27 Sep 2021

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

Primacy - Gig Review: Primacy @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 27/02/2021

28 Feb 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

Saturday at the Ding Dong is always guaranteed to be a good night, and tonight was to be no exception with Primacy finally launching their album Seeds of Change. I say “finally” as previous gigs had been cancelled due to lockdown, and in fact this was going to be their first gig since 2019! The common consensus in the band is that it is all the fault of Rhys Saran who put the word “lockdown” into lyrics long before COVID 19 had been heard of.

But first up tonight we had The First Child, a band I had been waiting to see again, as the last time I saw them it really was not a fair indication as for some reason all the microphones stopped working quite quickly during their set, and although singer Lily Mou gave his all, with a hardcore punk band behind him there was no way we could hear the vocals. I met up with him before the gig and the first thing he told me was that all the microphones were working tonight! They were also using a stand-in bassist as their normal bass player was unavailable, but one would never have guessed that he had only rehearsed with the band during the last two weeks as he fitted in really well. The First Child are all about emotion and passion, and while there are links to the pop punk of the likes of Blink 182, they are generally more feral and aggressive, playing pop punk hardcore with a metallic edge. One thing I noticed is the way Lily paces himself and does not go for it at full bore all the time, which means he has the opportunity to rest his voice somewhat and produce different styles. Quaker was the highlight, where Lily even brought in falsetto, where there was very strong interplay and riffing between the guitars, and the bass firmly locked in. They are very good indeed at what they do, and certainly warmed up the crowd.

I was talking to guitarists Alex Carleton and Bryce Patten from Downfall Of Humanity prior to their set, and I knew that tonight they were going to be playing a cover, namely SOAD’s Toxicity. I told them it was one of my favourite songs and I was looking forward to hearing it, and Alex told me later in the night this had done absolutely nothing to settle his nerves whatsoever! But, if there were any nerves on stage tonight, the guys did not show it at all. This was my first experience of DOH, and had not heard any of their material, but barman James was raving to me about them and how good they were the last time they played there. Given that the guys who work the bar at Ding Dong get to hear far more music than a regular punter, that was high praise indeed, and based on what I saw last night I certainly concur. The rhythm section is incredibly tight and locked down, which allows the two guitarists to really shine, swapping leads and support as the need arises. While System of a Down are an obvious influence, they are bringing in influences from different areas, something which is readily apparent in the vocals. Singer Daniel Carleton not only is a commanding and forceful presence on stage, but he has an incredibly powerful and emotional baritone, which he uses to great effect when the time is right, yet he also goes incredibly harsh and provides death growls. With both guitarists and drummer Ben Bakker also providing vocals (the line-up is completed by bassist Ben Pegman), combining this with complex riffs and passages, there is a lot to take in.

They mix and move through different metal genres, so just when one thinks there is some mathcore it switches into power metal, before hitting some technical death strides. This is one of the real joys of their music for me, the way they have refused to sit just within one sub-genre and go where they feel the music is taking them. I have often said it is hard to pigeonhole music, as music is not a pigeon, and while someone could say that Downfall of Humanity are a Metal band, they are covering a whole range of styles within that. Their version of Toxicity was very good indeed, but interestingly it did not stand out from the rest of the material within the set, which shows the level at which they are operating. The crowd were now really buzzing with loads of metalheads down the front, and I was certainly disappointed when their set came to an end. Apparently, they were supposed to be back in the studio this week working on the EP, having had studio sessions cancelled in the past due to lockdown, and they were not happy that it had just happened again, but when that finally appears it is something which will be well worth hearing indeed.

Primacy have been waiting for this gig for way too long, but if one thought they would be nervous about playing their first show in nearly 18 months it certainly did not show. When I reviewed the album, I said it was “something which really grooves along yet is always heavy and manages to hit that sweet spot between out and out aggression and commerciality”, but what I had not picked up on was just how much this band is driven from the back. Will Stairmand attacks his kit like a man possessed, yet is always in full control, combining with Sadeer Kattan to create an incredibly powerful and stable rhythm section. While both Primacy and DOH have twin guitars, their approaches are quite different with Primacy much more of an alternative metal band, creating slabs of riffs as opposed to tremendous intricacy. I must make a special mention of guitarist Adrian Brausch, as it is way too long since I saw a Flying V on stage, and just the sight of it made me smile even before he struck a note, while on the other side was Jared Tobin who played with a smile on his face all night as he was having a blast. Rhys Saran is both vocally and visually quite different to Daniel, yet he also very much remains the focal point, sometimes just standing straight and staring into the crowd, and others really moving and getting into the sound. There is a huge underlying groove to everything they do, and the crowd were by now incredibly animated. One can understand why they and DOH have gigged together so much in the past, as while they are very different in their musical approach, they have complementary styles, and both really get the crowd going.

