28 May 2020

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QUALMS - Double Single Review: Hank Scorpio and Thrown

10 Mar 2020 // A review 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. The main ear-catcher lies at the “hah” endings of every second line; it’s simplistic yet distinctive. In place of a chorus, Gabe’s rhythmic drumming and Tom’s palm-muted guitars do all the work, fashioned to rapid-fire four-note punches. This is the fun bit where you can envision a bar full of people hopping along to – I know I would!

Taking a no-frills approach, the last lines are sharply yelled and the song is done. Whilst the melody is pleasant and energy levels bounce nicely, clocking in at two-and-a-quarter minutes, it does leave one wanting that “something more”. Like a delicious meal that’s finished in two bites, it could have done with an entree plus some sides to bulk up the servings.

The second song Thrown wastes no time with intros and sounding as though broadcast live from their living room, vocals are again at the front of the mix and raw-sounding. A bittersweet slow-jam that’s worthy of lighters-in-the-air, the most heartfelt moment arrives as lead vocalist Jared hops an octave and belts the second verse. A dry sweetness is brought out by guitarist Tom’s back-up vocal harmony, particularly at the bridge.

Much like the first track, Thrown ends as promptly as it began, leaving no repeated guitar riffs or long fade-outs; aggression takes the helm and drives the rest of the song to a choppy conclusion.

Classifying these two tunes is surprisingly tough. If one was forced to fit it within categories, it would have a corner in pop-punk, and another in garage rock. This is an excellent effort, and if allowed to stretch out in terms of song structure, these tunes will be fun to witness played on stage.

Be sure to follow Qualms on Instagram, then catch them live at Hamilton Zeal’s The Big Korero next month to fundraise for mental health awareness!

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )


Qualms are a three piece rock / emo band from Tamaki Makaurau, featuring members of Barracks] and {Jerkstrom.

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