20 Jul 2024

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Saurian - Gig Review: Saurian @ Darkroom, Christchurch - 18/05/2024

21 May 2024 // A review by Peter K Malthus

Dunedin's Saurian are on a sacred mission: To do anything they can to assist in saving beloved and iconic Dunedin music venue, The Crown. Nearby developments threaten The Crown's ability to host live music, and what better way to spread the word but through song, thought Saurian, and rightly so, too. No good single release goes without a few shows, and I attended the Christchurch stop on the Down At The Crown single release tour, which kicked off in Dunedin on May 4.

First on the bill was Hoihoi, and due to atrocious time management on my part, I unfortunately missed about the first 15 minutes of their set. More fool me, this was my first experience of Hoihoi, but certainly won't be the last. Their angular but beautiful post-punk stylings are rich with well-crafted songs, which cover a huge range of dynamics. A rock-solid rhythm section provides the backdrop for glorious interplay between the two guitars, along with strong vocal performances, and energetic stage presence. You can check them out and support them on Bandcamp here.

Next up were rollicking powerhouse Mannequin Hand, a band that packs quite a different punch, but it'll knock you over nonetheless. Myself, and the chap I was stood next to, found ourselves drawing constant comparisons to Deep Purple. Slabs of 70's-tinged riffs, a huge Hammond-like keyboard presence, a deliciously tasty lead guitarist, and gigantic vocals that belie the clearly quite young age of the frontman/bassist, all delivered with passion, confidence, and panache. My favourite song was the absolutely massive Phoenix, which you can check out here.

After a skillfully brief changeover, it was Saurian O'clock. In characteristic tongue-in-cheek spirit, they played some Star Wars theme music before busting intoWayne Kerr, the first track from 2023's Octopedal Rock Unit EP. The fun, energy, and laughs didn't stop though most of Octopedal Rock Unit's track listing, new singles Devil Among Men and (of course) Down At The Crown (twice, even! Well why wouldn't you, at the song's release party?), a fantastic cover of The Darkness' I Believe In A Thing Called Love, and a piss-take cover of AC/DC's Back In Black, featuring bassist Logan on vocals, vocalist/lead guitarist Karl on drums, drummer Josh on bass... and guitarist Kat on bemused facial expressions. Crowd favourite Ice Cream Man got a good belting, as did a cover of Blur's Song 2.

Saurian leave a mighty big footprint wherever they go, and tonight was no exception. A lively, fun, and personable band that knows how to deliver a belter of a live show. The Down At The Crown single release tour continues in Invercargill on June 7th, and in Wanaka on June 15th.


About Saurian

In 2015, the musical landscape of Dunedin, experienced a seismic shift as Saurian emerged, destined to be more than just a band—it was a sonic revolution. Navigating the twists and turns of musical evolution, Karl Brinsdon, the vocal and guitar maestro; Logan Wichman, the foundation on bass; and Josh Tuiavii, the rhythmic pulse on drums. A notable (temporary) hiatus by rhythm guitarist, Cameron Ellis, led to the arrival of the extraordinary Kat Haque, proving that even temporary members must meet the gold standard.

Now, about the sonic elixir that is Saurian. Picture this: the raw power of Guns N' Roses, the gritty intensity of Soundgarden, the rebellious spirit of Nirvana, and the flamboyance of The Darkness—all rolled into one. Yes, it's as majestic as it sounds. Fast forward to 2023, etched into musical history as the year Saurian gifted the mortal world with Octopedal Rock Unit, an EP that set out to prove that rock is far from dead. The lead single Sheep’s Clothing achieved international radio play while Gobstopper proved to be a tune so irresistible that it racked up over 10,000 Spotify streams. Not that we're keeping count...

Now, let's talk about the spectacle that is a Saurian live show. We provide an arena rock show at the pub around the corner, high energy experiences that leave audiences

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Saurian


Octopedal Rock Unit
Year: 2023
Type: EP
Year: 2020
Type: Album

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