsty. As I was on the guestlist I never received a notification that there had been a change, but a few minutes googling made it clear that there was indeed a venue change, which made me glad I had indeed checked what was going on.
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East York - Single Review: Outsiders
08 Nov 2020 // A review by Kerry MB
Comprised of three Kiwis, Zane Rosanoski (drums) Tarquin Keys (vocals) Daz Coppins (guitar), and a Canadian, Eric Boucher (bass). Formed in Melbourne during pandemic times comes the Rock quartet, East York.
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The Jordan Luck Band - Gig Review: The Jordan Luck Band @ Pukekohe Cosmopolitan Club, Pukekohe - 6/11/2020
08 Nov 2020 // A review by Ben Ruegg
It’s a Friday night in Pukekohe and as I walk into the Pukekohe Cosmopolitan Club just before 8 pm you can feel the anticipation in the air. Looking like a high school ball, there is a large dance floor in front of the stage while the rest of the venue is lined vertically with tables.
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Looking For Alaska - Gig Review: Looking for Alaska @ Anthology, Auckland - 6/11/2020
07 Nov 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
This was my first trip to the famous Anthology in K Road, and I soon found a spot at the bar to be able to see and perch my notebook, which was immediately improved when the barman grabbed a stool and asked me if I wanted to sit inside the barrier. From there I could see Kendall Elise tuning her guitar and it was obvious she was incredibly nervous, due to this being her first live show in ages.
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Gig Review: Ding Dong Lounge Bands Competition Semi Final 1 @ Ding Dong, Auckland - 5/11/2020
07 Nov 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
For the second consecutive night it was back to Ding Dong, this time for the first semi-final of  the Bands competition, which is being sponsored by Dave Rhodes Productions, SIS Studios, Real Groovy Auckland and Muzic.net.
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Gig Review: Ding Dong Lounge Bands Competition Heat 4 @ Ding Dong, Auckland - 04/11/2020
07 Nov 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
So, it was back to Ding Dong for the final heat of the Bands competition, which is being sponsored by Dave Rhodes Productions, SIS Studios, Real Groovy Auckland and Muzic.net.
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Die! Die! Die! - Gig Review: Die! Die! Die! @ Pioneer Hall, Port Chalmers - 06/11/2020
07 Nov 2020 // A review by Darryl Baser
Bliss Point are a Dunedin based high school band with musical lineage including drummer Tane Cotton, son of audio engineer Dale Cotton, and nephew of Shayne P Carter. Bliss Point take to the end of the room which is used as a stage to a quarter full room of their parents, school pals and unfashionably early concert goers, your humble scribe included.
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Imugi - EP Review: Dragonfruit
06 Nov 2020 // A review by Steve Shyu
One of Auckland’s most-talked about indie hip-hop acts is Imugi. Consisting of producer and synth-player Carl Ruwhiu and singer Yery Cho, the duo have wowed crowds around Auckland.
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3000AD - Album Review: The Void
06 Nov 2020 // A review by River Tucker
For a debut, The Void by 3000 AD is one hell of a kick arse release. Not only does it deliver everything you could ever want from a metal album, elements of punk and thrash will also satisfy the most hardcore head bangers amongst us.
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Krispy & The Pooch - EP Review Drop The Needle
06 Nov 2020 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Wow. Krispy & The Pooch have quite the EP here.
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In The Shallows - Single Review: Hold On
05 Nov 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
Over the last few years, I have been fortunate enough to have come across some wonderful female singers and folk/acoustic acts, and now I have just stumbled onto the Wellington duo In The Shallows which is Danni Parsons (vocals, guitar, percussion) and Lance Shepherd (vocals, guitar, percussion). This song also features bassist Andy Bain (Fur Patrol) and drummer Nick Brown (Eb & Sparrow, Vorn) and guest cellist Bonnie Schwarz (Good Habits, Manchester – UK).
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The Avondale Spiders - Single Review: Black Magik Pills
05 Nov 2020 // A review by Paul Goddard
Do you miss anything at the moment?The world is in a crazy place and it is easy to not want to look forward when the future doesn’t look so bright.
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Delaney Davidson - Gig Review: Delaney Davidson @ ADJO, Dunedin - 3/11/2020
04 Nov 2020 // A review by Darryl Baser
Cantabrian entertainer Delaney Davidson is on a smaller venues tour which saw him play in Ophir this week, along with shows at Dunedin’s boutique venue ADJO and at The Galley in Port Chalmers. A mostly seated crowd of around 30 people waited, looking at the stage set up in the corner of ADJO, before Delaney Davidson swaggered his way through the crowd from the back area.
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Emma Rose - Single Review: Happy
03 Nov 2020 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Talented young native of Nelson, Emma Common (Emma Rose) has forged ahead with her music recently creating an EP of three songs for the final project in her degree in Bachelor of Commercial Music at Massey University. Happy is the opening track to her Elderflower EP, which due our early 2021.
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Hotel Death Star - Single Review: You're Not Jesus
03 Nov 2020 // A review by Jamie Denton
Bali based Hotel Death Star is a collaborative EDM project between expat singer-songwriter Phil Stoodley (perhaps best known for his solo work and his early rock band Stoods) and Bali-national producer-composer-multi-instrumentalist Andreas Arianto. In contrast to the guitar-based rock and pop that dominated Phil Stoodley’s earlier projects, Hotel Death Star’s first single, You’re Not Jesus, sees the pair dive into electronica, especially deep house territory.
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Sir Dave Dobbyn - Gig Review: Dave Dobbyn @ Spark Arena, Auckland - 01/11/2020
02 Nov 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
One thing I have never understood about attending a concert is why so many people turn up in time for the main act, but not for the support. True, sometimes they are dire, but there have also been times when for me they have shown up the main act so badly that I have the left the gig.
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Bravo Bonez - EP Review: Love Blast Lounge
01 Nov 2020 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Wellington based musician, songwriter, and producer Bravo Bonez has just released his latest lo-fi offering, reminiscent of old school lounge music which is ironic because the title of his five track EP is called Love Blast Lounge.With the intention of spreading a message of "music, hope and love", Bravo Bonez music is a mix of post-punk, ambient, shoegaze and perhaps dreampop.
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Gig Review: Ding Dong Lounge Bands Competition Heat 3 @ Ding Dong, Auckland - 29/10/2020
30 Oct 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
For the second consecutive night it was back to Ding Dong for the third heat of the Bands competition, which is being sponsored by Dave Rhodes Productions, SIS Studios, Real Groovy Auckland & Muzic.net.
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Gig Review: Ding Dong Lounge Bands Competition Heat 2 @ Ding Dong, Auckland - 28/10/2020
30 Oct 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
Midweek saw me back at the Ding Dong Lounge, this time for the second heat of the Bands competition, which is being sponsored by Dave Rhodes Productions, SIS Studios, Real Groovy Auckland & Muzic.net.
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The Wake Up - Single Review: Worthy
30 Oct 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
Caleb, Chris and Laura are back with new recruit Nathan, and their latest single as The Wake Up: if there is any justice in the world here is a song which is going to be blasting out of radio stations all over Aotearoa for the next few months.Written by fellow Palmerston North musician Adam Lee, Worthy hits so many sweet spots it is actually quite hard to know where to begin.
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Mecuzine - Single Review: Same Boat
30 Oct 2020 // A review by Darryl Baser
Same Boat is Mecuzine’s first release in two years, showcasing a new direction for brothers Joseph and Tony Johns. Lyrically it reflects the global climate situation, "we’re all in the same boat and it’s sinking" from the chorus, spells it out pretty well.
