25 Feb 2024
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Reviews

Fool of Stars - Album Review: The Everything Under Your Feet
16 Feb 2024 // A review by Catherine Bullock
A perfect introduction, Acrylic Monday is a lyrical, mostly instrumental beginning to a killer new album, The Everything Under Your Feet by Fool of Stars. The opening song showcases each part of the band, the lyrical guitar, sparkling drums and synthesisers, and a taste of the raw vocals yet to come on the album.
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The Transits - Album Review: The Transits
13 Feb 2024 // A review by Kerry MB
The Transits self-titled debut album is a result of 3 talented musicians who sucker punch with passion, creativity and consistency, and that’s just the opening track. With members across two countries (Dom Antelme (vocals, bass) and Tyrone Smith (drums) from Auckland, New Zealand and Ryan Lunn (vocals, guitars, synths) in Durban, South Africa, respectively.
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Empyrvore - Album Review: Nadir: Empyrean
12 Feb 2024 // A review by Peter K Malthus
Nadir: Empyrean is the latest release from Wellington-based Empyrvore, and their first full length album. It has been a labour of love for its two creators, Jared and Mike, who followed the complete DIY path for recording, mixing, mastering, and releasing...
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Tower Of Flints - Album Review: Live at Paisley Stage
12 Feb 2024 // A review by Nicholas Clark
The true proof that any band is worthy of praise is the live act. Recalling my own introduction to certain musicians, the quality of a live album would often be the deciding factor of whether I would continue to follow a band.
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Grant Haua - Album Review: Mana Blues
12 Feb 2024 // A review by Michael Durand
If you’re not paying close attention, it would be easy to think Grant Haua has a bout of the blues. His new 2023 album Mana Blues follows closely behind his 2022 release Ora Blues at the Chapel Vol.
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Ravenhall - Album Review: Brother
09 Feb 2024 // A review by Chris Chick
Listening to music should evoke an emotional response, to evoke a response that is both positive and uplifting is very difficult to do. I am sure those at the top of their game can argue that it is a talent that comes easy to them, but all the unseen variables that come into play through just living, making friends, going through the highs and lows of life.
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Oliver Birch - Album Review: To Remember
08 Feb 2024 // A review by Kerry MB
Auckland based musician, Oliver Birch is back with his second unveiling, the ten tracked album, To Remember. Another slab of self-written, produced, mixed and performed by Oliver Birch and confirmed as a concept album about the coming of age, and the trials and tribulations that come along with it.
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Mr Sterile Assembly - Album Review: HELLo
06 Feb 2024 // A review by Maggie Cocco
New Zealand's globetrotting punk rockers, drummer/vocalist Kieran Monaghan and bassist/vocalist Chrissie Butler, release their sixth and final album twenty-two years, two months, and five days from the date of their inaugural show.In 2001, Mr Sterile Assembly was an unlikely three-piece; guitar, drums, and trombone.
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Plagueditch - EP Review: Save Me A Spot In Hell
06 Feb 2024 // A review by Liam Davis
New Zealand is having a hard time being a peaceful picturesque country when we keep exporting some of the most genre-bending, crushing metal to date; and Plagueditch dropping their debut release; does not help this -- Mind you this is an amazing problem to have.Save Me A Spot In Hell blends the brutality of dark rock and the percussive precision of industrial metal- for an amalgamation of evil and foot, tapping, headbanging appreciated goodness.
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Daniel Ashcroft - Album Review: Chica De La Bum
05 Feb 2024 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Daniel Ashcroft is a multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer based in Feilding.His musical goals are simple: He wants to play every instrument he possibly can, explore every genre and collaborate with as many singers as possible.
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Ivy - Gig Review: Ivy @ Darkroom, Christchurch - 02/02/2024
03 Feb 2024 // A review by Thane Pullan
Ivy Christchurch show opened with Ragweed and closed with a DJ duo playing house tracks. Ragweed was more of a head bangy set.
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Festival Review: Auckland Folk Festival 2024
02 Feb 2024 // A review by Maggie Cocco
Auckland Folk Festival 2024 overcame the fallout from the Auckland Anniversary Weekend floods of 2023 to deliver a successful marriage of folk and frivolity. Featuring five stages and a variety of international and local folky favourites from 9am - God's hour, the all ages and stages crowds had more than enough to entertain.
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The Boondocks - EP Review: The Boondocks
01 Feb 2024 // A review by Brad Miller
Reviewers can sometimes fall into the trap of being either overly critical or offering nothing but cringe worthy praise when writing. When it comes to this latest effort put forward by Auckland two-piece (Scott Parker, vocals and bass and Branden Pritchard, drums) The Boondocks, the high praise is well deserved and genuine.
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Marmalade Skies - Album Review: When I Wake Up
01 Feb 2024 // A review by Sharne Molloy-Turpin
There’s a gleaming warmth from local Kiwi band Marmalade Skies and their debut Album When I Wake Up. Set to be released on February 2, 2024, right in the middle of summer, the band will head for a tour around the North Island.
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Gig Review: Ministry of Folk @ Auckland Folk Festival - 26/01/2024
30 Jan 2024 // A review by Maggie Cocco
The Ministry of Folk brought a smorgasbord of top NZ talent to the 51st Auckland Folk Festival. Known as the “alternative folk club”, The Ministry platformed a variety of folk-infused singer-songwriters.
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Metanoia - EP Review: Green Peaceful Lake
30 Jan 2024 // A review by Michael Durand
During the pandemic some said that isolation, the loss of communal music experiences – and perhaps for some, the chance for reflection – brought about a growth in the supply and demand for ambient music. How else to relieve existential dread and balm the soul?
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Mister Unit - EP Review: There's Always Someone With A Bigger Schtick
30 Jan 2024 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Mister Unit’s third offering, after one EP and an album, is a six strong EP filled with inventive riffs, clever lyrics and catchy melodies. Oh yes, and lots of great guitar solos.
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Pale Flag - EP Review: Imperium
29 Jan 2024 // A review by Kerry MB
With a lot of misconceptions about deathcore, it’d be easy to lump Pale Flag into “one of those bands” based on the sub-genre alone. Luckily, I love metal in the most extreme and Pale Flag just so happen to create deathcore of the finest, which makes it even better to enjoy.
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Mister Unit - Mister Unit @ Valhalla, Wellington - 18/01/2024
21 Jan 2024 // A review by Nicholas Clark
An emotional night for many, Valhalla hosted Mister Unit's album release party on Thursday with a three-band line-up. Emotional because the conclusion of work on a recording always is, whether or not it is a celebration, especially so on the dense, powerful and ultimately nostalgic six track album by the headlining band; but more than usual perhaps, because one member who featured on the album was no longer with us.
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Dave and The Dirty Humans - Gig Review: Dave and the Dirty Humans @ Fringe Bar, Wellington - 13/01/2024
15 Jan 2024 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Dave and The Dirty Humans are not a band that fades in memory next to the many other current Wellington bands the capital scene appears to be teeming with. Not only is the name a mouthful, but their live shows are memorable, and their songs seem familiar by drawing heavily from the near past (read, the 90’s and 2000’s).
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Samuel Keen - Album Review: Metamorphosis
07 Jan 2024 // A review by Kerry MB
Samuel Keen is a Christchurch based singer/songwriter that has been on the scene for a few years now, creating a musical path that is solely his own. With his fingers in all the pies, he is also part of Christchurch bands, The Snake Behaviour and Hecates Cult that lies somewhere between hard rock and heavy metal.
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Lung - Lung - Album Review: Lung Cancer
07 Jan 2024 // A review by Nicholas Clark
The legendary 90’s grunge band Lung recently returned to playing live gigs after a hiatus from 1994 until the 2010’s. In 2022 they released Bad Acid Soundtracks II which offered newer versions from their earlier records (like 3 Heads on a Plate and Cactii) but featured the impressive drumming from frontman Dave White’s son, Zak.
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HOIHOI - EP Review: Tahitahi
06 Jan 2024 // A review by Michael Durand
Whatever defines post-punk in our times — post-Trump, post-covid, post-war, pre-war, pre-Trump — perhaps isn’t too clear to most of us, as long as it’s loud, raucous, and anti-whatever the current thing is. Christchurch band HOIHOI are working on a current version of that definition for us with their new EP Tahitahi – four tracks of guitars and vocals, half in Te Reo Maori and half in English, two thirds an uprising, one third introspection.
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David Edwards - Album Review: Electric (Yang) / Acoustic (Yin) - 2CD Compilation 1998-2023
30 Dec 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
Fiffdimension is the name under which Dave Edwards records and performs, having released the debut album Scratched Surface back in 1998. He's certainly been busy since then; I think I counted around 40 releases listed on his website.
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King Cruel - EP Review: Creeper
22 Dec 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
Creeper is the debut EP from King Cruel, a 'Psychedelic Stoner Doom Metal' trio from Auckland. According to Encyclopaedia Metallum, the line up consists of Evan Cooper on drums, Josh Hodgson on guitars, and Luke Oram on vocals.
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Eden Mulholland - Album Review: A Bee Might Bite My Nose
21 Dec 2023 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Funny, Kooky and gently melancholic at times is one description of respected Australasian composer, songwriter and collaborator Eden Mulholland (Ngati Porou). His most recent release is channeled by a very cute teddy bear.
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Yann Le Dorré - Album Review: The Circus is Closed
19 Dec 2023 // A review by Peter-James Dries
“We are Sex Bob-Omb and we're here to make you think about death and get sad and stuff!” - Scott Pilgrim vs.
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Subset BC - Album Review: Subset BC
16 Dec 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
Here’s an interesting little thing from Gisborne. A funky little band with three bass players.
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Electric Tapestry - Gig Review: Electric Tapestry @ Meow, Wellington - 14/12/2023
15 Dec 2023 // A review by Sharne Molloy-Turpin
Electric Tapestry takes traditional rock and adds a revitalised soundwave of numerous styles. What I first observed was how well-bound the band was on stage as they were equipped and prepared to showcase their harmonies, rhythms and styles.
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Albi & The Wolves - Album Review: Light After The Dark
15 Dec 2023 // A review by Hannah Jane
Light After The Dark with its baker’s dozen of tunes is an infectious album that will uplift your soul. Award-winning indie folk stars Albi & the Wolves have created something of a wandering marching band for their third studio album which has made its way onto vinyl – one tick off their hopefully ambitious bucket list!
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Fool's Lagoon - EP Review: Fool Me Twice
14 Dec 2023 // A review by Sharne Molloy-Turpin
We are so lucky to have yet another New Zealand band sound like molecules in a jar that bounces pieces of pop, rock and funk all into one. Fool's Lagoon has a new EP called Fool Me Twice which was recorded in the simplicity of a family home in Eastern Bays, Auckland.
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Hecates Cult - Album Review: The Path Of Night
14 Dec 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
The Path Of Night by Otautahi Christchurch band Hecate's Cult was recorded, mixed, and mastered by the utter weapons at Audioganic Studios, and it's pretty easy to see why so many local artists are queuing up to have them do the same. Hecate's Cult are a bare-bones three piece, with no backing vocals, backing tracks, samples, or anything other than the sounds produced by drums, a bass, a guitar, and a voice.
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Bevan Mical - Album Review: Division & Difference
12 Dec 2023 // A review by Steve Shyu
Since 2017 Bevan Mical has been busy. Hailing from the small Waikato town of Turua, he’s now onto his fourth full-length album, this one entitled Division & Difference.
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Gig Review: The Best of Come Together @ The Civic Theatre, Auckland - 9/12/2023
12 Dec 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
Get your heads around this line-up:  The singers: Jon Toogood, (lead and backing vocals), Julia Deans (lead and backing vocals), Dianne Swann (lead and backing vocals and occasional guitar), Samuel Flynn Scott (vocals and guitar), James Milne (lead and backing vocals), Milan Borich (Mick vocals) The players: Jol Mulholland (guitars and vocals), Brett Adams (lead guitar and vocals), Mike Hall (bass), Matthias Jordan (keyboards), Alastair Deverick (drums), Finn Scholes (trumpet, clarinet and percussion), Nick Atkinson (sax and percussion).  Stopped spinning?
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The Death Spell - Album Review: The Death Spell
12 Dec 2023 // A review by River Tucker
There’s a real whisky drinking, bare knuckle fighting edge to the self-titled debut album by The Death Spell, kicking off with Nail You Higher Than Before. Obviously, song lyrics are in your face on this track, especially for any Christians in the audience, but you couldn’t ask for a better intro to the musical style of this Auckland-based band.
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Zed - Gig Review: Zed @ The Church, Christchurch - 8/12/2023
11 Dec 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
Zed are back! 23 years after the release of their triple-platinum, number one debut album Silencer, they have finally returned, after a couple of teaser reunions over the years.
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Mermaidens - Gig Review: Mermaidens @ The Hollywood Avondale, Auckland - 8/12/2023
11 Dec 2023 // A review by Samantha Cheong
With the theme of sourness scattered throughout their self-titled album, Mermaidens left the same exciting taste in our mouths during their performance of their record at The Hollywood Avondale. Their music pops with a fizzing sort of sourness from confectionery, one which demands to be felt, is addictive and elicits a visceral reaction.
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Peyton Morete - Album Review: The End To The Beginning
11 Dec 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
Poneke artist Peyton Morete goes big with her self-produced album The End to the Beginning, a high-concept collection following the ups and downs of a life and the cyclical nature of the world. The record encompasses a variety of genres from cinematic soundscape pieces and acoustic pop to elements of rap and R&B, all held together by Morete's charismatic vocal performance.
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Em - EP Review: Cloud City
10 Dec 2023 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Emily Wheatcroft-Snape AKA Em is a singer songwriter, recording and mix engineer from Tamaki Makaurau. Her career thus far flaunts some serious musicality, working industriously towards her unique goals as an artist.
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Moofish - Album Review: Entropia
08 Dec 2023 // A review by Thane Pullan
The music that is on Moofish's newest album Entropia consists of slow songs. Honestly, I couldn't really understand most of the lyrics, but that is not rare with music these days.
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A Crude Mechanical - Album Review: Discourse
08 Dec 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
Shane Warbrooke doesn’t believe in lyrics, because of the risk of lyrics being hi-jacked and meanings bent to suit ideologies which he doesn’t like. Well, such ideologies which most of us don’t like, truth be known, but then again, Beethoven didn’t write lyrics, so the freedom of speech counter argument only goes so far.
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Furniss Brothers - Album Review: Drift Away
08 Dec 2023 // A review by Chris Chick
The Furniss Brothers comes to us with the 12-track album Drift Away, which is really apropos to how my mind felt whilst listening to this beauty. I am not going to lie, at one point I was so relaxed, I feared my heart had stopped.
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The Man Shamz - Album Review: I Call Myself The Man
08 Dec 2023 // A review by Daylen Schmied-Pape
"Hip-Hop is dead."That phrase is often thrown around among modern scholars of the genre.
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Elmo Strauss - Album Review: In My Sleep
08 Dec 2023 // A review by Trevor Faville
Elmo Strauss began writing, recording and producing music in the format he describes as a ‘One Man Band’ since 2021, with the release of debut album Light and Dark. In My Sleep is his latest collection and is a logical follow on from the first album, in terms of the sound and the process.
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Darren Pickering Small Worlds - Album Review: Volume Two
07 Dec 2023 // A review by Maggie Cocco
Following their acclaimed debut, Volume One, Darren Pickering Small Worlds continues their investigation of the intersection between cinematic aesthetics and electronic textures within the framework of contemporary jazz. The Otautahi (Christchurch, New Zealand) based jazz quartet featuring Mitch Dwyer (guitar), Mitch Thomas (drums), Pete Fleming (bass), and Darren Pickering (piano), perform works composed by pianist Darren Pickering as well as re-imagined versions of select works.
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Curlys Jewels - Album Review: Curly Jewels
06 Dec 2023 // A review by Kris Raven
Wellington's Curlys Jewels have recently dropped their full-length long player, Curlys Jewels. A staple in live music scene of Aotearoa, along with a fierce loyal Wellington fan base, Curlys have gone from strength to strength in the last few years, releasing a string of well received, radio bangers throughout the independent and mainstream waves, with every release in my view topping the last in terms of song writing, production and performance.
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Amber Carly Williams - EP Review: 21 Roses
04 Dec 2023 // A review by Lucy Gray
From starring in Pop and R&B on NZ show ‘Popstars’, to self-releasing her indie-pop EP 21 Roses, the Christchurch-based musician Amber Carly Williams has really found her feet. With her new EP 21 Roses she has completely rebranded her musical persona.
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Broke - EP Review: Douse Another Care
04 Dec 2023 // A review by Kerry MB
Broke are a five-piece from Taranaki who love to jam and make great music together. What started out originally as a solo project by Hamish McDonald (lead guitar and vocals) and resulted in a self-written, recorded and produced debut album Momento Mori in 2021, eventually paved the way for the lads to make it official and start creating new music together.
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Festival Review: The Others Way @ Auckland - 01/12/2023
02 Dec 2023 // A review by Lou Clement
Music venue haven that Karangahape Road is, it’s the perfect location for a festival takeover. Stopping short of closing the main street The Others Way festival seeks to fill every venue, at times simultaneously, with music.
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Troy Kingi - Gig Review: Troy Kingi & The Room Service @ San Fran, Wellington - 25/11/2023
29 Nov 2023 // A review by Tom Langdale-Hunt
With his seventh album unleashed upon the world, and my subsequent review following suit, it's sufficed to say that I have been thinking about Troy Kingi a lot over the past few weeks...even more so than usual.
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Demons of Noon - Album Review: Death Machine
28 Nov 2023 // A review by Daylen Schmied-Pape
As I sat down to listen to Death Machine, and give my review to Demons of Noon’s debut album, I found myself immediately entranced, but also worried that I was in over my head. While I’m a lover of anything heavy, and I knew I was well equipped to provide my own takes on the project, I feared that a body of work of this scope would require a deep understanding of Metal and its sub-genres that I simply don’t possess, so I took it to the one place I knew would be able to provide a rich, and in-depth look into any and all things Metal: a professional kitchen at closing time.
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French For Rabbits - EP Review: In The End I Won't Be Coming Home
28 Nov 2023 // A review by Catherine Bullock
French For Rabbits have done it again with their 4-track EP, In The End I Won’t Be Coming Home. This chamber dream indie pop EP is not to be missed.
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Crash - Album Review: Crash
28 Nov 2023 // A review by Catherine Bullock
Akin to their name, Crash has debuted with a bang with their release of their lost self-titled album! An underdog story right out of a movie, this album was finished in 1996, but was dropped from their label just before their release, only to now release their music today.
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The Snake Behaviour - Album Review: Youthanise
27 Nov 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
Christchurch's The Snake Behaviour have been slithering around the local scene long enough to make them well-recognized live veterans. Influenced in equal measures by heavy rock, metal, and punk, TSB have been plugging away tirelessly doing the self-funded thing, and by all accounts having a whale of a time along the way.
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Mermaidens - Gig Review: Mermaidens @ Space Academy, Christchurch - 26/11/2023
27 Nov 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
Space Academy is one of my favourite places and it was the perfect venue for this sold-out show. I was fortunate to arrive early enough to get one of a few seats, as it was quickly full to 120-head capacity.
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Maggie Cocco's Science for Sociopaths - Gig Review: Maggie Cocco @ Lopdell Theatre, Tititrangi - 22/11/2023
27 Nov 2023 // A review by Shade
Whatever came out of the pandemic, it stranded some amazing talent here long enough for them to enrich our musical world. Down into the Lopdell labyrinth, a buzz of age-spanning expectancy waited for two of these: Maggie Cocco and her accompanist for the tour Bonnie Schwarz who would add much more than just ‘sad cello’ to tonight’s epic cycle of piano songs.
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VÏKÆ - Album Review: Love Games Deluxe
26 Nov 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
Auckland artist VÏKÆ never stops with her busy musical output, with her latest release Love Games Deluxe serving as another welcome entry in her catalogue. It's a project that perfectly encapsulates her brand of singable yet strange, weird yet wonderful, asking you to dance with the threat of dragging you if you resist.
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MOHI - Album Review: Elements of Aroha
26 Nov 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
MOHI is a bilingual artist, bending music and language to bear his soul. His new album Elements of Aroha circles its recurring motif of love as a force of nature, connecting people to the land in a tranquil musical journey.
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Betsy and The Reckless - Album Review: Salty
26 Nov 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
Salty is the debut album of Taranaki-based quartet Betsy and The Reckless. I've seen their style described as both "a fusion of reggae and soul", and "an RnB twist on Kiwi roots", but even that doesn't completely sum up this glorious musical melting pot.
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Albi & The Wolves - Gig Review: Albi & The Wolves @ The Piano, Christchurch - 24/11/2023
26 Nov 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
This was my first time attending a show at The Piano, a beautifully appointed concert venue in Christchurch's CBD. It was also my first experience of Albi & The Wolves, so I had no real idea of what a treat of a night I was in for.
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The Phoenix Foundation - Gig Review: The Phoenix Foundation @ Hollywood Avondale, Auckland - 24/11/2023
26 Nov 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
This is a first of many things. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen The Phoenix Foundation play live.
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Sanoi - Album Review: Echoes Of Home
25 Nov 2023 // A review by Peter-James Dries
Electronica offers no escapism for me. It’s more of what I already have.
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Sam Higham - Album Review: Jam Fish
20 Nov 2023 // A review by Rob Harbers
Poneke’s Sam Higham has just released his debut solo album Jam Fish. With an audacious precocity belying his mere 26 years, this one-man production threatens to smash many preconceptions, and burrow its way into your head with its multi-faceted attack, one that would fall, for want of a better position, into the arena of ‘progressive’.
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Dub Asylum - EP Review: Time & Space EP
19 Nov 2023 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Dub Asylum is the musical alias for Peter McLennan, former member of 90's reggae-thrash-punk-ska mutants the Hallelujah Picassos. Now working solo, Peter McLennan's Dub Asylum is a musical mash-up of dub reggae, hip-hop and funk.
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Velvet Arrow - Album Review: Songs of Solitude
17 Nov 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
A Song Of Hope & Fear would normally be a contradiction in terms unless darkness prevails and light shines through, which is an appropriate metaphor for the debut album from Whangarei’s Velvet Arrow and the opening song, with Dan Stenhouse’s husky voice helping us through the night against a ghostly horror wail from Hannah Jane. After all it’s just a song to help you through the night, just the words that speak, it’s not real.
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Troy Kingi - Album Review: Time Wasters: Soundtrack to Current Day Meanderings
16 Nov 2023 // A review by Tom Langdale-Hunt
Another year, another Troy Kingi album. With no strings attached, we can anticipate the next annual instalment into his episodic run of the 10/10/10 Series – 10 albums in 10 years, in 10 different genres.
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Jupita - EP Review: Want You Back
16 Nov 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
Julia Morris is a multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter hailing from Auckland, stepping out as indie-pop soloist Jupita on the debut EP Want You Back.Whilst the opening track's title Anxiety might fool you into thinking this will be a heavy moment and collection, this number is actually incredible fun.
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The Fuzzies - Album Review: Cupid
15 Nov 2023 // A review by Trevor Faville
The Fuzzies are a three-piece self-described ‘Alternative pop trio’ from Auckland. Collectively Niki Maera (Mary), Kelly Michael (Tabula Rasa, Enshrine) and Andrew Maitai (Powertool Records, Joed Out) bring the momentum of considerable experience into the music on this album.
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Don McGlashan - Gig Review: Don McGlashan @ OneOneSix, Whangarei - 8/11/2023
14 Nov 2023 // A review by Hannah Jane
Back at my favourite musical venue up here in Whangarei tonight… OneOneSix is a community space beautifully set up for intimate shows suited to an attentive listening audience. If you live in Northland and haven’t been here yet, come join us!
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Gig Review: Atomic: Women of Rock @ The Civic, Auckland - 11/11/2023
13 Nov 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
What a feast of nostalgia we’ve had from Liberty Stage (Simone Williams) these past few years, as New Zealand’s finest have Come Together to cover the classic albums which made the soundtracks of our youth. In addition to this, there have also been special tributes like Tami Neilson’s rock ‘n roll party with Dinah Lee, just last month.
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Ebony Lamb - Gig Review: Ebony Lamb @ Whammy Bar, Auckland - 10/11/2023
12 Nov 2023 // A review by Lou Clement
Singer songwriter Ebony Lamb treated the tightly packed Auckland, Tamaki Makaurau crowd to a night of new music from her self-titled debut solo album. The gig was part of a seven-date Aotearoa tour which began October 27th, and finished in Paekakariki on Saturday, November 11th.
