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Hollywoodfun Downstairs - Album Review: Tetris

23 Feb 2018 // A review by JohnnyBSquid
Hollywoodfun Downstairs were best described by Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist Kurt Williams as trashy noise pop punk which aptly describes the jaw dropping, face slapping dissonance and tension generated by the music on their latest recording.

Comparisons to fellow kiwis Die! Die! Die! and early The Mint Chicks belies the speed, aggression and brutal beauty generated by the Wellington based three-piece.

Each song is like a good cop, bad cop interrogation of the senses with quiet, melodic intros leading into a full-on aural assault which are shown to best effect on personal favourites Hungarian Tremors and Your Medium. The lyrics are spat at you like vented anger after a bad day at work, which at times detracts from brilliance of this musically competent trio.

The rhythm section, comprising of Grant Gall on bass and Joe Wright on drums, add considerable weight and texture to the crushing momentum of the songs, creating interest and versatility.

Wright is formidable in terms of speed, syncopation, variety and stamina and supplies the perfect vehicle by which the band can deliver their raw, angst ridden messages. Gall joined the band late in the piece and provides a solid backbone of fast and edgy bass riffs onto which the stop/start characteristics of each piece can be cleverly woven.

The intricate guitar and bass effects provide an atmospheric, interesting and edgy feel to the songs, at times leading to a sonic sensory overload. This, I assume, is the intention of the singer to portray personal feelings of agitation, anxiety and perhaps hostility to its subject matter.

If you like your music fast, belligerent, anarchic and challenging then Tetris is the album for you and at almost 41 minutes it’s a decent dose of what the band has to offer.

Recorded in 4 days, on analogue equipment, at Blue Barn Studios in Wellington, then mixed by Chris Common in El Paso, Texas, the album is available as a digital download through Bandcamp or on white vinyl or CD from their European independent distributor Polish label Antena Krzyku. If you are lucky enough to catch them live you won’t be disappointed, but take ear plugs and a neck brace as they are very loud and head-bangingly good!

Review written by John Baxter

About Hollywoodfun Downstairs

Hollywoodfun Downstairs was founded in London, England in the early months of 2008, ending up in Wellington in 2011.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Hollywoodfun Downstairs


Year: 2017
Type: Album
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Type: Album
The Mancunian Swing
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
So Post Modern
Year: 2012
Type: EP

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