19 Sep 2020
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Riqi Harawira - Single Review: Ruapekapeka

11 Jun 2020 // A review by Jason Peters

Back in another life (during the 90's), Riqi Harawira used to let my bandmate and I crash at his pad on Fort Street in Auckland whenever we were on tour. He was a good dude, played lead guitar for Dead Flowers and both our bands were on the same label (Wildside). I was impressed with his guitar work back then, and Riqi certainly hasn't lost his edge 20-something years later.

Ruapekapeka (translated to "The Bat's Nest") is his latest offering. This song is about the famous northern battle between the colonials under Governor-General Grey and the combined forces of Kawiti and Hone Heke. Alien Weaponry have carved a similar path infusing Te Reo with heavy music, however, this song steers clear of Metal and goes for the Hard Rock jugular instead. With a unique mix of GnR styled riffing combined with blistering solos, it's easy to see why some call Riqi the Maori Slash.

The accompanying and very impressive video shows the fierce battle with the Governor-General Grey's forces in Northland as Riqi wields his Guitaiaha (Guitar/taiaha) with the conviction of a rebellious warrior. Riqi has had to fight through his own personal battles in the past but has come out victorious, and the mana translates through his music here. Ruapekapeka features a catchy chorus, some tasty blues licks and a mean as guitar solo - this may also be the first Te Reo Hard Rock track to surface in Aotearoa, and I have a feeling it won't be the last.

Ruapekapeka won't be everyone's cuppa tea, but for those who love this particular genre, they will be in for a very sweet treat.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Riqi Harawira

He’s shared the stage with some of the biggest names in the business…
Anastasia, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Pearl Jam, Living Color and Faith No More just to name but a few.
He was previously the lead guitarist for New Zealand rock band Dead Flowers.
His 2006 project TRUREAL blended live music and vocals with DJing to create a funky house sound. TRUREAL’s performances in the United States received rave reviews for the innovation in their sound.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Riqi Harawira

Releases

Mauri
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Sound of the Long White Cloud
Year: 2016
Type: Album

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