30 May 2024

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

Earth Tongue - Gig Review: Earth Tongue @ Whammy Bar, Auckland - 27/11/2020

30 Nov 2020 // A review by Mattmyth

Earth Tongue is a psychedelic stoner rock band, they’re playing Whammy, and everyone’s going.

This is what The Flatmate says a week ago. She bought a ticket and everything.

Psychedelic sounds cool and even Grace and Dave are going and they’ve got a kid on the way.

I kinda might go, I’m always tired after work on a Friday and Mitch and Anna are coming up from Rotorua to stay with their new baby for the weekend.

But everyone’s going.

Everyone is saying Earth Tongue is awesome.

AND Blame Thrower is playing.

Statistically speaking I should have accidentally seen them at Whammy by now. I’ve seen them in garages, lounges, Wine Cellar, in other towns, but never at Whammy.

So it sounds cool and I might go, but probably won’t.
At about the time Blame Thrower would have been loading in their gear at Whammy, The Flatmate comes into our kitchen and with Mitch and Anna up from Rotorua the drinks get going.

You know what? Screw it I’m in, let's go to this gig.

Everyone’s coming to my house first.

Everyone being Steven and Kelsie.
Steven is driving, finds drunken people tedious, and is the only one who has any concept of time.

The show starts at 9.

We have to be there by then.

I wasn’t at Whammy to see it, but Blame Thrower walked on stage and tuned a guitar at the same time everyone in my kitchen said, "okay one more drink and we’ll go."

As Blame Thrower cranked into their energetic set, at my house we said, "I’ll just use the toilet then we’ll go."

They cranked out their highly political yet infectiously fun tunes while we loaded into the car, then raced back to the house for smokes, phones, keys, wallets.

I wasn’t there to see it, but when Blame Thrower thanked the crowd after their last song and the house music came up, we clambered out of the car on K Road and Steven went to find somewhere to park.

I made a mental note to make sure to thank Steven when he got into the bar. He’d just driven with people so happy they had no volume control over their voices and I hadn’t even said thanks.

Sometimes I can be a thoughtless dick.

I was probably getting cash out at the ATM upstairs when the next band up, Guardian Singles started their first song.

While they played a cool set of songs full of sing along choruses, Mitch swapped cigarettes for a skull of Old Mout cider on K Road.

As Guardian Singles played, we chatted to Mitch’s old head boy from his High School back in Rotorua, and finish drinks down in the park with a friend of Kelsie’s from Whangarei.

The first thing we see after we make it down the steps of Whammy is the drummer from Guardian Singles standing up and giving a curtsey to the crowd with a big smile.

"We’re Guardian Singles, thank you so much", the guitarist/ singer says.
Yeah he was not talking to us.

He was addressing a packed crowd with their arms raised, clapping and cheering like they didn’t miss something really freakin' awesome because they couldn’t get their shit together.

"Goddammit." I file my way to the bar through bodies of people asking each other "how good was that?" and replying "yeah, they’re mean".

Getting into Whammy might feel like descending steps into the most dimly lit and sinful layer of Hell itself, but there is glorious, glorious air conditioning.

The Flatmate asks me is that the bar or one of the punters that smells like Hubba Bubba?

We decide it must be the bar, because to prove otherwise would involve pushing our way around and sniffing people.

Through heads, I can see a woman in a blood red crotched dress on stage tuning a guitar.
There are a few people weaving their way toward the toilets or bar, but most are just staring, waiting.

I need another beer, but the room has turned tense with anticipation and whatever is about to happen I don’t want to miss it.
Earth Tongue is a two piece, a singer/guitarist and a drummer. They launch into Singular Cellular and the sea of heads in front of me nods in time with heavy riffs.

I take out my notebook and scrawl the word ‘robotic’, which is the mood of the track only. Both musicians have an intense synergy with their songs.
All bands want to be tight, and most bands will roll their eyes and say, "oh god no we weren’t" when you tell them their set was ‘tight’.

Earth Tongue is tight.

By the second song the crowd’s bodies were nodding as well as their heads and I tried desperately to find a way closer to the front without being the dude who turned up late and then tried to push his way to the front.
It wasn’t a show with a raging mosh pit, it was the sort of show where everyone packs in and then becomes a community respecting the space we occupy.

So I settle for a spot to the side of the stage and watch as Earth Tongue mesmerize us with songs that have the space and vastness of a desert, flawless vocal harmonies, and the last mouthful of my beer goes warm in the bottom of the can as I feel like I’m in some empty stone candle lit monastery.