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Lou'ana - Album Review: Moonlight Madness
29 Oct 2020 // A review by malexa
The official release date for Lou'ana's debut album is October 30. Whether by design or accident, it’s serendipitous.
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J Plates - Album Review: Seven Days Of Fire
29 Oct 2020 // A review by Gareth Heta
2020 has been a big year for J Plates, releasing a string of heavyweight DnB alongside a side project offering ambient and lower-BPM electronic stylings. Dropping just in time for Halloween, Seven Days Of Fire marks his debut, self-released LP, and it’s a fitting collection for the spooky season - massive stabbing bass, crunching breakbeats and haunting atmospheres abound.
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And$um - EP Review: Late Nights
29 Oct 2020 // A review by Ben Ruegg
And$um has returned with a new EP. Made up of six tracks, this is yet another collection of songs that demonstrate the sound Sam brings to this project.
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Tablefox - Single Review: Battles
29 Oct 2020 // A review by Kerry MB
Since releasing their debut EP in 2013, Auckland alternative band, Tablefox have gone from strength to strength over the years and continued to broaden their horizons musically. 2020 has been no exception and on the eve of releasing their third album, Desire or Love, they’ve just dropped their fourth single, titled, Battles.
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Justin Sane - Justin Sane and Huz - Single Review: Days With You
29 Oct 2020 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Based in Auckland, electronic dance duo Justin Sane and Huz have recently released their latest single Days With You which follows on from the feel good message of hope It’s Not Over. Keeping on with spreading the good vibes, these guys have given us another easy to listen to tune with a dance element, creating that slight edge.
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SOJØURN - Single Review: How It Grows
28 Oct 2020 // A review by Steve Shyu
Based in Mangawhai, SOJØURN is a six-piece surf-pop unit bringing some organic sounds to the aural landscape of Aotearoa. SOJØURN pride themselves with being able to carve out reggae-infused summertime music with ease, having brought indie-rock sensibilities on songs like Still a Mess, and Sons of Zion-esque reggae tones on Follow Me.
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Treenurse - Single Review: Pyjamas
26 Oct 2020 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
The new single release by Treenurse is here! Entitled Pyjamas, this is a snappy little indie/alt-rock number about giving life a full go; trying.
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Avantdale Bowling Club - Gig Review: Avantdale Bowling Club @ Hollywood Avondale, Auckland - 23/10/2020
25 Oct 2020 // A review by Lou Clement
Multi-genre bending Avantdale Bowling Club played to a sold out crowd, breaking in, what seemed like the first long weekend in a very long time, at them Hollywood Avondale. Their most recent release, earlier in 2020 was LIVE, it does what it says on the tin.
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Gig Review: Ding Dong Lounge Bands Competition Heat 1 @ Ding Dong, Auckland - 24/10/2020
25 Oct 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
Saturday night saw me back at the Ding Dong Lounge, this time for the first heat of the Bands competition, which is being sponsored by Dave Rhodes Productions, SIS Studios, Real Groovy Auckland and Muzic.net.
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The Hopkinsville Goblins - Album Review: Hit The # Key
24 Oct 2020 // A 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.
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Miss Used - Single Review: Collapsing Building
23 Oct 2020 // A review by bethany_rachell
Collapsing Building is the second single of the upcoming 5-track EP from Miss Used. It’s the louder, uglier younger brother of the band’s first single Depraved, that will surely follow in the same success of over 15,700 streams on Spotify.
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Jolandi Ford - Single Review: Torn Jeans
22 Oct 2020 // A review by Darryl Baser
Toe-tapping pop country at its best, with a good dose of sass. Jolandi Ford’s sound is unashamedly aimed at the commercial country music industry.
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Raw Collective - Single Review: Good Things (All We Need)
22 Oct 2020 // A review by malexa
Feel-good grooves are part of Raw Collective’s DNA. The Wellington-based 10-piece have been sowing sunflower seeds of optimism and cheerfulness for many a year now and it seems the well of goodness never dries.
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Valleyside Boys - EP Review: 3 Pack
21 Oct 2020 // A review by samv1010
I do enjoy collaborations - I’m a firm advocate for their power and ability to bring together different flavours, fan-bases and ultimately, different worlds. Valleyside Boys are one of these collectives, in an era which is seeing an increase in such collectives (YGB, 0800, BLKCITY, Y$O, YKK).
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Coridian - Single Review: Seed II
21 Oct 2020 // A review by Shade
There's an implicit line in Rock music between the head-banging craze that makes you want to raid the mosh pit, and the refined preciseness of a subtle yet powerful tune. Very few bands can master both.
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Lainey - EP Review: Balloons
21 Oct 2020 // A review by IslaMusic
South Island native Lainey is bursting into the music scene after her debut singles You Should Stay and Wanted To Tell You dropped. Taking inspiration from Billie Eilish, Elliot Smith and Dodie, Lainey’s music is sure to impact you.
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Miles Calder - Single Review: Take Me Back To How It Was
19 Oct 2020 // A review by Chris Chick
I think I just found the band that I really want to jam with; Miles Calder's new song Take Me Back To How It Was is a sound that really does what it says on the tin, it takes you back to the way it was. This late 60's and 70's psychedelic number really softens the soul and enables one to really re-live by gone days that many of us did not even have the opportunity to experience.
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Cut Off Your Hands - Album Review: HLLH (Higher Lows Lower Highs)
19 Oct 2020 // A review by Adrian Drew
Cut Off Your Hands long awaited third and final album HLLH (Higher Lows Lower Highs) is exactly that; full of highs and lows. Throughout the listen, I found myself wanting to both; hate and love somebody for everything this album is about.
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Shapeshifter - Gig Review: Shapeshifter @ Christchurch Town Hall - 18/10/2020
19 Oct 2020 // A review by Gareth Heta
Two decades deep and showing no signs of slowing down, veteran live act Shapeshifter jetted into Christchurch on the back of a sold out Auckland show and a global pandemic causing havoc for the events industry. Showcasing their incredible musical prowess with a powerhouse performance, they created a special vibe for those in attendance in a celebration of music, dance, and togetherness.
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Empress - Single Review: Sailing the Seas of Grease
19 Oct 2020 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Empress have just released their debut single Sailing the Seas of Grease, with an incredibly artistic music video that accompanies the track. Empress are a heavy two-piece band, originally from Auckland and Hamilton.
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Andrew Masseurs - Album Review: Fuzz Bomb
18 Oct 2020 // A review by River Tucker
If you like your music with prominent soaring vocals and driving rhythms that are sure to get you on the dance floor, Fuzz Bomb is the album for you. As well as playing all the instruments, Wellington based musician Andrew Masseurs, formally of New Zealand band Ammp, has also recorded and mixed the entire album.
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Gramsci - Gig Review: Gramsci @ ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland - 16/10/2020
18 Oct 2020 // A review by kongfooey
The anticipation was high for this show for two reasons. One, it was the first gig out for us since Auckland was locked down for the second time this year.
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BENEE - Gig Review: BENEE @ Spark Arena, Auckland - 16/10/2020
17 Oct 2020 // A review by Ben Ruegg
As I got to Spark Arena for the first time since February this year, I couldn't help but notice how many families were there with smiling kids, and parents alike, all waiting for doors to open. BENEE has become quite a superstar over this past year which has been awesome to see.
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Naircol - Album Review: Isolate
16 Oct 2020 // A review by malexa
Naircol is Tauranga-based synthesiser whizz Matt Hennessey. I like that it is an anagram of clarion because this is quite the impressive calling card.
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Dharmarat - Album Review: Belial
16 Oct 2020 // A review by samv1010
Southside based artist, producer, lyricist, utility creative, prolific output man AKA Dharmarat (Adam Tukiri) is a name worth entangling yourself with. He’s prolific in every sense of the word.
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Pass The Peas - EP Review: Strange Favours
15 Oct 2020 // A review by KevinLakius
Pass The Peas are a 5-piece alternative rock band, comprising of Kurt (vocals, guitar), Alice (lead guitar, backing vocals), Ben (keyboards, backing vocals), Jamie (bass) and Tiho (drums). Strange Favours is their new EP - let's get into it!
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Keeltys - Single Review: Humans of Hanrahan
15 Oct 2020 // A review by Darryl Baser
Keeltys, a new five piece indie/garage rock band recently formed in Christchurch. The band members are all studying music in some way; front man Samuel Keelty is in his second year at ARA, Ben Townshend is also in his second year at ARA, Liam Makinson is in his second year studying jazz guitar, Ben Henderson is also in his second year studying bass, and Josh Derwahl is in his first year studying the noble art of jazz drumming.
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Hummucide - EP Review: Hummucide
15 Oct 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
The debut studio EP from Wellington-based jazz quartet Hummucide is the latest release in what has been quite a busy period for the band, as this is their fourth release in recent months. Both 8 Mullups (which has had more than 30,000 plays on Spotify) and Reacher have been released as singles, and this 23-minute-long EP finds them joined by I’m Just A Bag of Bones and The Mothership Left Without Me.
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Jan Preston - Album Review: Piano Boogie Woman
13 Oct 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
Jan Preston was born in Greymouth, and after discovering the piano at an early age she went the normal route of classical music exams and ended up taking a 5-year classical piano degree at Auckland university. Having determined she did not want to become a concert pianist or teacher she tried out various different musical styles, moving first to Wellington and then to Sydney where she still resides.
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Curlys Jewels - Single Review: Blinders
13 Oct 2020 // A review by Kris Raven
Wellington's Curlys Jewels have gone from strength to strength over the last few years, out lasting many a fallen Wellington scene rock bands and delivering their third Greg Haver (Ekko Park, The Feelers, OpShop) produced rock anthem Blinders. The core line up has remained solid since their first few EP’s and ever since dropping their 2019 single Absentee which saw them debut on mainstream radio and touring NZ, they have become a heavy hitting staple in the independent rock community.
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Arrays - Single Review: No Way Out
13 Oct 2020 // A review by Shade
Arrays is JP Carroll, a multi-instrumentalist man of many talents, and here we have his new single No Way Out in all its foot-stomping, head-banging and dance-inducing quality.From the very first drop of sound, it's evident that this song is not going to disappoint.
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Coridian - Gig Review: Coridian w/ Channeled & Mudshark @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 10/10/2020
12 Oct 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
First time at the Ding Dong Lounge since we went back into lockdown, and tonight was set to be a special night with Coridian and Outside In back from their wonderful sets on 11th July at the same venue. Unfortunately, Mikey Brown from Outside In was struck down with a lurgy and was unable to perform (although he valiantly attended tonight at least for a while, boy did he look crook) but Channeled stepped in at the last minute, having played The Thirsty Dog the night before, and were up for being part of the Dead Witch Relaunch.
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theajsound - Single Review: Sorrow
12 Oct 2020 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Auckland based Indian born singer and songwriter theajsound (AKA AJ) has released a string of singles this year which have amassed hundreds of thousands stream on Spotify, and his latest, Sorrow is a catchy new tune that instantly catches your ear.The guitar sound is clean and an instant classic.
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Devilskin - Gig Review: Devilskin with Shepherds Reign @ San Fran, Wellington - 08/10/2020
11 Oct 2020 // A review by Tony McDonald
Even during a period of uncertainty in New Zealand with Covid-19, Devilskin and support act Shepherds Reign managed to fill San Francisco Bath House in Wellington. In fact, I have not seen a queue outside on the street for quite some time.
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State Of Mind - Single Review: Fateful Hour
09 Oct 2020 // A review by TheMechanism
Auckland Drum and Bass duo State of Mind have come a long way over the years, with 6 albums and many high profile collaborations under their belt. Their latest release Fateful Hour with Black Sun Empire, is yet another fine example of this outfit’s world class production prowess.
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Imperial April - Single Review: Release Me
08 Oct 2020 // A review by Chris Chick
Imperial April are releasing their new single Release Me on 9 October 2020, and by golly it's an absolute corker, and I will not let anyone else say different. This song has so much going for it, from its production, to the wonderfully enchanting singing, to the 80's summer vibe that will just keep the summer of 2020 a positive time considering the rest of the garbage we have all had to deal with.
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Sam V - EP Review: Cruisin'
08 Oct 2020 // A review by Ben Ruegg
The new EP from Sam V, bKidd and EDY is a blast. With a few skits interwoven into the EP, the whole package feels well thought out and it sounds great.
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Jessy & The Volunteers - Single Review: Time Is Laughing
08 Oct 2020 // A review by Shade
Some songs stand out more than others, cementing themselves in your mind for days on end. This is one such song.
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Samuel Philip Cooper - Single Review: Hope In Your Heart
08 Oct 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the second single from Samuel Philip Cooper, the Wellington-based pianist who will be releasing his debut album Breaking The Silence next month. This was originally inspired when a friend of his told him he was suffering from cancer and was having to undergo chemotherapy.
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Sam Bartells - EP Review: Let's Go
08 Oct 2020 // A review by malexa
Sam Bartells has a way with words. In an interview with Darryl Baser from Muzic.
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Coffin Club - Single Review: Gaslight
08 Oct 2020 // A review by Paul Goddard
Gaslight (or rather Gaslighting) has become a bit of a buzz word recently and sits perfectly as the title for this short sharp shock of fuzzed up punk from Auckland three piece Coffin Club.Unlike a real Gaslight, this song is no slow burner.
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Mat Gat - Single Review: Magnetic
08 Oct 2020 // A review by Carl Hayman
With some pretty famous initials you might confuse MJK with Maynard James Keenan from Tool, but in fact, residing in NZ is our own professional muso MJK ‘Mathew King’ born in the ‘Naki. Performing under MJK, Mathew has just released a brand new single Magnetic, and it’s a pretty slick tune!
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Jan Preston - Gig Review: Jan Preston @ Auckland Blues & Jazz Club, Auckland - 06/10/2020
07 Oct 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
I must confess that until this week I had never heard of the Auckland Jazz and Blues Club, but somehow, I do not think this will be the last time I attend. Situated at the rear of the Pt Chevalier RSA, I walked into a warm welcome, and was given a copy of the latest newsletter which detailed the acts they have coming in October.
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The Vibes - Album Review: Saucery
07 Oct 2020 // A review by Steve Shyu
Formerly called 'Brendon Thomas and The Vibes', this rock trio from Auckland consists of Tim on drums, Michael on bass guitar, and Brendon on the six-string. Touted as "a traversal through the psychedelic musical minds of Brendon Thomas, Timothee Nolier and Michael Anderson", the group boldly bring back the best sounds of the 60’s on every release.
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Gareth Thomas - Single Review: Wake Up
07 Oct 2020 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Kiwi artist, Gareth Thomas well known for his past endeavours with iconic New Zealand band Goodshirt, has released his latest single following on from My Dog on the upcoming 2021 album Bits. Wake Up is described as the "morning anthem for sleepyheads everywhere".
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DRXNES - Single Review: The Machine
06 Oct 2020 // A review by Kris Raven
There must be something in the water, brewing magic in Whanganui. Eclectic rock/metal 5-piece DRXNES have just dropped their new single The Machine and it is HUGE.
