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Checaine - Gig Review: Checaine @ Nivara Lounge, Hamilton 29/04/2017

01 May 2017 // A review by butch181
Being an EP Release Party, I put in some extra effort and made my way down from Auckland to attend this Hamilton gig. Traffic was light, so the drive was pleasant - perhaps due to the lateness at which I was travelling. With the first of three bands not starting until 9pm (potentially due to the rugby match occurring earlier on the same night), it was guaranteed to be a long night ahead of me. 

My first time in Nivara Lounge, I was quite impressed by the atmosphere of the venue. With a mish mash of comfortable furniture, and a plethora of craft beers available to purchase, the vibes were positive and the patrons cheerful. 

The first band to take to the stage were Alpha Coda; a young group with some high tempo original tracks. The vocals were unfortunately lacking in treble, and blended in with the guitars, rendering the lyrics nearly unintelligible. This was not the fault of the vocalist, but more so the equipment setup, as it was a consistent issue throughout the night. Their tracks were generally fast paced majors, providing a happy, simple sound. But they also mixed in a good amount of heavy djent into the tracks from time to time. Competent in their instruments, hopefully experience will help them improve in the performance aspect of their shows. But a great start to the night.

Next band up, was surprisingly the hosts of the event, Checaine. It is instantly obvious that they are at a higher level, compared to the opening act. They come out on stage with a level of confidence that draws the crowd in close, giving the audience the feeling that if they aren't at the front that they will clearly be missing an integral part of the experience. And being up front is such a different experience from further back. Up close you can fully appreciate the energy that Checaine are throwing out there, and that passion and exuberance rubs off onto the crowd quickly resulting in dancing, headbanging and some gentle moshing.

Checaine have youthful sounding music combined with a more mature style of vocals. Vocalist Fraser Coombes has a vocal style that has similarities to that of Faith No More's Mike Patton, or Billy Talent's Benjamin Kowalewicz. While he did seem to struggle to hit some of the high notes, his animated style of performance and zeal made up for any potential vocal wobbles, moving from the stage to the crowd, interacting as he performed. 

Regan Aspden did a brilliant job on the guitar, with clean loops and some tight riffs, that complimented the vocals well. A brilliant musician that doesn't seem to get in the spotlight much, instead letting his superb technical musicianship do the talking. Biggest crowd pleasers came in the form of Timebomb and Bring Me Down which both had the crowd moshing and singing along in unison along with the unescapable rhythms. A brilliant performance from a band that has the musical capabilities and showmanship necessary to make it big in New Zealand.

Unfortunately time got away from me, and I had to leave for Auckland before Midnight Switch took to the stage, but the show definitely proved to be worth the mini roadtrip.

About Checaine

Checaine are a melodic/progressive hard rock band from Hamilton. They bring powerful hooks to their songs and a progressive style that keeps the music evolving and exciting.

Formed in 2011 by Fraser Coombes (vocals) and Regan Aspden (guitar), they are now accompanied by an exciting line-up of talented members that add to the sound and live show performance Checaine have become known for.

The band have enjoyed great exposure through their new dynamic single Bring Me Down as heard on New Zealand's The Rock FM.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Checaine


Year: 2017
Type: EP
Turn The Stone
Year: 2014
Type: Album

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