Send me under.

The guitarist singer has a perfect voice.

The drummer, along with vocal harmonies also provides a raging aggressive vocal when the song needs it.

No song is killed with over indulgence.

Earth Tongue don’t say much in between songs. They are polite, grateful, but let their music do the talking and make the energy.

They create an ambient intensity that builds and builds, pulling the crowd into movement.

A lot happened after Earth Tongue’s set.

I asked Kelsie where Steven was because I hadn’t seen him, she said no he went home after he dropped us off.

I was going to tell her I didn’t realise that and to please say thank you to him for driving us in and I’m sorry for being an ungrateful dick.

But before I could, a racist got chased out of St. Kevin’s arcade and down a hill, and Alex from Cootie Cuties filled me in on what the other bands were like so I could write about them.

For Blame Thrower I wrote down ‘fun, energetic, highly political’. I also wrote down ‘Crash Bandicoot’, ‘Smooth Peanuts’, and ‘Road Crossing’ but I have no idea what that all means.

For Guardian Singles he said "They were so cool bro. I dunno what else to say. Sing a long chorus’."

Then a bunch of us had post-gig drinks at a bar called Gay where I just felt old at not knowing any of the pop songs we were dancing to.

But before all that, Earth Tongue finished their set with an epic track that ended in falsetto and an ecstatic crowd.

And they told us they’ve moved to Auckland.
I won’t be missing a second of their next show.
Everyone should go, they really should.

About Earth Tongue

Earth Tongue is a heavy psych rock two-piece from Wellington, New Zealand. Guitarist
Gussie Larkin is a master of the fuzz-smothered riff, and along with Ezra Simons’ off-kilter drumming, they’ve been sending punters into transcendental states since their emergence in 2016. Their debut album Floating Being (Stolen Body Records, 2019) has quickly become an underground hit, seeing them embark on multiple tours across Australasia and Europe in the years since its release. Along the way they’ve picked up high praise from BBC Radio6, Bandcamp and headbangers all over the world. Earth Tongue’s live show is a powerful, cult-like experience - the perfect mix of throw-your-horns-up heavy, and can’t-stop-listening catchy. This is affirmed by the high caliber support slots they've been offered recently including IDLES, Ty Segall, King Woman, Kikagaku Moyo and Queens of the Stone Age.

Photo Credit: Oscar Keys

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Earth Tongue


Great Haunting
Year: 2024
Type: Album
Floating Being
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Portable Shrine
Year: 2016
Type: EP

Other Reviews By Mattmyth

Gig Review: Loserpalooza Festival @ Totara Street, Mt Maunganui - 2/09/2023
05 Sep 2023 // by Mattmyth
Lethargic are on first at 12pm, and they’re the reason I had to be at the flatmate’s house to leave Auckland when you could still see your breath in the air. Lethargic, as the singer would tell us after their first song, are new and hungry for our drugs.
Gig Review: Loserpalooza Festival 2021 @ Tauranga - 21/08/2021
24 Aug 2021 // by Mattmyth
What’s everyone bitching about with level-4-lockdown and cancelled shows? This one ruled.
Gig Review: Biscuits, Cootie Cuties & Fuzzies @ UFO, Auckland - 26/03/2021
30 Mar 2021 // by Mattmyth
The flat mate parks up outside a mechanics which is still open, dudes are lying on their backs under the bodies of cars twisting tools, fiddling with socket sets, or hanging around the door outside drinking Woodstocks and smoking cigarettes. We walk awkwardly past them, stepping over potholes and erosion, the concrete being eaten away by weather and heavy vehicles.
Gig Review: Jang @ DIY Anarcho Backyard Fest, Auckland - 16/01/2021
18 Jan 2021 // by Mattmyth
Jimmy stands at the gate of the festival site, in black boots, black shirt, and a black dress, swinging a machete. "Hey bro.
Gig Review: Ding Dong Lounge Bands Competition Grand Final @ Ding Dong, Auckland - 14/11/2020
17 Nov 2020 // by Mattmyth
Wanna know a secret?Bands that write their own music, record and tour their own albums, book their own shows, play every or almost every weekend, they don't play a Battle of the Bands.
View All Articles By Mattmyth

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Tommy Richman
    Kendrick Lamar
    Billie Eilish
    Post Malone feat. Morgan Wallen
    Billie Eilish
    Sabrina Carpenter
    Billie Eilish
    Billie Eilish
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