6 Jun 2020

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

Black Smoke Trigger - EP Review: Set It Off

07 Jan 2020 // A review by Steve Shyu
Napier hard rock quartet Black Smoke Trigger’s debut EP entitled Set It Off is out now. Released to coincide with their full tour or Aotearoa supporting fellow heavyweights Devilskin, the band have pledged this to be an “energetic” and “unforgettable” debut. Muzic.net.nz’s Steve S took a walk through the black smoke to experience it for himself.

The three-worded title seems to serve as something of a mission-statement: The band is building momentum and are set to blow, both on a live stage as well as in Aotearoa’s modern-day rock & roll scene. And right from the first song, Caught In The Undertow, the band have produced quite an incendiary number. Their first big single sets the benchmark high with grooving drums, chomping guitar rhythms and bold lead vocals.

There's more sludgey guitars and grungey slower-tempos on the second track You Can Have It All. The standout features are the piercing high notes reached by lead-singer Baldrick, contrasted against a whispered pre-chorus. Mixed in with some classic heavy metal grooves, there’s Alice in Chains vibes too, particularly with the slow, echoing drums and a murky, rumbling bassline. And that snare drum sound! It's absolutely delicious, like a gunshot and a clap combined.

Hard rock guitar legend Mick Mars makes a guest appearance on The Way I’m Wired as the group recorded in Nashville, Tennessee. That explains the Motley Crue sound! Showing off a good balance between lead and harmonised backing vocals, set against a headbanging mid-tempo, that hard rock groove is present once again. There’s also a wildly cool guitar solo just before the final chorus: Appropriately shrill, groove-laden and cries sex appeal, in the way many 80’s rock & roll bands did way back.

Only Human boasts a more creative main riff which meanders and staggers, but still packs punches in the right spots, particularly the solid chorus. Sandwiched between belted long-note choruses is a very slick and tasteful guitar solo, courtesy of the group’s sole axe-wielder Charlie.

With the speedy and bumpy ride of Paint The World On Fire, the verses chug along like an afternoon at the raceways. Baldrick’s vocals commanding “Run, run, RUN! Paint the world on fire” during the chorus, makes this the most fun and high-octane of the lot. With a little half-time respite in tempo, the boys rev up for another lap, driving listeners to pump fists in the air and thrash about. Colour me surprised if this one isn’t a live staple!

The last track on the EP, Blindfolds & Rattlesnakes, was likely have been composed with a live audience in mind. Big, bold, powerful riffs from bass guitar and drums, and an echoing refrain of “WHOOOA”s, there is no doubt the vocal lines will remain in your head after the seven-track has ended.

Production value is noticeably high here. Josh’s drumming sounds crisp and varnished, as does the vocals. The lead singer crosses between throaty punk-rock cries and bombastic hard rock registers, with an impressive and unwavering high range, instantly reminds one of current-day Anthrax singer Joey Belladonna. The songwriting is succinct, there are no long, boring guitar solos or dull verses. Between big, bold rock riffs on every track, each band member brought forth the best of their abilities in making every tune sound as powerful as it can be.

There’s nothing I personally love more than local act that sounds huge, genuine and gets me moving; Black Smoke Trigger tick all those boxes. And that’s just listening to an EP! Follow them on Instagram and Facebook for future Black Smoke Trigger gigs. If engine-revving, ballsy hard rock is your style, be sure to get a copy of Set It Off, or at least save it on Spotify for repeat streamings!

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Black Smoke Trigger

Formed in Napier New Zealand, Black Smoke Trigger is on a mission.

Taking influences from legendary acts such as Alice in Chains and Guns n' Roses and mixing in their own style - Black Smoke Trigger has a fresh and hard-hitting, hard rock sound.

Determined to make an impact from the beginning, Black Smoke Trigger has been working with producer Michael Wagener on their first EP recorded in Nashville, USA. Michael has been responsible for the incredible sound of bands such as Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Skid Row, and now Black Smoke Trigger.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Black Smoke Trigger


Set It Off
Year: 2019
Type: EP
Buy Online @ Mightyape

Other Reviews By Steve Shyu

Channeled - Single Review: Isolation
04 Jun 2020 // by Steve Shyu
Just by reading the title you’d be forgiven for thinking this is “just another song about being in lockdown”. Before you dismiss this outright, you’d be relieved to know the songwriter actually composed this years before Covid-19, and in his own words, it’s about "running away from being locked inside your head and turning away from the person you once were".
Ten24 - Single Review: Blissful Affliction
01 Jun 2020 // by Steve Shyu
One of the newest and most brilliant acts to come out of Wellington recently is Ten24, the alternative rock four-piece that took out the Smokefree Rockquest People’s Choice Award of 2019. Steadily gaining traction and attention from throughout the capital, the band have recorded and released their very first single, entitled Blissful Affliction.
Lorenzo Hazelwood - Single Review: Pharos
21 May 2020 // by Steve Shyu
Having performed lead vocal duties with Auckland hard rock band Close to the Bone, Lorenzo Hazelwood has added another entry to his musical repertoire by going solo. Known for his guitar playing, bold vocal range, and an uncanny resemblance to Incubus’s Brandon Boyd, Lorenzo beavered away at this home studio, recording all parts himself.
Primacy - Album Review: Seeds of Change
14 May 2020 // by Steve Shyu
Auckland’s groove/alternative-metal quintet Primacy are primed for great things. Consisting of vocalist Rhys, bass player Sid, drummer Will and axe-wielding duo Jared and Adrian, their debut EP Failure & Sacrifice peaked at Number 13 on the Official New Zealand Album Charts.
Midnight Manor - Single Review: Save The World
04 May 2020 // by Steve Shyu
Auckland’s hard rock stalwarts Midnight Manor are venturing ardently through their music-making journey. Having released a single just last month to great praise, the band are carrying forward the momentum in preparation for the release of their second full-length album Mindful Games.
Midnight Manor - Single Review: Space Monkey
06 Apr 2020 // by Steve Shyu
Auckland quartet Midnight Manor have been kicking around the rock scene for nearly eight years. Sporting a healthy number of singles under their belts, plus a full-length album to boot, the band have not rested on laurels, and released a brand new sophomore LP, named Mindful Games.
Gig Review: Blindspott @ Powerstation, Auckland - 14/03/2020
16 Mar 2020 // by Steve Shyu
Way back in 2007, on the exact same stage, was the last time I witnessed Blindspott deliver the goods – And it certainly was a night to remember. Little did I know then, I was still in my formative years dabbling in heavy music, and Blindspott sat atop a high podium of reverence in my mind, as I’m sure many Aucklanders of my age did.
QUALMS - Double Single Review: Hank Scorpio and Thrown
10 Mar 2020 // by Steve Shyu
Auckland’s newest rock trio Qualms have brought forth their latest offering – TWO, in fact – in the form of a double-single, entitled Hank Scorpio and Thrown, respectively. Immediately after two drumstick clicks, vocals and guitar chords kick off to a pleasantly cool, upbeat first tune Hank Scorpio.
View All Articles By Steve Shyu

NZ Top 10 Singles

    DaBaby feat. Roddy Ricch
    Lady Gaga And Ariana Grande
    Ariana Grande And Justin Bieber
    The Weeknd
    Megan Thee Stallion feat. Beyonce
  • SAY SO
    Doja Cat
    Chris Brown And Young Thug
    BENEE feat. Gus Dapperton
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