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His Masters Voice - Gig Review: His Masters Voice @ Whammy Bar, Auckland - 15/10/16

22 Nov 2016 // A review by Andrew Smit

The underground tavern that is the Whammy Bar filled with an attractive blend of young and old to experience 3 bands peel off their rowdy musical sweats. First up was Dead Favours, a relatively new 4 piece from Auckland. I saw their debut gig back in June and was impressed with what I heard and I am happy to say they have grown more tight and confident in that short time. They just pound out their tight power rock, full of riffs, bridges, and catchy melodic passages with ease, peeling off original after original, and every one sounded awesome. Their songs are loaded with killer hooks leading to strong and melodic choruses that either burst into ripping guitar solos or breakdown segments that reel you in and get you hooked. The lead vocals from Jared Wrennell are strong and tuneful, and he spoke nicely between songs as well. Kyle Wetton studiously made his guitar sing and wail, and when Jared joined in with his guitar the full sound made you take notice. The machine room of Bass from Ross Larsen and Drums by Charlie Smith was persuasively tight, empowering the tunes with steady driving rhythms and body throughout the set. I look forward to their debut recordings which they are undertaking as we read.

Second up were Hunt The Witch performing their transcendent gothic rock with fastidious commitment, at times the driving rhythms and swirling melodic guitar strains held you in a trance, such was the mesmeric beat and hypnotic twirling arrangements they composed. With the tall Sam Whitley on Vocals demanding your attention, he pushed his sound at you hard with a mix of growling and crooning with his warm vocal tones that blended well with the loud music. The stomping rhythms from Jason Peters on drums and full on bass from Anthony Lakin injected a solid backbone for the intense and at times psychedelic guitar sounds played by Bevan Carbines. As a unit these guys deliver an engrossing sound, full of grinding power and compelling rhythms.

And then there was His Masters Voice, I'm not sure if we wanted too but like a moth to a flame the pack moved forward and we were under their spell, and it was good, damn good. The heady musical mix of heavy rock and blues that these guys are renowned for was delivered in spades. On lead guitar was the striking Az Burns who conjured amazing lead guitar passages full of melodic character and expressive enchantment. While lead vocalist Jesse Sorensen sang his cool gravel tones through his long hair that ran down his face while also playing his big guitar, and together with Az the two gave every song a full guitar sound. Combined with Brandon Bott's meaty bass and the intense tribal rhythms of Rene Harvey's drums they took us on a very intoxicating and mystical journey that was irresistible. Their hoodoo murky rock and blues is a captivating experience, the sound is not the only element too, they look the part, and I'm not talking about black T-shirts and Jeans, oh no were talking about full on commitment with physical body growth and embellishments, like metre long hair, intense body piercings and exceptional tattoos. There is no way you cannot take these guys seriously in every department, they are a whip-smart force to be reckoned with.

I was up close in the front row so there was no escaping the voodoo effect their music secrete, it's just so powerful and empowering, just the way a hard rock gig should be. Near the end of the set they ripped into Sabbath's Fairies Wear Boots which they play so well with their unique jungle blues style, the crowd agreed and they all descended into a mosh frenzy, unfortunately as I was up front I was oblivious to it all and had nowhere to go when the mass of bodies bumped hard into my back, so over the wedge speakers I went, and ended up splayed all over the stage between Jesse and Az like a stunned rat! Well I just got back to my spot and carried on, and although I tried to brace myself for another shove from behind I still ended up as part of the show a few more times?!

When they finished we all cheered and clapped and then after a few encores we were left standing there, ears ringing and exhausted, but totally satisfied with our nights entertainment, who could ask for more! 


About His Masters Voice

Formed late 2012, His Masters Voice are inspired by legends like Buddy Guy, BB King and Black Sabbath.

Their sound evokes the Classic-Rock greats such as Deep Purple, the Doors and Led Zeppelin, mashed together with a sprinkling of Motown and icons such as the Beatles.

Musically, the band identifies with a new wave of progressive rock/blues such as Graveyard, Blues Pills, Orchid and Heart Attack Alley.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for His Masters Voice


Year: 2017
Type: EP
Save My Soul
Year: 2016
Type: EP
Year: 2014
Type: EP

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