22 Oct 2018
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Hangar 18 - Hangar 18 @ Kings Arms, Auckland - 11/08/2017

14 Aug 2017 // A review by Alex Moulton
With a list of 5+ bands playing on the bill, it was going to be a marathon session for a Kings Arms Tavern Friday night.

First band up was Auckland Rock Funk band, Mudshark. These boys are young and full of energy, and straight off the bat, you can feel the funk through the bass line. With a musical style that is gaining in popularity again due to the likes of the Skinny Hobos, Mudshark’s bluesy funk rock style is pushed to the next level by the Rory Howard’s vocals. Alternating between clean and screaming, Howard’s melodies remind me of Stone Temple Pilot’s Scott Weiland, while the heavy is both meaty and crisp at the same time. The band themselves weren’t very energetic to begin with, leaving most of the “performance” side to Howard, though the guitarists did warm up and join in when the songs were “hip-swinging good”. Overall, a very solid sound from Mudshark, reminiscent of one of my top up-and-coming New Zealand bands, Setting Fire to Stacey. Their originals had great rhythm and variety, and their covers of Linkin Park and Deftones were superb. A great start to the night.

Up next was Garden Party Riot, whom I have seen perform before at the Dogs Bollix. Despite having seen them before it still surprises me when only three people hit the stage. Guitarist Brent Wallwork takes full responsibility for that, taking on the combined bass and guitar roles, providing a grungy and gritty punk rock vibe. Vocalist Paul Goddard has clearly spent a lot of time fine-tuning his performance, from movements on stage, to costume changes, and movements into the crowd; he pushes the limits to keep the attention of the crowd firmly on him as he belts out track after track. With only one guitar on stage, a stale sound is always a threat, but Brett Allison does a magnificent job on the drums, with a wide variety of fills, and working his way through equipment malfunctions without drawing attention to himself, and keeping the tracks going. Goddard has a surprisingly youthful voice, which combines with the instruments to create an original Kiwi version of Jane’s Addiction. A good mix of rock sounds so far.

Third band for the night was Mystery Liquid, a band that boasts 15 years of achievements, achieving high rotation on the US airwaves, winning awards for top bassist and drummers in Battle of the Bands, and even gaining endorsement and sponsorship deals. And hearing them play, it’s clear that their bassist Raschella “Krispy” Murillo is a league of her own. Rocking the stage barefoot, the bass lines cut through the guitar, and adds layers of melody. Vocalist Andre Kerrison likes to mix the clean and heavy vocals as well, with a Drowning Pool/Limp Bizkit style, that matches the 90's/2000's style of Mystery Liquid’s music. I was going to mention that their tracks would easily fit in the same funk rock categories as early Incubus albums Fungus Amongus and S.C.I.E.N.C.E., but they rendered that comment rather obsolete by performing an on-the-nose cover of Incubus’ A Certain Shade of Green. Mystery Liquid are a hit of nostalgia.

Next up is the headliner, Hangar 18. The vocalist, Ian Black, I’ve heard before, performing with Fuser who headlined Garden Party Riot’s gig at the Dog’s Bollix back in April. Wearing his signature baseball cap, he takes front and centre, and starts the crescendo of a set list. Originally starting off very soothing and relaxing, the tracks are simple, lacking any real hooks. But as the set progresses, the funk of Brendon Thomas of Brendon Thomas and the Vibes fame, starts to increase in complexity, and playfulness. With one long jazzy solo, suddenly the crowd starts to react stronger towards the music. As the pace of the songs increase, the energy does too, and the drummer gets an opportunity to really show off his skills and fills. The most reserved of all the bands up until this point, Hangar 18 have some good tracks, but could really do with a little more emphasis on the performance aspect of their show.

After Hangar 18 left the stage, Brendon Thomas stuck around for his part in the next group that was performing on stage, The Rubics. Within minutes, the crowd had doubled in size, halved in average age, and quadrupled in energy. Having won Battle of the Bands last year at this very venue, the six-piece band is the epitome of youth and passion. Every member on stage is loving being there, and it’s really infectious to watch. Smile at the world and the world smiles back. Their vocalist, Rob Lardizabal Jatulan Jr, who could best be described as a young rock ‘n’ roll Bruno Mars, could not stand still; he danced on stage, he crooned to the crowd, and looked to be having the time of his life. Bassist Nic Montgomery was also stand out with the talent that he was showing off. Spending more time singing along, while his fingers ran up and down the neck of his bass with ease. An incredibly confident band, with some dazzling original music with some abundantly funky riffs.

 

About Hangar 18

Auckland based rock band Hangar 18 have just released their new single IDKY. This is their first release in over 15 years.

Some info on the new single: Hangar 18, Featuring Jason Kerrison.

Written by: Jason Kerrison, Paul Marshall, Ian Black and Andrew Featherstone.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Hangar 18

Releases

There are no releases to display for Hangar 18.

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