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Erny Belle - Album Review: Not Your Cupid
10 Nov 2023 // A review by Cuillin Hearty
Erny Belle brings us yet another stunning piece of work in the form of Not Your Cupid, Belle’s sophomore album.The album opens with Bowman, a mesmerising musical composition featuring the sitar.
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Dimmer - Album Review: Live At The Hollywood
09 Nov 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
Wow, not very often that we see alive album these days, an unusual beast, but that’s we have, a 14-track monster from Dimmer, recorded from last year’s sold-out trilogy at the Hollywood Avondale. Which, if you didn’t get to go last year, you can still see on December 2nd at the Powerstation, unless, like me, you are going instead to The War on Drugs.
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Starving Millions - EP Review: VII
07 Nov 2023 // A review by Kris Raven
Wellington's Starving Millions have recently released their new EP VII, their first new recorded music since 2018's VI. While I have heard and seen their name throughout Aotearoa's venues, posters and word of mouth, I have never properly listened to their music.
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SNRXG - EP Review: True Story
06 Nov 2023 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Huntly born and raised artist SNRXG keeps the quality tracks coming with this 6-track EP True Story. Collaborating with top-notch local talent, the production on all of these tracks is mint.
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Lizard Prom - EP Review: Thanks For Everything I Had A Wonderful Time
06 Nov 2023 // A review by Cuillin Hearty
Lizard Prom's EP, Thanks For Everything I Had A Wonderful Time, is a captivating dive into the moody, atmospheric realm of rock music, characterised by dreamy textures and an undercurrent of aggression. With five tracks that deliver chaotic and hypnotic qualities, this EP is a noteworthy addition to the Aotearoa (New Zealand) music scene.
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Hollie Smith - Gig Review: Hollie Smith @ One One Six, Whangarei - 4/11/2023
05 Nov 2023 // A review by Hannah Jane
Hollie Smith made a low-key entrance to the stage for her solo and intimate evening of music in Whangarei last night. There was a relaxed and casual vibe to the sold-out show, and the crowd responded well to Hollie’s candid delivery.
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Jessica Leigh - EP Review: Lightbeam
03 Nov 2023 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Wellington based Nelsonian, singer, songwriter and producer Jessica Leigh has recently released her third EP Lightbeam. Changing tack from her previous EP in 2021, the acoustic guitars and strings have given way to full synthpop sound with an 80's inspired vibe.
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Infinity Ritual - EP Review: II
02 Nov 2023 // A review by Liam Davis
The New Plymouth-based stoner groove metal group Infinity Ritual has put on quite the show for us here. Their new EP II is an experiment, if nothing more; a show of catchy 'metallised' Arctic Monkeys' riffs bootstrapped with addictive grooves and an ever-changing atmosphere is definitely the pinnacle of underground music in NZ.
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The Honeybee Rocket Scientists - Album Review: VITA est CIRCO
02 Nov 2023 // A review by Kerry MB
The Honeybee Rocket Scientists are a two-piece Auckland Rock n Roll band that are nothing like you’ve heard before. A seamless and unique twist on surf rock combined with a hint of electro, grunge, punk, grunge and a healthy dose of distortion and melody.
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emerson kole - EP Review: Haunted
01 Nov 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
Cleverly releasing her spooky EP Haunted on Friday 13th of October, emerson kole's new five-track collection proves how well-thought-out her artistry and sound is, with a dark alternative pop sound soaked in reverb and creepy production.Haunted invokes the feeling of walking alone at night, hoping like hell you'll make it home safe.
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Dave and The Dirty Humans - Gig Review: Dave and the Dirty Humans @ The Welsh Dragon, Wellington - 27/10/2023
31 Oct 2023 // A review by Nicholas Clark
If you’ve attended even a handful of live music events in the capital these past two years, chances are you’ve seen or heard of the alternative heavy rock band, Dave and the Dirty Humans. They’re the kind of band you might rave about the next morning, groggily and inaccurately trying to describe their style as both heavy and funky, metallic but not really metal, direct and brutal at times but complex and harmonious the next second.
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Imperial April - Album Review: Imperial April
31 Oct 2023 // A review by Lucy Gray
The signature sound of Imperial April is a sound we’ve all been desperate for more of, since their debut in 2020. With several successful singles each year and their debut EP An April Christmas, Imperial April have teased the possibility of a longer body of work for a while.
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Junior Junior - EP Review: In the Light
30 Oct 2023 // A review by Sharne Molloy-Turpin
The sound of Junior Junior belongs to a summer night gig in Aotearoa. The band grew their talent in Hawkes Bay and Tamaki Makaurau and with pleasure, they sound reminiscent of the Arctic Monkeys.
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Saurian - EP Review: Octopedal Rock Unit
30 Oct 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
Dunedin's Saurian have just released Octopedal Rock Unit, a five-song collection of rock & roll that's fun and full of melody, but also ballsy and thunderous. Saurian released the entirely self-produced album Brooding in 2020, having formed in 2015.
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Newzerror - Album Review: Behind The Mask
30 Oct 2023 // A review by Kerry MB
Newzerror is a powerhouse couple that combine atmospheric, melodic industrial metal. Formed in 2021 and originally part of Bay of Plenty metal band, Ten Tonne Terror.
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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.
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Killergrams - EP Review: Lonely Nights In A Little Town
27 Oct 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
Someone walked out, and Tom Maxwell has lost his mind, in a gentle, acoustic way. Then his mind explodes in a cacophony of chaos, which might just be what it feels like, losing something that important.
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CyberManic - Album Review: Cut To The Core
25 Oct 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
Cut To The Core is the debut album from Christchurch's Cybermanic, a two-piece (although currently in the throes of becoming a three-piece, with a new bassist furiously learning the bass lines) Industrial Rock/Metal band. Formed in 2019 by James Williams (vocals/guitar) and Hannes Danielsson (drums), Cybermanic spent most of 2022 preparing for and recording the album and they are about to start travelling the South Island to promote it.
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Frei - EP Review: Emergence
24 Oct 2023 // A review by Karl Brinsdon
It's not often that I hear something that I struggle to define with some sort of genre but Emergence by Frei really has me stumped. I must say, that's not a bad thing at all, in fact I totally welcome it.
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CRYSTAL - EP Review: Dead Ends
24 Oct 2023 // A review by Catherine Bullock
Dead Ends is CRYSTAL's four track sophomore EP, and is a wonderful mix of electronic pop, indie, trap, and hints of punk. The vocals are very stylistic, moving through various digital effects including artistic autotune, and a vocoder, which creates a very interesting and distorted edge to the songs.
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D.C. Maxwell - Album Review: Lone Rider
24 Oct 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
I’ve Been Wrong, but every once in a while, someone comes along and knocks you out. Random violence is not what this is about, but D.
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Julian Temple Band - Album Review: Tunnels
23 Oct 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
What tunnels have I been hiding in? Here’s a band from Dunedin with now seven albums out and first time for me.
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Cloudy - EP Review: Raincloud
23 Oct 2023 // A review by Catherine Bullock
Released on the 20th of October, Raincloud is the newest EP on Kiwi-Austrian artist Cloudy’s discography. Raincloud opens on the first song, On The Edge, introduces us to the lush, mellow, and wide stereo field featured on the album.
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Princess Chelsea - Gig Review: Princess Chelsea @ Neck Of The Woods, Auckland - 19/10/2023
20 Oct 2023 // A review by Lou Clement
Princess Chelsea began her international Everything Is Going To Be Alright tour, at Neck of the Woods in Auckland with a full house on Thursday 19 October. Bringing her 2022 album of the same title in its entirety to the stage, with her band Jasmine Balmer, Joshua Worthington-Church, David Harris, Joe Kaptein, Kate Tindall, and Simeon Kavanagh-Vincent.
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Throng - EP Review: Decoherence
20 Oct 2023 // A review by Peter-James Dries
You know that thing where the letter B has a personality, or words have textures and colours? That’s called synaesthesia.
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Swallow the Rat - Album Review: South Locust
20 Oct 2023 // A review by Brad Miller
One of the things I love about this gig is that I regularly get introduced to new (to me) artists, and every now and then, there’s a standout. That’s what happened with Swallow The Rat.
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Li'l Chuck the One Man Skiffle Machine - Album Review: SO/LO
20 Oct 2023 // A review by OLDER
September 29th 2023 saw the release of David Thorpe, A.K.
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Bridges - EP Review: Twenty Something
19 Oct 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
Indie-pop starlet Bridges is a creative based in Tamaki Makaurau, now debuting with the high drama of her first EP Twenty Something. Developing as an artist for several years, this project speaks perfectly to the character that the real-world Rachel Hamilton is ready to transform into as the one and only Bridges.
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Speech Act Theory - Speech Act Theory - EP Review: Speech Act Theory
18 Oct 2023 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Auckland based alt-electronica project Speech Act Theory released their debut self-titled EP on the 29th of September. Founded in 2019, Speech Act Theory is the brain child of multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Pete Hickman.
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Tami Neilson - Gig Review: Tami Neilson @ The Civic, Auckland - 13/10/2023
15 Oct 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
It’s Friday night at The Civic and the vibe is rock ‘n’ roll as the immaculately costumed The Up-Doos jive on stage and launch into the Bobettes’ Mr Lee (the one before they shot him). The Up-Doos are a party band paying homage to the girl groups of the 50's and 60's.
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Beastwars - Gig Review: Reign of the Beast @ Whanganui Musicians Club, Whanganui - 13/10/2023
15 Oct 2023 // A review by River Tucker
If you're into metal music, the Musicians Club in Whanganui was the place to be last Friday night for a feast of auditory delights to satisfy even the hungriest of souls. Brought to you by Lost Art and Panhead beer, Beastwars and Shepherds Reign headlined an epic concert that was set to bring the house down on the first leg of their not-to-be-missed Reign of the Beast tour.
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Bloody Hell - Album Review: Blood Metal
13 Oct 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
Bloody Hell (I mean, even the name is awesome. I love a really good band name, and 'Bloody Hell' is one of the best Metal band names I've ever heard) are from Christchurch, which as we all know, is a seething hotbed of musical talent.
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Ryan Fisherman - Album Review: Country EMO
13 Oct 2023 // A review by Rob Harbers
When initially asked if I could do a review of this album, to be perfectly honest I’d never heard of Ryan Fisherman. But having had its silky charms beguiling my ears for the past few weeks, his is definitely a name I want to hear more from!
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The Mentalist Collective - Album Review: Signal Hill
13 Oct 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
Here’s a great new band from Dunedin, a collective of mentalists who write and perform and presumably subscribe to mentalism, which is a kind of magic but with psychology at its core. They might play tricks on you, but it’s for a good cause.
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1 Drop Nation - Album Review: Moment In Time
12 Oct 2023 // A review by Sharne Molloy-Turpin
The sophomore album Moment In Time is wrapped in a groovy haze as one of Aotearoa’s stellar talents, 1 Drop Nation, went further with their latest album which is electrically robust. This album arrived just after the band's self-titled debut album came out at the end of 2022.
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Beastwars - Album Review: Tyranny of Distance
11 Oct 2023 // A review by Kris Raven
One of Aotearoa's finest acts, Beastwars are set to release their 5th album Tyranny of Distance upon the world and damn, you better get excited. Their previous record, IV dropped in 2019 following on from a series of concept albums laid out by the band over the last decade.
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Levi Patel - EP Review: Jeremy Redmore & Levi Patel - Migrations
10 Oct 2023 // A review by Tom Langdale-Hunt
Jeremy Redmore is one of the most recognizable voices in NZ music of the last decade, in part thanks to his tenure as the singer and main writer of a little local band called Midnight Youth but has since evolved into an extremely distinctive and transposed independent solo artist. Partnering with Levi Patel, one of Aotearoa’s budding composers/producers, they have crafted the Migrations EP to be a short burst of remarkably gentle and captivating exploration that will stand apart to their other works, but still demonstrate their distinctive emotional intensity.
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Bad Jelly Collective - EP Review: WESTBOUND&DOWN
10 Oct 2023 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Bad Jelly Collective is the brainchild of 'Bad Jelly' Ben. Tucked away in his Huia road Home Studio in the Waitakere Ranges, Ben weaves his psychedelic soundscapes together with the creative forces of his team of musical mates.
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Fortress Europe - Album Review: Old World
10 Oct 2023 // A review by Peter-James Dries
Have you ever been torn between listening to Mozart or Periphery? Does Epica have too much of that darn singing for your tastes?
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Tami Neilson - Gig Review: Tami Neilson @ St. James Theatre, Wellington - 06/10/2023
09 Oct 2023 // A review by Tom Langdale-Hunt
It’s one thing to experience an increasingly rare high-attendance Rock n Roll Revue, but it’s another thing entirely to have been successfully transported into a time period decades before your existence. In a freshly renovated St James Theatre, Tami Neilson’s Rock n Roll Revue marks my first time back in the lush venue since my childhood – an experience that somewhat lines me with the rest of the crowd in association to these songs and performance style.
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Arahi - Gig Review: Arahi: Te Tokotoru @ Big Fan, Auckland - 6/10/2023
08 Oct 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
My first visit to Big Fan, the new studio complex in Kingsland with a small gigging area out front. It’s the first gig on a brief NZ tour for Te Tokoturu, the latest project from Arahi, one of the most exciting new singer/songwriters to emerge out of lockdown.
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Michèle Ducray - EP Review: Throne Of Mine
05 Oct 2023 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Mysterious and sinister themes such as horror combined with the colourful characteristics of circus life are the inspiration behind emerging dark-pop artist Michèle Ducray's debut EP Throne Of Mine. The balance of both dark and light create a fresh and original sound that is complex as it is identifiable.
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Three Islands - Album Review: Resolution Island
03 Oct 2023 // A review by Daylen Schmied-Pape
Listening to Resolution Island by Three Islands is like dreaming while awake. An eloquently crafted musical dreamscape to lose yourself in completely.
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Sandtrap - EP Review: Colder Moments
03 Oct 2023 // A review by OLDER
Auckland based Sandtrap have released their debut EP Colder Moments comprising 5 tracks which is on rotate as I write, filling my headphones with rather splendid aural delights. Sandtrap are Jimi Terei on drums, Kainoa Ogilvie on vocals, Luca Keltie on bass, and Luke Bennett on guitars.
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Everlasting Bonfire - EP Review: EB EP
02 Oct 2023 // A review by IShadowcasterI
Carl Watkins looks to continue his musical journey post Daisy Chain Halo with a new sound that still provides the same passion and intensity as his previous project. The result is Everlasting Bonfire, and in this instance, the debut EP simply titled EB EP.
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Claudia Robin Gunn - Album Review: Firefly
02 Oct 2023 // A review by Trevor Faville
Working in music education gives some insight into what challenging area that Children’s Music can be. The first essential consideration is simply coming to terms with the makeup of the audience, and knowing that children, whanau, and teachers are combined into particularly unique ‘demographic’.
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Stray Dogs - Album Review: Stay Loyal
01 Oct 2023 // A review by Kerry MB
I feel there’s something extra in the old school pop punk waters lately with Blink 182 hitting our shores early next year, and Sum 41 releasing new music too for the first time in four years. It’s an exciting time if you’re a millennial, and for those of us who were teenagers in the early 2000’s, pop punk (and nu metal) reigned.
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Summer Thieves - Album Review: Cigarettes in Space
29 Sep 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
I rediscovered Summer Thieves during the recent Going Global showcases down in the cellars on K Road, and was mightily re-impressed, although slightly irked to discover that I missed their second album during the fog of lockdown. But not to worry, they are back with their third album Cigarettes in Space which opens with a deeply funk bass riff propping up a Spaceship with echoes of Major Tom translated into modern day thievery.
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Bulletbelt - Album Review: Burn It Up
28 Sep 2023 // A review by Steve Shyu
Though nobody can claim they know every Kiwi metal band to have ever existed, to know anything about heavy music in Aotearoa, the name Bulletbelt should at least ring a bell. To say their career thus far has been impressive is an understatement.
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End of an Empire - Album Review: Best Laid Plans
25 Sep 2023 // A review by River Tucker
It’s been a couple of years since End of an Empire released their favourably reviewed debut album, Within, Without in 2020. Since then, the Wellington-based four-piece have obviously put their time to good use by writing Best Laid Plans, which is arguably one of the finest Hardcore releases to come out of New Zealand this year.
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ISLA - EP Review: Low
21 Sep 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
As the winter smog begins to lift over Aotearoa, Auckland singer-songwriter ISLA releases her ode to seasonal depression, Low. This is an EP of smooth, delicate dream-folk, from an independent artist backed by her "band of sisters" clearly deeply impassioned by the music just as their frontman is.
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Tim Finn - Gig Review: Tim Finn @ Christchurch Town Hall, Christchurch - 20/09/2023
21 Sep 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
I'm still on a high, from this show. Still totally amped up about it.
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Phorrest - EP Review: On My Way
19 Sep 2023 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Tuning into the new EP from Auckland hip hop artist Phorrest, the intro track does well to set the scene for the rest of the EP. But wait, why is the title track of the EP in brackets and labeled Intro (On My Way!
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Amila - EP Review: Life Changes
19 Sep 2023 // A review by Samantha Cheong
Just in time for the start of Hispanic Heritage Month and Chilean Independence Day, Kiwi-Chilean artist Amila debuts her EP Life Changes. Produced by Dan Martin, the five-track collection is a bilingual blend of dance-ready pop ballads, Latin beats and promising songwriting.
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Lost Vessels - EP Review: Things I Never Said
19 Sep 2023 // A review by Kris Raven
Auckland 5-Piece Lost Vessels have recently released their debut EP Things I Never Said, comprised of five tracks that stand out amongst the crowd, a passionate offering of high energy, accessible, engaging punk fueled rock. All This Time, their first single release, is an absolute banger of a track to open this EP and introduce the world to Lost Vessels.
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Cheap Sav For Dead Friends - EP Review: Cheap Sav For Dead Friends
19 Sep 2023 // A review by OLDER
Tamaki Makaurau’s Indie rock-pop band Cheap Sav For Dead Friends have released their self-titled, self-recorded, self-produced, and self-engineered debut EP which includes their September 2023 single Emotional. Joe Dekkers-Reihana and Jack Buchanan head up the vocals, guitar work and song writing with Sam Clavis on bass and Taylor Hall on drums.
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Sam Heselwood - EP Review: Home Is Where The Heart Is
19 Sep 2023 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Ex rugby player turned singer-songwriter Sam Heselwood has recently released his 5 track EP Home Is Where The Heart Is. Originally from Christchurch, the indie-pop musician has delivered poignant, beautifully composed music which aims straight for the heart.
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Clementine Valentine - Gig Review: Clementine Valentine @ Whammy Bar, Auckland - 16/09/2023
16 Sep 2023 // A review by Lou Clement
Clementine Valentine took to the Whammy stage in Auckland on the fourth and final date of their nationwide album release tour. Their new album entitled The Coin That Broke The Fountain Floor, was released through Flying Nun Records in August 2023.
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K'Shore - Album Review: Grief Sessions
14 Sep 2023 // A review by Daylen Schmied-Pape
I had no idea what I was getting myself in to. When I agreed to review K’Shore’s 5-track album Grief Sessions, I believed I would be reviewing a short hip-hop album.
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Model Home - Album Review: ...And Nobody Made A Sound
12 Sep 2023 // A review by Liam Davis
Model Home’s new album wastes no time opening the listener into their soundscape in ...And Nobody Made A Sound; The new album teeming with swinging beats and sparkling guitar parts as well as a solid voice that empowers and uplifts the listener.
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Furious Cartel - EP Review: Medication
12 Sep 2023 // A review 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.
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Matt Joe Gow - EP Review: Closer To Tomorrow
11 Sep 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
In early 2023, Matt Joe Gow released album number 4, Between Tonight And Tomorrow, to widespread critical acclaim. Not only did that include 5-star reviews, Matt also took home the 2023 MLT Songwriting Award.
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Danica Bryant - Gig Review: Danica Bryant + Band @ Moon, Wellington - 10/09/2023
11 Sep 2023 // A review by Sharne Molloy-Turpin
Sunday evening was gritty and thundering despite the great weather. After pulling the front door of the Moon bar in Newtown, Wellington, I get a warm lilac smile from artist Danica Bryant and a sweet “Thank you for coming!
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Nick Burson Band - Album Review: Hindsight
08 Sep 2023 // A review by OLDER
In July 2023 Christchurch based musician Nick Burson released his album Hindsight as the Nick Burson Band featuring himself on all guitars and vocals, Rosanna Burdett on drums, Alister George on bass and keyboards and Steffany Beck on vocals on Best Dreams. Produced by Alister George, Hindsight is comprised of nine Country Blues Rock tracks including previously released singles Should Have Let You Know, Can't Believe It’s Come To This, Best Dreams, Bad World and Ever Be Enough.
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Yurt Party - Yurt Party - Album Review: Yurt Party
07 Sep 2023 // A review by Peter-James Dries
It sure isn't summer, and this is really not the Balkans, but Yurt Party’s new self-titled album refutes that. Back with another one of them Balkan rocking beats, Yurt Party’s debut is jazzy, erratic, and full of zest and energetic grooves, with flavour notes of ska, dub, and bergamot.
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SD-2100 - EP Review: SD-2100 vs The World
05 Sep 2023 // A review by JamieDenton
Hailing from Kirikiriroa (Hamilton), the multi-talented artist Sam Densem has showcased his versatility across a spectrum of musical genres and styles. Sam's approach to his craft involves crafting distinct packages of music, each with its own unique flavour and character.
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Gig Review: Loserpalooza Festival @ Totara Street, Mt Maunganui - 2/09/2023
05 Sep 2023 // A review by Mattmyth
Lethargic are on first at 12pm, and they’re the reason I had to be at the flatmate’s house to leave Auckland when you could still see your breath in the air. Lethargic, as the singer would tell us after their first song, are new and hungry for our drugs.
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King Cass - EP Review: Old Days EP 1.0
03 Sep 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
Hunter "King Cass" Wilson has hinted at releasing two EPs before the end of 2023, following up on a handful of singles released since 2019's The Awakening (From Dark To Light), his debut album. I reviewed one of those singles here, the catchy laid-back grooves of Yea Yea.
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Going Global Review: Day 2 Showcase
03 Sep 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
Saturday night at the Whammy trinity and we know the score. Artists in the round, although we are the ones moving underground, 20 minutes tops, immaculate precision.
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Going Global Review: Day 1 Showcase
02 Sep 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
The Going Global Music Summit brings together a host of international music industry folk and they talk about the industry. It’s organized by IMNZ (Independent Music NZ) and the NZ Music Commission.
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Dr.Reknaw - EP Review: Portal
31 Aug 2023 // A review by Cuillin Hearty
After an almost two-year hiatus, Dr.Reknaw makes a triumphant return with their latest enchanting EP, Portal.
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Evan Silva - Album Review: Reihana Street
31 Aug 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
Out of the blue, nearly 60 years in the making, lands Reihana Street in my inbox with an extraordinary back story.  Evan Silva was an altar boy gone wild, a Mission Bay mafiosi, and a singer/songwriter from the mid-sixties, starting at age 13 singing pop songs, before settling into soul and then selling that soul to the excesses of the 60’s in Kings Cross centred Sydney, sailing close to the edge, before epiphany struck, and overnight, life changed.
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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.
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Mana Mushroom - Album Review: Mana Mushroom
30 Aug 2023 // A review by Rob Harbers
Poneke’s Mana Mushroom’s eponymous self-titled debut EP has emerged into the world, and it’s a banger! Showing the benefit of a long period of gestation in the live arena, this impressive instrumental collection has its aim stated as “to stimulate listeners' senses in a way which evokes a sense of wonder about the world and our place in it", and it achieves this aim.
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Strawpeople - Album Review: Knucklebones
29 Aug 2023 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
For the first time in 19 years, slick electro-pop duo Strawpeople (Fiona McDonald ex-The Headless Chickens, and Paul Casserly) have released an album sparking early 2000's nostalgia. Knucklebones is a fusion of their iconic sound mixed with a collection of entirely new material.
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Six Two's - EP Review: Anchors
29 Aug 2023 // A review 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.
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No Life - EP Review: Delinquent
28 Aug 2023 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
No Life returned to us with a 6-track EP. Band members DJ Fieldes, Mitch Blair, Connor Dickson and Kahi Bettridge have found gold with Delinquent.
