4 Jun 2023

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Nuggiez - Album Review: Toil In The Time of Monsters

09 Jun 2022 // A review by Trevor Faville

In something of a classic Punk tradition, the opening paragraph in the press release for this release begins with some social commentary, and a position statement- establishing Nuggiez’ attitude and intent before mentioning the band or its music, and if ever there is an appropriate introduction to this band, that would be it.

Nuggiez are based in Tamaki Makaurau , and have been evolving the material for Toil In The Time of Monsters over a period of quite some time. Theirs is an approach that blends a musical, philosophical and social awareness - again, referencing and espousing a Punk ethos. Album title Toil In The Time of Monsters is very much the kind of post-situationist, McLaren-esque slogan that you could have seen scrawled on a wall about 1980-or on a fanzine cover perhaps- but make no mistake it casts very much the same perspective over a contemporary environment. This is most certainly not a tribute, and in no way ‘Retro’.

Track 1 Hauntological is a compelling and effective opening. It sets a tone, a mood and a sound carefully arranged for musical and lyrical impact. Right from the off one can hear music created with a steady, intelligent and considered approach. The rest of the album unfolds and reveals a powerful musical statement. Nuggiez’ own description is ‘sonically diverse, explorative heavy music’ and while it's unusual for a band to have such a clear understanding of its own sound, in this case it's really not a surprise at all. Highlight after musical highlight follows. Examples? That's easy. Listen to the beginning of U Against U to hear some absolutely first rate rhythm section work. Too Late To Be Sorry for skilled and intelligent guitar work, melodic hooks, and a really clever harmonic/ tonal sensibility. Frankly, listen to the whole album, not a moment is wasted, and every track is a gem.

Nuggiez lyrical approach is compelling too. Intelligent and unexpected lines jump out, and there is a similar angry/funny/insightful balance to the work of people like Sleaford Mods, Magazine or Billy Bragg. Still though, there is a melodic sensibility. Melodic hooks abound, and there is that musical understanding of how to phrase a lyric into a soaring melody line.

Toil In The Time of Monsters is a big album in every sense. It covers a wide range of musical ground with intelligence, wit and passion, and is delivered with considerable instrumental skill. There is an energy and a fierce intelligence characteristic of the kind of ‘Punk’ aesthetic genuinely harks back to those times- while maintaining a vision squarely on now, and the future. Toil In The Time of Monsters is a compelling and challenging listen. Highly recommended.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Nuggiez

Nuggiez (featuring current and former members of Black Science, Repairs, Shoutin' Preachin' and Reaving) have been writing and performing their noisy and distinctively indistinct flavour of fast and frenetic music since their debut self-titled release in 2017. They’ve released a self-titled album (2017) and a follow-up EP (2018) - which saw the tracks Planet B and Company playlisted on SRN channels around the country - in between supporting acts such as The Dead Kennedys and Me First & The Gimmie Gimmies, and touring with Tim & Eric puppeteer David Liebe Hart.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Nuggiez


Toil In The Time of Monsters
Year: 2022
Type: Album
Holocene Ruina
Year: 2018
Type: EP
Year: 2017
Type: Album

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