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Jiahu Symbols - EP Review: For The Good Times

01 Aug 2023 // A review by Roger Bowie

The Jiahu Symbols are an early language form found on 16 distinct markings discovered in China in the late 1980's and estimated at 6000 years old. Not thought to be joined up writing, more a precursor.

For The Good Times is the new EP from a current incarnation of the Jiahu Symbols, now an emo band from Auckland, bursting with energy and cohesion and joined-upness in a shoe-gazey sort of way.

Five tracks in similar vein, with jangly soft starts which erupt into cascading chords, and It’s Always Right Now (Until It's Later) although it could be later. Rasping raw vocals softened by harmony. Solid and tight, this band apply textures and scale, and while the vocals are at times a little off range, there is a range, and they add the emo to the core and the punk to the gaze. Not far off Robert Smith getting angry and singing about it. Hard driving softens effortlessly to melody and riffs are appealing.

Congrats on Yr Retirement oozes cynicism about the corporate farewell to the long-term worker who gets to make something useful of his life on the breaking back of boredom. Thanks for your service. Buy a lotto ticket. 

Northern Exposure explodes like a dry-cleaning backing track with frantic riffing and an impossible to do drum closure. Released as a single last year, but all the songs could be singles, except maybe Love Ephemera which is a little too pretty to be shouted out loud. Until halfway through. Then it’s a single. 

Sub Drop concludes a bunch of appealing songs and tight rhythms. A very fine effort indeed. 

Jiahu Symbols are brothers Andrew and Lachlan Murray-Brown (guitars, and vocals), Howl Griffiths on drums and Mitch Cramer on bass. For The Good Times has been out since July 7th so catch up with it and enjoy.


About Jiahu Symbols

Jiahu Symbols is an emo/shoegaze band with members of former (and current) Auckland groups Scarp, Backward Yard and Too Late. They play heavy guitar-based music in the vein of nugaze bands (Nothing, Hotline TNT, Wednesday) with textures and melodies drawn from shoegaze and power-pop.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Jiahu Symbols


For The Good Times
Year: 2023
Type: EP

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