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DARTZ - Gig Review: DARTZ @ Darkroom, Christchurch - 27/10/2023

28 Oct 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus

I'd been really looking forward to this show already, having heard a few tracks by DARTZ. I have a young bass student who keeps me updated with current Kiwi punk bands, and she'd played me a handful of tracks from The Band from Wellington, New Zealand. Closer to the time, however, I learned that support was from this dog, which got me even more amped.

As much as she adores loads of local bands, my student Luci's absolute favourite is this dog. We've learned the bass lines to their songs Feel The Same, Clockwork, and new single Bug Eyed.so I was already well acquainted with why she likes them so much. As a live act, they certainly didn't disappoint. Front-man Robbie was affable, lively, and hyped. He has a unique and distinct voice, and delivers sharply clever lyrics with a half sung, half speaking style. It sits well over the rich and thoughtful alt-rock being wrought by his bandmates, a tight and polished act with a strong sense of melody, with both refinement and rocking out in equal measure.

The band changeover time was super quick, as this was the first of two back-to-back shows for DARTZ (the second later show being with support from Crustaceanz, which according to Luci "was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!", an even dozen exclamation marks, so you KNOW it's good). DARTZ are in the midst of a nationwide tour in support of new single Earn The Thirst, a rip-snorting "sports-rock" anthem that kicked off their set. What a hell of a set it was, too. Peppered with top banter from bassist Clark Mathews and vocalist Danz, the high-energy pace didn't let up from start to finish. Sweaty, snotty, and saucy, they most definitely earned the thirst. Every song was a frenetic banger, with the loving crowd joining in on 40 Riddiford St, Bath Salts (with a cheeky nod to Slice Of Heaven in the middle), DMC, No Dogs At This Party, Toyota Corolla (my bittersweet nostalgic favourite, to this day still mourning the theft of my beloved 1985 FX-GT), Bush Weed, and High At The Beach. 

I can only surmise that DARTZ must have indulged in some suitably hearty portions of Weetbix to be able to perform with this much energy for the first half of the match, only to apparently do it all just as hard out in the second half. A most able and worthy demonstration of how thirst is earned.

The tour continues 3 November at Galatos in Auckland.

Photo Credit: Peter K Malthus



DARTZ is the band from Wellington, New Zealand. Formed in 2019, DARTZ ignited into being after singer Danz talked his way into an opening slot for Aussie rockers The Chats before realising he might need a band (and songs). Quickly assembling in a Wellington flat, the rabble-rousing quartet started to fire out their unique brand of snappy and intelligent party punk tunes, with influences rooted in the boozy anthemic Kiwi pub rock of yesteryear as well as modern punk freneticism and landlord-induced anxieties.

Three years on, the DARTZ boys have carved out their own lane in Aotearoa's music scene, with a diehard nationwide fanbase enamoured by their high-energy and rark-heavy live set, forceful singalong choruses, and razor-sharp lyrics which tackle everything from challenging colonisers to a fistfight in 1 Outs Captain Cook, to a drug safety PSA for festival-goers in Bathsalts, to ridiculing the moneymania of megachurch pastors in Pray for Prey.

Described as New Zealand's "politically aware class clowns with a reputation for bringing the party wherever they appear" in a recent New Zealand Herald article naming them one of the country's 10 future music stars to watch, DARTZ are Crispy on guitar, Clark on bass, Rollyz on drums and Danz on the shouts.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for DARTZ


Dangerous Day To Be A Cold One
Year: 2023
Type: Album
Quit Before It Is Too Late
Year: 2021
Type: EP
No Matter Whatz
Year: 2019
Type: EP

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