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An Electric Heart - Album Review: Otiose Me
06 Oct 2020 // A review by Ben Ruegg
As you press play, the prologue hits you hard and it is obvious that Luke Pell, known as An Electric Heart, has a great understanding on sonics and dynamics on his new album Otiose Me.Luke Pell describes the An Electric Heart sound as 'alternative pop'.
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Matt Bizzle - Single Review: Just Let Me Know with Kevin Posey Feat. Lily Jackson
05 Oct 2020 // A review by Ben Ruegg
The reggaeton beat has been quite the staple in music trends for some time now, and with the new track Just Let Me Know from Matt Bizzle, it isn't the main feature. Instead, it is used in the right places to give this track a different vibe at the exact moment it is needed.
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In The Shallows - Single Review: Take It Easy
03 Oct 2020 // A review by Shade
The opening lyrics set the scene well for this charming little number - "I can't help but wonder is this the only way? Get so caught up in the drama that we forget to play.
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Threat.Meet.Protocol - Single/Video Review: The Witch Trials
02 Oct 2020 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Lurking in the shadows since 2011, Tauranga based Threat.Meet.
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Domes - Single Review: R
02 Oct 2020 // A review by JP Carroll
Domes are a three piece space metal band based somewhere between London, Australia and New Zealand. Their sound is atmospheric and doomy yet ethereal and melodic - the band describes it as "Heavy music that is forward looking".
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Jam Fish - Single Review: Jane’s The Name
01 Oct 2020 // A review by Darryl Baser
Jam Fish, AKA Sam Higham, takes a step back from his usual full band arrangements to bring you an emotional stripped back song titled Jane's the Name. Featuring just acoustic guitar and vocals, this song portrays 4 different aspects that could control one's life, represented by different names.
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Casey Evans - Single Review: Wild & Free
01 Oct 2020 // A review by Darryl Baser
Casey Evans is as contemporary pop country as they come - if that’s your jam, this is a track for you. Wild & Free was #1 on the NZ country Charts, and #7 on all genres on iTunes upon release, which is no mean trick for an independent artist from The Catlins coast, currently spending time in Dunedin.
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Valere - Album Review: Colours
01 Oct 2020 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Auckland based songwriter and producer Shana Llorando is electro-pop, RnB musical artist Valere. Recently releasing her luscious debut 13 track original album Colours, full of delightfully fresh and funky tracks, each one flowing harmoniously with warmth and honesty.
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Turkey The Bird - Single Review: Everybody Needs A Little Sunshine
01 Oct 2020 // A review by Chris Chick
I was promised a happy little number when handed this assignment, and I was not let down, I think happy might be an understatement, elated, ecstatic, maybe even nirvanic, which I believe is a word I just made up. This is a timely release what with summer banging on the door, a great reminder to us all to put a smile on our faces, and be thankful for the simple things in life, like a little sunshine, especially if you are on the West Coast of the South Island, according to the rumours.
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Your Indigo - Single Review: Higher
01 Oct 2020 // A review by Adrian Drew
Christchurch based alt-pop band Your Indigo  have released their new single Higher. After releasing their debut EP December 2019, Your Indigo explores new ideas with Higher, wrapping their 'rich tapestry' of sound around a pulsating kick drum in this thought-provoking club track.
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Darren Watson - Album Review: Getting Sober For The End of the World
30 Sep 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
Darren Watson originally became known in the Eighties as principal songwriter and frontman for rhythm and blues outfit Chicago Smoke Shop, with whom he recorded two albums. Since going solo he has released six studio albums, with his last, 2018’s Too Many Millionaires being his most successful, reaching #3 on the official NZ Albums Chart.
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Stretch - Album Review: Our Dreams Are Changing
30 Sep 2020 // A review by malexa
Anthony Stretch’s debut album Bury All Horses was one of the most poignant, lyrically honest and captivating albums of 2017. It was a 'dark horse', so to speak, forged in loss and loneliness, and at times a sense of anguish as he contemplated the direction of his life beyond the clouds that seemed as if they would never lift.
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Scalper - Single Review: Dust
30 Sep 2020 // A review by Steve Shyu
Nadeem Shafi, better known by his stage name Scalper, has been in and around the United Kingdom and Aotearoa hip-hop circuits for nearly three decades. Having performed under numerous rap groups and continuously releasing solo albums under his own moniker, he has not stopped creating.
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Mini Simmons - Single Review: Silver Cigarette Case
30 Sep 2020 // A review by malexa
A defining moment for Mini Simmons occurred almost a year ago to the day when they performed a version of Benee’s Soaked at the 2019 Silver Scroll Awards. The New Zealand charting No 1 single made the cut when the 20 finalists were whittled down to five and, as has become tradition, it was covered by another artist on the night.
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Lester - Single Review: Sometimes Feat. Aunty Rae
29 Sep 2020 // A review by Ben Ruegg
On Lester's latest track Sometimes, featuring Aunty Rae, the New Zealand Hip-Hop artist turns his focus inward and discusses the things that we miss when we are away from home; which in his case is a list of memories that make home what it is. And yet, the real meaning of home is blurred and put to question.
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Social Shun - Album Review: 7/10 of A Fridge
29 Sep 2020 // A review by malexa
It’s always eye-opening when you come across an artist for the first time and discover that they already have a body of work that’s never been on your radar. Such is the case with Waikato-based sound explorer and experimentalist Jason Longhurst aka Social Shun, who has released a steady stream of albums – five in all – since The Garden of Sweden in 2014.
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PRINS - Gig Review: PRINS & Vikae @ Dive Bar, Dunedin - 26/09/2020
27 Sep 2020 // A review by Darryl Baser
With most of New Zealand at Covid alert level 1, dancing is allowed at bars and clubs, and a good number of those who came along to see Auckland-based musicians PRINS and Vikae with local support from Molly Devine and Bryn Massey. Bryn Massey is the first of four women with amazing voices for the evening.
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Sola Rosa - Album Review: Chasing The Sun
25 Sep 2020 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
The architect of Sola Rosa is Andrew Spraggon, a musician/producer based in Auckland, New Zealand. Spraggon has created his next major chapter, Chasing The Sun, which took a decent stretch of time in the making.
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Animalhead - Album Review: Blood, Sweat & Beers
24 Sep 2020 // A review by Kris Raven
After five years of blood, sweat and beers, notorious West Auckland 3-piece Animalhead are dropping their debut album. For those who have followed the band over the last half decade, this album represents a culmination of all their hard work laid out over ten diverse, mega tunes, as well as their previously released epic singles including 2018 runaway hit Rabbit Hole.
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Molly Devine - Single Review: Wanderer
24 Sep 2020 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Following on from her previous single Call Me Up, Dunedin artist Molly Devine returns with her new single Wanderer. A stark contrast from her previous release, Call Me Up was an uplifting, toe tapping pop track, whereas Wanderer is a mystical pop ballad, set over a dreamy soundscape.
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The Response - Single Review: All Of My Flaws
24 Sep 2020 // A review by Paul Goddard
Smooth.A word that sounds just as good as it looks.
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Club Classic - Single Review: Richie Whiskey
24 Sep 2020 // A review by IslaMusic
Club Classic are an energetic indie-funk band from Wellington looking to make their mark on the Aotearoa music scene by making people dance. Inspired by legends Parcels, Sticky Fingers and Red Hot Chilli Peppers, the four piece specialise in dynamic and groovy jams.
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Diggy Dupe - Album Review: That's Me, That's Team
24 Sep 2020 // A 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.
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Ravenhall - Single Review: Wild Hearts
23 Sep 2020 // A review by malexa
It’s slightly surprising that Ravenhall have been so exacting of their own standards, dating back to the release of their 2015 debut single Everything To Me, given that vocalist Chris Brebner and guitarist Joe Ravenhall are seasoned musicians, who had already shown they’ve got what it takes. Wild Hearts is a classic, edgy, muscular rock song – that’s about seven singles on the trot now – that’s ripped in all the right places.
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Banana Mundo - Single Review: Bananas of the World
23 Sep 2020 // A review by Jamie Denton
The intriguingly named Banana Mundo is an 8-piece musical collective from New Plymouth. Boasting members from around the world, the collective includes musicians from France, Argentina, Venezuela, Switzerland, England, Uruguay, and our own little piece of paradise, Aotearoa New Zealand.
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Velvet Arrow - EP Review: Songs of Solitude
22 Sep 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
Velvet Arrow are creative musician/producer Dan Stenhouse and songwriter Hannah Jane, who both hail from Northland and came together as a duo in 2017. This four-track EP demonstrates that here is a band who approaches music with an unusual mix of Alt-Folk and Dark Country, capturing the listener from the beginning and rarely letting them go.
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Seralynne - Album Review: What Love Is
21 Sep 2020 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Wellington based singer-songwriter Seralynne has just released a sleek new nine-track album What Love Is. This is a surprisingly heartfelt and mature mix of haunting yet beautifully written pop ballads.
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For The Wolves - Single Review: Parable
20 Sep 2020 // A review by JP Carroll
For The Wolves are a Brisbane based Kiwi/Aussie Rock outfit carving out a place for their brand of aggressive psychedelic rock in the Australian scene. They have had the help of some of the best in the business on their new single Parable, with Luke Palmer from Dead Letter Circus at the production helm, and Forrester Savell mixing.
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Andrew Masseurs - EP Review: She’s So Nasty
19 Sep 2020 // A review by Darryl Baser
Well, being either a PC softy or a bit of a feminist, I didn’t warm to the title track She’s So Nasty, but being a professional I opened my ears and had a listen to Andrew Masseurs’ new EP. And I’m glad I did.
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Kovan - Single Review: Permanent
19 Sep 2020 // A review by Kerry Kingi
Here's the latest single from Hip-Hop / RnB artist Kovan.Titled Permanent, this track goes straight into the beat and rapping after a short intro.
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Lakius - Single Review: This Tension
18 Sep 2020 // A review by Kerry MB
Deemed as New Zealand’s 4th best industrial/groove-metal duo, Auckland’s Lakius kept busy during our lockdown periods creating and had recently released another single titled, This Tension. With a stunning video to accompany it, This Tension is an assault of noise that leaves all your senses on alert.
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Khemikal - Single Review: Unity
18 Sep 2020 // A review by Carl Hayman
Back in the early to mid-2000’s I was a huge fan of POD, Alterbridge, Incubus and Disturbed, and to some extent I still am. The beginning of the DJ era within rock music.
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Repairs - Album Review: Repeat Repeat
18 Sep 2020 // A review by Harry Platt
33 minutes. 14 tracks.
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Arli Liberman - Soundtrack Review: Savage
17 Sep 2020 // A review by malexa
Arli Liberman is a natural fit for a movie score. As anyone who has listened to his three solo albums - Arli Liberman, Fata Morgana and Allegra will have noted, the Israel-born guitarist has a flair for visceral, beautifully textured and other-worldly soundscapes.
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Strangely Arousing - Single Review: Airplanes
16 Sep 2020 // A review by Steve Shyu
Ska and reggae specialists Strangely Arousing hail from Rotorua, and the five lads have been making plenty of waves in the Aotearoa music scene over half a dozen years. They won SmokeFree Pacifica Beats in 2013, went on to perform at numerous Raggamuffin and Rhythm & Vines festivals, and even toured South Korea and China.
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VÏKÆ - EP Review: Finelines
16 Sep 2020 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Ukrainian born, now Auckland based pop artist VïKÆ has arrived with her debut EP Finelines, released on the 4th of September. Finelines is the result of a fierce partnership between VïKÆ, real name Veronika Bell and Abigail Knudson Missy.
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Researchintospeed - Single Review: Anode
15 Sep 2020 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Papaioea’s own proponent of live electronic dance music Researchintospeed has just dropped a new track and accompanying video, Anode. As part of the stand-alone electronic work of Craig Black, Anode was added to his expanding electro catalog over lock down.
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The RVMES - Single Review: Big Bam Boom
14 Sep 2020 // A review by Ben Ruegg
The RVMES newest track Big Bam Boom is a good time that deserves your attention.The rawness and realness of this track cannot be denied.
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Empasse - EP Review: Ultraviolet
13 Sep 2020 // A review by malexa
Ultraviolet has history – literally. As its composer Nick Johnston explains in the press release accompanying the EP, his first under the moniker Empasse , it is a “soundtrack to a story that is not well known in New Zealand outside the Waikato region where I live.
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Pull Down The Sun - Album Review: Of Valleys and Mountains
11 Sep 2020 // A review by Kris Raven
Whanganui's Pull Down The Sun are about to drop one of the best progressive metal albums of the year Of Valleys and Mountains. While not necessarily a ‘concept album’ the album as a whole, feels very cohesive, with every song having a point and place and the way the songs flow, taking the listener on an emotive journey that is both brutal and beautiful.
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Troy Kingi - Album Review: The Ghost of Freddie Cesar
10 Sep 2020 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Genius. Honestly.
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Hazza Making Noise - Single Review: Boomers In Disguise
10 Sep 2020 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Auckland based Cantabrian, disillusioned architect and sausage roll enthusiast Harry Platt who goes under the pseudonym Hazza Making Noise, has just released a new single called Boomers In Disguise. Cross a football chant with a rock opera and inject it with punk-rave then you will have a fair idea about the unique concept which Harry describes as having "an early Arctic Monkeys – Brianstormesque nature to it".
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Dub Boys - EP Review: Fortune Favours The Bold
10 Sep 2020 // A review by Ben Ruegg
The newest EP from the Dub Boys is fantastic. As someone who appreciates all styles of music, Hip-Hop continues to be one I stay fascinated with due to the current climate and success of certain artists.
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Mirrors - Single Review: Got This Feeling
09 Sep 2020 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Originally starting out as a covers band in 2017, Christchurch based acoustic pop duo Mirrors expanded their repertoire this year during lockdown, taking the opportunity to write and record seven original songs in their home studio. Got This Feeling is their catchy brand-new second single release.
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Sonar.Suite - Single Review: Flip Siide
09 Sep 2020 // A review by kongfooey
Flip Siide kicks off with a lone chilled blues guitar before a sweet vocal style similar to Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes) kicks into gear. Brendon Thomas is the mastermind behind this slippery little funk number.
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Dick Raine - EP Review: Dick Raine and Dick’s Guns
08 Sep 2020 // A review by Paul Goddard
Lockdowns are shit. A few months ago, we didn’t even know what a lockdown was nor social distancing and let’s face it the world is pretty fucked at the moment.
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The Settlers - Single Review: Love
06 Sep 2020 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Driven by a catchy guitar loop and backed up with a beat that ebbs and flows, the new track Love from The Settlers really puts its focus on its lyrics and delivery.Keeping the vocal effects to the minimum here allows the verses to sound authentic and real.
