23 Sep 2023

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

The Larry Normans - Album Review: Dirty Living

30 Aug 2023 // A review by Kerry MB

The Larry Normans are a hard rock/garage band that has been in and out of the music scene since 2000, when they formed at a party in Auckland City. 2005 was the release of their debut album and after a solid gigging history the band went into hiatus in 2010, reforming in 2019.

Recently released, Dirty Living is their comeback album of sorts. To sum it up more simply, this is a "hold my beer and watch this" moment, but in every positive way possible.

Twelve tracks of absolute greatness are about to be crammed into your earholes, you may like it, or you may love it. A lot. Thankfully, it’s the latter here, and trust me when I say the speed in which you will be not only following them on every one of their social media channels but adding this album to your most treasured playlists on your Spotify. It’ll be fast.

Ripping straight into opening track, HMF Sleeve. An absolute demolisher of a riff doesn’t just melt your face. It re-creates it. That’s okay though, because the hold this song alone will have on you, you probably won’t notice.

Elsewhere on this album, you’ll find songs like Breaking Dawn - again, with another devastating riff that takes you right there with every peak and trough. Fu Manchu might’ve wished this song was part of their back catalogue.

Even further in, Wicked And The Whipped is a gem with great distortion that wouldn’t be out of place on Kyuss’s Wretch.

This isn’t The Larry Norman’s first rodeo, and vocalist, Nathan Rea’s vocals seamlessly fit and flow in and out likes waves. Drink On has the biggest swagger to it, both musically and vocally and it reminds me of Jerry Cantrell’s vocal tone and his two bend, single note riff of Check My Brain from 2009’s Black Gives Way to Blue.

Once you think your ears have recovered from that, think again. Just to round things out nicely, the guys bring it down a notch with Numb. Another standout that just has that infectious toe tapping beat and even better solos.

And just to really throw a curve ball, stripping it right back with a gentle, melodic number that really hits left field is the aptly named, Art In The Fields. I wasn’t expecting this as a closer on my first listen, but the more you lean into it, it’s a great choice, and again reminiscent of early Alice in Chains (think Jar of Flies/Sap.

If there ever was a band more deserving of a ‘comeback’ so to speak, it’s The Larry Normans, and if this only the start, then get ready, because it’s going to be a hell of a ride.


About The Larry Normans

The Larry Normans formed around 2000 when the original members met at party in Auckland city, New Zealand. A revolving door of musicians stabilised around 2002 and the band started gigging regularly as part of a thriving local music scene. The debut album was recorded at The LAB and produced by Matthew Heine (Spud / Solid Gold Hell) and released in December 2005. The band continued to gig nationally, opening for Steve O & a slot at the legendary Big Day Out festival. Around the end of 2010 the band went into hiatus with members Andrew Ashton & Matt Hyde joining Head Like A Hole and Beastwars respectively.

2019 Andrew resurrected the band with original drummer Paul 'Bubs' Stephenson, singer Nathan Rea and bass player Jonathan Bowen.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Larry Normans


Dirty Living
Year: 2023
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Kerry MB

Furious Cartel - EP Review: Medication
12 Sep 2023 // by Kerry MB
If you haven’t yet heard of Furious Cartel, then you’ll want to after this review. Formed from the embers of 90’s metal pioneers, Subtract and Furious George, Joel Facon and Bryce Wood have teamed up with Andrew Langsford to bring us Furious Cartel.
Six Two's - EP Review: Anchors
29 Aug 2023 // by Kerry MB
The quintessential So Cal punk rock scene has always been a prominent and thriving scene, and it appears it’s alive and well even over our shores, and in particular, Mount Maunganui. Six Two’s has been a band since 2020 in the thick of multiple lockdowns and a shared love of punk rock in general and this is their second EP, Anchors.
System Corporation - Album Review: Foundation & Method
09 Aug 2023 // by Kerry MB
Hailing from Hamilton, System Corporation is an eclectic indie rock outfit that definitely colour outside the lines and execute it well. Foundation & Method is their debut album and if you’re looking for a solid, out of the box sound with fantastic production and arrangement, you need to jump on this now.
Dead Shrine - Album Review: The Eightfold Path
08 Aug 2023 // by Kerry MB
What I love the most about reviewing one-man bands and artists is the thrill of knowing you are about to hear something extra special and truly mind blowing. Dead Shrine is no exception, and as the one-man band brainchild of Craig Williamson (formally of Datura, Arc of Ascent, Azazel) you know it’s going to be a good ride.
NOVA - EP Review: Songs From Home
20 Jul 2023 // by Kerry MB
Hailing from the Wellington region, NOVA is a unique retro, disco soul pop medley comprised of members, Bryn Van Vliet, Eliza Pickard and joined by other musicians, Phoebe Johnson, Conway Jeune and Luther Hunt. Songs From Home is their second EP off the back of 2021 self-titled EP, and if you’re into tunes with layers, plenty of harmony, melody and fine musicianship, look no further.
Bush Lawyer - Single Review: Daisy
03 Jul 2023 // by Kerry MB
With a name like Bush Lawyer, the curiosity is definitely piqued to check out this band, a four piece who hail from Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington, and their second single, Daisy. With a self-confessed sound of 'surf rock, reggae and ska’ they have hit the nail on the head there.
The Artist Red - Album Review: Gemini Woman
29 Jun 2023 // by Kerry MB
Hopefully, I can be forgiven for not hearing the name Dionne Stanbridge, or her artist name, The Artist Red until now, but the good news is, I get to dive in head first with her debut album, Gemini Woman. And what a package to unravel.
No Man's Land - Single Review: Darling
23 Jun 2023 // by Kerry MB
If you haven’t yet heard of four piece, all female band, No Man’s Land, then don’t panic. Having been on the scene for a while now, they have released a swag of singles since 2022, so there is plenty to catch you up on.
View All Articles By Kerry MB

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Doja Cat
    Kenya Grace
    Tate McRae
    Dave And Central Cee
    Olivia Rodrigo
    Taylor Swift
    Drake feat. SZA
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem