24 Sep 2020
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Mermaidens - Gig Review: Mermaidens @ The Cook, Dunedin - 12/10/2019

14 Oct 2019 // A review by Darryl Baser

Soaked Oats took to the stage shortly after 9.30pm, opening with the dreamy tune Don't Chew, which flowed over the half full Captain Cook crowd like a perfect wave, with surfers taking turns dropping into its face.

The band introduced themselves with a calm assurance of a band whose members know they’re destined for greatness.

The band launched into the second song  Perqoat, which is slightly faster than the first, and highlights the band member's proficiency with their instruments. The three piece of guitar, bass drums are clearly influenced by a myriad of sounds. In their set there's hints at the Dunedin sound of the 80's, surf music of the 60's, along with a more contemporary sound.

There's a feeling around Soaked Oats that they have the potential to be the next big thing.

Half way through their set, the Cook's dance floor is awash with people, swaying like wide leaves in a gentle breeze.

Perfect Song follows, it's another ebbing and flowing piece. The band functions well as a unit which can create tension, build anticipation, then release it.

The crowd is encouraged the "woo" in response to the singer's "woo-hoo" .. The band launches into a blistering and playful instrumental, without a ‘woo hoo’ in sight, or earshot.

Next song Houdini, an older tune in the repertoire, which builds up so slowly it practically gathers moss.

The band’s last song is a straight up banger which the band drops like an 80's kid dropping a double happy into a metal pipe to make it bang louder.

Mermaidens come on and are impeccably dressed. The three-piece’s token bloke on drums is in a red two piece suit, and both women are in matching outfits. Light pink or similar and 1970's styled, looking like 100% polyester. I reckon they’ll have a good laundromat bill on the tour, or really sweaty stage clothes.

But this isn’t really a fashion review, although when a band makes an effort, it’s worth noting.

The opening song Undergrowth builds gradually. Like Soaked Oats, Mermaidens has a quiet confidence of a band on its way to greatness. Many bands these days draw from so many influences it's really tough to pin down their sound. Sure, Mermaidens are a ‘pop’ band, but there’s some excellent jazz chops on aural display at The Cook tonight, coming from all three members, but mostly notably with drummer Abe Hollingsworth, who’s got more jazz chops than the mad butcher’s got hogget chops.

Their sound is very current, contemporary pop with really well constructed songs, harking back to a solid grounding in composition.

Tonight in Dunedin they're playing to a half to three quarters full Cook, straight off selling out The Darkroom in Christchurch.

Just before the third song, Wander, singer asks for a guitar pic, saying she’ll really need one for the end of the song. I have no idea if one materialized as I was sitting on my arse on a comfy couch, after a huge day at the city’s annual Vogel Street Party, with a wall of booty shakers in-front of me.

They're a sonically interesting band, with the ability to lift and quell intensity incredibly well.

Fourth song, Cut It Open, is a moody bugger of a tune and the singer, Gussie Larkin, is testing the range of her voice, kicking it right up into the soprano range.

One of their older numbers Bastards follows, and it’s clearly a favourite with some who’ve followed the band longer.

A fruity number called Satsuma followed, it also sounds like an older song of the band... While there is solid kick drum throughout the song, there's a lot of beat displacement. It's really playful, and addictive.

She's Running is the last song in the set list, it has 90% of punters at The Cook bouncing about mostly in time with the song. The band leaves for the green room, the crowd stays, hollering and whooping for more... The band returns....and busted out an encore which they didn’t announce. It was a straight up banger with obliged the crowd’s desire for more, but Mermaidens did leave the crowd wanting more. At a rough head count it looked to my reasonably experienced eyes like about 150 people attended. It was a damn fine night, and an excellent way to cap off a huge day in Dunedin, city of music.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Mermaidens

The earliest sketches of Wellington trio Mermaidens, follows the story arch of how most bands start; through long-term friendship and bonding over music that shaped their salad days. For Mermaidens, it was an eclectic melting pot of PJ Harvey, Warpaint and Fugazi to name a few.

Together, childhood friends Gussie Larkin (guitar/vocals), Lily West (bass/vocals) and Abe Hollingsworth (drums) form a powerful trinity of unwavering creativity and relentless work ethic. Their time together as Mermaidens has been a fruitful one; a timeline consisting of two critically acclaimed albums, being signed to iconic indie label Flying Nun Records, and a wide range of live supports that include Sleater Kinney, Death Cab for Cutie, Lorde, Mac DeMarco and The Veils.

