3 Feb 2023
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KEV'S TOP 10's - 2022

02 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland


Last year, as a bit of fun, I put together my Top 10’s of NZ music for the year. I may well have created an issue for myself though, as more than a few have asked when the 2022 version is coming out, so here it is in time for the last ever MNZ newsletter in its current form. MNZ is going through some changes, which will result in a modern site, with all relevant data carried over and some old features dropped. Technology has changed dramatically since the site started all those years ago, but we are still the biggest and longest-running music site in NZ, with our 25th anniversary not far away.

I have been writing reviews for more than 30 years, and although I have been in Aotearoa for the last 16, for some strange reason I had never really thrown myself into the NZ Music scene until 2020 when I volunteered for MNZ, and I can safely say my musical education has been ongoing since then. I am an in-demand writer for multiple sites and magazines in different countries, and this year I have already written more than 650 reviews on bands from all over the world, of which 244 have been for MNZ (don’t worry, I am going to break the 250, at least). The breakdown is 63 albums, 35 EP’s, 94 singles and 52 gigs. That is only a tiny percentage of what has been released in 2022 by our amazing bands, but I doubt there are many who hear as much music as I do, so hopefully the lists are representative.

Please note these are my personal opinion and does not reflect that of the site itself (and will probably change tomorrow anyway). I did also give myself certain rules – no band can appear in the same list more than once (although they can be in more than one list), no single can be included if either the album or EP it is taken from also appears, no live albums or compilations. You will also note there are a couple of Top 12’s as I could just not bear to leave the others off, and a Top 9, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.

This is just a bit of fun, and hopefully it will encourage you to investigate some of the reviews which go with them. There are a few which have appeared on sites other than MNZ as they were reviewed by someone else for this site, so the link will be where my review appeared elsewhere. This list is again all over the place regarding genres, and I highly recommend every band included.

SINGLES

1. Coridian - Rakasha
Read the review here

2. Aro - Tohora
Read the review here

3. Villainy - The Launch
Read the review here

4. Volts - When You Go
Read the review here

5. The Not Okays - Better Days
Read the review here

6. Dead Favours - Sink or Swim
Read the review here

7. Gerry Paul - The Fairy Child
Read the review here

8. End Boss - Punished
Read the review here

9. Stonehurst  - Whispers
Read the review here

10. Ayla Wesley - Say To Me
Read the review here

11. Ed Waaka - E Kura
Read the review here

12. Sam Bartells - Good Intentions
Read the review here

EPs

1. Ekko Park - UnMute
Read the review here

2. Anderson Rocio - Chapter One
Read the review here

3. South for Winter - Acoustic Sessions
Read the review here

4. Gideon Voon - EPsode II: Wanderer's Path
Read the review here

5. Cafe Fistfight - Mourning Brew
Read the review here

6. Melanie - ABCD
Read the review here

7. ARIA - Love Songs Till Midnight
Read the review here

8. Checaine - Black River
Read the review here

9. Sea Mouse - Evil Heart
Read the review here

ALBUMS

1. Troy Kingi - The Year of the Ratbags And Their Musty Theme Songs
Read the review here

2. Capital Theatre - A Hero's Journey
Read the review here

3. Lee Martin - Gypsy Soul
Read the review here

4. Goldsmith Baynes - E Rere Ra
Read the review here

5. Fathom - The World To Breathe
Read the review here

6. Ellery Daines - Failure Thirty Minutes Deep
Read the review here

7. Turkey The Bird - When Turkeys Fly
Read the review here

8. Tall Folk - Wiser
Read the review here

9. T-Bone - Good n Greasy
Read the review here

10. Jenny Mitchell - Tug of War
Read the review here

11. Nigel Parry - Tales of Common Folk: Salt & Sweet Kisses
Read the review here

12. Steve Tofa - Koko Stax: The Legend Of Leni Mafu
Read the review here



CONCERTS

This was by far the hardest category to gauge, and although only the headline band is named, it is the complete line-up that night which made it what it was. 

