26 Sep 2021

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Voodoo Bloo - Single Review: MMA

11 Jun 2020 // A review by Steve Shyu
With lockdown officially over, here comes the time to see live some of the music that’s been recorded or released while Aotearoa has been in isolation. Out of the now indefinitely-shelved Wellington band Lucifer Gunne comes Voodoo Bloo, the new project of the musical mastermind Rory McDonald.

Having gained buckets of experience in aforementioned band, Rory opted for a new path and chapter in music-making. Drawing on deeply personal life experiences, mixing with musical influences the likes of Marilyn Manson and Carseat Headrest, a new full-length record Jacobus was created. Muzic.net’s Steve S. got a taste of Voodoo Bloo’s newest single MMA, in promotion of the forthcoming album.

Straight off the bat, you knew this would be a frantic but fun outing. A rumbling bass guitar intro and joyous, tinkling shuffles on an electric guitar is sharply followed by pounding four-on-the-floor drumbeats, and overdriven guitar chords. Lead vocals, in the form of filtered yells, take turns in the spotlight with guitar strums, as frontman Rory cries "I’m not the man who I was, I’m not the man who I was before the lynch mob!"

Thematically, the song seems to illustrate instances when somebody reveals their true selves when faced with adversity. Although given the title MMA, one envisions more of a drunken weekend scrap between friends than a professional bout in a ring.

Aside from the post-punk influences, there appear to be some very System of a Down-vibes. In fact, there are moments in the verses that sound like the song F**k the System from said band’s 2002 album. It’s that balls-to-the-wall, cards-on-the-table attitude paired with a dose of aggression that makes this song so entertaining.

The quirky sounds are well-reflected in the accompanying music video, whereby Rory sits in front of a brick wall, and is pelted with corks, covered in flour and milk, battered with assorted items of clothing, all spliced out of order for an extra bit of chaos. As it was filmed while New Zealand was in total lockdown, one does wonder how much precious flour was employed in the making of this video! But I digress; the juxtaposition of the frontman’s expressions seems to suit the mood of the song well - Entertaining, offbeat, and raw.

As the video concludes, a drenched and visibly uncomfortable Rory groans "This is f**ked", to which the cameraman agrees. No flashy, expensive camera tricks here. Our leading man indeed spent an afternoon getting egged and bombarded. Some primal, 8-wire, backyard antics, and that’s perhaps the most entertaining thing about the video.

There’s every change Voodoo Bloo will be hitting a stage near you in promotion of their upcoming album now that New Zealand is down to Level 1. Follow Voodoo Bloo on Facebook to stay up to date!

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Voodoo Bloo

Voodoo Bloo is a powerful rock-driven project, led by Rory McDonald. Their sounds are very much influenced by harder hitting acts like Arctic Monkeys and System of a Down, as well as some singer-songwriter artists such as Car Seat Headrest and Neutral Milk Hotel, which brings a great blend of emotional and conceptual songwriting with a very catchy and frequently danceable distorted mess.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Voodoo Bloo


Year: 2020
Type: Album

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