The internationally acclaimed Perfect Body (which drew a 2018 Taite Music Prize nomination) saw their circle of influence expand to a new, global audience. With its progressive and cinematic stylings on angular post-punk and grunge, Gold Flake Paint said the record “should prove to be one of the summer’s most brilliant long-players," while long-time music critic Graham Reid of Elsewhere confirmed it as “a real listening experience.” Clash Magazine praised the record for its “Noisy, scratchy, enigmatic songwriting.” But perhaps it was God Is In The TV that explained the commanding presence of the record best by saying “I can quite believe that some of their tracks have mystical properties.”

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Mermaidens

Releases

Look Me In The Eye
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Perfect Body
Year: 2017
Type: Album
O
Year: 2014
Type: EP
Bones
Year: 2014
Type: EP
Demo
Year: 2012
Type: EP

Other Reviews By Darryl Baser

Andrew Masseurs - EP Review: She’s So Nasty
19 Sep 2020 // by Darryl Baser
Well, being either a PC softy or a bit of a feminist, I didn’t warm to the title track She’s So Nasty, but being a professional I opened my ears and had a listen to Andrew Masseurs’ new EP. And I’m glad I did.
Read More...
Bingo Fighter - Single Review: Kama Sutra
03 Sep 2020 // by Darryl Baser
Well, as bloody obvious things to write go, music is in the entertainment industry should be fun and entertaining. With that premise in mind, Bingo Fighter go to the top of the class with their new single Kama Sutra.
Read More...
Stars and the Underground - Single Review: Nosferatu Upon Tyne
22 Aug 2020 // by Darryl Baser
Being an OG (old goth or original goth) from the 1980's I love me a bit of goth. Stars and the Underground are a nice bit of goth who have just released a 7" single.
Read More...
Marlin's Dreaming - Album Review: Quotidian
21 Aug 2020 // by Darryl Baser
Having been a reviewer of life and recorded music since the late 1980's, it is a rare and wonderful feeling to discover a band from my hometown who I haven’t heard of, until they drop a recording that takes my head clean off. Dunedin band Marlin’s Dreaming have released Quotidian, and are about to (Covid willing) head off on a NZ tour in late September and early October.
Read More...
Grant Duncan - Album Review: Contemplate
07 Aug 2020 // by Darryl Baser
Grant Duncan is a well-seasoned singer-songwriter based in Auckland, New Zealand, who’s just released his new 12 song album, Contemplate. The album is available on Duncan’s Bandcamp page as is the modern way of doing things.
Read More...
A Straw Assembly - Album Review: A Little More Life
28 Jul 2020 // by Darryl Baser
Right the get go this isn’t an album for the musically faint-hearted. The opening song A Saint Is Divided builds gently and beautifully into a maelstrom.
Read More...
Gig Review: Nadia Reid @ Grainstore Gallery, Oamaru - 24/07/2020
25 Jul 2020 // by Darryl Baser
Flora Knight is first up, beginning with saying "Hi, I'm not Nadia". Her solo set on fiddle and singing begins with an Appalachian mountain tune about Bow weevils destroying crops, it’s a classic piece of mountain music, and a great way to open her set.
Read More...
Phil and Lana Doublet - Album Review: Play Nice
12 Jul 2020 // by Darryl Baser
Multi award winning Christchurch based musicians Phil and Lana Doublet have teamed up to write, record, and release the stunning album Play Nice. The pair wrote all but one of the songs on the album.
Read More...
View All Articles By Darryl Baser

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • WAP
    Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion
  • MOOD
    24kGoldn feat. Iann Dior
  • SAVAGE LOVE (LAXED - SIREN BEAT)
    Jawsh 685 x Jason DeRulo
  • LEMONADE
    Internet Money And Gunna feat. Don Toliver And NAV
  • IN THE AIR
    L.A.B.
  • LAUGH NOW CRY LATER
    Drake feat. Lil Durk
  • GO CRAZY
    Chris Brown And Young Thug
  • HEAD & HEART
    Joel Corry feat. MNEK
  • MOOD SWINGS
    Pop Smoke feat. Lil Tjay
  • ROCKSTAR
    DaBaby feat. Roddy Ricch
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem