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Tomahawk Radio - Single Review: Missiles

03 Apr 2023 // A review by Karl Brinsdon

Dunedin band, Tomahawk Radio’s latest single Missiles is the first release off their upcoming album. Reading the bands incredible and inspiring story makes me feel really quite lucky that we get to hear this music. During the post production phase of the album, Jeff Avery (vocals/guitars/keys) was airlifted to Auckland hospital to await a heart transplant. Luckily, he has since made a recovery and looks forward to living life to the fullest. Drummer, Scott Mason has also had a kidney transplant three years ago. They’ve beaten the odds to be here creating music like Missiles.

Brian Graham (vocals/bass) explains that Missiles is about “coming to grips with the confusion of not fitting into life”. The lyrics are delivered with almost constant harmonies that never cease to catch my ear and remain interesting throughout the song. It seems that Tomahawk Radio have a great understanding of what every instrument should be doing; the song has so many musical layers, but it’s not to the point of being overcrowded. Each instrument has its own place in the mix with everything complimenting everything else.

I really enjoy the use of space in this track, much of the power comes from varying the complexity of parts rather than the classic technique of kicking on a distortion pedal for a chorus. The delay on the guitar tracks reminds me of U2’s guitar tones, using the delay to emphasise the space while not leaving the soundscape bare. As with a lot of great New Zealand rock music, the bass isn’t playing simple root notes, it has its own melody to drive the song. Missiles does this spectacularly, the bass it sits alongside the other instrumentation rather perfectly and provides a beautiful build throughout the entire song. The drumming throughout is locked in and feels like it steers the rest of the instruments through the song. The drums keep it pretty simple, and I say that as a compliment. The selective use of drum fills puts the emphasis in all the right places and makes those fills shine. The best emphasis of all is that short and sweet drum intro that slaps you in the face and opens your ears to the rest of the song.

Described by the Tomahawk Radio as a “good taster for the rest of the album” I must say I’m excited to hear the rest. Missiles is an incredible demonstration of a band who understand the power of space in a track and understand the role of each instrument within a song. As I said in the beginning of the review, these guys have been through a lot to get this music to you and that drive is so evident in the music. Of course, don't just take my word for it, check it out for yourself on April 7th!

Spotify Presave
Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Tomahawk Radio

In a studio perched high on a windswept hill, the kind of full on place where the trees hunker sideways and the ocean views stretch to Antarctica, a new Dunedin sound is brewing. If it weren’t for the four solid walls of Tomahawk Radio’s HQ, the melodic strains of guitar, vocal harmonies and Rhodes piano would be snatched away in the teeth of southerly gales.

Singer, bassist and surfer Brian Graham bought his wind buffeted Otago Peninsula home so he could keep an eye on the waves at both Tomahawk and Smails Beaches. When he realised his dream of building a music studio adjoining the house, he and bandmates Jeff Avery and Luis Rodriguez got serious about developing the band’s sound and releasing some songs.

After a couple of years trying different drummers to join them, they finally found the perfect match with drummer and composer Scott J Mason, who brought his Rock playing experience into the sound.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Tomahawk Radio


Dreaming With A View
Year: 2023
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Karl Brinsdon

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