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Don McGlashan - Gig Review: Don McGlashan @ Artworks Theatre, Waiheke Island - 26/08/2023
28 Aug 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
Don McGlashan warmed up the Waiheke Artworks centre on Saturday night with a magical journey through the past 40 years of the art of The Don. The newly appointed (but not yet anointed) Hall of Famer was in modestly ebullient form as he thanked his Lucky Stars in his opening song.
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Robin Kelly - Album Review: Shadowman
28 Aug 2023 // A review by Catherine Bullock
Based in Auckland, Robin Kelly has released a new album into the world, and it’s already available to listen to. Shadowman is Kelly’s 6th album, with his extensive discography going back to 1998.
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Lester - EP Review: Lost and Found
28 Aug 2023 // A review by JamieDenton
Tamaki Makaurau / Auckland-based MC Lester (ex-Round Buddha) is not a new name within Aotearoa New Zealand’s independent music scene. Indeed, Lester has carved a distinct presence for himself since his early releases in 2017.
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Craig Payne - Album Review: Never Say Never
23 Aug 2023 // A review by OLDER
Craig Payne – born in France, formative years lived in the UK and now very much resident in Christchurch has a new 10-track album out on November 5th (2023) titled Never Say Never. Reading Craig’s back story, it becomes immediately clear he has been a very prolific artist over nearly five decades both playing live and recording.
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Lot.12 - Lot.12 & Personal Igloo - EP Review: Who Killed Nigel?
23 Aug 2023 // A review by Brad Miller
7 years after their last release Lot.12 are back and stronger than ever with their sophomore EP Who Killed Nigel?
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Sofia Machray - Gig Review: Sofia Machray @ Whammy Bar, Auckland - 19/08/2023
21 Aug 2023 // A review by Lou Clement
Sofia Machray brought her Language of Flowers show, the last of a five-night nationwide tour, to Whammy Bar in Auckland. Machray has recently released her debut 6-track EP and tonight was the premier of her music for Tamaki Makarau.
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Grym Rhymney - EP Review: This Is What Your Hands Were Made For
19 Aug 2023 // A review by Samantha Cheong
Three years after their first short player The Shadows We Cast Years Ago, Auckland band Grym Rhymney released their second EP This Is What Your Hands Were Made For via Swamp Kult Records. The metalheads share a precise and melodic five-track record of energetic and sincere proportions in the culmination of their two-year project.
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Hummucide - Album Review: Tides
18 Aug 2023 // A review by Trevor Faville
Hummucide are a well established group of musicians originally based in Wellington (although now working round the world) “Heavy Jazz” is the way they describe their sound, and that's an accurate phrase- and a rather nifty one, too. Tides is the group's first full length album release and it's the result of an extensive and extended process of crafting and refining.
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Cautionary Tales - Album Review: Cautionary Tales
16 Aug 2023 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Cautionary Tales is an alt-rock band based in Aotearoa, via Berlin and New York. It's an art-rock outfit built around the type of myths and legends where somebody gets screwed over for riding a scorpion or not tipping an old lady.
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Sofia Machray - Gig Review: Sofia Machray @ Meow, Wellington - 11/08/2023
13 Aug 2023 // A review by Catherine Bullock
On Friday, I had the pleasure of being a part of the bustling crowd at the Te-Whanganui-a-Tara leg of Sofia Machray’s Language of Flowers EP Release Tour! The night began with Mirror Ritual’s dreamy, percussion-heavy rock.
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Gig Review: Lunar Intruder @ Moon, Wellington - 12/08/2023
13 Aug 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
As always, the line-up at Moon in Newtown, Wellington is out of this world on a Saturday night. Amidst their ‘Good Dogs Go To Heaven’ tour, the aptly titled Lunar Intruder are up from Christchurch, for a show supported by Tarik Rahim and Bleach that has no trouble pulling a buzzing crowd in from the cold.
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Shepherds Reign - Album Review: Ala Mai
11 Aug 2023 // A review by Kris Raven
Aotearoa's Shepherds Reign are set to deliver their long-awaited new album Ala Mai to the world and set their place on the global musical landscape of heavy music as a band set for greatness. Known for blending various metal subgenres and Polynesian sounds that creates their overall concept, Ala Mai delivers hard and heavy head banging riffs, complex guitar arrangements and powerful and striking vocals that encapsulate universal themes of life, love, family, loss, and culture.
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System Corporation - Album Review: Foundation & Method
09 Aug 2023 // A review 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.
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Dead Shrine - Album Review: The Eightfold Path
08 Aug 2023 // A review 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.
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Tom Lark - Gig Review: Tom Lark @ Whammy Bar, Auckland - 5/08/2023
07 Aug 2023 // A review by Lou Clement
Tom Lark recently brought his Brave Star tour to Tamaki Makarau along with his band and support from K M T P. Lark has been absent from both touring and releasing music for a number of years.
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The Rising Tide - Gig Review: Inferno - Youth Rock & Metal @ The Stomach, Palmerston North - 5/08/2023
07 Aug 2023 // A review by River Tucker
It’s not often that you get treated to a mid-winter concert where nearly every metal genre is being performed. But that’s exactly what happened at The Stomach in Palmerston North last Saturday night where four bands gave it their all in a rip-roaring all-ages show that will undoubtedly leave the hundred or so people who attended with lasting impressions.
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Vox Capacitor - EP Review: Variance
07 Aug 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
Variance is the promised follow-up to the Hindsight EP from Auckland-based solo artist Vox Capacitor.Solo in the truest sense: everything is created, performed, produced, engineered, and mixed by Vox Capacitor (aka Steve McBride) himself.
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day13n - Album Review: /7/13/7/
06 Aug 2023 // A review by Peter-James Dries
I’m too old for this world. We’ve devolved to the point where music is only as good as the soundtrack to your 10 second TikTok, and the thirty thousand copies recycling the idea.
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Sonia & Nigel - Album Review: Sweet Paname
04 Aug 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
In the middle of last month, just in time for Bastille Day, Sonia Wilson released the digital version of her paean to Paris, Sweet Paname. Sonia is Franco-American, born and educated in Paris, and now resides in Auckland after a peripatetic period of travel.
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Sofia Machray - EP Review: Language Of Flowers
01 Aug 2023 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Wellington based Sofia Machray has been described as an “eclectic master of indie singer-songwriter gone rouge,” her recently released debut EP Language Of Flowers consists of 6 ethereal indie dream-rock tracks which have been beautifully constructed. Inspired by her love of flowers in particular the similarity in evolution between human nature from tiny seed to full bloom.
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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.
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Crooked Royals - Gig Review: Crooked Royals @ Big Fan, Auckland - 29/07/2023
30 Jul 2023 // A review by Liam Davis
Crooked Royals set a precedent for Auckland home shows last night, Packing a sold-out crowd into an intimate venue, Big Fan, in the sleepy suburb of Morningside. Each supporting act brought in what felt like a puzzle piece into what Crooked Royals’ soundscape is, the venue-shattering line-up of Stacked, All I Seek, and Finger Tight opening for the aforementioned powerhouse act.
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T. G. Shand - EP Review: Cinnamon
28 Jul 2023 // A review by Samantha Cheong
The Cinnamon EP is the five-parter passion project of Annemarie Duff. Honed over three years, Duff’s plan to extend her shoegaze and dream pop discography into an album were "scrapped" into a short player that focuses on eliciting a musical and emotional journey.
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Will McClean - Album Review: Don't Forget to Breathe
28 Jul 2023 // A review by Steve Shyu
Out of the underground hip-hop scene of Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington comes Will McClean, who over the past handful of years has garnered accolades on his recorded music and performances. Having shared stages with Kiwi icons Troy Kingi, Che Fu and Diggy Dupé, Will seems determined to keep the momentum and create new releases.
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Cloudy - Single Review: On The Edge
27 Jul 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
Laidback and soulful, Kiwi-Austrian performer Cloudy's new single On The Edge is a unique singer-songwriter track traversing many a genre. From bedroom pop to indie rock, it's a cohesive, expressive release introducing her hotly awaited sophomore EP.
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SKRAM - Gig Review: SKRAM @ Big Fan, Auckland - 22/07/2023
26 Jul 2023 // A review by Lou Clement
SKRAM blew up Big Fan in Auckland on their Strawberry Dream Tour. Billed as "an explosive pop music spectacle", they didn’t disappoint, the energy was palpable.
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AJSCeleste Music - Album Review: Gold
26 Jul 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
AJSCeleste Music may be a totally unique creator in the Aotearoa music scene. An extremely experimental songwriter crafting material from her home studio, her quirky blend of almost spoken-word lyricism and kaleidoscopic sounds fills a very specific niche.
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You, Me, Everybody - Gig Review: You Me Everybody @ Tuning Fork, Auckland - 23/07/2023
25 Jul 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
A nice cosy seating arrangement greeted us on Sunday night to contrast the winter gloom as the Tuning Fork opened its doors nice and early for a night of music from old friends. You, Me, Everybody are on tour to celebrate the fame and attention they have been receiving since having a song chosen for the Netflix series Sweet Tooth, and so now we are paying attention to them and they to us!!!
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Valkyrie - Rebel Reid - EP Review: Hiria
25 Jul 2023 // A review by Catherine Bullock
Beautifully produced, Rebel Reid’s acoustic EP Hiria feels laid back, gorgeous, and expansive, filling ears with rich backing vocals and lush guitar. Known as a member of the band Valkyrie, Rebel Reid released her debut EP on the 14th of July, aligning with Matariki, in memory of her beloved mum.
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And$um - Album Review: The Heroic Adventures of And$um & Lui Mill
21 Jul 2023 // A review by Steve Shyu
Following a string of acclaimed singles, Otautahi Christchurch Hip-Hop artists And$um and Lui Mills have released a brand new collaborative album of seven tracks named The Heroic Adventures of And$um & Lui Mill. The two rap artists have been kicking around the Christchurch Hip-Hop scenes for years, and have put together this LP as a result of their longtime friendship.
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Orangefarm - Album Review: Inheritance
21 Jul 2023 // A review by ApolloSteamTrain
Inheritance is the long awaited debut album from Wellington indie rock outfit Orangefarm. The band is the vehicle for the ongoing musical offerings of front-man Nigel Mitchell, who is well settled and respected in the Wellington musical landscape.
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NOVA - EP Review: Songs From Home
20 Jul 2023 // A review 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.
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James Constable - Album Review: Interesting Times
20 Jul 2023 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Otautahi indie singer-songwriter James Constable released his second album Interesting Times on the 16th of June. This ten track album follows on from the 19 years old’s debut Tui, which I had the pleasure of reviewing when it was released in 2021.
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Beacon Bloom - Single Review: Fallen Flower
19 Jul 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
Fallen Flower is a recent collaboration between New Zealand's Beacon Bloom and L.A.
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Mitch and his Guitar - Single Review: Mine In My Mind
18 Jul 2023 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Mitch and his Guitar is a solo musical artist from Hawera in Taranaki, diversifying from wedding singing to deliver original soft pop songs inspired by the likes of Ed Sheeran, Passenger and Hollow Coves. Mine In My Mind is one of three tracks which will be followed by his debut album.
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Like Angels - Album Review: Your Day Will Come
18 Jul 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
Like Angels is the new solo project from Lyttelton based Robert McLean, and was also the title track of his previous release with his band How to Kill, back in 2010. Robert has taken time away from music but is now back home and has written and self-produced an 88 minute album of progressive apocalypse in Killswitch studios (now that seems appropriate) in Lyttelton.
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SACHI - Single Review: Whole Again
17 Jul 2023 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
SACHI are an electronic dance duo made up of Nick Chrisp and Will Thomas. Whole Againis their first music release of 2023.
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Jazmine Mary - Gig Review: Jazmine Mary w/ Vera Ellen @ Wunderbar, Lyttelton - 15/07/2023
17 Jul 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
Lyttelton's Wunderbar was a wonderful setting for this show, my friends and I luckily there early enough to get good seats in the intimate, candle-lit warmth. I don't know if it was sold out or not, but it must have been pretty close, there was a decent crowd there to see Jazmine Mary and their band.
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The New Existentialists - Single Review: Invocation
16 Jul 2023 // A review by Peter-James Dries
The New Existentialists, a doom metal band known for their dark and atmospheric soundscapes, have just… Wait a minute… No. The New Existentialists are really not a doom metal band, and they’re really not known for their dark soundscapes… They’re more known as stalwarts of a bygone era.
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GZ - EP Review: The Story Behind the Realness
16 Jul 2023 // A review by Steve Shyu
Purportedly an artist with many pseudonyms, GZ is a rap artist active as a part of the Auckland hip-hop diaspora. Though safe to assume he’s had a considerable presence over the years under multiple stage names, I wasn’t able to unearth much in the way of artist info relating to GZ, except images of the man himself looking like a force to be reckoned with.
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Gig Review: Catherine Bullock + Danica Bryant + Jeline @ Valhalla, Wellington - 12/07/2023
13 Jul 2023 // A review by Sharne Molloy-Turpin
These three artists brought something divinely emotional to Valhalla on Wednesday night. Each of these Wellington-based artists had something to say and a lot of friends to say it to.
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Joseph E Harrison - Album Review: Therapy For A Cynic
12 Jul 2023 // A review by OLDER
Joseph E Harrison, originally from Sheffield in the North of England, came to Aotearoa in the late nineties and has for the best part of forty years been performing and song-writing on both sides of the world. Now resident in Wellington, his new album Therapy For A Cynic released on all major platforms on July 5th is, to quote his own concise words, “a collection of songs spanning the last twenty-five years, reimagined and reworked through years of studio time and live performance.
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Wednesday's Girlfriend - EP Review: Cards
11 Jul 2023 // A review by Catherine Bullock
Wednesday’s Girlfriend have hit the ground running with their electric debut EP Cards, filling out their wall of sound with dynamic vocal melodies, incredible guitar licks, and a beat that’s meant to be danced to. Get your friends together, roll the windows down in your car, and put this EP on blast.
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No Reply - Single Review: Departure Lounge
11 Jul 2023 // A review by Sharne Molloy-Turpin
No Reply has mixed an enchanting rhythm that honours classic hip-hop and Reggae. The Tauranga-based band has released their debut single Departure Lounge which is not only funky but inquisitive.
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day13n - Single Review: PA1N x SAG3
11 Jul 2023 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Listening to Day13n’s new single PA1N x SAG3 is the stuff of nightmares, with a dark and edgy musicality underpinning the intensely whisper-screamed lyrics. The song is divided into two halves, which nicely illustrates the forces of duality that are at play in the mind of the artist.
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Jazmine Mary - Gig Review: Jazmine Mary @ Hollywood Avondale, Auckland - 08/07/2023
10 Jul 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
Jazmine Mary enchanted the fully seated Hollywood theatre in Avondale on Saturday night celebrating their new album Dog. But first up was an elegantly attired Julia Deans bringing us some new songs from her next album due out later this year.
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Mahoney Harris - Single Review: I Don't Have To Move From Here
10 Jul 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
Mahoney Harris' beautiful new folk number I Don't Have To Move From Here is an airy, light track celebrating the worth of knowing your boundaries and personal needs. Working alongside producer Wayne Bell and masterer Oliver Harmer, the Waiheke-based artist has crafted a beautiful follow-up to her previous series of singles.
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Rowdy's Rose - EP Review: From The Flames
08 Jul 2023 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
During the 2020 lockdown, many exciting independent bands came to light. Rowdy’s Rose, a husband and wife duo from the Waikato consisting of Blair and Rosie Shaw are one of them.
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Gig Review: Crushfest @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 07/07/2023
07 Jul 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
So it was down to Tuning Fork for the first night of the second Crushfest festival. Tonight was going to be Wellington and Auckland bands, and then some of the same will be playing at the second night in Wellington next month.
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Shaun Malloch - Single Review: Been Long
06 Jul 2023 // A review by Tom Langdale-Hunt
Two years after the release of his self-produced debut Take What You Can, Shaun Malloch returns with the cruisy, indie-pop track Been Long. Aptly named, the song presents itself as a laid-back salutation as Shaun re-enters the airwaves; ardour that says “hey, how have you been?
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Bazurka - Album Review: Novi Grad All Stars
06 Jul 2023 // A review by Rob Harbers
Te-Whanganui-a-Tara’s Bazurka back up their cool-as-fuck name with a refreshingly distinct sound, one that brings the spirit of the Balkans alive in contemporary Aotearoa.Their new album, Novi Grad All Stars, opens with a flourish of brass, leading in to a delicate violin threnody, which then segues into a syncopated groove, in which all the players are given their opportunity to shine.
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Tone6 - Single Review: Close Your Eyes
05 Jul 2023 // A review by Trevor Faville
Tone6 are a vocal group from Auckland, consisting of Kirita Leavasa , Selevasio Tu'ima, Peachez Vetenibua, Seletute Tu'ima, Viliami Tupa'i and Shaelyn Togafiti , who began working together when attending Saintzup Performing Arts School. The collective experience and ability of these singers belies their youth, and while Close Your Eyes is just their second release, it's a powerful and assured musical statement.
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Fictional Response - Single Review: Moonstruck
05 Jul 2023 // A review by Kris Raven
Fictional Response, the brain child of multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Richie Bennett is back with a cracker of a new single, Moonstruck. Moonstruck is the first release for 2023, following a slew of genre bending singles released throughout 2021-2022 and packs a massive nostalgic punch for this listener.
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Mismatch - Single Review: Burn
04 Jul 2023 // A review by Karl Brinsdon
A thunderous tom roll drumbeat pans through the stereo field and immediately Mismatch’s latest track, Burn has my attention. A few bars later, the full band comes in, fronted with a simple ostinato lead guitar line which gives a hint of what’s to come later in the track.
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Guardian Singles - Album Review: Feed Me To The Doves
03 Jul 2023 // A review by Rob Harbers
Tamaki Makaurau’s Guardian Singles are keeping the spirit of punk alive and kicking with their sophomore album, Feed Me To The Doves.From the first minute of opener Chad and Stacey, with its references to the peculiar blend of bitterness and displaced envy that is the incel hallmark, it’s clear that here is a band with much to say, and they’re going to make damn sure you can’t ignore them!
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Bush Lawyer - Single Review: Daisy
03 Jul 2023 // A review 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.
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Dan Sharp - Single Review: Interstellar Runaway
02 Jul 2023 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Interstellar Runaway, written with Sam Bartells, is Taupo-based songwriter Dan Sharp’s latest single. This song offers more of the soulful, blues inspired pop he has become known for.
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SJD - Gig Review: SJD w/ Beachware @ Hollywood Avondale, Auckland - 30/06/2023
01 Jul 2023 // A review by Lou Clement
Sean James Donnelly (SJD) brought his Sweetheart tour to Tamaki Makaurau and presented his latest release, his ninth album, Sweetheart. SJD is low-key specialist artist: a musician, songwriter and producer who, through his compositions, seems to make music which takes life (gently) by the horns and wrestles with it.
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Skitch Hiker - Single Review: Slippery Wet Handshake
30 Jun 2023 // A review by Paul Goddard
Wow.Just when you have given up on music and banging your head against a brick wall wondering why Taylor Swift is more popular than toilet roll during a pandemic something like this comes along.
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The Artist Red - Album Review: Gemini Woman
29 Jun 2023 // A review 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.
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Magic Factory - Album Review: Deliver The Goods
28 Jun 2023 // A review by OLDER
June 23rd 2023 saw the release of the sophomore album by Tamaki Makaurau's own Magic Factory entitled Deliver The Goods. Seven words into the press release I’m reaching for a dictionary to find out what ‘sophomore’ means – the first result is from the Greek meaning ‘wise fools’.
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Tom Knowles - Album Review: Atarangi - Morning Sky
28 Jun 2023 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Tom Knowles latest release Atarangi - Morning Sky is a must listen. Like, close this page now, go listen to the album, and then come back and read this.
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Citris iNK - Single Review: Last Night Replay
27 Jun 2023 // A review by Madeleine Howard
RnB, Neo-soul duo Citris iNK released their second single Last Night Replay on the 9th of June.The duo comprises of Auckland born multi-instrumentalist Nick Taylor and South African singer-songwriter Kristin Paulse.
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Bad Taste - Album Review: Bad Taste II
27 Jun 2023 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Straight out of Whanganui, just down the road from my neck of the woods, Bad Taste comprises the 70's Prog Rock and Spaghetti Western inspired Alphabethead and the lyrically adept and furious at society Young Gho$t.Over a year in the making, Bad Taste II is the follow up to their self-titled debut.
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Sam Heselwood - Single Review: Home
27 Jun 2023 // A review by Hannah Jane
Home is the new single from professional rugby player turned pop star Sam Heselwood – an up and coming Otautahi star who has already hit the charts and is clearly ‘one to watch’. An authentically vulnerable song, Home is both sweet and strong, and thoughtfully produced – recorded by Terence O’Connor and mixed by Simon Gooding.
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The Transits - Single/Video Review: Renegade Hearts
26 Jun 2023 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
The Transits are a NZ-South African band composed of Ryan Lunn (vocals, guitars, synths), Dom Antelme (vocals, bass) and Tyrone Smith (drums). Growing up in conservative South-African landscapes, their sound is thought to push the boundaries of how to be, and how to act.
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Em - EP Review: Tender
26 Jun 2023 // A review by Catherine Bullock
A beautiful, mellow EP about self-love, a quiet summer, and caring for oneself, Tender is the perfect EP for a reflective stroll in the cold morning air. Em, a singer-songwriter-producer hailing from Tamaki Makaurau, guides you through a sweet self-reflection journey.
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SJD - Gig Review: SJD w/ Mousey @ Space Academy, Christchurch - 24/06/2023
25 Jun 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
I had a double treat tonight of not only being sent to experience a fantastic gig, but getting to hang out in one of my favourite Christchurch venues. If you've not yet been to Space Academy and tried their pizza, you are doing yourself a gross disservice, I tell you.
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Darktide - EP Review: No One, Nowhere, Nothing
24 Jun 2023 // A review by Liam Davis
At first glance, you’d never think quiet little New Zealand would be capable of exporting such a brutal act as Darktide. Their new EP No One, Nowhere, Nothing is exactly that: Brutal, unrelenting, and evil.
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No Man's Land - Single Review: Darling
23 Jun 2023 // A review 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.
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Marianne Leigh - Single Review: I Don't Care
23 Jun 2023 // A review by Sharne Molloy-Turpin
I Don't Care, the new single by Marianne Leigh, takes pop punk and makes it celestial. I love it when a song takes a concept and can stretch the emotion it evokes.
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Dani Ela - Single Review: Always Keep Those Days
22 Jun 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
Dani Ela's latest single Always Keep Those Days is a delicate moment of melancholia, reminiscing in fond memories over a light bedroom pop track.Hailing from New Plymouth, Ela crafts her music herself, with international aid for audio engineering.
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Coral Pitcher - Single Review: As I Rise
22 Jun 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
Outspoken creative Coral, also known as Coral Pitcher, seeks growth on her striking single As I Rise. Best enjoyed alongside its entrancing music video, the song sees Coral revel in the galaxy and visually become one with the universe.
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Will McClean - Single Review: Seem Alright
21 Jun 2023 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
This week Will McClean releases Seem Alright, the second track from his upcoming album Don’t Forget To Breathe, alongside an accompanying video clip. Seem Alright is a punchy upbeat jazz-funk hip-hop track that has been nicely arranged, with a dash of clarinet, strings, and a sampled jazz vocal for the chorus.
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SuperMild - Single Review: Self Respect
21 Jun 2023 // A review by Ben Ruegg
SuperMild is a 3-piece genre-spanning band based in Auckland. Once cited in a review as spanning Reggae, Dub, Roots, RnB, Funk, Psychedelic, Rock, and Jazz, SuperMild is driven by a desire to not get stuck in one sound, and to bring banter, energy, a good time, and a great sound to as many stages as possible.
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Tomahawk Radio - Album Review: Dreaming With A View
20 Jun 2023 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Tomahawk Radio’s debut album, Dreaming With A View follows their recent single release of the pop tinged rock song Missiles. The band is effectively listenable, soft, alternative rock, but perhaps ‘soft’ is not a favourable way to describe them – ‘sensible’ might be better.
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Ugly Boys Collective - EP Review: Death Petals
20 Jun 2023 // A review by Kris Raven
Auckland, NZ hybrid rock outfit Ugly Boys Collective have recently dropped their debut EP Death Petals, a diverse four track album full of 80's and 90's grunge inspired riffage and thrash guitar solos with unique vocals and production. Opening with Erased, a distorted opening bass riff with kick, lifts off into the song mains progression.