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Julie Lamb - Album Review: How Humans Think
04 Sep 2020 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
The first thing I noticed when I was blessed with a physical copy of Julie Lamb Outfit’s brand new eight track album How Humans Think, was the outstanding amount of work and love which has gone into the packaging of the CD. It is a creative thing of beauty to which I will elaborate further on.
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Bingo Fighter - Single Review: Kama Sutra
03 Sep 2020 // A review by Darryl Baser
Well, as bloody obvious things to write go, music is in the entertainment industry should be fun and entertaining. With that premise in mind, Bingo Fighter go to the top of the class with their new single Kama Sutra.
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Grant Haua - Single Review: This Is The Place
03 Sep 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
Grant Haua is probably best known for being half of the two-man blues roots band Swamp Thing, but in January 2019 he made the decision to leave the band after 9 years, countless tours and numerous acclaimed albums. He locked himself away with producer and engineer Tim Julian from Colour Field Studios for several months, with the end result being the album Awa Blues.
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Madeleine Howard - EP Review: Just Reaching Out
02 Sep 2020 // A review by IslaMusic
Following the success of her singles No More and Missing Pieces, Madeleine Howard has released her much anticipated debut EP Just Reaching Out. Howard describes the EP as "a long time coming".
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Alae - EP Review: Lucy's Mix Tape
01 Sep 2020 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Indie-pop quartet Alae return with their EP Lucy’s Mix Tape, which was launched on the 26th of August. Featuring three previously released singles; Hit Me Where It Hurts, Summer Thing and Lucy, the EP also features the new single Please, as well as collaborations and re-works.
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Lou'ana - Single Review: Feel This
01 Sep 2020 // A review by malexa
It’s no surprise that Lou’ana has been nominated in three categories at the Pacific Music Awards. What would surprise is if she didn’t scoop up the two main ones – Best Soul/RnB artist and Best Female Artist.
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Echo Children - Single Review: Our Parents Fixed It All
01 Sep 2020 // A review by malexa
With the beguiling This Was Our Fault EP and the bitter-sweetness of Flowers still lingering, Echo Children are proving as alluring as they are elusive to define on their latest single, Our Parents Fixed It All. That might be because of the melting pot of nationalities – Amanda Larsson (Sweden), Niamh O'Flynn (Canada) and Oliver Young (Scotland) – that gives them such a sense of other-worldiness, beautifully infused in songs that sparkle like rare pop gems tinged with the earthiness of country and folk.
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Superturtle - Single Review: Dress the Same
01 Sep 2020 // A review by Harry Platt
Stomping garage Rock n Roll. Iggy Pop like vocals preach at me; "WE ALL DRESS THE SAME!
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End of an Empire - Album Review: Within Without
31 Aug 2020 // A review by Kerry MB
End of an Empire is a Wellington four-piece who know a thing or two about creating good music, especially for a band that has just released their debut album. With an experimental thrash, hardcore metal sound, Within Without contains ten tracks that has thought, balance and integrity all rolled into its twenty-five minutes.
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Darryl Baser - Album Review: #Second Selfie
31 Aug 2020 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
In true Darryl Baser fashion, his latest album has taken a few years to develop. Following on from his 2016 LP Raw Selfie, the album #Second Selfie has taken flight, once again from his Dunedin based living room.
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Aro - EP Review: He Manu Ano
28 Aug 2020 // A review by IslaMusic
Aro are a husband and wife duo who share a passion for the power of language and music to tell stories and remind us of our cultural identity. In celebration of Aotearoa’s magical wildlife, Aro have released a five track EP inspired by native birds.
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Samuel Philip Cooper - Single Review: Broken Heart Recovery
27 Aug 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have Samuel Philip Cooper, a 25-year-old Wellington-based solo-pianist, who releases his first single, Broken Heart Recovery on Saturday 29th August. Cooper is planning to release this and one more tune as singles prior to the release of the album, Breaking The Silence, in November.
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Animalhead - Single Review: Follow Blind feat. Rory Howard
27 Aug 2020 // A review by Steve Shyu
For those who haven’t yet experienced Animalhead, the three-piece rock act is based in Auckland, and play energetic fusions of punk, rock & roll, with hard-grooves that nod at the likes of Black Sabbath and Audioslave. They’ve released three singles, have earned airplay on major radio stations The Rock and Hauraki, performed live at Muzic.
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Spook The Horses - Album Review: Empty Body
27 Aug 2020 // A review by Kris Raven
Eclectic post metallers Spook the Horses have released their 4th full length album Empty Body. Formed in 2009, this Wellington based 6-piece have spent the last 11 years creating artistically diverse and genre bending music, whether it be 2017's beautifully haunting and a little more chill album People Used To Live Here or their recent single releases where they have delivered unrelenting, progressively heavy soundscapes, shaping their impending new album.
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Torn Chorus - Single Review: Letting Go
27 Aug 2020 // A review by malexa
Franklin Davis doesn’t have a pure voice. It’s on the slightly brittle side of melodious, more the kind that would blend in well with others.
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Taylor Roche - Single Review: Never Like That
26 Aug 2020 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Emerging pop artist Taylor Roche has just released his latest single Never Like That. Roche is Auckland-based and full of flame.
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Riqi Harawira - Single Review: Suffering
25 Aug 2020 // A review by malexa
Riqi Harawira has made his calling an open book that has dealt with his personal experience of addiction and mental health challenges. His latest single Suffering, is his most powerful statement yet, precisely and eloquently encapsulating aspects of the recovery journey.
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Big Scout - Single Review: Nothing Ever Happens
25 Aug 2020 // A review by Paul Goddard
There are ear worms.Then there is this little snaky bastard of a tune from Big Scout.
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Jam Fish - Single Review: The Hermits Red Balloon
24 Aug 2020 // A review by Chris Chick
Jam Fish’s new single The Hermit’s Red Balloon was released on the 14th August 2020. This song can only be described through golfing metaphors, the experience of listening to this song was like playing a shot beyond the horizon and hoping you make the green.
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Ekko Park - Album Review: Horizon
24 Aug 2020 // A review by Ben Ruegg
The latest album from Ekko Park is an absolute blast of a time to listen to from beginning to end.All Eyes On Me sets the scene by just giving it everything.
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Hadees Drudge - Album Review: On Your Knees
23 Aug 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
Hadees Drudge came together in Wellington in 2018, after a covers band featuring guitarist/songwriter Jason Keeler and drummer Jordan Hotton (previously in Bloodshot) disbanded. Hotton liked the songs he heard from Keeler, so they reached out on social media to find some musicians to form a new band and convinced singer Duane Frew (who had previously released some albums as Nort) and bassist Chris Ewers to come along for the ride.
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The Sixteenth - EP Review: The 16th EP
22 Aug 2020 // A review by Peter-James Dries
When you work as a data quality analyst, you need something to unwind. I chose animation.
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Stars and the Underground - Single Review: Nosferatu Upon Tyne
22 Aug 2020 // A review by Darryl Baser
Being an OG (old goth or original goth) from the 1980's I love me a bit of goth. Stars and the Underground are a nice bit of goth who have just released a 7" single.
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Marlin's Dreaming - Album Review: Quotidian
21 Aug 2020 // A review by Darryl Baser
Having been a reviewer of life and recorded music since the late 1980's, it is a rare and wonderful feeling to discover a band from my hometown who I haven’t heard of, until they drop a recording that takes my head clean off. Dunedin band Marlin’s Dreaming have released Quotidian, and are about to (Covid willing) head off on a NZ tour in late September and early October.
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Imperial April - Single Review: Tonic For Your Boredom
21 Aug 2020 // A review by Trevor Faville
This is the second release from Christchurch combo Imperial April, that has evolved in a new direction from their origins as The Response, with Victoria Ropp taking an upfront role on vocals. As such, Tonic for Your Boredom is a further refinement - and step up from- previous release Peachy.
