17 Feb 2020

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Government Pest - Album Review: Government Pest

24 Dec 2016 // A review by Peter-James Dries

For me there's something about Palmy music, both the live shows and the records they produce, and works from the $lave Collective especially. They remind me of home. It gives me a sense of belonging.

Even though I'm not part of the furniture like some in the scene, there's a comfort in seeing the familiar faces congregate for the music, our common drug of choice, at a home show at The Royal. 

Starting as a collaboration between Kristov Raven and Rob from Project: Blood back when I was still in high school, Government Pest has been resurrected in 2016 with a new line up and a sound disconnected from the previous and current bands the comprising members call home. 

For those not familiar with the scene, multiple bands with the same core members is one of the idiosyncrasies of the $lave Collective, perhaps because of the limited talent pool, with members moving on, falling out or being committed to other projects.  

Though the members are mostly the same, different bands express different ideas and influences, most of which involving alcohol, revolution and weed, the namesake of my favourite song by one such band, The Molotov Vote. 

Outsiders with insight might find it strange how two thirds of Turbostill, a band whose name is synonymous with Palmy music, can sound so different with the change of just one member, yet if you take Maynard from Tool and put him in a side project, it still sounds like Maynard. 

Where the music of Turbostill was a “Hey-Ho-Let's-Go,” loose and loud Ramones style rock, roll n’ alcohol gig, Government Pest’s first album of the current evolution is a more refined – especially now it has been remastered – and structured affair.  

Remember the golden age of metal when bands didn't have to have some marketing gimmick and just put out decent Heavy Metal you could enjoy without all the pretentiousness that comes with it these days. This is that album.  

Groove Metal to mosh to, with crunching heavy riffs and bile spat out with all the intensity of early Metallica, back when they were good (a long long time ago for some fans). 

This is a tight, heavy album with some memorable riffs and anthemic refrains. A great piece of Palmy music history, deserving of being remembered beside the Turbostill and Hellborne classics, and not just relegated as a footnote or short lived side project.  

But these guys probably don't care if I think Government Pest is good or not. They've been making music for years because music is something they love. They do what they do and they do it well, because if they don't feel it they can move on to something else. But this style, distinct from other bands before, deserves to be revisited and expanded on, hopefully over a shorter timeframe than it took to create this iteration of Government Pest.   

If you're ever in Palmy on a Friday or Saturday night (you poor fool) go check out one of the local gigs at the Royal. You might find your new home. 

For more local music check out the $lave Collective Bandcamp where they host some of the greats from bands gone by. While you're at it, check out the video for album opener The Rise on Youtube

You can find Government Pest's eponymous album is available from the Government Pest Bandcamp using the Name Your Price scheme the site offers. That can mean free, but I suggest slipping the band a few bucks at least. The members have been providing music and a show for longer than some readers have been alive. It's about time the next round of drinks was on you.


About Government Pest

Kristov recorded the album Hostile takeover with Rob from Project: Blood doing vocals back in 2003 under the name Government Pest.

After the end of local bands Hellborne, Wall of Silents, Neckstretchers and Bloodspray for Politics and more. Goverment Pest was brought back to life with Kristov playing guitar and doing vocals, Murray Shaw playing bass, and Aaron Sanko playing drums.

They played their first show on Friday 31st October 2014 at The Slavefest Halloween Party 2014. Since then they have played a number of shows and recorded their first album in March 2016.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Government Pest


Year: 2019
Type: Album
Government Pest
Year: 2016
Type: Album
Hostile Takeover
Year: 2003
Type: Album

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