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Jaqualyn Taimana Williams - EP Review: Guns of Dialogue
20 Jun 2023 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Successful children’s music creator Jaqualyn Taimana Williams has recently released a 5-track EP called Guns of Dialogue to follow up her 2019 multi-genre album Statues of Liberty. Guns of Dialogue has a great rock vibe overall, with a fusion of various other elements woven throughout its tracks.
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CACO - Single Review: Lights Off
19 Jun 2023 // A review by Steve Shyu
Raneem Caco, aka. CACO has continued to make waves in the hip-hop scenes of Aotearoa over the past six years.
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Mammuthus - Album Review: Imperator
18 Jun 2023 // A review by River Tucker
If you like your stoner metal super-sized and embellished with a nice touch of doom, then Mammuthus’ latest release, Imperator, is definitely the album for you. Seven tracks of deliciously down-tuned, guitar-driven heaviness smash into your eardrums like a well-oiled and relentless steam train.
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Dead Favours - Gig Review: Dead Favours @ Galatos, Auckland - 16/06/2023
18 Jun 2023 // A review by Gideon Voon
Tonight's line-up included some of NZ best upcoming rock acts to form in more recent years, so I had great expectations. Animalhead signaled their start by having all members fist-bump at the start.
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Dear Antler - Single Review: Sweet Little Worm
17 Jun 2023 // A review by Liam Davis
Before today, occult rock was a very alien concept to me, but upon hearing the brand new Dear Antler song, Sweet Little Worm, I can confidently say, "It does what it says on the box".Sweet Little Worm is an atmospheric, slow-burning, and dark track that encompasses many feelings and vibes, and positively the type of song you'd have playing whilst conjuring your innermost urges to *Not* summon a demon in your bedroom.
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The Mitchell Twins - EP Review: Find a River
16 Jun 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
The Mitchell Twins are Maegan and Nicola, with Nicola being the left one, if you can’t tell them apart. They have grown up in Gore as part of the Mitchell family, and now are following in the footsteps of big sister Jenny, with whom they have been seen over the past few years in a backing vocals capacity.
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Jethro Clarke - Single/Video Review: Human On
15 Jun 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
The Facebook page of Jethro Clarke shows a decent handful of releases over the last couple of years, and the video for latest single Human On shows an artist confident and assured with what they're doing. A lightly fuzzed guitar riff introduces the track, underscoring a black and white display of retro technology, a Jethro Clarke vinyl LP being selected for playing on a gorgeous old radiogram, before a shot of a mound of cathode ray rube TVs.
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Rain - Single Review: Love and War
15 Jun 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
It has been quite a while since I last heard from Wellington-based singer songwriter Cathy Elizabeth, and back then Rain was seen solely as a studio project with Cathy being accompanied by Thomas Te Taite, who provided all the instrumentation including digital drums. Now they are a full band who have been performing live, and it is the first time they have recorded as such, with Thomas now, just providing acoustic guitar (plus engineering and producing etc.
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Jenni Smith - Single Review: I Don't Know How Not To
15 Jun 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
Recent University of Auckland pop music degree graduate Jenni Smith is here to prove her newfound skill with her single I Don't Know How Not To. It's a dreamy number made effective by the driving feeling that this comes straight from the heart.
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Cautionary Tales - Single Review: Women
15 Jun 2023 // A review by taffynz
One of the things I love about this job is that music is such a giver. I listened to the opening first few bars of Cautionary Tales' new single release Women and I was nodding me old head along with the sinister, wonderfully balanced intro - then vocalist/keys man Will Marshall kicked in with his opening lines.
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Broke - Single Review: Need
14 Jun 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
Need is the latest single from Taranaki punk rockers Broke. It leaps straight out of the gate with snarling, anthemic punk attitude, a rolling and rollicking beat with guitars up to eleven.
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Saint Peter's Thursday - Album Review: Death Salt
14 Jun 2023 // A review by Tom Langdale-Hunt
We’re immediately thrusted into Cosmic Kaleidescope; an extremely punchy tune armed with belting, gravelly vocals and searing distortion. I’m immediately drawn into the Radio Moscow-like ferocity in the way this alternative rock sound is laid down.
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Lost Tribe Aotearoa - EP Review: Lost & Found
14 Jun 2023 // A review by Chris Chick
I am a true ‘noob’ when it comes to the Lost Tribe Aotearoa, so I can assure you and the band that this will be as unbiased as possible. After hearing the first song, I think it is going to be hard to stay that way all the way through this review.
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Space Waltz - Album Review: Victory
13 Jun 2023 // A review by Rob Harbers
Way back in New Zealand’s entertainment history, as hard as it may be to believe, long before the days of streaming, if you wanted to watch TV you had one choice. State broadcasting provided all content, across a single channel.
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Where's Jai - Single Review: Something Wrong
12 Jun 2023 // A review by Kerry MB
Where's Jai is a funky, fresh indie-reggae-rock band hailing from Auckland's North Shore. With addictive beats and grooves, they blend indie-rock with a chilled reggae twist and a pinch of soulful blues.
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Gig Review: Come Together: Dire Straits @ Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre, Auckland - 10/06/2023
11 Jun 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
Come Together came together last night at the Kiri Te Kanawa theatre with another tribute to Dire Straits. What, again?
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The Bravo Uniform Mikes - Gig Review: The Bravo Uniform Mikes @ Valhalla, Wellington - 8/06/2023
11 Jun 2023 // A review by Nicholas Clark
The final night of the BUM Punch Lower North Island tour occurred at Wellington’s infamous Valhalla club. The tour was headed by the Wellington/Manawatu based blues-rock two piece The Bravo Uniform Mikes (or “The Bums” to their fans) and four piece riot grrrl punk band, Cherry Punch, also from Wellington.
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Yann Le Dorré - Single Review: I Love You
09 Jun 2023 // A review by Trevor Faville
I Love You is the second solo release from Yann Le Dorre, formally a mainstay in the Poneke-based ‘gutter folk’ outfit Yolk. I Love You a follows a path described by previous release Missed as clear development from the work Le Dorre has done in Yolk- removed is the extra instrumentation in favour of a baritone voice set in a minimalist musical backing.
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Aanvi S - EP Review: Emotions
09 Jun 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
At only ten years old, Aanvi S is perhaps New Zealand's youngest up-and-coming pop sensation. Working with Dan Antunovich and Scott Seabright at Auckland's Parachute Studios, her debut EP Emotions is a promising poetic collection, introducing a new voice the younger generation not only needs, but deserves.
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Slimivich - Single Review: Grind
08 Jun 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
Slim Jenkins and Morgan Galloway of Slimivich are no newcomers to the NZ heavy music scene, having both previously played with legendary NZ Metal outfit Tainted. However, if you're looking for Tainted's inimitable Death Metal style, you can do that here, because this is something quite different.
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The Knids - Single Review: Doesn't Make It Right
07 Jun 2023 // A review by Nicholas Clark
The Knids latest single offer the same toe-tapping pop rock they are now known for. Doesn’t Make It Right has overtones of The Cars and other 80’s rock-tinged pop, not that it’s an easy thing to pull off!
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Jazz Night at the Aquarium - Album Review: Flush With Junk
06 Jun 2023 // A review by Kerry MB
If you haven’t yet heard of the name Julian van der Krogt, or even the name, Jazz Night at the Aquarium, then don’t worry, because you’re about to take a deep dive with me into a musical abyss that is quite simply spectacular. With a handful of EP’s to his name, this is his debut album.
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The Adventures Of Mikejoffa - Gig Review: The Adventures of Mikejoffa @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 02/06/2023
05 Jun 2023 // A review by Gideon Voon
Tonight’s programme comprised of Rock and Metals acts, of which has some ways of stretching the boundaries of the genre with some interesting influences.First up was Holy Crime.
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Tohu - Single Review: Tu Mai Te Reo
03 Jun 2023 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Tohu is a five piece band based in Rotorua Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing over six decades of musical expertise that perpetuates bilingual culture through the power of music. Tu Mai Te Reo is the band's second single telling the story of “holding our language close to us” and “connecting our culture”.
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This Silent Divide - Gig Review: This Silent Divide @ Meow, Wellington - 1/06/2023
02 Jun 2023 // A review by Sharne Molloy-Turpin
Firstly, as a 24-year-old female, It’s important to note, I’m not exactly the predominant demographic for a band such as This Silent Divide. However, that’s the great thing about music, especially rock music, it’s not exclusive.
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Bleeding Star - Album Review: Dropper
02 Jun 2023 // A review by ApolloSteamTrain
Dropper is the debut album from Wellington band - Bleeding Star. Self-described as "Noise Rock" the band have risen from bedroom demos to supporting international touring acts and being voted #1 on Wellingtons Radio Active for their song February.
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Marmalade - Single Review: Bright
01 Jun 2023 // A review by Kris Raven
Bright is the brand new, debut single from Auckland indie pop rock five piece Marmalade. Straight out the gate, it is a song  filled with infectious vocal hooks, harmonies, lush guitar melodies' and solos backed by a solid rhythm section.
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Lost Vessels - Single Review: All This Time
01 Jun 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
I must admit I was not that impressed when I first saw Lost Vessels play at Crushfest, something they later admitted to me was the worst gig of their career, but since then they have improved in leaps and bounds. This has been noticed by others on the Auckland circuit as they are getting more opportunities with better support slots, and I was not at all surprised when they won the Ding Dong Lounge Battle Of The Bands in November last year.
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Samuel Philip Cooper - Album Review: Journey to Sobriety
01 Jun 2023 // A review by Peter-James Dries
Samuel Philip Cooper sits on the brink of social media stardom, with videos of his belting out pop music piano covers from behind a pair of thick spectacles racking up views and likes on Insta. Little do any of the mindless doom scrollers swiping through his reels know, but percolating behind his eye brows is the very key to their very salvation.
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Jazmine Mary - Album Review: Dog
01 Jun 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
Jazmine Mary’s sophomore offering is out today; Friday June 3rd, and it’s called Dog. Why it’s called Dog they are not saying, but there are references to “Houndog” and “Flower Power” in the outro to Seagull, so maybe that explains it or maybe it doesn’t.
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Jeline - Gig Review: Jeline @ Valhalla, Wellington - 31/05/2023
01 Jun 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
Three exciting upcoming acts are ready to play Wellington's Viking rock bar Valhalla tonight, a student show headlined by Massey student star Jeline. Just after the clock strikes 8, the bar is already packed and waiting to start the party, and this is a line-up ready to deliver.
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ARLi - Single Review: KARMA
31 May 2023 // A review by Sharne Molloy-Turpin
The first thought that came into my mind after hearing this song was how it would work so well on the soundtrack of a nostalgic 90's film. It’s relatable and relentlessly resilient, I love it.
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Bad Jelly Collective - Single Review: RUN0UT
30 May 2023 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
The Bad Jelly Collective is made up of Bad Jelly Ben and a few buddies who weave creative forces in their Huia Road Home Studio, nicely tucked away in the Waitakere Ranges.In the live setting, BJB "utilizes his arsenal of pedals, guitar amp & voice to create mood specific textures and colours.
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Mel Parsons - Gig Review: Mel Parsons @ Meow, Wellington - 28/05/2023
30 May 2023 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
It’s been a good while since I’ve been to a gig at Meow, Wellington, so the first thing I do is weave my way through the growing crowd to get a good look at the size and layout of the stage. It’s nicely raised and fairly spacious, more spacious than I remembered actually!
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The Bravo Uniform Mikes - Gig Review: The Bravo Uniform Mikes w/ Cherry Punch @ Paisley Stage, Napier - 26/05/2023
29 May 2023 // A review by Rob Harbers
In a venture threatening the eardrums of all those who come near, the ever-so-subtly named Bravo Uniform Mikes have paired up with Cherry Punch for the Bum Punch tour across Te-Ika-a Maui. Kicking off at Napier’s coolest little venue (tm), Paisley Stage, this pairing gave a powerful demonstration of the treats in store for those who make the effort to catch them on the remaining dates.
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Coast Arcade - Gig Review: Coast Arcade @ Big Fan, Auckland - 27/05/2023
29 May 2023 // A review by Cuillin Hearty
Heading into Auckland's freshest venue, Big Fan, there’s an electrifying buzz in the air ahead of a night of celebrating the release of Coast Arcade's debut EP Next to Me. The show is sold out, and it boasts one of the most diverse age ranges I've seen at a concert in a long time.
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Unwanted Subject - Single Review: Sons of Savages
28 May 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
I have caught Unwanted Subject in concert a few times over the last couple of years, and while they have been getting better each time I have seen them, I must admit that nothing prepared me for this, which right from the off is a monster. I have never heard them quite this is aggressive, nor as polished, and this multi-sectioned single sounds almost like a different band as they have pushed their metal roots to the max in this metalcore beast which sees them mixing and blending different genres to create something quite special.
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Stray Dogs - Gig Review: Stray Dogs @ AUX, Auckland - 26/05/2023
28 May 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
So it was back to Ding Dong Lounge on a Friday night for one of their infamous Emo nights, which tonight was a three-band bill with Stray Dogs having an extended set, supported by Altaea and then up first we had Blindr, a band new to me. Blindr are a quartet featuring Bill Caldwell (vocals, guitar), Blake Woodfield (lead guitar), Jack Power (bass), and Charlie McCracken (drums).
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Turkey The Bird - Gig Review: Turkey The Bird @ The Ministry of Folk, Auckland - 27/05/2023
27 May 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back up to Auckland Guide Centre in Mount Eden tonight for my second consecutive gig (Sol suggested it was a turkey sandwich as I am at Vader tomorrow) to see Taranaki’s finest, Turkey The Bird at The Ministry of Folk. Before that we of course had Hoop, who are Al Baxter (vocals, guitar, harmonica, banjo, mandolin), Nick Edgar (vocals, guitar, ukulele, flute, harmonica), Emily Allen (violin, viola), Glenn Coldham (bass) while tonight Gary Hunt was filling in for drummer Rusty Knox.
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SLICEDUB - Album Review: Grotesque Coil
27 May 2023 // A review by Steve Shyu
Oskar Simmons Carlsson and James Smith, AKA SLICEDUB. The two-man experimental-electro/dub act hailing from Auckland and Hawkes Bay have brought forth their first major release, entitled Grotesque Coil, released on Auckland label Glass Half Full.
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Yaya and the Snakes - Album Review: The Whole Shebang
26 May 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
Yaya and the Snakes first caught my attention back in 2020, when they released the single I Lost My Kumara On The Side Of The Road. Very much my kind of thing, a quintessentially Kiwi tale, a gut-wrenching tale of tuber tragedy.
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Dictaphone Blues - EP Review: Greetings From Glen Eden
26 May 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
This was a real treat, to get to listen to and review the latest release from Dictaphone Blues. Greetings From Glen Eden (and if you click on that handy-dandy link right there, you'll be whisked off to a magical portal where you can pay a mere NZ$5 for the entire EP!
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Michèle Ducray - Single Review: Monster
26 May 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
Michèle Ducray welcomes us to the circus with her haunting new single Monster. Filled with warped carnival beats and eerie vocals, it's a Halloween anthem perfectly tailored for "fans of the peculiar".
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Jessica Leigh - Single Review: Wired
26 May 2023 // A review by Hannah Jane
Jessica Leigh’s new single Wired is a curious mix of upbeat pop and melancholic tones through jaded lyrics; “I’m getting tired, so I’m getting wired”. The lyrics in this track are heavily repetitive in part and given space to breathe in others, whilst carried by a fast moving and ever-changing bed of 80’s inspired music.
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Davidda - Single Review: Bear
25 May 2023 // A review by Lou Clement
Davidda’s latest single release is Bear, the third in a successful string of releases. In this track indie-artist Davidda brings together musicians Anna Coddington (guitar and production), Mike Hall (Bass), Caleb Nott (keyboard) and Lips (synth).
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Corrella - Album Review: Road From 26
25 May 2023 // A review by Kerry MB
Auckland 7-piece band, Corrella are back and this time they’ve bought with them their brand new album, Road From 26. The 9 track album is quite simply, a stunner.
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This Silent Divide - Single Review: Beautiful Creature
25 May 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest single from Wellington-based melodic hard rock quartet This Silent Divide, entitled Beautiful Creature. I really enjoyed their Tall Stories EP, and they played a great gig at Dead Witch towards the end of last year, and this would have been recorded at about the same time.
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The Flow Collective - Single Review: Final Whistle
25 May 2023 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Whanganui based band The Flow Collective launch their latest single Final Whistle today, Friday 26th May. The group released their debut album Flow last year, a collection of compositions by lead vocalist and pianist Elizabeth de Vegt, with lyrics taken from the poems of Airini Beautrais' collection Flow: Whanganui River Poems.
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Underwire - Single Review: Gravity
25 May 2023 // A review by taffynz
I like Underwire. I've been privileged to catch this Wellington-based punk/indie band live a number of times, going back a few years.
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Psycho Gab - Single Review: Messy
25 May 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
Auckland five-piece Psycho Gab make their mark on the local music scene with their debut single, Messy. Fusing neo-soul and R&B into an engaging, easily consumable number, it's an exciting introduction to the band.
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Impostor Syndrome - Single Review: See Everything
25 May 2023 // A review by Karl Brinsdon
Impostor Syndrome’s latest track, See Everything opens with the lonesome jangle of a twelve-string acoustic guitar, making for an interesting introduction. Such an instrument is more common in genres that don’t have the same edge as your typical alternative rock track, but when the bass and drums kick in after the first phrase suddenly the listener is transported away from acoustic folk to something much grungier.
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Emily Rice - Gig Review: Emily Rice @ Your Local Coffee Roasters, Pukekohe - 24/05/2023
24 May 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Earlier this week I had a message from Emily Rice asking me if I lived in South Auckland. When I responded I did, she asked if I would be interested in coming along to an event she was putting on in a coffee shop in Pukekohe to celebrate the release of her new single, Warenoa.
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Torn Chorus - Single/Video Review: Time I Wasn't Here
22 May 2023 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Torn Chorus’ latest single Time I Wasn't Here is a mid-tempo rocker that is a pleasant, country tinged song with a not so hidden meaning. The act is a one man band, Franklin Davis, who plays all the instruments and performs all the vocals capably in a no-nonsense approach.
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Mel Parsons - Gig Review: Mel Parsons @ Galatos, Auckland - 19/05/2023
22 May 2023 // A review by Lou Clement
Talking about her career in an interview, Mel Parsons had said she was "grateful for the slow burn." Five albums in, tonight was a chance to hear that hard work distilled, as she moved between the decades of her life through music and shared her experiences of motherhood in her latest single release, Tiny Days.
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Dillastrate - Single Review: I'm Crazy
22 May 2023 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Dillastrate, the powerhouse duo from down Christchurch ways, have released another fantastic single that is sure to get you moving and grooving. I’m Crazy dropped at the start of May Music Month and is already making waves and amassing plays, demonstrating that it's been well-received by their fans.
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Sounds Escape - Single Review: Haunted
22 May 2023 // A review by taffynz
Sounds Escape is the project band name of one-man show Logan Wedgwood. The release of the EP Echo Cinema sees Logan releasing the track Haunted as the EP's promo single.
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Drop Off Point - EP Review: Bridge City Crew
21 May 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back in 1991, bassist Jorge 'Hoya Roc' Guerra took over from the legend that is Roger Minet in the Agnostic Front side-project Madball, since when he has been a constant alongside Freddy Cricien. He now has a new claim to fame, providing a shoutout to his favourite Kiwi band at the beginning of this EP.
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Matt Joe Gow & Kerryn Fields - Single Review: Your Heart of Gold
21 May 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have a brand-new partnership from two artists who have already made names for themselves performing solo, and although they are both proud Kiwis, they have each won The Music Victoria Awards. Even though Matt Joe Gow only released his latest album a few months ago, this new partnership is already touring the country performing songs from their catalogues as well as new ones they have been writing and recording, of which this is the first.
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Gig Review: The Titans Tour @ 12 Bar, Christchurch - 18/05/2023
21 May 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
12 Bar is one of many venues that Christchurch is fortunate to have, proud and passionate supporters of the local music scene. Upon entering its warmth from a slightly damp and cold evening, I found a well-stocked merch table, and had a nice catch up with a familiar face as I treated myself to bit of the selection of home-town heroes, Pieces Of Molly.
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Allophones - Single Review: Eyeball
21 May 2023 // A review by Liam Davis
Dunedin trio The Allophones are bringing back the Sex Pistols era of punk into a modern society that desperately needs a rebellious spirit.Their newest track Eyeball is a solid presentation with plenty of differing sections - from clean to hard-hitting, head banging riffs and a dynamic range of vocals all densely packed into this 3-and-a-half-minute demonstration.
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Mikey Videotape - Single Review: The Strangest Dream
19 May 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Some years back I was asked by AAA Records if I would write the press release for the debut album by a young Auckland-based prog band to which of course I agreed and in due course I was speaking to singer Michael Brown of Outside In about their incredible release, Karmatrain. I have been fortunate enough to see them play a few times since then, while Michael has also been guesting with other people plus also putting videos up on Facebook of him singing covers.
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Coast Arcade - EP Review: Next To Me
19 May 2023 // A review by Sharne Molloy-Turpin
“Let's Go!” I say out loud while I listen to the first verse on Coast Arcade's new EP Next To Me.
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Sam Cullen - Single Review: Forever
19 May 2023 // A review by taffynz
80's! It was a place, not just a time.
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Ivy - Single Review: Heartless
19 May 2023 // A review by Trevor Faville
Ivy are easily one of the more sonically ambitious bands that you can hear from Aotearoa New Zealand currently. Heartless is their latest work following on from last year's EP For The Sake of It, where it would not sound at all out of place.
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Cautionary Tales - Single Review: No Funeral Blues
19 May 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Cautionary Tales are a multi-international band in that they are mostly based in Berlin, as well as Aotearoa and NYC and feature Will Marshall (vocals, keyboards), Karl Weber (guitar, backing vocals), Martyn Matthews (synthesizers, Rhodes, Hammond), Taylor Mallo (bass) and David Binnie (drums), with contributions from Kyle Hussa-Lietz (guitars). They describe themselves as an art rock collective, and to me that is a fair description although in many ways they are more in the krautrock mode for the music, with Tangerine Dream being an obvious point of reference, although there are also some elements of Floyd.
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Barry Saunders - Barry Saunders & Adam Hattaway - Single Review: Keep On
19 May 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
Keep On is the title track of a Warratahs album released in 2006 (don’t mind that Spotty-fi has it as 2020). An almost lost song, as was the album, but a classic Barry Saunders story centred  around someone, could be an acrobat, somewhere, where they don’t want to be, meeting a woman who shakes stars from her hair, dreaming in the morning, drinking in the afternoon, realising that love is the only thing missing, and therefore it must be plain sailing from here, just keep on, keep on, keep on.
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Will Luhrs - Single Review: Our Masquerade
19 May 2023 // A review by Catherine Bullock
With soulful influences, Christchurch-based Will Luhrs and Just Monet have released Our Masquerade, a mellow ballad featuring some fantastic saxophone lines from Just Monet. Our Masquerade is reminiscent of old-school jazz ballads, speaking on being true to yourself and giving yourself time to grow.
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Retro Valley - Single Review: Backseat Lovers
19 May 2023 // A review by Paul Goddard
Right from the opening bars of Backseat Lovers by Hamilton-based Retro Valley it is clear that this song is pure class.This 3-minute tune is a next-level lesson in how to create, perform and produce a pop/indie classic.
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Murmur Tooth - Murmur Tooth and Lars Moston - Album Review: No Time To Explain
19 May 2023 // A review by Paul Goddard
Collaborations can work. Sometimes they do most of the time they don't.
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Adam McGrath - Gig Review: Adam McGrath @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 18/05/2023
18 May 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
When I first saw Adam McGrath play with his band The Eastern I came away incredibly impressed, the same again when I saw him solo, and then when I heard his amazing album Good Companions I knew I just had to see him again. It has taken until tonight for the stars to align, but here I am back at Tuning Fork, waiting for the man himself to come onto the stage.
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Boom! Boom! Deluxe! - Single/Video Review: Leopard Print
16 May 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
Sassy, saucy, spunky, style, spark, and swagger. My mind filled with all of those "S" words upon watching and listening to Leopard Print, the new single/video from Boom!
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James Kohler - Single Review: Rhea
15 May 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
Rhea is the latest single from Auckland-based James Kohler, a seasoned practitioner of "prog-pop/indie psychedelia". Rhea tells the story of the eponymous protagonist's life working in a department store, but it isn't an especially positive story.
