28 Feb 2020

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Ginzu and the Steak Knives - Album Review: Kavanak

19 Oct 2019 // A review by Steve Shyu

Ginzu and the Steak Knives are an Auckland three-piece act that proudly describe their music simply as "Loud And Disgusting". With a handful of EP's and singles under their belts, the band finally got round to carving out a hefty chunk of their latest work, being their debut full-length album, titled Kavanak.

I gotta be honest. I wasn’t quite convinced when I was first told that this would be a punk album. Looking at the cover and song titles like Mergers and Acquisitions and Edge of the Universe appeared more like art-rock or post-punk, and immediately after hearing the first track, I knew I was terribly incorrect. Never judge an album by its cover. I digress.

Punk is a punk does; there are plenty of ups-and-downs with tempo. Many music writers speak of the points in musical history where heavy metal and punk began merging sounds; songs on Kavanak delve into that genre meld. Songs like Battery vary between slams of staccato open-string guitars, then thrash like nobody’s watching on These Graves.

Many songs are to-the-point, with most tunes spanning just two minutes, with musical aggression packing in weight behind punches. This Is War and Edge of the Universe at the front half of the album gets the blood pumping and paints a picture of the gravel road ahead. As a guitar player, of the aforementioned songs, I must also applaud the dissonant notes employed, and the muted clicking effects during the verses, respectively.

Special mention also goes to the vocals; instead of staying in one style of growl or scream, the lead shrieks with pitch-changes, adding dynamics to the tune, which one doesn’t always hear with a lot of local metal or punk groups. This is best exemplified on Valhalla, which, despite its title, isn’t a Viking metal song, for those who were expecting it.

There’s a particularly noticeable variation of styles during the middle of the album. A swinging rockabilly sound can be heard on Mutations, plus the stoner rock interlude of The Hive. And saving one of the best for almost-last, Destination Fucked is a hilarious thirty-second powerhouse whose lyrics everyone can figure out at first listen. Great fun.

The record begins and opens with the longer tracks found, Winter and No Rest for the Living, both of which feature more stoner rock elements, book-ending the punk foray with alternative metal. You know what they say about variety, and this certainly adds some spaced-out spice to the mixture.

A good amount of nice surprises to be found throughout this eleven-track LP. You think you’re in for a stoner rock ride, then you’re all of a sudden propelled into a frenzied aural-mosh of studded collars and long hair. The artistic and moody cover art gives nothing away; approach with caution if one is expecting ambient lounge-reggae. There is art to be found here, but a chillout session this is not; top-notch album all-round.

Fans of bands like Converge or Dillinger Escape Plans will find a good amount of hardcore to sink their teeth into, and perhaps equally an album that listeners of old-school punk will enjoy, too.

Get your earful of Kavanak here.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Ginzu and the Steak Knives

Ginzu and the Steak Knives are a 3 piece band from Auckland, New Zealand.

Their loud, yet catchy songs showcase punk, metal, and doom riffs that will smash your face in, and beats that will melt your brain.

Formed in 2015.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Ginzu and the Steak Knives


Year: 2019
Type: Album
Final Form
Year: 2017
Type: EP
Ginzu In Charge
Year: 2015
Type: EP
Adventure Time
Year: 2015
Type: EP
Murder She Scrote
Year: 2014
Type: Album

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