19 May 2024

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Bleeders - Gig Review: Bleeders @ The Embankment Tavern, Christchurch - 6/05/2023

09 May 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus

I'm glad I arrived as early as I did, to secure a good spot to plonk myself to watch the show, as the place filled up pretty fast. The Embankment Tavern's owner, Martin Mantell, is a huge fan and staunch supporter of live music, and kudos are due to him for developing The Embankment into such a popular venue, hosting some fantastic shows.

And what a show it was. First on the bill were Anti Stasi, an explosion of raw force and frenetic aggression. The first song erupted with a frantic jackhammering of double-kick, the speed of which was stunning, straight out of the gate. There was no let-up of energy for the entirety of their set, frontman Ben not giving an inch, with guitarist Casper seeming as though he was trying to one-up Ben in the vocal intensity stakes with his backing vox. Even a guitar-signal malfunction halfway through a song didn't disrupt the seething flow of pure punk gloriousness. This was my first time seeing them, and I'll be making damned sure it isn't the last.

Up next were Deranger from Nelson, quite a change from Anti Stasi, but no less intense. Where Anti Stasi were an unexpected headbutt from a lunatic on bath salts, Deranger were a headshot from a highly trained sniper. Their sound was tight, focused, and slick. Their punchy sound was enhanced with occasional samples, and their guitarist not only played the sexiest guitar of the night, but his tone was also fat and crunchy and made me get my stank-face on. Both he and the vocalist spent almost more time down in the pit with the crowd, than they did onstage. And the bass player's tone was pure filth. Superbly tight and well executed punk.

Bear Trap were next and were, for me, the most fun band of the night. A bunch of cheeky young larrikins, with a bass player that looks like a 70's-porn version of Cliff Burton. No less intense than the two prior bands, but with tongues planted firmly in cheeks. They thrashed the daylights out of their respective instruments, grinning ear-to-ear and playing to the crowd, who they had eating out of their hands. Sexy, snotty, and superb.

And then... masterclass. Bleeders hit the stage with pure brute force. Each of the 3 prior bands had played their absolute hearts out, and Bleeders were NOT going to be outdone. It was eminently clear why the place was packed, everything about them was top-notch. Absolutely killer guitar tones, a rhythm section as punishing as a bullfight, and a charismatic high-energy frontman. No holier-than-thou attitude here, vocalist Angelo Munro was there to party with the crowd, and party with them he did. It's been quite a while since I've seen a frontman crowd-surfing! He delivered like it was his last ever performance, and Bleeders captured my heart forever by including Dead Kennedys' Nazi Punks Fuck Off in a quick-fire blast of covers toward the end of their set, which also saw the capacity crowd going off sick to Danzig's Mother.

It was a real privilege and treat to be a guest at this show. Every member of all four bands was inspirational. I spoke with different members of each band and found humble, friendly, approachable people. This show reminded me of where I've come from, and why I play music. Easily the best show I've seen in years.

Photo Credit: Bevan Triebels / Triebels Photography
Bleeders Gallery
Bear Trap Gallery

Deranger Gallery
Anti Stasi Gallery


About Bleeders

Formed in 2002, it didn't take long for Auckland based Bleeders to take off. In their debut year they released the legendary hardcore punk NZ classic A Bleeding Heart EP. This was followed by constant sold out shows all over NZ. In 2004 the band was rewarded for their hard work and ever growing fan base by signing a record deal to Universal Music.

2006 was a huge year for the Bleeders. Their debut album, the anthemic power house that is Sweet As Sin, reached 2 in the charts, garnered them Best Breakthough Artist and Best Rock Album at the 2006 New Zealand Music Awards and went on to sell Gold. The band toured like maniacs in NZ and headed across the Tasman no less than five times at the invitation of everyone from Avenged Sevenfold and AFI to Aussie acts Gyroscope and Behind Crimson Eyes.

The self-titled follow up to Sweet As Sin rejects any notion of resting on laurels. Produced by Clint Murphy and the Bleeders at Auckland’s York Street Studios and mastered by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound in New York, Bleeders was a return to the brutal vitality that first brought them to people’s attention.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Bleeders


Year: 2007
Type: Album
As Sweet As Sin
Year: 2006
Type: Album
A Bleeding Heart
Year: 2003
Type: EP

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