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Just Another June - EP Review: Growing Up
15 May 2023 // A review by Kerry MB
Hailing from Otautahi, Just Another June are an indie four piece that have dazzled with their second EP, Growing Up with dual singles, Growing Up and I Need to Hear it Sometimes Uniquely balanced, first single, Growing Up has a bit of everything, blending soft rock and indie tones with harmony. It’s a catchy little number about “expressing how challenging stepping into adulthood can be”.
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ISLA - Single Review: Overthinking
15 May 2023 // A review by Liam Davis
In the uncertainty of the world around us; Isla brings us serenity.The voice, the gentle strumming guitar, and calming hum of the bass feels peaceful but also bittersweet.
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Bleeders - Gig Review: Bleeders @ Galatos, Auckland - 12/05/2023
15 May 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back down to Galatos on a Friday evening for a very special night indeed: Bleeders are celebrating the 20th anniversary of A Bleeding Heart and they have been touring the country to sell-out crowds. I saw them at the same venue last year with Antagonist A.
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Geoff Ong - Single Review: Waiting On What To Say
14 May 2023 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Geoff Ong, a pop artist from Aotearoa has just released a new sparkly upbeat track Waiting On What To Say. Written during a prolonged bout of social anxiety, Ong uses his songwriting as a tool to work through these feelings delivering a fresh upbeat electronic pop track with a message.
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Sofia Machray - Single Review: Petals In The Rain
14 May 2023 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Arrowtown-born, Wellington-based Indie Dream-Pop Fantasizer Sofia Machray recently released her new single Petals In The Rain. Staking her claim in New Zealand's alternative indie scene alongside her 3-piece support band (topping alternative charts in 2020), Machray's strong vocals and lofty melodies provides the listener with a Florence And The Machine vibe.
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Devilskin - Gig Review: Devilskin @ Ngaio Marsh Theatre, Christchurch - 12/05/2023
14 May 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
Devilskin have an excellent reputation as not only one of New Zealand's hardest working bands, but also as genuinely lovely people. I will second that reputation, adamantly.
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Saharaa - Single Review: Never Leave
12 May 2023 // A review by Lou Clement
Solo-act Saharaa has released her debut single Never Leave. The song was written by Saharaa and produced by Will Henderson (CHAII, Niko Walters and Abby Christo).
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Mazbou Q - SURVIVR6 - EP Review: Metahuman
11 May 2023 // A review by Ben Ruegg
This latest EP release, Metahuman, immerses listeners in a captivating cinematic journey from its very first note. With an infusion of sounds and concepts reminiscent of high-budget modern action films, the EP exudes an undeniable sense of intensity and potency that is instantly evident on the opening track, BBDO.
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No Broadcast - Album Review: The Common Thread
11 May 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
No Broadcast started out in the noughties and started releasing their music in 2011, when commonly regarded as a three piece. Two EPs and three albums later the band has evolved into a musical collective which is predominantly the vehicle for musician and vocalist Josh Braden’s eclectic soundscape experimentation.
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Valley Kids - Single Review: Otherside
10 May 2023 // A review by Trevor Faville
Poneke based Valley Kids have been drawing a career arc that continues upward from their first release in 2020, and with the support of NZ On Air the four piece have released their third single Otherside. Right from the opening guitar refrain, it's clear what an experienced and cohesive unit this is.
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Raw Collective - Single Review: Simple Times
09 May 2023 // A review by Peter-James Dries
I’m not here to list off Raw Collective’s pedigree. Where they come from, where they’ve been, where they are, and where they’re going.
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Kaylee Bell - Gig Review: Kaylee Bell @ James Hay Theatre, Christchurch - 7/05/2023
09 May 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
I had a fantastic seat for this show, smack bang in the middle and a few rows back from the front. Absolutely perfect spot for viewing and listening.
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Job Site - EP Review: Job Site
09 May 2023 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Job Site is a band of great cultural significance formed one weekend in the Waikato with the power of a box of Waikato. They play terrible (their words, not mine) high-energy garage rock.
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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.
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Matt Joe Gow & Kerryn Fields - Gig Review: Matt Joe Gow & Kerryn Fields @ Pah Homestead, Auckland - 7/05/2023
09 May 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back to Pah Homestead for the second time this year, but for an indoor gig this time to catch Matt Joe Gow on his latest tour. The first time I saw Matt was in the same venue a few years ago, but tonight he was not performing solo but as part of a duo with Kerryn Fields.
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Loveta - Single Review: Take It Slow
08 May 2023 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Christchurch artist Loveta releases her first single for 2023 with the heart-wrenching rock ballad Take It Slow. The opening bars allow the listener to really immerse in the fullness of Loveta’s beautiful voice, with just the guitar for accompaniment, producing what I find to be a really quite distinctly kiwi sound.
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Rita Mae - Gig Review: Rita Mae @ Whammy, Auckland - 5/05/2023
08 May 2023 // A review by Cuillin Hearty
Fresh off her two shows with the legendary Broods, Rita Mae caused a stir at the iconic Whammy Bar in Auckland on Friday night, as she threw her release party for her debut EP Superfeeling. The atmosphere was electric, with excitement in the air as family, friends, and fans eagerly awaited her performance.
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1 Drop Nation - Single Review: I'm Home
08 May 2023 // A review by River Tucker
When it comes to reggae music 1 Drop Nation's latest single, I'm Home, hits all the right notes. Soulful melodies, tight rhythms, and on-point vocals impart a feel-good vibe that will get you chilling or up and dancing, whatever mood you're in.
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Raymond Sunshine - Single Review: Over and Over
08 May 2023 // A review by Kris Raven
This will be the first time I’ve heard Raymond Sunshine, their new track Over and Over came out very recently and it’s a fun 3.5 min banger with relatable life lyrics, tasty musicianship, funky artwork and a well refined sound.
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Napoleon Baby - Single Review: (Jessica) To Barcelona
07 May 2023 // A review by Kerry MB
Napoleon Baby is a one man musician creating timeless but solid art in the form of their debut single, (Jessica) To Barcelona from their forthcoming debut album. Upon first listen, there are a few things this single remind me of personally; The Doors meet The Beatles with a generous helping of The Beach Boys.
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Justin Sane - Single Review: Justin Sane & Huz - Our Way
07 May 2023 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Auckland based electronic music duo veteran DJ Justin Sane (ex-UK) and fellow singer/songwriter Huz have recently released their latest single Our Way, creating a clean irresistible beat while showcasing the powerful harmonious vocals of Huz. Expertly mixed, the pair have created yet another banger which could easily transcend from clubs to airwaves.
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Bad Llamas - Single Review: Can't Take You Anywhere
05 May 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
Bad Llamas are based in my hometown of Christchurch, so I have encountered their name before, however this was my first time listening to their self-described "Indie/Pop/Rock" sound.As Can't Take You Anywhere opens, it would be easy to be fooled into thinking this will unfold into a sweetly pretty pop song, and stay around about there.
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Ekko Park - Single Review: Outrun The Rain
05 May 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
I first saw Ekko Park many years ago, but in the last year or so I have managed to see them a few times, and my only question to myself is why have I not been following them around? Drummer Nick Douch has a solid style, and he understand the importance of not playing, as much as playing (the introduction only has a kick drum), which is a rare skill.
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Powder Chutes - Single Review: Moths to the Flame
05 May 2023 // A review by Kris Raven
Wanaka’s Powder Chutes are hitting hard into 2023 with the release of their new single Moths to the Flame. Coming off the back of 2022 EP Sweet Noise Pollution as well as some impressive live shows, the power house four piece are back with a big track of anthemic rock.
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Phoebe Vic - EP Review: Strange Rituals
05 May 2023 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Otautahi pop artist Phoebe Vic launches her EP Strange Rituals today, 5th May. The follow up project to her 2015 EP Hunter, Strange Rituals sees Phoebe Vic come into her own with a quartet of highly polished electro pop tunes.
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Jazmine Mary - Single Review: Wet Mouth
05 May 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
I have been fortunate enough to see Jazmine Mary play twice, and if one wonders what their musical style is like then it would not be too far into left field to say combine the artists I have seen them open for, namely French For Rabbits and Reb Fountain. They capture the dream state of both, taking the influences of Reb even further into folk noir territory with a melancholy and style all their own.
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Drop Off Point - Single Review: People Die Feat. Wisdom In Chains
04 May 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Hamilton-based hardcore crew Drop Off Point have been making quite a name for themselves recently, playing with the likes of Comeback Kid, Evergreen Terrace, Bleeders and Antagonist A.D.
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These Four Walls - Single Review: Carousel
04 May 2023 // A review by Steve Shyu
Aotearoa-born and Queensland-based rockers These Four Walls’ mission is well and truly on the move. That mission is to further evolve from their previous LP This is Not a Future, from 2020.
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October Sewn - Single Review: Too Close For Comfort
04 May 2023 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
October Sewn from Auckland is the stage name for singer/songwriter and producer Kristyan Kolarski. Born in Bulgaria and raised in New Zealand.
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Magnalith - EP Review: Oblivion
04 May 2023 // A review by Liam Davis
Every so often, a musical effort comes along that reinvents the wheel- Magnalith, I believe - has done that. Oblivion is a beautiful cacophony of aggression and melancholy.
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Husband Material - Single Review: Raindrop
04 May 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Auckland jazz trio Husband Material have their debut album coming out later this year, and prior to that they have released the single Raindrop to give us a taste of what is to come. Although the three of them all play multiple instruments, this sounds very much like a live recording with minor overdubs, which does somewhat restrict that aspect, so we have Ayden Geerligs (bass) Levi de Lisle (drums) and Noah Chitty (vocals, piano, keyboards).
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Dilz - Single Review: Mentality
03 May 2023 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Dilz' latest track, Mentality, is a focused and polished work that showcases his unwavering dedication to his craft. The song's beat slowly develops, creating a sense of determination that is further reinforced by the lyrics, "Wake up in morning with a hustler mentality," in the first chorus.
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Orangefarm - Single Review: Inheritance
03 May 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Inheritance is the second single from Orangefarm's forthcoming album of the same name, where frontman Nigel Mitchell was convinced by old friend and producer Rob Mayes to get back in the studio and undertake everything a little more seriously. Mitchell has been recording under this name for more than twenty years, and here we have him accompanying himself on a descending guitar pattern, with former bassist Celia McAlpine joining on parts of the song , also providing some harmonies to turn it into more of a duet.
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tei. - Single Review: Primal
02 May 2023 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Tamaki Makaurau alternative RnB artist tei. released her new single Primal on the 21st of April.
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Neive Strang Music - Gig Review: Neive Strang @ Whammy Backroom, Auckland - 29/04/2023
02 May 2023 // A review by Lou Clement
Neive Strang recently brought her Living in Two Aotearoa tour to Tamaki Makarau, Auckland. She delivered a set that felt full of certainty, with her blues, folk and rock songs.
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Tom Knowles - Single/Video Review: My People
01 May 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
It does not take very much to recognise one of Tom Knowles’ main inspirations, as this has the stamp of Troy Kingi all over it, although one must say this is delivered with a much broader sense of humour. It is interesting to hear just how light-hearted this is, as the chorus has “My People Once Were Warriors”, a reference to what is widely regarded as the finest New Zealand film ever made, a violent and incredibly disturbing movie which included Cliff Curtis amongst its cast.
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Rehaab - Single/Video Review: Twisted Fool
01 May 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
Rehaab will tell you that they're a "Stoner funk psychedelic blues rock eight-armed animal" of a band, and I see no reason to disagree. In fact, having checked out the video to new single Twisted Fool, I'd have to say that's a pretty accurate description A darkly suggestive little riff from guitarist Mutt kicks things into gear, with the engine room of drummer Grant and bassist Larry not far behind, laying down a superbly solid, stonkin' blues rock groove.
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Devilskin - Gig Review: Devilskin @ The Royal, Palmerston North - 28/04/2023
30 Apr 2023 // A review by River Tucker
It was well worth getting in early to catch Devilskin’s exclusive VIP performance at The Royal in Palmerston North last Friday night. Following on from a successful show at Homegrown, Devilskin has embarked on their much-anticipated nationwide Let Me Breathe tour, brought to you by The Rock, after a short hiatus that, if anything, has made their current shows all the more sweet.
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Crooked Royals - Gig Review: Crooked Royals @ Whammy Bar, Auckland - 29/04/2023
30 Apr 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back to Whammy Bar for the first time in ages for what was a sell-out gig. Crooked Royals were back in town, having opened the tour last night at Valhalla in Wellington.
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Rehaab - Single Review: Fat Boy (State Highway Queen)
30 Apr 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
That is not a typo above, as the band’s name actually is Rehaab, taken from what was referred to as the traditional Blues "AAB" format, and they feel they combine Blues Rock, Blues, Stoner Blues, Funk, Rock Ballads, Psychedelic and Classic Rock, so pretty much what I grew up on then. If you were a teenager in the Seventies then blues rock was the basis of much you listened to, and when I hear music like this it always makes me feel at home.
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Ravenhall - Album Review: Live at Brebs
30 Apr 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Guitarist Joe Ravenhall and singer Chris Brebner formed Ravenhall back in 2015, writing more than 100 songs together before recruiting drummer Damian Hilt and bassist Alan Treanor to fill out their sound. I was a big fan of their The Coming Storm EP from 2021, so I was keen to hear the new album to see what had been happening in the intervening time, and although I had no idea quite what to expect I am sure it was not this!
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Moses Mackay - Album Review: Grace
30 Apr 2023 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
The rich velvety vocals of Moses Mackay are well known as a member of New Zealand's highest selling classical trio Sol3 Mio. Eventually branching out to create his original debut album Grace, Mackay delivers ten superb soulful tracks with influences by classical, orchestral and cinematic genres.
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Dead Favours - Gig Review: Dead Favours @ Meow, Wellington - 27/04/2023
30 Apr 2023 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Meow was humming on Thursday night as the locals awaited two Auckland bands and a Wellingtonian act to entertain them. Rock and roll legends Dead Favours, on tour for their second six-track EP Riffing and Yelling Part 2 (or the second part of their second album if you want to think about it that way) were headlining, bringing with them pop-punks Ekko Park.
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Crooked Royals - Gig Review: Crooked Royals @ Valhalla, Wellington - 28/04/2023
30 Apr 2023 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Valhalla was surely over their capacity on Friday night when Auckland metalcore juggernauts Crooked Royals headlined a very quickly sold out show. It was standing room only within the small club, but there was a palpable, even friendly excitement in the cramped conditions.
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The Exponents - Gig Review: The Exponents @ Auckland Town Hall, Auckland - 28/04/2023
28 Apr 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Just over 40 years ago, singer Jordan Luck and guitarist Brian Jones decided the future was no longer in Timaru with their band Basement, and along with their bass-playing mate Steve Cowan relocated to Christchurch. It was here they came across drummer Michael 'Harry' Harallambi and bassist David Gent and they were such a good fit that Steve decided to switch to keyboards and guitar, and The Dance Exponents were born.
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Stretch - Gig Review: Stretch @ Common Room, Hastings - 27/04/2022
28 Apr 2023 // A review by Rob Harbers
In honour of his turangawaewae, Stretch is playing 3 nights running across the battered, but resolute, province of Hawkes Bay, from Napier in the north to the very southern tip, his original hometown of Dannevirke. This set of shows carries the moniker of 'My Heart, My Home' - a reflection of their ethos, which is to seek to bring a small degree of healing to this traumatised area.
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Rebecca Rice - Single Review: Dear Best Friend
27 Apr 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
Armed with a ukulele and her singer-songwriter charms, Rebecca Rice is out to celebrate friendship on her debut single Dear Best Friend. The West Auckland artist has been quietly making music for over ten years, but we can only now finally welcome her into the world of official public releases.
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Holloway - Single Review: Crush
27 Apr 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
I first came across the live monster which is Holloway at CrushFest last year at Tuning Fork when Lou Valentine (vocals, guitar), Max Long (guitar) and Taylor Criscuola (drums) ended the night. Since then, they have been making the trek north to Auckland fairly regularly as these Wellington lads are very much in demand up here, and deservedly so.
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Sylvee - EP Review: Downpour
27 Apr 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
Nelson creator Sylvee's sophomore EP Downpour is a shimmering study of the artist behind each hook. A thematic exploration of the phrase "sink or swim", it's a dark pop extravaganza amongst the country's absolute best.
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Tiny Ruins - Album Review: Ceremony
27 Apr 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
Covid is still all around, but the alienation and dysfunction has gone, yet here we are, still salvaging the experiences of just before and during the world of hidden people and silent things. We’ve just experienced the hero’s journey of Finn Andrews as he comes out of the void to find love, and now we are simply blessed by the pain in the lyrics of the songs which Hollie Fullbrook started writing four years ago and longer and now find catharsis in the music of Tiny Ruins.
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Anderson Rocio - Single Review: You, The Sea and I
26 Apr 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
One never knows what quite to expect from Anderson Rocio, as she keeps changing her style, so while one can always be guaranteed a wonderful vocal performance and nice melodies, how will they be presented? I have seen her perform sitting at a grand piano accompanying herself, while her last EP was far more rock based, and now here we find her on another journey.
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Viices - Single Review: Sandcastle
26 Apr 2023 // A review by Steve Shyu
Today is the day Viices’s new song Sandcastle comes out! The band’s name has been around the live music circuits of Aotearoa for about eight years, under varying iterations of personnel, but the heart and soul of Viices remained.
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Dead Favours - Gig Review: Dead Favours @ Loons, Lyttelton - 21/04/2023
25 Apr 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
This gig marked my first visit to The Loons, a venue in Lyttelton, Christchurch with an almost nostalgic NZ school/church/rural town hall type vibe, in an excellent way. It looks to have quite a decent capacity, and it's a shame that more of that capacity wasn't occupied with punters tonight, to witness the onslaught of quality rock & roll that was served up.
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Ben Horlock - Single Review: This Ain't The End
24 Apr 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
At only nineteen years old, Dunedin up-and-comer Ben Horlock has plenty to say about the world on his fresh release This Ain't The End. Recorded at Parachute Studios, it's a gripping track blending elements of pop, indie, trap and folk into one striking commercial concoction.
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The RVMES - Single Review: Say Something
23 Apr 2023 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Auckland based four piece The RVMES (pronounced Rooms, a mix of rum and tunes incorporating a cheeky V where the U should be), have just released their latest single Say Something. The genre defying band which produces a “musical stir fry” of ever changing sound has delivered a reggae/jazz inspired track that captures the essence of a warm summer evening.
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End Boss - Gig Review: End Boss @ Darkroom, Christchurch - 22/04/2023
22 Apr 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Tonight, I was supposed to be at Whammy Bar in Auckland, but that gig fell through, which led to me having a conversation with my wife which resulted in my flying home for the weekend so we could see End Boss together. Sara’s views on music and mine are pretty much diametrically opposed, but the lead singer of the Wellington band is the sister of one of her best mates, which meant that after more than 30 years together this would be the first time she had ever attended a metal gig.
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Zephyr Love - Album Review: Homage
21 Apr 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
If you like your rock retro, California retro with more than a hint of Boston, you’ll like the debut album from Chris McCollum under the moniker Zephyr Love, which is out now and will be featured live at the Anthology Lounge this Saturday night. The album is called Homage and it certainly is.
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Mark Mclachlan - Single Review: All Your Dreams
20 Apr 2023 // A review by Liam Davis
The multi-talented Taranaki soloist Mark Mclachlan is inviting us into his world of rock-driven funky blues with his new release All Your Dreams; a feel-good, chill anthem showcasing his guitar prowess and ability to string together satisfying melodies and “stank face” inducing solos. The mix is crisp, layers add depth and texture and the instrumentation is admirable.
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Borderline - Single Review: Going Home (Bitter)
20 Apr 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest single from teen alt pop indie band Borderline, and I can hear from this as to why they have been making such an impression on the scene. They have just completed a quick four date jaunt to promote this, but are playing again soon in their home city of Auckland, and it will certainly be interesting to compare their live sound with what I am currently listening to as this has been very heavily layered and produced indeed, and I am sure they are somewhat rockier and abrasive at gigs.
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The Boondocks - Single Review: Alone
20 Apr 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the debut single from The Boondocks, a young rock duo I have caught live a few times over the last six months or so and who made it through to the final of the Ding Dong Lounge Battle of the Bands towards the end of last year. Comprising Scott Parker (bass, vocals) and Brandon Pritchard (drums), they have an unusual approach in that Scott puts his bass through a pedal board which allows himself to create a thick guitar sound when he wishes, so they often sound more like a trio than a duo, crunching the riffs, but also mixing it up so that we get different layers of sound, quite different to many of the other duos on the circuit as he is playing a bass and coming to a guitar sound from that level, as opposed to playing guitar directly.
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Damien Binder - Album Review: Bright Side
20 Apr 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
Damien Binder’s new album Bright Side has been toiling away in the background for nearly three weeks now, trying to connect. There’s something vaguely familiar about the sound and about that voice and the name also rings a bell louder than the natural conclusion that it’s just a good rock n roll name.
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Grant Haua - Gig Review: Grant Haua @ Auckland Blues Music Club, Auckland - 19/04/2023
19 Apr 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Tonight was my first trip to ABMC, which takes place every two weeks at Harlequin Bar & Function Rooms in Pt Chevalier. At their jam nights people are invited to come up and play, but they also have guest musicians and tonight Grant Haua was in Auckland so I knew this was one I could not miss (even though it was the second school night in a row).
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Soft Plastics - Album Review: Saturn Return
19 Apr 2023 // A review by Lou Clement
Are Soft Plastics contemporary myth makers? Yes.
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Thousand Limbs - Single Review: A Boundless Heart
19 Apr 2023 // A review by Kerry MB
Thousand Limbs are an Auckland instrumental metal powerhouse that take no prisoners with their blend of Doom, Hardcore and Post-Metal. A Boundless Heart is their third single off their upcoming debut album - The Aurochs.
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Villainy - Gig Review: Villainy @ Trust Stadium, Auckland - 18/04/2023
18 Apr 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
So, a school night found me making my way out to Trusts for the first time in many years – in fact, I think the last time I was here was when Slipknot played, supported by Machine Head. Tonight, we were seeing Papa Roach and The Used, who originally were not supposed to be playing in NZ at all, but there was such a clamour from fans wanting to see the tour which was only organized for Aus that in the end the bands arranged their own one-night-only gig in Auckland.
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Rust NZ - Single Review: Connection
18 Apr 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
OK, full disclosure: I stuck my hand up for this review, because I know Kyle Hawkes (vocals) personally. I jammed with Kyle a few years ago, when he was still finding his feet as a vocalist.
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Vana - Single Review: Crawling
17 Apr 2023 // A review by Sharne Molloy-Turpin
We creep into the mind of Vana with a new bewitching single entitled Crawling, that tells the truth about seeing life through rose-coloured glasses. With two years in the making, this single highlights a personal, emotional experience.
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Darklight Corporation - Single Review: Monogod
16 Apr 2023 // A review by Steve Shyu
“Holy riff, Darklight Corporation are back??” were the first words I uttered aloud when this new single metaphorically landed in my lap.
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Superturtle - Single Review: Robert De Niro
14 Apr 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
The latest release from Auckland's Superturtle is a darkly pretty post-punk gem, an absolute banger. Robert De Niro comes hot on the heels of Right The Wrong, released earlier in 2023.
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Achilles Complex - EP Review: Brand New World
13 Apr 2023 // A review by Kris Raven
Achilles Complex has just released their debut EP Brand New World and for those familiar with the bands previous work and live shows, they have certainly delivered on a brand new world of music. Incorporating synth wave and its sub genres with their progressive rock/metal sound, along with an entire conceptual storyline, lyrically and musically, they deliver a complex work for our ears.
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Rocket Berry - Single Review: Caught Up In The Fiction
13 Apr 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
With the comforting click of a tape, Wellington act Rocket Berry's brand-new single Caught Up In The Fiction bursts into action. It's a glittering synth-folk track quite unlike anything else on the current market.
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Somebody Do Something - Album Review: As Rome Burns
13 Apr 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the debut album A Rome Burns from Otautahi/Christchurch based six-piece Somebody Do Something, who describe their music as pop-funk-dance with some influences of reggae, rock and jazz, except they somewhat understate this. Comprising of Grace Stainthorpe (violin and backing vocals), Ash Perry (drums), Marlee Fay (vocals), Austyn Mills (bass and backing vocals), Wilson Reveley (saxophone), and Callum Margetts (guitar and backing vocals), we have a band who are creating a true melting pot of genre-bending music which changes as they work through the different songs on the album.