1. Written By Wolves @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 12 November 2022
Read the review here

2. Villainy @ The Powerstation, Auckland - 28 October 2022
Read the review here

3. Troy Kingi @ Town Hall, Auckland - 19 August 2022
Read the review here

4. Reb Fountain @ Town Hall, Auckland - 29 July 2022
Read the review here

5. The Jordan Luck Band @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 3 September 2022
Read the review here

6. Lee Martin @ Wunderbar, Lyttleton - 9 March 2022
Read the review here

7. Looking For Alaska w/ Albi & The Wolves @ Leigh Sawmill, Leigh - 12 February 2022
Read the review here

8. French For Rabbits @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 13 May 2022
Read the review here

9. Fur Patrol @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 20 August 2022
Read the review here

10. South for Winter @ Ministry of Folk, Auckland - 17 February 2022
Read the review here

11. Turkey The Bird @ Ministry of Folk, Auckland - 11 June 2022
Read the review here

12. T-Bone @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 3 July 2022
Read the review here

Written by Wolves - Photo Credit: Chris Morgan / Morgan Creative
Full Gallery
Villainy - Photo Credit: Ginny C Photography
Full Gallery
Troy Kingi w/ Jed Parsons - Photo Credit: Chris Zwaagdyk / Zed Pics
Full Gallery

BAND OF THE YEAR

Written By Wolves

They may have not released any new material in 2022, but I managed to see them play three times, and am always made to feel very much part of the family. Such a wonderful group of people, producing amazing music, and with a new album out in 2023, the sky is the limit.

 

Other Reviews By Kev Rowland

Gig Review: Ding Dong Lounge 10th Birthday Part 1 @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 29/01/2023
03 Feb 2023 // by Kev Rowland
The original Ding Dong Lounge was founded in New York City in 2001 by Bill Nolan, opening on the upper west side of Manhattan and slowly gaining a following of talented artists, writers, actors, and musicians. In 2003, Bill Walsh opened Ding Dong Lounge in Melbourne, branding itself with a live gig atmosphere that easily upheld Ding Dong’s rock reputation.
Read More...
Beckoned - Single/Video Review: Luminous
01 Feb 2023 // by Kev Rowland
The word “supergroup” is not one to be bandied around lightly, yet that was very much the first thing which came to mind when I came across the new formation of Beckoned. During one of the many lockdowns, guitarist Nail Vincent (Devilskin) started working on new material, and he played some to his old bandmate, bassist Munro Goodwin (Sinate) and pretty soon they were working on the material together with drummer Corey Friedlander (City of Souls,8 Foot Sativa), but who would be the singer?
Read More...
Flying Man - Single Review: Under The Stars
31 Jan 2023 // by Kev Rowland
Flying Man is the stage name of Dunedin based Irish-born live-looping guitarist and singer/songwriter Alan Ned Gray. Flying Man’s song-writings sit in the electroacoustic realm - playing programmed beats, live looping and layered harmonies.
Read More...
Crying Club - EP Review: Big Water Bottle
31 Jan 2023 // by Kev Rowland
It is some 18 months since I last reviewed a recording by Crying Club, which was the single Taxi Man, but I did see them at EmoFest last year where three of the songs on this five-track thirteen-minute-long EP were played. While their music is solidly rooted in the indie scene, they manage to also bring in other genres as they cross genres, bringing rock and metal quite strongly into their poppy mix.
Read More...
Gig Review: Midnight Green & Kazia @ The Thirsty Dog, Auckland - 21/01/2022
21 Jan 2023 // by Kev Rowland
After being blasted the previous night at Dead Witch, tonight I was at The Thirsty for what promised to be a very different affair indeed, with two soul/jazz/pop bands. Beforehand I was talking to the bar manager who told me that soon they will be closing for renovations, after which they will open up with the stage in a different place, and it promises to be much improved, so I am really looking forward to seeing the end results.
Read More...
Gig Review: The Rising Tide @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 20/01/2023
20 Jan 2023 // by Kev Rowland
Back to Dead Witch tonight for my first time seeing The Rising Tide who were up from Palmerston North in support of their excellent new EP, The Hope We Die For. They had also invited a few other bands who I have seen before, namely Brawler NZHC who I saw supporting Xile, plus favourites Unwanted Subject and Pale Flag who were both at the Downfall of Humanity release show.
Read More...
Gig Review: Music In Parks - Helensville @ Helensville River Reserve, Auckland - 15/01/2023
15 Jan 2023 // by Kev Rowland
Each Summer, the Auckland Council put on a series of free outdoor concerts in different places around the city, and today was the second this year, and definitely had a country flavour with Keith Pereira, Louis Jarlov and Sam Bartells. Not only are the shows free, but they all take place in the afternoon, so this gig was set to take place between 1 and 4!
Read More...
Gig Review: Ovus @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 14/01/2023
15 Jan 2023 // by Kev Rowland
Having spent an incredible two weeks at home on South Island, it was now back up to Auckland and it was soon back into the live scene with my first gig at Dead Witch for 2023. Tonight was going to be interesting as I recently reviewed Ovus’s EP, Lucid, and it would be the first time I had seen Afterlight since they changed their name from Antebellum.
Read More...
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

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