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Lee Martin - Single/Video Review: Falling Down
20 Aug 2020 // A review by malexa
Now is the time Lee Martin was due to take a trip to the US.Covid has scuttled those plans and, instead, she’s released the stunning single Falling Down (and 360-degree music video) from her Lost Girl EP, which came out last year.
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Valere - Single Review: Undercover
20 Aug 2020 // A review by IslaMusic
Following the success of her earlier releases Like That and Make Believe, Valere is back with her most sincere piece of work to date. Undercover begins with a choir of synths and swells into the questions "Do you know if your minds made up yet?
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The Vibes - Single Review: Funk Blaster
20 Aug 2020 // A review by kongfooey
Hot of the press this latest offering from The Vibes. Funk Blaster is a tribute to James Brown and the Red Hot Chili Peppers and it's a great big slice of funky fun.
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Samantha Josephine - Album Review: Feeling In The Strange
20 Aug 2020 // A review by IslaMusic
Hailing from Ladysmith, South Africa, Samantha Josephine is the mastermind behind the Feeling In The Strange album. Her sound is crisp and enchanting, and her lyrics feel as though they were written in another universe.
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SOJØURN - Single Review: Stand Up
20 Aug 2020 // A review by kongfooey
As with a lot of established and up and coming Kiwi artists, the pandemic that is Covid-19 has thrown a spanner in the works for recording, releases and live shows and SOJØURN have also been in the same boat. But here it is, the latest offering from these young Northland lads.
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Maciek Hrybowicz - Single Review: Mr Ponsonby
17 Aug 2020 // A review by malexa
As far as introductions go, Poland-born composer and guitarist Maciek Hrybowicz has left quite the impression with this calling card. Mr Ponsonby is taken from his 2019 album AWA, a collection of pieces inspired by the beauty of his adopted home land New Zealand.
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Investigator - Single Review: Bad Luck Shoebox
17 Aug 2020 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Classic rock vibes crossed with modern rock sound drives this new track from Investigator. Driven by Adrian Drew, Investigator has a sound that is clear and defined and Bad Luck Shoebox adds another track to an ever-growing catalogue that showcases his ideas and sounds that make up Investigator.
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Chris Bates - Single Review: Find A Way Feat. Jarna
15 Aug 2020 // A review by malexa
Big ups to the multi-genre production team of EDY for this inventive, crisp and clear production take on contemporary RnB. They’ve already hit the sweet spot with rising star and recent university graduate Chris Bates, with Say The Word and have done it again on his latest single Find A Way, featuring Jarna.
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NEEKOH - Single Review: Falling
15 Aug 2020 // A review by malexa
It’s a delightful rarity to have a Finnish pop idol move to New Zealand and re-boot what was once a burgeoning career in his home land. That’s the back story of NEEKOH, a Finland Pop Idol finalist in 2014, and Falling, his second New Zealand single from the soon to be released EP Dark Light.
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Biobird - Album Review: Riders
13 Aug 2020 // A review by Gareth Heta
Crisp production, organic drums, layered percussion and gritty, overdriven bass are hallmarks of Biobird's work: presented here for the first time in LP format, it’s a chance to draw together the specific vibe and tone (developed to great success on 2019’s Count to Ten EP) into a cohesive whole. Title track Riders opens with ominous swells before plunging into a dark, techy workout reminiscent of early-2000’s Drum & Bass staples such as Universal Project and Keaton; the second drop change-up bounces along on a half-time beat.
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Raw Collective - Single Review: Waiting for Sunrise
13 Aug 2020 // A review by IslaMusic
Raw Collective are the snowball of a ten-piece whose name gathers interest with each turn. The Wellington Hip-Hop collective spent the past few years bring their music to the world through headlining tours and festivals in New Zealand and overseas.
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Voodoo Bloo - Single Review: Her Name Was Human
13 Aug 2020 // A review by Kerry MB
Voodoo Bloo is the new music project of Rory McDonald. If his name sounds familiar it’ll be because he was the founder (vocals and bass) of now defunct alternative rock/punk Wellington band, Lucifer Gunne.
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Churlington - EP Review: ...Or That The Hummingbird Is So Seldom Seen
13 Aug 2020 // A review by Paul Goddard
Why?Why is music so important?
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Jeramiah Ross - Album Review: Infinity Forever Part 1 – Time (The Studio Sessions)
12 Aug 2020 // A review by malexa
For a time, it appeared Jeramiah Ross might have put Module into permanent hibernation after the release of his last official album Imagineering in 2013. The arrival of the first instalment in the Infinity Forever trilogy puts paid to that theory in no uncertain terms.
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Biobird - EP Review: Count to Ten
10 Aug 2020 // A review by Gareth Heta
Biobird has been quietly amassing a solid body of work and growing recognition amongst the New Zealand bass music community, sliding between low and high BPM subgenres with ease. The 2019 EP release Count to Ten leans toward 170+ but retains enough Trap/Dubstep elements to distinguish itself from your usual release.
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Festival Review: Good Vibes @ Logan Campbell Centre, Auckland - 7/08/2020
09 Aug 2020 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
On Friday the 7th of August, Good Vibes, Pato Entertainment and Mai FM presented to us the best line-up our Auckland Winter has seen to date! The Good Vibes Winter Festival is here; brought to us on a chilly Winter's night with no delay in action.
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Antipodeans - Single Review: Lights Out
09 Aug 2020 // A review by malexa
In the not so distant past, a Kiwi – Sam Shirley - and a mate from across the ditch – Paul Hutton - teamed up to form Antipodeans and were last heard of signing off in Singapore. At first, I thought they had finally resurfaced but it turns out these Antipodeans, are both Kiwis – Dave Hodgson and Guy McIndoe - who played together in Palmerston North’s infamous Noddy On The Cross (props to the brashly delightful [email protected] Off Rugbyhead), but now live on either side of the world.
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Gareth Thomas - Single Review: My Dog
09 Aug 2020 // A review by malexa
Gareth Thomas has always had a knack with words and a persuasive way of weaving them into appealingly off-kilter pop songs. Think back to the days of Goodshirt and the delicately spun and woozy Sophie, and Fazerdaze's churning guitar epic Misread or the gentle rush of The Google Song from his 2010 debut solo album Lady Alien.
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Swerve City - Single/Video Review: Dangerous
08 Aug 2020 // A review by Kris Raven
My first initial thoughts after hearing & viewing the debut single by alternative rock collective Swerve City was how lead vocalist JP Carroll (Arrays, ex-Armed in Advance) has further elevated his frontman persona and status in a relatively new (2019) band full of strong and diverse musicians. His vocal approach particularly in the chorus I found was a big take away from previous known material and he is singing a little out of his comfort zone which is very cool to hear (and see).
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Grant Duncan - Album Review: Contemplate
07 Aug 2020 // A review by Darryl Baser
Grant Duncan is a well-seasoned singer-songwriter based in Auckland, New Zealand, who’s just released his new 12 song album, Contemplate. The album is available on Duncan’s Bandcamp page as is the modern way of doing things.
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Will McClean - Album Review: Can't Sleep I'm Dreaming
07 Aug 2020 // A review by Ben Ruegg
The new album from Will McClean takes a lot of well-produced beats and combines them with his flow and lyrics. It's a smooth ride most of the time as is demonstrated in the opening track Front Desk featuring JClean.
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Fornax Chemica - Album Review: Audio Vision
06 Aug 2020 // A review by Chris Chick
Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat, creating, producing, and performing an album is a massive undertaking in itself. I am always impressed by any musician who is able to accomplish this, no matter the genre or the instruments they play (the more the better I say) this is why longevity within the music industry is not to be ignored when embracing all aspects of artists you love, and those you find hard to love.
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Valkyrie - Single Review: Good Thing
06 Aug 2020 // A review by IslaMusic
Valkyrie is back with the catchy bop to end all catchy bops: Good Thing. This South Auckland based three piece produce famously groovy music that touches on elements of arena rock, pop and RnB.
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Laura-mae - Single Review: Rug of Numbers
06 Aug 2020 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Following the release of her debut single Betsy, Indie Pop Singer-Songwriter Laura-mae has returned with her second single Rug of Numbers. The Golden Bay native has competed in the famous Smokefree Rockquest and made it to the boot camp round of The New Zealand X Factor during its second season.
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EJ Barrett - Single Review: Paint Me A Picture
06 Aug 2020 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
It didn’t take me long to warm to EJ Barrett and her sultry, husky vocals. The New Zealand musical artist based in New Plymouth has taken flight with the debut single Paint Me A Picture.
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Something Zesty - Single/Video Review: Pipz
05 Aug 2020 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Something Zesty is a Whanganui based musical artist who captured my attention first by the bold claim that the latest offering is "an unmistakable dance-floor hit" and secondly by the vibrant and appropriately spaced out animated video which turned out to be the perfect accompaniment to his latest release; Pipz. The music video is the second animated adventure for two curious looking characters, Chambzy and Zestro, following on from Something Zesty’s first single Mad About It.
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Saurian - Album Review: Brooding
04 Aug 2020 // A review by Adrian Drew
Dunedin-based band Saurian have been playing live gigs for five years, so it is terrific to see them now release their debut album Brooding. With a mixture of older and more recent songs, Brooding is a true labour of love, with the band recording, producing and mastering it themselves.
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Impostor Syndrome - Single Review: The Shrink
04 Aug 2020 // A review by Peter-James Dries
Chameleons: Imposters of the reptile world. Imposter Syndrome: Chameleons of the music world.
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PRINS - EP Review: Magnetic
03 Aug 2020 // A review by malexa
If 2019 was the year when BENEE ruled the New Zealand pop charts, then 2020 could well be the year of another emerging talent, PRINS. It’s would be a bit cute to add an -ess, as in PRINC-ess, but, nevertheless, the Christchurch based singer and songwriter has the style and substance to wear the mantle of dance pop princess and wear it well.
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Racing - Gig Review: Racing @ Whammy Bar, Auckland - 31/07/2020
02 Aug 2020 // A review by Lou Clement
Racing took to the stage on the penultimate date of their Flashback tour. The four-date stop off comes ahead of their highly-anticipated second album release.
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TheOpHilus - Single Review: My Little Rugrat
02 Aug 2020 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Authentic and real; that’s the best way to describe the new track My Little Rugrat from TheOpHilus. True Hip-Hop has always been, in my mind, sampling and talking about how things are where you are right now.
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Konarucchi - EP Review: Stuck In Daydreams
31 Jul 2020 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Konarucchi is a multi-genre solo artist and composer from Wainuiomata. He is talented at mixing and recording, and has many versatile skills he brings to the table.
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Geoff Ong - Gig Review: Geoff Ong @ Cassette Nine, Auckland - 24/07/2020
31 Jul 2020 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
I said my bygones to the week behind me. The global climate is still heavy in the background of what we all miss doing and seeing.
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Summer Thieves - EP Review: Bandaids and Lipstick
30 Jul 2020 // A review by kongfooey
Much like their contemporaries Six60, Summer Thieves started from humble beginnings in Dunedin many moons ago. Starting as a high school band of sorts, Jake and Johnny have been jamming together since the ripe age of 15.
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Danica Bryant - EP Review: Cider
30 Jul 2020 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Napier’s young singer-songwriter Danica Bryant showcases powerful vocals on her debut 4 track EP, Cider. Currently based in Wellington, this is one lady who is not afraid to express herself through strong powerful lyrics and fierce emotion, and boy…does she have the lungs to pull it off.
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InDuna - Single Review: Black Man Running
30 Jul 2020 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Black Man Running is the new single from InDuna. It is a personal illustration of InDuna's racial experiences both here in New Zealand and South Africa.
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Mirror Ritual - Single Review: Nothing New
30 Jul 2020 // A review by Paul Goddard
New single Nothing New from Wellington-based Transistor is a tricky, trippy, psychedelic aural beast. A snarly bastard of a song.
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Oscar LaDell - Album Review: Gone Away
29 Jul 2020 // A review by Kerry MB
Gone Away is the debut album of electric blues up and coming Dunedinite, Oscar LaDell. Despite his twenty one years of age, he’s a second generation bluesman and knows his way around a fretboard or two.
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Eli Moore - EP Review: Home Skillet
29 Jul 2020 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
In 2017 Eli Moore released his first full length album. Ship Life revolved around his experience as a cruise ship musician and referenced his appreciation of the harmonies and forms of jazz music within a classic pop context.
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A Straw Assembly - Album Review: A Little More Life
28 Jul 2020 // A review by Darryl Baser
Right the get go this isn’t an album for the musically faint-hearted. The opening song A Saint Is Divided builds gently and beautifully into a maelstrom.
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Ben Hazlewood - Album Review: Bloodline
27 Jul 2020 // A review by malexa
Ben Hazlewood is a songwriter for those big moments that we all encounter when we fall in and out of love. For all the potential for joy, intimacy, belonging and fulfilment, when things fall apart there’s also the potential for deception, heartbreak, bewilderment and sadness.
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Nadia Reid - Gig Review: Nadia Reid @ Grainstore Gallery, Oamaru - 24/07/2020
25 Jul 2020 // A review by Darryl Baser
Flora Knight is first up, beginning with saying "Hi, I'm not Nadia". Her solo set on fiddle and singing begins with an Appalachian mountain tune about Bow weevils destroying crops, it’s a classic piece of mountain music, and a great way to open her set.
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Reignmaker - EP Review: Demos from Uranus
23 Jul 2020 // A review by Jamie Denton
Reignmaker, who identify themselves as a "brutal aliencore duo … from the Swamp and from the Hutt", have just released their first two-track EP, entitled Demos from Uranus. With a total run time of just 3-minutes, the EP blasts out of the gate and past the listener as a lightning-bolt of uncontrollable, frenetic, schizophrenic energy.
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Farandicus - Single Review: CSM
23 Jul 2020 // A review by IslaMusic
Farandicus is a six-piece from Northland. Their rich harmonies and complex instrumental arrangements allow for an impressive discography of engaging releases.
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Repairs - Single Review: Pop Song
21 Jul 2020 // A review by Harry Platt
Pop music may be an often maligned art form, but it’s creative ideal is something that to many, holds unattainable allure. It’s this captivation that Tamaki Makaurau post-punk 3-piece Repairs’ channel into their off-kilter new single Pop Song.
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East of Queen - Single Review: Crickets
19 Jul 2020 // A review by Madeleine Howard
East of Queen is Katherine Parsons, an indie-pop singer-songwriter based in Auckland. She launched her dreamy second single Crickets on the 10th of July.
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Steve Hutchinson - Single Review: pfmcfnc
16 Jul 2020 // A review by Steve Shyu
Residing in Nelson, Steve Hutchinson creates rock and heavy metal music as a means of expressing himself, and to leave a mark on Aotearoa’s music scene. Though disabled, this has not deterred Steve from venturing forth and making some noise o