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Eliezer - Album Review: Kingdom Come
13 Apr 2023 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Eliezer is a rising artist in the hip-hop scene, and his latest album Kingdom Come showcases his undeniable talent and passion for music. Produced in collaboration with Ten.
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Lizzy Kula - Single Review: I Dreamt About You
12 Apr 2023 // A review by Sharne Molloy-Turpin
Lizzy Kula shares a hypnotic new pop song that welcomes us to dance and possibly cry. Entitled I Dreamt About You, it’s a fresh debut for her but you couldn’t tell because she has utilised the structure of a good classic pop song.
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Sea Mouse - Single Review: Gearbox
12 Apr 2023 // A review by Kris Raven
Wellington's Sea Mouse are back with a ferocious new single Gearbox, taking things up several notches with an all-out rock and roll party banger, sure to get the adrenaline pumping on the mosh floor. Led by charismatic frontman and guitarist Seamus Johnson, this song is backed by the finely polished rhythm machine of bassist Scott Maynard and drummer Thomas Friggens.
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David Sutton - Album Review: Cat Food
11 Apr 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
I'd not heard any of David Sutton's previous releases, before being given this one to review. Which is surprising, given the impressive number of albums released, Cat Food being number ten.
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InDuna - Single/Video Review: Dreams
08 Apr 2023 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Ink and Gold: An Artist’s Journey to Olympic Glory is a documentary about New Zealand artist and athlete, Zakea Page, winning the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games medal design competition. It’s an engaging short film to say the least, with a message about persevering despite the odds and celebrating the intersection of passions, in this case, sport and art.
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Mini Simmons - Album Review: Make Up
05 Apr 2023 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
I knew I was in for a treat when Auckland based blues rock band Mini Simmons came into my orbit. The band with a moody 70's vibe have recently released their latest album Make Up.
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Splendid - Single Review: Perspective
05 Apr 2023 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Brodie MacDonald of Splendid perfectly nails the indie vocal sound on her new single Perspective. The production is sweet, spacious, and snappy, and there is a real maturity to the track.
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The Bob Lazar Story - EP Review: The Bob Lazarus Chronicles Pt 1: Foodstool Resurrection
05 Apr 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
All one really needs to know about Matt Deacon, is that he describes himself as a “purveyor of tritonal wankery” while he also has a somewhat unhealthy fascination with footstools and coffee cups (for example, the cover of Baritonia is the stain left by the coffee cup on Self Loathing Joe). This album title is of course a homage to 2014’s excellent Ghost of Foodstool, and finds Matt pursuing a musical course which is both related to, and quite different, from what he has previously been doing.
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WILDA - Single Review: Going Wild
05 Apr 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
It was some time ago when I saw Mema Wilda play a gig at The Tuning Fork, where she accompanied herself on an acoustic and was joined by just one other musician. I thoroughly enjoyed what I heard, and then the next time I heard her was when she performed on the single Where We’ll Go with Sam Bartells, but that was nearly two years ago and somehow I have missed seeing her since then.
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Coridian - Coridian @ Tuning Fork, Auckland - 01/04/2023
05 Apr 2023 // A review by Steve Shyu
How could I miss this? Some of my personal favourite alt-rock acts in Tamaki Makaurau, at one of the best live venues in town.
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Ella Pollett - Single Review: When I'm Gone
04 Apr 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Ella Pollett is a young (17) singer/songwriter from Hawke’s Bay who has already seen some success with Smokefree Rockquest, and will soon be playing her biggest gig to date when she opens for Rod Stewart at the Mission concert. This is her third single, following on from 2021’s Hold On, which like When I’m Gone assisted Ella in winning her section in the regional heats of SFRQ.
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Corrella - Single Review: Little Circles
04 Apr 2023 // A review by Kerry MB
Corrella are a 7-piece roots reggae band, formed in 2017 and hailing from Auckland’s North Shore, and named after Corrella Road in Belmont. Having released their debut single, Summertime in Aotearoa back in 2020, their debut EP soon followed in 2021, with three of those tracks making in onto the NZ Music Charts - an impressive feat for any rising band.
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YAHYAH - Single/Video Review: Go
03 Apr 2023 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Up and coming artist YAHYAH released her new single and video Go with nearly 7,000 streams on Spotify so far! She’s an electro-pop goddess from Aotearoa, hoping to make her entry to the big world of music.
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Tomahawk Radio - Single Review: Missiles
03 Apr 2023 // A review by Karl Brinsdon
Dunedin band, Tomahawk Radio’s latest single Missiles is the first release off their upcoming album. Reading the bands incredible and inspiring story makes me feel really quite lucky that we get to hear this music.
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Estère - Gig Review: Estère @ Meow, Wellington - 01/04/2023
03 Apr 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
It’s tough to get Wellingtonians out of their house lately, given the region’s recent brutal cold spell. Yet it speaks to Estère’s power that music lovers came out in vast numbers to see the local legend take the stage at Meow on this busy Saturday night.
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Kazia - Single Review: Seven Foot Wall
02 Apr 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Earlier this year I caught up with Kazia for the first time, a band which comprises people who are all involved in other outfits, so we have singer Phoebe Walsh (Brown Sugar Factory), drummer Oliver Prendergast (Strangely Arousing), bassist/flautist Michael Anderson (The Vibes) and keyboard player Michael Ligani (Big Tasty). Musically this is a group who are heavily into soul, jazz, pop and groove, and having seen both Strangely Arousing and Big Tasty in concert I can see how well those bands align with this one.
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The Veils - Gig Review: The Veils @ The Powerstation, Auckland - 1/04/2023
02 Apr 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
The much-anticipated album release tour by The Veils finished in Auckland last night at the Powerstation. And Out of the Void Came Love is an epic offering of songs which see Finn Andrews oscillate between his solo self and his bandleader self as he completes the transition in his life from incessant touring and writing and fronting his English and London based band to a quieter life back home in New Zealand with new found family bliss and the chance to breathe and live, despite the frustrations of the last few Covid years.
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The Loving Arms - Album Review: Dreaming Over You
01 Apr 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
Auckland quintet The Loving Arms have released their debut album, Dreaming Over You, just a few weeks ago, after a two-year journey made longer by the conviction that better music comes from having other people in the room. Not for these guys the convenience of recording in isolation.
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Dead Empire - Single Review: Buckley
30 Mar 2023 // A review by Kris Raven
Mount Maunganui’s Dead Empire have been creating waves throughout the Aotearoa music scene recently, their name has been coming up on my radar via various shows throughout the North Island. The feedback I have heard from musicians and fans alike about their solid live performance and vibe with comparisons to the likes of bands like Tool have left me very intrigued.
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Dead Favours - Album Review: Riffing & Yelling Part 2
30 Mar 2023 // A review by Steve Shyu
One can only imagine what New Zealand’s alt-rock royalty Dead Favours have experienced over the past 18-plus months crafting their new EP, enduring release delays whilst juggling life and working, on top of navigating the weirdness of the past few years. (Come to think, I CAN imagine since my band has been through the same thing BUT this isn’t about me, haha) For those not in the know, this four-piece from Tamaki Makaurau Auckland consists of guitar player and frontman Jared Wrennall, drummer Charlie Smith, guitarist Kyle Wetton, and Alex Elvis on bass guitar.
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Curlys Jewels - Single Review: Changes
30 Mar 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
This is not a cover of the well-known Black Sabbath number, but instead it is a song written by the band with lyrics by singer Jel; about a close friend losing her partner to cancer, and with the inspiration for the lyrics coming from her memoirs. The rest of the band are Aaron Ludlow (guitar), Andy van der Heyden (bass) and Corey Bell (drums), and over the last ten years Curlys Jewels have built a deserved reputation as one of our most melodic and powerful rock bands and that is yet again what we have here.
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Carb On Carb - Single Review: Grounded
30 Mar 2023 // A review by Kerry MB
Carb on Carb is an Auckland duo who have been around for a few years now. They bring a fresh and easy approach to indie rock and have emerged with a new single, Grounded, from their forthcoming album, due out later this year, and soon to be followed by a nationwide tour.
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Tim Finn - Andy White & Tim Finn - Album Review: AT
29 Mar 2023 // A review by taffynz
I still have my original late 70's 7" vinyl single of I Got You by Split Enz, despite emigrating to these shores in early 1997. I wasn't even a teenager in the late 70's.
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The Robba - Album Review: In The Dark
29 Mar 2023 // A review by Hannah Jane
In The Dark is the new heavy rock album by New Zealand one man band The Robba, filled with hard-hitting tracks all painstakingly created by himself. Layers of guitar, vocals, synths and beats form a strong foundation for the social narrative woven into this baker’s dozen of lyrical laments.
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Valere - Single/Video Review: Stuck In My Head
29 Mar 2023 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Otautahi bedroom pop artist Valere released her latest single Stuck in My Head on the 16th of March.An International Songwriting Competition semi-finalist and APRA Songhubs Sphere alum, Valere's debut album Colours, released in 2020, gained her air play on ZM, Base FM and Spotify playlists such as The Local List NZ.
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The D4 - Gig Review: The D4 @ Totara St, Mount Maunganui - 24/03/2023
25 Mar 2023 // A review by Kerry MB
What a night! If you also had the pleasure of seeing The D4 on any leg of their 21-year anniversary tour of their debut album, 6twenty, then you'll already know what a treat it has been.
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Goodspace - Single Review: Bruises
25 Mar 2023 // A review by Liam Davis
Goodspace are living proof of thinking outside of the box. Their newest single Bruises launches you into its wall of textured sounds and complex, layered melodies with a deep satisfying bassline dancing around the soundscape.
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Bad Taste - Single Review: Weird Weekends
25 Mar 2023 // A review by Steve Shyu
Following their 2021 debut record Bad Taste, hip-hop duo Bad Taste have pressed on with making new music, particularly in creating a second album due out later this year, appropriately titled Bad Taste II. Because why would you name it anything else!
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Spirit Boy - Single Review: Neon Sky
24 Mar 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
I dragged my feet over this review, seriously let it get overdue, even. I haven't long been doing the reviewing thing here, so I wanted to be really sure about what I wanted to say, with this particular one.
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Frau Knotz - Single/Video Review: Runway of Reality
23 Mar 2023 // A review by Sharne Molloy-Turpin
I’d describe the newest single by Frau Knotz as glamorous, playful and psychedelic. To match this description, It has a fitting title Runway of Reality.
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Jennifer K. Austin - Single Review: Cards
23 Mar 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
Originally hailing from the States, proud new Kiwi Jennifer K. Austin now sets out on a fresh path with her exciting single Cards.
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Samantha Jane - Single Review: Narcissus
23 Mar 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
Opening up on her revealing new single Narcissus, artist Samantha Jane is headed down a new path of musical and sonic vulnerability.Narcissus is a moody indie number with alternative rock and pop embellishments.
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Shepherds Reign - Single Review: Ua Masa’a
23 Mar 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
When it comes to different cultures and music there is no doubt we are incredibly blessed in Aotearoa, and surely anyone into metal, wherever they are in the world, are aware of Alien Weaponry and the way they blend groove metal and their Maori roots. However, what may not be known by those outside New Zealand is that there is another band down here who are also making huge waves in their own country, Shepherds Reign.
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Trig - Double Single Review: Entity & Player 67
23 Mar 2023 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Trig is the musical moniker of Christchurch based artist Michael West, formerly Michael Aisuru, formerly Sick Cycle.After using computers and a few synths to produce music for the past 22 years, Michael has chosen to give up the computer and DAW and focus on live performance via drum machines and modular synthesis.
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Hybrid Rose - Single Review: Planet Intercourse
23 Mar 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
In collaboration with Canadian creative Loz, Wellington's favourite pop star Hybrid Rose is kicking off a new musical era with Planet Intercourse. It's an attention-demanding, explosive disco-pop track the likes of Lady Gaga and Dua Lipa would beg to have.
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Brawler NZHC - EP Review: Hard Truths
23 Mar 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Over the last 12 months I have been fortunate enough to catch Hamilton hardcore outfit Brawler NZHC a few times, and although I have always been a little concerned that singer Joe Steiner is going to pass out before he finally removes the balaclava, I always know we are in for a high energy show with plenty of angst and passion. They have also impressed NZ hardcore royalty along the way, with Luke Manson of Xile joining in on vocals for Pay The Price.
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Grant Duncan - Single/Video Review: Initiate
23 Mar 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
Grant Duncan already has an impressive back catalogue of releases on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, YouTube, and Spotify. The Auckland-based singer/songwriter has also spent time fronting the Tokyo-based indie combo Pavement Candy, and the influence of his travels is worn proudly heart-on-sleeve in Initiate.
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Mice on Stilts - Album Review: I Am Proud of You
22 Mar 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Some ten years ago I was a member of the ProgArchives Crossover Team (yes, to be allowed to be included on PA each band is judged by a committee). We were asked to pass our critical eyes and ears over the somewhat strangely named Mice on Stilts and I was somewhat surprised, nay amazed, to discover they hailed from Auckland.
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Gig Review #2: Homegrown 2023 @ Wellington Waterfront - 18/03/2023
21 Mar 2023 // A review by River Tucker
The weather gods must really love live music because they fully turned it on for the Jim Beam Homegrown music festival in Wellington last Saturday. Not only were the tunes absolutely fantastic, the crystal clear blue sky followed by a twinkling starry night set a magical scene for thousands of beautiful party people to enjoy some of New Zealand’s biggest bands performing across five stages on the capital’s spectacular waterfront.
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Gig Review #1: Homegrown 2023 @ Wellington Waterfront - 18/03/2023
19 Mar 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
I have been waiting for this festival for ages, well over 12 months in fact as last year’s had to be cancelled due to Covid, but finally it was here. I flew down to Wellington in the morning and caught up with the MNZ crew of Reef, River (read River's review here), Amanda, Garry, and Bevan for brunch: two reviewers and four photographers meant we were one of the largest media contingents at Homegrown 2023.
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Say Or Do - Single Review: Awake
19 Mar 2023 // A review by Epitomised_Drummer
If you’ve been following the Kiwi Rock scene for a while now, you’ll be familiar with the names Silence The City, Quarter 2 and Broken Avenue. One of the main drivers behind these epic bands has been by groove-master Sam French.
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Shadowcaster - Single Review: Eternity
19 Mar 2023 // A review by Sharne Molloy-Turpin
Shadowcaster has indulged us with a journey into sonic space in their new single titled Eternity. Its Celtic rock sound and fast-paced rhythm employ numerous instruments that build upon one another to great effect.
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Gig Review: Cross Street Festival @ Auckland - 11/03/2023
19 Mar 2023 // A review by Lou Clement
Street festivals have historic origins and the Cross Street Festival really was about the music. It somehow manages to catch the haphazard chaos of a vibrant Saturday night Karangahape Road and yet complement the imposing city buildings which dominate this backroad.
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Vox Capacitor - Single Review: Rectangle
18 Mar 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
Vox Capacitor is a solo project of "Jangly Dad Rock and Indie Guitar Pop" based in Auckland, from an artist who is clearly a quite competent multi-instrumentalist. From drums tracked "in a borrowed gym", to a suitably solid bass line, to layers of guitars topped with well-delivered vocals, Vox Capacitor certainly multi tasks with aplomb.
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On Tick - EP Review: Planet Chrome
17 Mar 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
When On Tick released their debut album, Nothing New, towards the end of 2021 they were already in a state of change as it was recorded as a trio of brothers Brendan (vocals and drums) and Aidan O'Loughlin (vocals, guitar) along with bassist Matt Hammond, who also produced it, but they had now brought in Matt Perry to play bass while Matt H had moved to lead guitar. In 2023 things have changed again as Matt H is now concentrating on Pale Flag, while Matt P is also not involved any longer, so it is back to just Brendan and Aidan.
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Written By Wolves - Single Review: Give 'Em Hell
16 Mar 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Written by Wolves may not have released any new material in 2022, but everyone knew the boys were working on their next album, and if you were fortunate enough to see them play then you will have already heard Give 'Em Hell as they were using this track as the opening number. In many ways this encapsulates everything which is Written By Wolves in one song – if you want to know why so many of us keep raving about them, then this will demonstrate why.
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Anthony Coulter - Single Review: Younger
16 Mar 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest single from Anthony Coulter’s album Pilgrimage To the Sea, where he says he is not getting any younger, something I can really relate to given I am 60 in just a few months and certainly act a lot more than I used to. Mind you, I don’t think every day is the same, which is the same for Anthony who yearns to be younger.
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BAkeR - EP Review: Eternal Now
16 Mar 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Mike Baker has been involved in both the Australian and NZ music scenes since the Eighties, running the import/export operations for Australia’s Hot Records at one point, releasing an album himself as a member of Not Really Anything and also managing Glide. Last year he created his alter ego BAkeR and started recording this five-track EP, entitled Eternal Now, with Daniel Hewson (the son of the late Paul Hewson of Dragon).
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The Traditional Aliens - Album Review: What World Will You Live In
16 Mar 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
I think from the cover that The Traditional Aliens inhabit a world which contains knitted female dwarves, although I could well be wrong. What World Will You Live In is both the debut and third album by the guys, who recently changed their name from Infinity following on from their 2017 self-titled debut and then 2020’s Icy Blue Planet.
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Midwave Breaks - Single Review: Souvenirs
16 Mar 2023 // A review by Kerry MB
It wasn’t long ago I had just finished reviewing Midwave Breaks latest EP- Mind Made Up, and now, we’re back again with their new single- Souvenirs. First off, let me tell you, these guys are already doing awesome things for New Zealand music, and this new single just further cements their superb range as musicians.
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Captain Festus McBoyle's Travellin' Variety Show - Album Review: Look Wot The Cat Dragged In
15 Mar 2023 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Masters of music and magic helmed by Captain Festus McBoyle are back, with their 4th album Look Wot The Cat Dragged In. Another amusing and entertaining offering from one of New Zealand's top family entertainers, as always delivered in the captain's flamboyant style.
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Ivy - EP Review: For The Sake Of It
14 Mar 2023 // A review by Trevor Faville
Ivy are a band hailing from Dunedin, and For The Sake Of It is a five song collection which expands on their debut release single Stranger, which came out at the end of 2022. As might be expected from a band who adds the words “alternative” and “prog” to their description, Ivy are ambitious musically, and have a very broad reach when it comes to lyrical inspiration.
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Eve Kelly - Single Review: Mr Big Shot
10 Mar 2023 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Whakatane based singer-songwriter (Eve Kelly) released her single Mr Big Shot on February 24th.Following on from her previous singles Gotta Let Go and Dance With Me, both released in the final months of 2022, Mr Big Shot adds another layer to this up and coming artist's repertoire, proving that Eve has a talent for writing songs that are a blend of genres, including funk, RnB, gospel, and adult contemporary.
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Mi-Sex - Gig Review: Mi-Sex and Stellar* @ Paraoa Brewing, Whangaparaoa - 09/03/2023
09 Mar 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
I had been looking forward to tonight for quite some time as here was an amazing opportunity to catch two of our most iconic bands. Mi-Sex are touring in celebration of the 40th anniversary of their debut album, Graffiti Crimes, which of course featured probably their biggest hit, Computer Games.
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Matt Joe Gow - Album Review: Between Tonight and Tomorrow
09 Mar 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
There’s a simple drumbeat and then this quintessential Americana voice bursts forth and it’s a shipwreck, which is no place to start, but this ship’s been sunk for years and years and Matt Joe Gow opens his fourth album with a Shipwreck and it’s a great place to start, with a rich, full sound and Katya Harrop on backing vocals, and we’re away… Matt Joe Gow is a man who knows who he is, is comfortable in his skin and oozes authenticity into his entire persona and so it’s no surprise that this persona translates into song. He’s from Dunedin but has plied his trade in Victoria for umpteen years and happily for us is increasing his focus on his home country fans, with a short tour just completed and more to come…..
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Sabreen Islam - EP Review: Room Service
09 Mar 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Although Sabreen Islam is young, and is currently studying at the University of Auckland, she has been involved in the arts for some time, both in music and poetry and performed at The Others Way Festival as far back as 2018. To date she has released a few singles, the most recent of which can be found here on her debut EP.
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Abby Christo - Single/Video Review: Note To Self
09 Mar 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Abby Christo first came to prominence when, in 2015, she appeared on X- Factor NZ as part of duo Mae Valley who has significant success with their debut EP and played alongside country stars such as Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood and Kelsea Ballerini.Abby released her debut solo EP a few years ago and is now working on the second.
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Hummucide - Single Review: The Sound the Sea Makes
09 Mar 2023 // A review by Kerry MB
Hummucide are an instrumental jazz-rock quartet hailing from Wellington. Formed in Jazz school they did the house party circuit, playing their refined Jazz to indie audiences, a bold choice that paid off well and set them apart.
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South for Winter - Single Review: Something In The Stars
08 Mar 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
I don’t think I will ever get used to just how much amazing music there is out there for people willing to look and forego popular radio stations. Last year I was asked if I would like to review a duo, South For Winter, I had not previously come across, who were over here from America where they are generally based.
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Eve Kelly - Eve Kelly @ Jam Factory, Tauranga - 03/03/2023
08 Mar 2023 // A review by Shade
The ‘Sold Out’ sign is a good sign and it went up several days before Eve Kelly’s first show at The Jam Factory in Tauranga’s Historic Village. Whakatane-based Eve Kelly is a star on-the-rise and she put on a show that left her audience, old and new, elated and begging for more.
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Melanie - Gig Review: Melanie @ Snails, Palmerston North - 04/03/2023
07 Mar 2023 // A review by River Tucker
What else was there to do last Saturday night except get out and support some live bands at a local music venue, in this case an all ages gig with Feildings Best Dancers, Crying Club and Melanie at the legendary Snails in Palmerston North.Snails also doubles as an artist space and there’s a considerable amount of well-lit artwork on display for people to appreciate.
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Coridian - Album Review: Hava
07 Mar 2023 // A review by Peter-James Dries
Journalism’s meant to be objective, right?  No playing favourites.
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Lorde - Gig Review: Lorde @ The Outer Fields, Western Springs - 04/03/2023
07 Mar 2023 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Blue skies filled the days prior to the Lorde gig; the Solar Power tour had the sun visible and candescent. On March 4th in Western Springs, Tamaki Makaurau had not seen Lorde here for years, and some fans had even had their ticket waiting since 2021, when this third studio album was released.
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Gig Review: Music in Parks - Hillsborough @ Monte Cecilia Park, Auckland - 05/03/2023
05 Mar 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
On a beautiful sunny afternoon it was back out for another afternoon care of Auckland Council and their free Music In The Parks series. This is one of the ways the council support the arts, and there are a series of free gigs which started in January and go through to the end of March covering many different styles.
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Living State - Gig Review: Living State @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 3/03/2023
04 Mar 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back down to Central Auckland on a Friday night for Living State’s single launch so this promised to be fun, especially as they had Altaea playing (who I had not seen since they had a change in singer and direction, so changed the name from States) plus Lost Vessels who were fresh from recording with Dave Rhodes as part of their prize for winning last year’s Ding Dong Battle of the Bands. I bumped into Red from Finger Tight who is just buzzing about supporting Coridian on their forthcoming North Island tour, which promises to be a great gig.
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Bandi - EP Review: Bittersweet
02 Mar 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
Kiwi-Brazilian artist Bandi spent her years growing up between Auckland, Los Angeles and Sao Paulo, a unique background that makes for a thrilling array of sound and style on her debut EP Bittersweet. Mixing bubblegum pop with soulful R&B, it's a collection perfectly designed to saturate the airwaves.
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Living State - Single/Video Review: Black White Man
02 Mar 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
A few years ago I was at Dead Witch when someone came up to and introduced themselves as Lex, and that he was bassist in a band called Living State and would I like to hear their single? I agreed, but to be honest never expected to hear from him again as that is the usual course of affairs, but the next day I was sent a load of material including the video for One Sided.
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The Veils - Album Review: ...And Out Of The Void Came Love
02 Mar 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
The Veils have a new album out today, their first for seven years, and it’s called ….And Out of the Void Came Love.
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The Transits - Single Review: When You Went Away
28 Feb 2023 // A review by Steve Shyu
In the digital age of today, it’s not uncommon for musicians and artists to collaborate and create music from kilometers, or countries away, and even beyond continents. Such is the case for The Transits, a pop rock indie trio consisting of members from Durban, South Africa and Tamaki Makaurau Auckland.
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Frontier - Single Review: Star Walkin'
28 Feb 2023 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Frontier are a passionate and energetic Pop Punk and Easycore four piece band from Christchurch, New Zealand. Their new release, Star Walkin', is driven by a huge intro that quickly moves into what we would expect from Pop/Punk, this song rocks.