When they upped the tempo during the set on Ten Years, the crowd reacted with them, and it was certainly when they ripped it up that the crowd got even more animated. But they also fully understand the need for dynamics and Shade Black showed a very different style to the band with Adrian creating a soundscape for a song which was a real builder. They actually finished their set right on the allotted time, which was a real first for me at Ding Dong, and Will was taking the cymbals off as soon as it was over. However, the crowd were not going to let that happen and shouted for more, which led to some consternation with the band who obviously were not expecting it. Ryan asked soundman Dave if they could do one more, Will was convinced to put the cymbals back on, and they ended the night with yet another belter.

Let us hope this lockdown does not last too long and that we can again get back to near normality, as yet again tonight Ding Dong hosted some great bands which I look forward to catching again when this is all over.


About Primacy

Primacy are 5-piece alternative metal band from West Auckland. They incorporate a groove metal base with other elements of hard rock, progressive metal and a twist of blues flavour.

Primacy were formed in 2014 after the split of well know local bands The Blacklight Configuration, Overhaile and Heathen Eyes – the timing was right, the songs were right and the team was right, Primacy came together as a collective around guitarist Adrian Brausch's new and unused material from his former band Overhaile.

Their first EP Failure and Sacrifice was released in 2016, and followed by a mini-EP in 2017 III.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Primacy


Seeds of Change
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Year: 2017
Type: EP
Failure and Sacrifice
Year: 2016
Type: EP
The Demos
Year: 2015
Type: EP

Other Reviews By Kev Rowland

Plum Green - Album Review: Somnambulist
25 Sep 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Born in a squat in England, raised in New Zealand, and presently residing in Melbourne, here we have the latest release from dream folk artist Plum Green. I have not previously come across any of her other albums, but somehow, I can see I need to undertake some investigations as this is a very special album indeed.
Diehards of Deep Dish - Album Review: Traditional Speciality Guaranteed
25 Sep 2021 // by Kev Rowland
There is a long history of band members using pseudonyms, with Ramones probably being the most famous, and here we have a band who use pseudonyms for their pseudonyms, so we have Cheese (Joey Provolone), Tomato (Ryley Base), Wheat (Beef Richards), Mushrooms (Mattzarella Gibson) and Herbs (Herbie Handcooked). I thought Cafe Fistfight had probably taken the foodie elements to the extreme with songs such as King Hit Quiche, but here we have six songs all aimed at the pizza lovers among us.
Power The Light - Single Review: Snowing
23 Sep 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Power The Light is Max Roskilly, an 18-year-old musician who is based in Auckland , and has been self-releasing music for the last four years already, including the album Blueprints a while back. This is his second single in recent months, following on from Skys where he showed an interest more in krautrock than in is normal indie-jazz style.
Single Review: Glass Throne
23 Sep 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Glass Throne are an Auckland-based power trio comprising Justin Robinson (lead vocals, bass, guitar), Owen McKibbin (guitar, organ, backing vocals) and Daniel Cutfield (drums, percussion, backing vocals). I have managed to catch them play live a few times over the last year, and what always strikes me is just how different they are to the rest of the local scene, coming through as a mix of classic Seventies hard rock, progressive and modern alt rock.
On Tick - Single Review: Nothing New
21 Sep 2021 // by Kev Rowland
On Tick is the brainchild of brothers Brendan (vocals and drums) and Aidan O'Loughlin (vocals, guitar), and was formed from the ashes of their previous musical outfit, Evil Tomato, who began as a band in 2012. They came across 5-string bassist Matt Hammond when they heard the demoes for Black Sands, which he not only produced but played on, and he joined forces to work with them on the album and to allow them to play in the Ding Dong Battle of the Bands.
Ravenhall - EP Review: The Coming Storm
21 Sep 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Ravenhall were formed by guitarist Joe Ravenhall and singer Chris Brebner in 2015. They were both already veterans of the Auckland scene, and wanted to perform music which concentrated on the power of acoustic guitar, wonderful vocals, plus some gentle electronic backing, and that is certainly what we have here.
Album Review: Black Alpine
19 Sep 2021 // by Kev Rowland
The very first time I looked at the cover of this album I was reminded of Deep Purple’s In Rock, as even though that was a stylised version of Mount Rushmore, there we had dudes with long hair playing Seventies hard rock and that is the same here. I mean, we even have aviator sunglasses!
Secrets Of The Sun - Album Review: Obon
19 Sep 2021 // by Kev Rowland
Obon is the debut album from alternative metal band Secrets of the Sun, a quartet based in Wellington. It has been a while in the making, in that the first single, Suffer With The Moon, was actually released a year ago while Wretched Tracks came out in February: both are included here.
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Lil Nas X feat. Jack Harlow
  • STAY
    The Kid LAROI And Justin Bieber
    Elton John And Dua Lipa
    Ed Sheeran
    Lil Nas X
    Glass Animals
    Ed Sheeran
    Billie Eilish
    Doja Cat
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