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Blindfolded and Led to the Woods - Single/Video Review: Methlehem
28 Feb 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
2023 promises to be an incredible year for New Zealand metal and rock, and one album everyone is looking forward to is the forthcoming Rejecting Obliteration from Christchurch’s very own BALTTW. The first time I saw these guys play was supporting Death Angel and Sepultura and certainly holding their own, and the last time was up here in Auckland at Dead Witch, where they took the place to the cleaners with their brutal brand of death metal.
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The Wax Birds - Album Review: Yellowhammer
28 Feb 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Although I work in Auckland on North Island (New Zealand’s largest city), I call home a small farm close to a township called Oxford on South Island, and I get back there as often as I can, especially as that is where my wonderful wife is. According to the last census the population is 2,214, so not exactly a metropolis, but we love it.
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Bad Schematics - EP Review: Keep Your Gods
28 Feb 2023 // A review by River Tucker
Bad Schematics have hit the road running with a small tour and a couple of promo videos made in support of their debut EP, Keep Your Gods. It’s a rip-roaring release somewhat influenced by early 2000 American Emo rock, embellished with touches of Nu-Metal and high-energy Alt Rock, which delivers a sound they can proudly call all their own.
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Planet Hunter - Single Review: Impostor
27 Feb 2023 // A review by Liam Davis
The Wellington quartet of Planet Hunter is offering a bouncy and addictive look into the new worlds they have discovered in the bridging of old and new rock. Their new single Impostor is exceedingly guitar-driven and backed up with a powerful set of vocals.
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King Cass - Single/Video Review: Yea Yea
27 Feb 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
The newest track from King Cass, Yea Yea, immediately grabbed me, and kept me. Starting out with a simple instrumental hook, leading into the smooth vocal line of the chorus, and on into King Cass delivering his message.
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Iveta & Simone - Single Review: Corazon
24 Feb 2023 // A review by taffynz
Here's the thing. Pop isn't my bag.
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Chump Change - Single Review: Ocean Eyed Machine
24 Feb 2023 // A review by taffynz
Oh, I'm getting a real knack for picking the ones that get my toes tappin'! With this single, Ocean Eyed Machine, Dunedin-based indie outfit Chump Change have delivered an ethereal delight that lives up to its billing of "summer hit" on the EPK I got sent.
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Richter City Rebels - Album Review: Big Fresh
23 Feb 2023 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Bustling like a street carnival parade comes the Richter City Rebel’s third studio album Big Fresh. With an impressive list of featured local artists and wall-to-wall brass and percussion, this exuberant collection of colourful tracks would certainly have any crowd pumping at a live show.
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10:32 - Single/Video Review: Coffee Shop Girl
23 Feb 2023 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
London based, future-soul collective 10:32 have recently released their latest single accompanied by a cosmic music video Coffee Shop Girl. Predominantly UK based, lead vocalist Bridget Walsh adds a Kiwi flavour.
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B O K E H - Single/Video Review: Simple Little Things
23 Feb 2023 // A review by taffynz
I seem to be picking up pop pieces recently. Lucky for me, I'm picking up quality commercial-standard work like this one, B O K E H's new single Simple Little Things.
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Madeline - Single Review: The Illawarra
23 Feb 2023 // A review by Sharne Molloy-Turpin
A song is powerful when you can hear its fashionable beat and appealing lyrics in view of the fact it comes from a special experience. One of Aotearoa’s newest artists Madeline.
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Matt Joe Gow - Single Review: Between Tonight & Tomorrow
23 Feb 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have Matt Joe Gow’s latest single Between Tonight & Tomorrow, taken from the album of the same name which is out on March 10th. Matt provides vocals and guitar, and he is again accompanied by his band The Dead Leaves, featuring Andrew Pollock (guitar), Robin Murphy (bass), Daniel Brates (drums), Katya Harrop (percussion) and Dave Evans (Hammond organ).
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Fathom - Single Review: Wink of the Lighthouse
23 Feb 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
In my wonderfully formed Kev’s Top Tens for 2022 we can see nestling at #5 in the albums slot The World To Breathe by Nancy Howie, otherwise known as Fathom. Nancy is a piano tuner by trade and when she had time on her hands due to Covid she decided to make some instruments for herself which were then used to record the debut, and now she is back with a taster for the next one.
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Silk Cut - Album Review: Our Place In The Stars
22 Feb 2023 // A review by Peter-James Dries
Like Prometheus nicking fire, so too has Silk Cut’s Andrew Thorne stolen from the gods. In a figurative sense of course.
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These Four Walls - Gig Review: These Four Walls @ AUX, Auckland - 18/02/2023
21 Feb 2023 // A review by Lou Clement
Just off the bustling inner city Queen Street, round a corner and up a few sets of stairs Ding Dong houses an excellent live venue space: AUX. Tonight, it is packed out for the homecoming of much-loved These Four Walls.
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Scalper - Album Review: The Shine
21 Feb 2023 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Scalper is Nadeem Shafi, born and raised in East London of Pakistani descent. The Shine is his 5th studio album, following 2020's critically acclaimed The Beast and the Beauty, which dealt heavily with the recent loss of his mother.
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David Edwards - Album Review: Águas Brilhantes: 2018-2022
20 Feb 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
What we have here is the fourth in a series of compilations from Dave Edwards, AKA Fiffdimension, covering the years 2018-2022 (the others are for earlier years) and includes previously unreleased recordings, download-only bonus tracks, and excerpts from 12 albums. Yes, twelve.
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TheSlacks - Single/Video Review: Information Ape
20 Feb 2023 // A review by Nicholas Clark
TheSlacks latest single Information Ape starts off with a sweet melody that reminds me of a 50's doowop band like The Penguins. Over the top of this some digital noises such as phones ringing and switches changing lines establishes the vibe or both sincere, innocent beginnings and hectic modern life.
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Tealskie - Single Review: Flown Away
18 Feb 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
Otautahi alt rock band Tealskie debut with their fresh track Flown Away, a sweeping ballad which highlights a clear cohesion and tight musical interplay within the group.Sharp, rushing guitar grooves open the track, met with clashing percussion and subtle yet effective bass.
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Late to Chelsea - EP Review: LTC
17 Feb 2023 // A review by Chris Chick
When it comes to the soundtrack of anyone’s life, I am pretty sure the counter cultural sounds and motives of the punk movement would have influenced you at some time. Every generation needs its punk bands even if it's just the opportunity to not take yourself too seriously and enjoy the madness that is life and music.
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WoLF - Single Review: Underachiever
17 Feb 2023 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
WoLF is a solo project (Aaron Hogg) with over 25 years' experience as a vocalist, guitarist and bassist. Having a lot of tour and show experience, WoLF is an accomplished artist with international acts and festivals under his belt.
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Revulva - Single Review: This Town
17 Feb 2023 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
A flute and muted trumpet herald in what sounds to be the start of a jewel-heist movie, then a cool but suspicious voice speaks out from behind the brim of a tilted hat, leaning in the doorway; “There’s tumbleweeds on the ground, recently I’ve found, this town, is like the wild west”. Sassy, sophisticated, and street-smart are words that spring to mind upon giving Revulva’s latest single This Town a spin.
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Julia Dorry - Single Review: You Make Me
16 Feb 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
You Make Me is the debut single from Julia Dorry, who was born and raised in Berlin but now calls Aotearoa her home. This four-minute-long number is all about the vocals, which are front and centre at all times, placed against a piano for the most part but with a nice full band bringing in additional elements.
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System Exit - EP Review: Avalon
16 Feb 2023 // A review by Liam Davis
New Zealand's answer to the alt-rock explosion that rocked the 90's has taken its modern form as Taranaki's System Exit, with their new release Avalon - giving a trifecta of a funky, spacey, and catchy EP. System Exit has certainly discovered their signature; every track flows like water with a crisp mix and memorable riffs.
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ASHY - Single Review: LA Talk
16 Feb 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
LA Talk is the latest hit from Kiwi creative ASHY, a starlet who's seen the stages of Electric Avenue, Going Global and even Texas's South by Southwest. It's a single that proves she knows pop music inside and out.
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0800 Belly Up - EP Review: 0800 Belly Up
14 Feb 2023 // A review by Lou Clement
In this self-titled EP, 0800 Belly Up embrace the promise of their teaser single sounds while proving they are at their heart, punk rock. Their debut six-track release is emblazoned with foot-stomping and holler-inducing energy.
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The Beatniks - Single Review: Wake Up Jane
13 Feb 2023 // A review by IShadowcasterI
2021 was an interesting time. The world was still really trying to work out how the spicy flu would impact our day to day, and it was harder than ever as a live musician.
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Swerve City - Gig Review: Swerve City @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 11/02/2023
12 Feb 2023 // A review by Steve Shyu
As my first live gig review of 2023, it had to be a good line-up. Then I heard that Swerve City had announced a headlining show at Dead Witch, so I knew that had to be it.
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Beachware - Album Review: It's Only Time
12 Feb 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
“Maybe it’s time we gave up” is the very first lyric of Beachware’s very first album, It’s Only Time. It’s a bewildering introduction to a band, who given the circumstances of a technical debut, you’d expect to be all for taking the musical world by storm.
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Beachware - Gig Review: Beachware @ Space Academy, Christchurch - 11/02/2023
12 Feb 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
Last night's Beachware show was my first visit to Space Academy, a smallish venue with a great atmosphere and mouth-watering food. An excellent setting for the two bands I had the pleasure of watching.
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TSENATE - Single Review: Superstar
10 Feb 2023 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
New Zealand based artist/producer TSENATE has recently released her third single Superstar, which follows on from her debut single 4 The Ride in 2021 and No1 Else Feels Like Home in 2022. Her latest track has a sound reminiscent of early 2000 RnB which oozes slow jam vibes.
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Michael Signal - EP Review: Solway
10 Feb 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus
I'm really surprised that I hadn't heard of Michael Signal before reviewing this EP. This is far from being Michael's first release, and listening to it (repeatedly and joyfully, I might add) had me delving into his back catalogue, including a rip-snorting cover of Scorpions' Rock You Like A Hurricane.
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Tablefox - Single Review: Mother
09 Feb 2023 // A review by Karl Brinsdon
Tablefox’s latest track, Mother is an example of everything that modern rock music should be; a great performance that makes use of modern production technologies without becoming overproduced. Finding a good place to start talking about Mother is truly a challenge as with every listen it seems that I notice something new about the track.
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Slow Rage - Single Review: Bones
06 Feb 2023 // A review by Kerry MB
Slow Rage is an Auckland duo who have that special something. They are a melting pot blend of alternative rock and punk, and sound like everything you want but nothing you’ve heard.
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Fraser Ross - Gig Review: Fraser Ross w/ Hannah Everingham @ Wine Cellar, Auckland - 4/02/2023
06 Feb 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
It’s a balmy Auckland evening with no rain, yes, no rain, yes, no rain, yes, I really mean no rain and we’re at the Wine Cellar to see Christchurch/Lyttelton based musicians Fraser Ross, who is headlining, and Hannah Everingham, who is opening, except she’s not, because Babe Martin pops up ahead of her. Very cool singer songwriter who has another life as Zoe Larson Cumming who you will hear on 95bfm.
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Coast Arcade - Single Review: Highest Heights
05 Feb 2023 // A review by Hannah Jane
Just a couple of years after forming in high school, Coast Arcade are killing it! The indie pop-rock band is made up of brothers Chris and Nate Tims, Thom Boynton, and Bella Bavin who have found themselves performing at popular festivals and supporting Kiwi icons The Beths and Princess Chelsea.
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Gig Review: Ding Dong Lounge 10th Birthday Part 1 @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 29/01/2023
03 Feb 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
The original Ding Dong Lounge was founded in New York City in 2001 by Bill Nolan, opening on the upper west side of Manhattan and slowly gaining a following of talented artists, writers, actors, and musicians. In 2003, Bill Walsh opened Ding Dong Lounge in Melbourne, branding itself with a live gig atmosphere that easily upheld Ding Dong’s rock reputation.
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Gig Review: Ding Dong Lounge 10th Birthday Part 2 @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 29/01/2023
03 Feb 2023 // A review by Gideon Voon
With the new AUX stage promising better things to come, the Dead Witch Stage reminds of us of the events that were that led us to this point. First up on the Dead Witch Stage, we had Swizl Jager (pictured), if you thought Ding Dong Lounge was exclusively reserved for Rock and Metal, then you will be proven wrong, as Swizl brings the world of Rap and Hip-Hop to us.
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Midwave Breaks - EP Review: Mind Made Up
02 Feb 2023 // A review by Kerry MB
Since 2021, Midwave Breaks have been the talk of Kiwi music, going from strength to strength releasing two EP’s and a string of radio singles. Now, to kick things off right in 2023, the duo have released their new 3 track EP- Mind Made Up.
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Beckoned - Single/Video Review: Luminous
01 Feb 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
The word “supergroup” is not one to be bandied around lightly, yet that was very much the first thing which came to mind when I came across the new formation of Beckoned. During one of the many lockdowns, guitarist Nail Vincent (Devilskin) started working on new material, and he played some to his old bandmate, bassist Munro Goodwin (Sinate) and pretty soon they were working on the material together with drummer Corey Friedlander (City of Souls,8 Foot Sativa), but who would be the singer?
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Macho Macho - Single Review: Blink
01 Feb 2023 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Wow, I have to say the new single Blink from Macho Macho is extremely impressive! I was hooked right from the very first listen.
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Flying Man - Single Review: Under The Stars
31 Jan 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Flying Man is the stage name of Dunedin based Irish-born live-looping guitarist and singer/songwriter Alan Ned Gray. Flying Man’s song-writings sit in the electroacoustic realm - playing programmed beats, live looping and layered harmonies.
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Crying Club - EP Review: Big Water Bottle
31 Jan 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
It is some 18 months since I last reviewed a recording by Crying Club, which was the single Taxi Man, but I did see them at EmoFest last year where three of the songs on this five-track thirteen-minute-long EP were played. While their music is solidly rooted in the indie scene, they manage to also bring in other genres as they cross genres, bringing rock and metal quite strongly into their poppy mix.
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KRISTN - Single Review: Chasin'
30 Jan 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
It’s easy to sell Auckland R&B artist KRISTIN off her voice alone. Smooth as honey, expressive and attention-commanding, it’s a talent which has recently landed her in the cast of Australia’s Hairspray The Musical, and on the NZ Hot Singles chart with previous release Seasons.
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Sabreen Islam - Single Review: Still Love You
26 Jan 2023 // A review by taffynz
Here's the thing. I am a rock music fan, principally the 70's and 80's stuff.
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Soft Plastics - Single Review: Disembody
26 Jan 2023 // A review by taffynz
A definite atmosphere builder. That's what I got from listening to Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington to anyone reading from beyond these shores) indie three piece Soft Plastics new single Disembody.
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Imperial Slave - Gig Review: Imperial Slave @ Castle 789, Palmerston North - 21/01/2023
23 Jan 2023 // A review by River Tucker
It was pretty balmy in Palmy last Saturday night at Castle 789, but the Summer heat didn’t deter people from wearing black, with nearly every major metal band represented on patches and T-shirts by a small but dedicated crowd of enthusiastic metalheads.Tribute band Meiniak kicked things off with an extended set of all the Pantera greats, nailing such crowd-pleasers as A New Level, 5 Minutes Alone, Drag The Waters and Walk.
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Marlon Williams - Gig Review: Marlon Williams @ The Civic, Auckland - 20/01/2023
22 Jan 2023 // A review by roger.bowie
Marlon Williams has returned to New Zealand after an extensive tour of North America and Northern Europe, to showcase his 2022 release My Boy. He does not disappoint.
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Midnight Green - Gig Review: Midnight Green & Kazia @ The Thirsty Dog, Auckland - 21/01/2022
21 Jan 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
After being blasted the previous night at Dead Witch, tonight I was at The Thirsty for what promised to be a very different affair indeed, with two soul/jazz/pop bands. Beforehand I was talking to the bar manager who told me that soon they will be closing for renovations, after which they will open up with the stage in a different place, and it promises to be much improved, so I am really looking forward to seeing the end results.
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The Rising Tide - Gig Review: The Rising Tide @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 20/01/2023
20 Jan 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back to Dead Witch tonight for my first time seeing The Rising Tide who were up from Palmerston North in support of their excellent new EP, The Hope We Die For. They had also invited a few other bands who I have seen before, namely Brawler NZHC who I saw supporting Xile, plus favourites Unwanted Subject and Pale Flag who were both at the Downfall of Humanity release show.
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Gig Review: Music In Parks - Helensville @ Helensville River Reserve, Auckland - 15/01/2023
15 Jan 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Each Summer, the Auckland Council put on a series of free outdoor concerts in different places around the city, and today was the second this year, and definitely had a country flavour with Keith Pereira, Louis Jarlov and Sam Bartells. Not only are the shows free, but they all take place in the afternoon, so this gig was set to take place between 1 and 4!
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Ovus - Gig Review: Ovus @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 14/01/2023
15 Jan 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Having spent an incredible two weeks at home on South Island, it was now back up to Auckland and it was soon back into the live scene with my first gig at Dead Witch for 2023. Tonight was going to be interesting as I recently reviewed Ovus’s EP, Lucid, and it would be the first time I had seen Afterlight since they changed their name from Antebellum.
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Adam McGrath - Album Review: Dear Companions
08 Jan 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Due to many reasons, I have been somewhat late to the underground NZ scene but over the last few years have been fortunate enough to meet some incredible people, see some amazing performances, and hear some wonderful music. All of these come together in one man, Adam McGrath, leader of The Eastern.
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Holy Crime - Single Review: Play Toy
08 Jan 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Holy Crime are a relatively new band from Auckland, comprising Benny Richards (guitar, vocals), Tom Anderson (bass, vocals), Jacob Stutton (guitar) and Mat Hinton (drums), with Play Toy being their debut single. Sometimes, just sometimes, one hears a song and immediately a smile comes across the face and it stays there right until the end and that is the case with this one with its unabashed influences of The Darkness and Eighties glam rock.
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Swizl Jager - Single/Video Review: Nanny Pia
06 Jan 2023 // A review by Ben Ruegg
The new track from Swizl Jager, Nanny Pia, is a fantastic new track that will have your head bobbing in a humble way. It's got a great vibe that will have you hitting that repeat button.
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Ripship - Album Review: Fearsome Engine
06 Jan 2023 // A review by Nicholas Clark
This couldn’t be a Ripship review without at least mentioning the immense noise the two-piece band produces. There – I’ve said it; they sure can conjure up some dBs.
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The Rising Tide - EP Review: The Hope We Die For
05 Jan 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland
Palmerston North deathcore band The Rising Tide had a great 2022, touring for the first time in six years and here we are now with their latest EP which is being released in time for a quick nationwide tour which sees them playing Auckland, New Plymouth, Wellington, and Christchurch. They may call themselves deathcore, but to be honest they probably have more in common with “straight” death based on these three songs, although there is a lot going on.
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Tipare - Single Review: Party Calls
02 Jan 2023 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Tipare dropped the single Party Calls to enliven the new beginnings of our post-pandemic world. She’s a singer songwriter who’s lived all around Aotearoa, having lived in New York as early as seventeen.
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Anthony Coulter - Album Review: Pilgrimage To the Sea
01 Jan 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant
The album art for Anthony Coulter’s latest album Pilgrimage To the Sea shows the performer saturated in stunning blues and golds, playing guitar beside the ocean. It’s a simple image, one that perfectly represents the joy of the album’s summer themes, and yet seems surprisingly unassuming for the majestic record that follows.
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Chasing Titans - EP Review: Chasing Titans
28 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the debut EP by Auckland-based metalcore trio Chasing Titans who were formed in 2018 and comprise Adrian Govender (guitar, vocals), Sylvester Porizakova (bass, vocals), and Torrance Kam (drums). The name is inspired by the original Greek Titans and reflects the philosophy of never giving up on one’s biggest dreams and striving for greatness.
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Sex Dad - Album Review: Sex Dad's Greatest Hits: The Very Best Of Sex Dad
27 Dec 2022 // A review by Paul Goddard
Feeling bloated and underwhelmed. Listening to mainstream radio in the car as I left my phone at home.
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Enoch - Single/Video Review: Seasons
26 Dec 2022 // A review by River Tucker
Formed in 2017, Enoch is a five-piece metal band hailing from Auckland, New Zealand, who encapsulates everything that’s good about metal music. Well produced by Texas based Machine (Lamb of God, Clutch, Impending Doom), Seasons is Enoch’s fourth single and marks a refreshing step away from their nu metal roots.
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Miinds - Single Review: Loveless
20 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Miinds came together in 2020, which was probably not the best time for a band to be forming, but they all knew each other from different projects and were soon writing music together, albeit remotely. Loveless is the first song they came up with, and is also their first ever release, ahead of an EP which will be coming out in February.
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Taipella Tide - Single Review: You That I Want
20 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Taipella Tide is the solo project from Chris Buhler, who is also in Fin Rah Zel. The song came to Chris when he was on the beach at San Sebastian, Spain, just swimming and strumming his acoustic.
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1 Drop Nation - Album Review: 1 Drop Nation
20 Dec 2022 // A review by Andrew Smit
Opening with a very spiritual Maori haka Intro - Waerea, we were introduced to the opening track Homeland, which is an unashamedly patriotic Aotearoa anthem with repeated strains of "We are one nation". This is a track that proudly declares love for home, while also being a rally call for the future.
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Broke - Gig Review: Broke @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 17/12/2022
20 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back to Dead Witch in Auckland on another extremely wet Saturday night for my last gig of the year, my 62nd! Tonight, I was in the unusual position of being faced with three bands I had never seen before, although I had reviewed material by all of them, plus the band I have seen most in 2022.
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Something Zesty - Single/Video Review: She's Right
19 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It has been more than a year since I last heard from Whanganui boys Something Zesty, when I reviewed the single/video Footprintz. Their new song She's Right has in some ways been kicking around for a while as Isaac got the rhythm and riff from jamming in his room and as soon as Andrew and Ethan heard it they soon fleshed it out.
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Goodcorz - Single Review: Too Many Times
19 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This single marks a return to original music for Corey Cross AKA Goodcorz for the first time in more than twenty years, and here he has been joined by Anton Harris (drums), Phil Doublet (ukulele, steel guitar), and Greg Mannering (bass, backing vocals). It took me a while to think who this reminded me of, but then it came to me, The Peppercorns, a British band who released an album back in the 90’s (Brothers) who had a very similar style.
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Sarah Valintine - Single Review: Words
19 Dec 2022 // A review by Trevor Faville
Sarah Valintine is a Tamaki Makaurau-Based poet and songwriter. Words is her latest release, and it's a part of a more expansive project called the Pop Poetry Collection.
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Te Kaahu - Album Review: Te Kaahu O Rangi
18 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
A few months ago, I was fortunate enough to review The Others Way Festival in Auckland. It is an interesting event in that it is held in venues either in or close to Karangahape Road, and I was determined to review in every venue at least once so made up a list comprising both artists I knew I just had to see (Shepherds Reign, Dance Exponents etc.
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Shadowcaster - Single Review: Friends
18 Dec 2022 // A review by Peter-James Dries
I sometimes wonder how performers choose their stage names. Is Trent Graham, Shadowcaster’s ringleader, taller than average?
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Mojo Alice - Album Review: Chompin' At The Bit
17 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
There is something about filthy metal infused with blues and a groove which really gets to me, then add in a singer who is channelling her inner Janis and you know it must be a winner. OK, so the artwork may be a little naff and dated, but while the music is also going back in time there is nothing naff about anything inside the sleeve of Mojo Alice's latest offering.
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Julian Terris - EP Review: Tutu
17 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Released last year, Julian Terris’ debut solo EP, Tutu, contains four tracks and he then followed this up with Tama and Taka. There are plans for another four-track EP, after which they will made available as a 16-track album while people can instead go for the EP's if they would rather.
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Ovus - EP Review: Lucid
17 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
There are times when one cannot help but wonder why a band is not better known (or more active), and that is the case for Ovus. Noticing a quote about them in the press release from Ambient Light I sought out the full review to discover that it was about a gig they played in Auckland in 2018 supporting one of their inspirations, Intervals.
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Stewart Pedley - EP Review: Charlie Watts' Shaving Kit
17 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
There is no doubt that one of the top producers in Aotearoa is the marvellous Dave Rhodes, so when he makes contact to let people know about a project he has just been working on as he is so impressed, then everyone is going to sit up and take notice. Based in Coromandel, Stewart Pedley performs as half of the Brazilian-Kiwi duo {Let’s Go Descarrego!
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Connor Vazey - Single Review: Two Moons Feat. Antony Pickard
17 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
When I was asked to review the debut single by 13-year-old Connor Vazey I had no idea what to expect but must admit to being a little concerned as it is rare for someone this young to produce something anyone outside of the family will enjoy. Mind you, I did some research and saw he formed a band last year, Cor-Roc, when he was just 12 and they are already gigging while his dad is also a performer and songwriter, plus here he also used an older singer to provide the vocals.
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Just Another June - EP Review: Mo(u)rning
16 Dec 2022 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Otautahi quartet Just Another June released their debut EP Mo(u)rning on December 7th, 2023.Just Another June are singer songwriter Luna Cubillana, vocalist and guitarist Sam Keelty, bassist Austin Standeven and drummer Amy Claire.
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Synthesis of Self - EP Review: Crushed By The Sky
15 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Last month saw the gig of the year, Third Time Lucky, which was organised and headlined by Written By Wolves. I had seen every band on the bill play prior to that night except for openers Stacked who were brand new to me and to many in the audience.
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No Broadcast - Single/Video Review: The Shore
15 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
When I first started listening to this, I felt there had been quite a change in the sound of No Broadcast, and I certainly wonder if this is a new direction for the band or a one-off experiment. It is hard to tell, as although there has been a change in the personnel, singer, guitarist, and songwriter Josh Braden is not averse to bringing in different people to work on different songs and here he has been joined by Thomas Isbister (drums, bass), Ryan Fisherman (lap steel) and Tom Harris (keyboards and string sonic texture).
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All I Seek - EP Review: All I Seek
15 Dec 2022 // A review by Kerry MB
All I Seek is about to become your new favourite band and here’s why. The 5-piece from Wellington seamlessly blend modern metal, pop and rock into package and execute it flawlessly.
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MEDaL - Album Review: Sequela
14 Dec 2022 // A review by darryl baser
Christchurch trio MEDaL are a combination of many years of New Zealand musical history. Singer and guitar slinger David Mulcahy was in JPSE and Superette, bass player John Billows has spent time with The Renderers and Dark Matter and drummer Mark Whyte is part of Into The Void.
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Caravel - Single Review: Gold Coin
13 Dec 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Right out of Poneke Wellington are four young and eager musicians, boldly named Caravel, a blues rock outfit born from the rehearsal spaces of Paraparaumu College. With Katie Parker on the mic, brothers Malachi and Joshua Ray on guitar and bass, respectively, and Joel Mitchinson on sticks-and-skins, the teen group have gained traction over the past few months.
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Kylie Harris - Single Review: Mr. Right
13 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It has been a long time since we heard new material from Kylie Harris, but this month she is releasing three new songs in her home country, just in time to be inducted into the Gold Guitar Awards Hands of Fame next year. Twice a winner of the Gold Guitar Awards, three-time winner of the Tui Country Music Album of the Year she has also a past winner of Song of the Year and the Rising Star Award.
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The Bobby Holidays - Album Review: At The Beach
13 Dec 2022 // A review by darryl baser
The Bobby Holidays' At The Beach opens with the song Jane, syncopation is to the fore with a great horn section blowing against bass, drums and guitar. The song has an up tempo happy summer vibe.
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Shivers - Single Review: Under My Skin
13 Dec 2022 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Wellington based band Shivers released their latest single Under My Skin on the 8th of November. Formed in 2018, Shivers consists of vocalist Timmy Porter, multi-instrumentalist Adrian Win and drummer Rick Cranson.
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Graham McGregor - Album Review: The Real Karanghape Road
12 Dec 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
At last, I get to write about someone who is older than me. And more notorious!
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Flowers of Hades - Single Review: Trigger Warning
12 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Don’t you love it when extreme bands want their listeners to actually think? That is what we have here with the single from Flowers of Hades which has been released in advance of an EP, which is out next year.
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Big Tasty - Single Review: If You Leave Me
12 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
In April last year I wandered along to Anthology Lounge to review the winners of the recent Battle of the Bands competition and came away mightily impressed as it felt like I had stepped back in time with 9-piece soul band Big Tasty, whom had arrangements designed to keep the vocals of Manuela Herrera front and centre while allowing everyone the room to move. Listening to their latest single I am immediately transported back as this is music which belongs in an intimate setting where one can relax.
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Spirit Boy - Single Review: Adolescence
12 Dec 2022 // A review by Kerry MB
Having established themselves in the Christchurch music scene, Spirit Boy is an indie rock ensemble that is hitting the ground running. This is their debut single, Adolescence.
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Adult Friends - Single Review: Brittle
12 Dec 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
In the contemporary music industry, there continues to be a use for genres to categorize products for easier consumption and describe artists for potential customers. True artists, pioneers if you will, often reside at the periphery of the conventions expected of them.
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Tarn PK - EP Review: SugarCoated
11 Dec 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Producer, musician and songwriter Tarn PK, hailing from Poneke Wellington, has been exploring and creating electronic pop over the past three years. Having already crafted two EPs and an impressive number of singles, Tarn PK has just unleashed upon the universe yet another creation in the form of SugarCoated EP, due for release on 16 December.
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Soaked Oats - Album Review: Working Title
11 Dec 2022 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Soaked Oats is a Dunedin indie 4-piece. Working Title is their first full length offering, crafted over the last 18 months in a community hall in the remote township of Okuru, Haast, on the West Coast of the South Island.
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Downfall of Humanity - Gig Review: Downfall of Humanity @ Whammy Bar, Auckland - 8/12/2022
11 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Into town on a school night, not normally my idea of fun, but it has been a while since I last caught up with these bands and given how much I have enjoyed playing War Cry, the single released today by Downfall of Humanity, it only seemed right that I head in to support them. First up, at the ungodly hour of 8:00, was Unwanted Subject, who feature Gerrit (vocals), Ryan James (guitar), Blair (drums), Prasert (guitar), and Bran (bass).
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Channeled - Gig Review: Channeled @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 10/12/2022
10 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This was something of an unusual set tonight in that both Scott and Branden Boondocks plus Dani were all students of Ben Ruegg of Channeled, while Branden is of course also in that band while the other two members, Matt and Michelle, are also music teachers. Both Boondocks and Channeled were recently in the finals of the Ding Dong Battle of the Bands, and I think this is the fourth time I have seen the former in recent months, but Dani is new to me.
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Jason Parker - EP Review: How To Be Lonely
10 Dec 2022 // A review by Lou Clement
Jason Parker has recently released his 5-track EP, How To Be Lonely and in doing so, he has brought his life affirming pop to our speakers. Parker has a history in TV talent shows and they are one of my favourite things.
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Underscore - Double Single Review: Tell Me / Out of Time
10 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Before I start talking about the music, I must make comment on the logo they used on the last single, which was the word Underscore with three lines beneath it because they are a trio. What a simple and really effective idea.
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Swallow the Rat - Gig Review: Swallow the Rat w/ Ripship @ Valhalla, Wellington - 8/12/2022
10 Dec 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Swallow the Rat and Ripship’s seven date North Island tour had landed in Wellington. Despite the anticipation for the event, including how people attending were talking about the event and online discussions, I entered a rather empty Valhalla bar on Vivian Street a little late for the advertised starting time.
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Rachel Leo - Single Review: Last Call
09 Dec 2022 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Building on her initial successes; bursting onto the 2021 pop music scene with her well-received single Conversation, followed by her stonking 2022 collaboration Dice with Lee Mvtthews, Rachel Leo keeps the ball rolling in the right direction with her latest single release Last Call.Opening with a romantic vintage-feel EQ sweep, Last Call is a bop with attitude.
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Keeley Shade - Single Review: Restless
09 Dec 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Canadian born New Zealand raised singer-songwriter Keeley Shade has just dropped her latest single Restless. Keeley may have a small following at present, but she has a mighty sound representing a “niche brand of DIY female artist/producer in an Indie-Pop/Rock genre”.
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Corrella - Single Review: Skankin
09 Dec 2022 // A review by Chris Chick
Oh yes, the summer vibes are in town and Corrella is starting the skank off without delay. Is there any other type of music that reflects New Zealand during the summertime as the ska/reggae vibes that permeated from the West Indies.
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Newzerror - Single Review: You
08 Dec 2022 // A review by River Tucker
Newzerror is a new two-piece band hailing from a small town in Aotearoa New Zealand called Matamata. Anything but small, Rick and Dee’s sound on their debut single You smashes through the ceiling with some straight forward no-nonsense metal sure to get you up and moshing.
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Hans. - EP Review: Candy
08 Dec 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Perhaps it was the introduction from the once great publication of VICE appointing him ‘one of the rising stars of New Zealand Hip Hop’ or perhaps it was Zane Lowe naming him one of New Zealand’s finest rappers, but my expectations were high going in to this review. Previously I had known Hans.
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Alisa Xayalith - EP Review: Superpowers
08 Dec 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Alisa Xayalith is one half of New Zealand’s most successful synth-pop acts of the 2010’s; The Naked and Famous. With Thom Powers, they dominated the early part of the decade with wonderfully produced, catchy and clever pop songs you could dance in a club or a bedroom to.
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Substax - Single Review: Words
07 Dec 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Substax's Words starts off with a fairly typical, hypnotic 180 bpm big club beat. Some of the sounds seem a little retro here, almost straight off an 80’s synth patch for percussion.
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Thinking Foxes - Single Review: Bleached
07 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Thinking Foxes are an Auckland-based alternative rock trio who are new to me, comprising Gabriel Parkins Craig (vocals, guitar), Luca Garcia Ferrari (bass), and Noah Page (drums). Bleached is their debut single and based on this I am somewhat surprised to have not seen them on the circuit, or even come across their name, as this is polished and full of confidence and never sounds as if it is their first release.
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James Kohler - Single Review: Lights Out
07 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
As a rule, I read press releases after I have been listening to the music, but as well as Lisa sending me this to review, I was also sent it today by the PR company and I read that email before I realised it was on my list. However, my interest was already piqued as James Kohler is described as an “independent prog artist”.
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Nick Burson Band - Single Review: Best Dreams
07 Dec 2022 // A review by taffynz
Christchurch's country blues rock artist Nick Burson returns with his band, giving us the third single from his soon to be released Hindsight album, Best Dreams. Nick is a very capable lyricist and vocalist.
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ARLi - Single Review: Uninvite Me
06 Dec 2022 // A review by taffynz
Born Alice Foulds, ARLi is an Auckland-born and bred singer-songwriter who's been developing the sound we get here for the last seven years of writing and performing. Now, do I like this stuff enough to mark it highly?...
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theajsound - Single Review: Oolala Feat. Sophie Gibson
05 Dec 2022 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Theajsound is a rising artist who just released a new track called Oolala. Sophie Gibson’s voice features in the radio edit, and it’s a tasty tune for sure!
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Downfall of Humanity - Single Review: War Cry
05 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Given the age of these guys, it is somewhat difficult to realise that this line-up has been together since 2009 when Bryce Patten (guitars, backing vocals) joined forces with Daniel Carleton (lead vocals), Alex Carleton (guitars, backing vocals), Ben Pegman (bass) and Ben Bakker (drums). In 2021 they released the excellent Deceit EP, and here at the end of 2022 they are back with their latest single, War Cry which has just blown me away.
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Dilz - Single/Video Review: I've Been 2
05 Dec 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Dilz' new track I've Been 2 hits hard. With a huge bass sound that doesn't overwhelm as much as it just makes you aware of its power, paired with the chimes as a hook and a powerful trap beat, I would say that this Dilz track is a statement about where he has come from and where he is now.
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LIIT - Gig Review: LIIT @ Morningside 605, Auckland - 3/12/2022
04 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It is not often I can say I am at a venue for the first time, but this is indeed the first time I have attended the small but perfectly formed venue which is Morningside 605. I had made my way over to this side of Auckland, and had to park miles away due to Billy Joel playing at Eden Park on the same night, to catch the infamous LIIT and have a party.
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KEV'S TOP 10's - 2022
02 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Last year, as a bit of fun, I put together my Top 10’s of NZ music for the year. I may well have created an issue for myself though, as more than a few have asked when the 2022 version is coming out, so here it is in time for the last ever MNZ newsletter in its current form.
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Lana Paige - Single Review: Lana Paige - Deluded
01 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
When the mighty Seas of Conflict released their latest single, Consume, it featured the rock vocals of Lana Paige, who I have previously seen perform as frontwoman for Dogtooth Amethyst, who recently changed their name to Enclosures. I sent Lana the review, and it was only when chatting with her that I realised she had released a single earlier in the year, so of course the only thing to do is listen to it and then write a review.
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Blindspott - EP Review: Volume. II
01 Dec 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the second instalment of Blindspott’s next album, Volumes. There are going to be 12 tracks in total, and when they released Volume.
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Silcrow - Single Review: Ethereal
01 Dec 2022 // A review by Kris Raven
Ethereal is the 2nd single from Auckland rock four piece Silcrow (shedding the skin from previous name Close to the Bone). From the guitar solos to the modern rock feel, clean production and that chorus (dammmmm its catchy), this song had me instantly hooked.
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Mad Cow - Single Review: Same Boat
01 Dec 2022 // A review by darryl baser
Same Boat is the latest single to be released Taranaki 3-piece Mad Cow. Mad Cow are mainstays of the New Plymouth have been around since the 1990’s in the North Island’s music scene, evolving from school band No Comment.
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EP Review: Various Artists - Modfest 22
30 Nov 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
As a follow-up to 2020’s ModFest, a demonstration and celebration of modular synthesisers, as well as music made by them, ModFest 2 was postponed once, then rescheduled for October 2022. While the event was held at Red Bar in Auckland Central, this experience of ModFest can be reproduced in the comfort of your own home, via your headphones or through your stereo any time you like.
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Lisa Crawley - Single Review: Don’t Delete Me
30 Nov 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Los Angeles based; Kiwi award-winning song writer Lisa Crawley has recently released her latest single Don’t Delete Me from her recent EP Looking For Love (In A Major) delivering a silky soft indie pop number backed by restrained elegant piano playing. Already a seasoned musician Lisa is a four-time APRA Silver Scroll Award nominee twice selected for the prestigious Banff Centre songwriter residency in Canada among several other glittering accolades.
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Loveta - EP Review: More Than Fun
29 Nov 2022 // A review by Madeleine Howard
0Otautahi based pop artist Loveta launched her debut EP More Than Fun on November 18th. The EP is a collaboration with musician Wulfie (Tim Heeringa) and made with support from NZ On Air's Development Fund.
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Gig Review: Ding Dong Bands Competition Grand Final @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 26/11/2022
28 Nov 2022 // A review by Gideon Voon
Weeks of hard work and preparation culminates in the Grand Final of Auckland's Ding Dong Lounge's Band Competition. As this was a competition, I had a bit of fun trying my best to make a calculated guess as to who would win.
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Womb - Gig Review: Womb w/ Samara Alofa @ Wine Cellar, Auckland - 25/11/2022
28 Nov 2022 // A review by Lou Clement
Underground a bustling K-Road the Wine Cellar played host to Womb on Friday night, a three-piece comprised of siblings, Georgette Brown and twins Haz and Charlotte Forrester. Tonight, they celebrated the release of their new album, Dreaming of The Future Again.
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Hannah May - Single Review: Golden
28 Nov 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Hannah May's latest release Golden is a soft and dreamy folk-pop track, encouraging listeners to feel confident and be their own biggest supporter. Bringing to life the sunny sounds inspired by its title, it's a strong effort in her expansive catalogue of singles.
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0800 Belly Up - Single Review: Kick Ons
28 Nov 2022 // A review by Peter-James Dries
If you feel you would enjoy punk rock better if they showered more often and put a bit more effort in, then this is the band for you. If you love shouting back at bands when they yell lyrics at you, then this is the song for you.
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These Four Walls - Single/Video Review: Marigold
28 Nov 2022 // A review by taffynz
I clicked the five stars score before putting a letter to type. Kiwi-born but Brisbane-based heavy rockers These Four Walls are a professional unit.
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Weird Together - Single Review: Find Out
27 Nov 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Weird Together’s latest release Find Out is an eclectic collaboration with Silver Scroll winners Lips. It’s an acidic, bright funk-house number, experimenting simultaneously with the fun and the familiar.
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Anthea de Milo - Album Review: The Vicar's Daughter
27 Nov 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
Out of a cavernous ballroom in Kurow comes the soulful mourning of Anthea de Milo with an old classic, just written, Just in Case. Anthea de Milo?
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Roonie - EP Review: Loveless
25 Nov 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
After releasing a series of exciting singles throughout the year, Christchurch indie-pop artist Roonie drops her first ever EP Loveless. Created in collaboration with producer Will Henderson, it’s a bright, self-assured project, exploring how love impacts Roonie’s self-perception.
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Coridian - Single Review: State of Mind
24 Nov 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Today is an exciting day. Auckland’s alt-rock champions, and arguably one of Aotearoa’s finest rock groups of the modern day, Coridian, release a fresh new jam, State of Mind, for all to indulge in and headbang to.
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Lazy Fifty - Gig Review: Lazy Fifty @ Paraoa Brewing, Whangaparaoa - 24/11/2022
24 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
For my only gig this week, not only am I out on a school night, but I have struggled all the way from South Auckland up to Whangaparaoa, and I must admit it has been years since I have been here. Tonight, Australian trio 19-Twenty are in town, but to be honest I am here for the support band, Lazy Fifty whose last album, 2021: A Lazy Odyssey, I reviewed a year ago.
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Bird Machine - EP Review: Bird Machine
24 Nov 2022 // A review by Chris Chick
Bird Machine are releasing their self-titled EP, the twosome brings a vibe of a New Zealand and Australian alt rock and dream pop to your ears. All these songs are remarkably performed, recorded, and produced from their home-based studio in the wonderful city of Hamilton.
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Reuben Hudson - EP Review: Cloudhead
24 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This five-track EP is the latest release from Melbourne-based, Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland, New Zealand) multi-instrumentalist and songwriter/producer, Reuben Hudson. Featuring David Harris on drums (Princess Chelsea), mixed by Peter Ruddell (Wax Chattels, Sulfate) and mastered by James Goldsmith (Mermaidens), everything else was played and performed by Reuben himself.
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Juliet McLean - EP Review: Amaze Me
24 Nov 2022 // A review by taffynz
A very introspective offering here from Taranaki based singer/songwriter Juliet McLean. The EP Amaze Me, named for its promo single release, is not my usual cup of tea - however, I have said before that music is a subjective creature and a thing of beauty to me might not be so for you...
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Brian Baker - Single Review: I Won't Back Down
23 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Although Tom Petty was a massive success in the States, he never saw anything like the same in the UK until he partnered with Jeff Lynne and together, they came up with the masterpiece which is Full Moon Fever. I was blown away and had it on repeat the year I started dating my now wife, and any song from that album always makes me think of 1989, where I was, with no idea my life would be changing dramatically (and for the better).
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Bad Jelly Collective - Single Review: Paradigms
23 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest release from Bad Jelly Collective, which comprises Ben Clark (vocals, guitar, production) and Dave Weir (bass). It is lengthy for a single, being 5:36, but that is due to the large amount of repetition contained within and the very slow build which takes place.
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The RVMES - Album Review: Simple Things
23 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Before I started writing this I went back to my review for the guys’ last album, Lifetime, and part of me thought about copying it pretty much word for word and see if anyone noticed, as I spoke at length as to how many genres they were covering, and we have the same here, possibly more so. Most bands choose a genre, possibly going into a related area as well, and pretty much stay there.
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Christine White - Album Review: Raven
23 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This multi-media project commenced in March 2020, and more than 2 ½ years later the release had come together with five songs (one of which is a remix of the opening title cut by electronic producer Paddy Free, so there are six tracks). These are accompanied by three music videos, and a book of short haiku-style poetry in two languages (English & Farsi), and there is no doubt that this has gained quite a deal of media interest, so yesterday I found myself listening to a very interesting interview with Christine White on RNZ.
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The New Existentialists - EP Review: Last Days of the Internet
23 Nov 2022 // A review by darryl baser
It might seem like George D Henderson has been a part of the New Zealand music landscape for about as long as Keith Richards has been playing guitar. He’s been in the Flying Nun arena with The Puddle based in Dunedin.
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Marrow Neck - EP Review: Made Up
23 Nov 2022 // A review by Paul Goddard
Sitting here in a very wet and cold, rainy UK watching the oldies falling out of the local Wetherspoons where they have been on the piss since 9am (yep the UK is weird it's only the old people who can afford to get pissed all day).I am reflecting on the past as I listen to the latest EP Made Up from Auckland-based Mark Hannington.
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Goodnight My Darling - Album Review: Goodnight My Darling
22 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
If it hadn’t been for an unfortunate clash with an event I had to attend, I would have been at Whammy a few weeks back to hear Goodnight My Darling, (Maxine Macaulay), and now I have listened to her debut album I so wish I had been able to make it. Still, at least this is now available so those of us who were unable to make it to the tour (last two dates this coming weekend in Wellington and Kapiti) can enjoy this relaxed pleasant romp through different elements of soft pop rock, singer songwriter and shoegaze.
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Taiotims - EP Review: Thank You For Your Patience
22 Nov 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Taiotims (Mataio Timaloa) is an Auckland Hip-Hop artist who has independently built a growing fanbase all over New Zealand. His music is known for his relatable story telling, nostalgic tone of voice and his soulful beats.
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Whero - Single Review: Easy
21 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
There are times when one hears a voice and it feels as if you are being held warm and safe, and that is definitely the case here with Whero, who recently released her debut single. If she has not recorded under this name before, I am sure she must have recorded with others, while this has all the hallmarks of someone who has undertaken a lot of live work.
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Terrible Sons - Single Review: Tomorrow Always Comes
21 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Last week I was fortunate enough to see husband and wife duo Lauren and Matt Barus, otherwise known as Terrible Sons, perform at Wine Cellar, and it was truly a magical evening. Both are wonderful singers, with Matt providing different styles of guitars and Lauren piano, and they created a spell with their music.
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Bevan Mical - Single Review: Cuts Through The Years
21 Nov 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Cuts Through The Years is a jolly, breezy single by multi-instrumentalist, Bevan Mical. The song begins with a two-chord sequence on acoustic guitar, but there's something exotic about the chords are instruments that support the verse.
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GiGi Genie - EP Review: Seasons of The Soul / Wa O Te Wairua
21 Nov 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Seasons of The Soul or Wa O Te Wairua, is a collection of songs by multi-instrumentalist and self-described folk noir artist GiGi Genie. The group is led by songwriter GiGi Crayford and her support band which includes flautists, violinists, zither and percussion players.
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Ben Horlock - Single Review: Don't Wait On Me
21 Nov 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Ben Horlock (Ngati Porou/Te Arawa) is a pop artist from Dunedin who has an ear for a great pop melody, a knack for moody blues guitar lines, and the kind of voice talent scouts are always listening out for. His latest release Don’t Wait on Me features the prominent high hat of modern trap music coming out of Atlanta, an ambient synth lifted from a goth club track, with some deep bass chords to anchor it all together.
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Hans Pucket - Album Review: No Drama
21 Nov 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Wellington four-piece Hans Pucket is the kind of band you really should get into now (if you haven’t already) and see live before they become massive. That is, if the world is fair and allows these musicians to succeed at their art form because they really are incredibly good at what they do - and that’s writing beautiful, clever, unusual songs that seem to be for and inspired by uncertain times.
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Gig Review: Ding Dong Bands Competition Semi-Final 2 @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 19/11/2022
20 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back down to Dead Witch for the second of the two semi-finals, and tonight was going to be quite different for me as I had already seen three of the bands play (one of them twice), and while I had not seen the last one, I did see one of the guys in his previous band. This was also a night when Auckland had been hit by severe rain, it sounded as if part of the venue’s roof had collapsed, the fire alarms had gone off, and they had leaks!
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Gig Review: Ding Dong Bands Competition Semi-Final 1 @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 18/11/2022
18 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back down to Dead Witch for the next round of their Battle of the Bands competition. They had some fine bands the last time this was held, with the title eventually being taken by White Noise Mafia.
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Tia Ward - Single Review: Ko Wai Ahau
18 Nov 2022 // A review by taffynz
Divine. Taranaki, Ngati Maniapoto has given us the bewitching sound of Tia Ward.
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ABRZY - Album Review: 80 Different Ways II
18 Nov 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
ABRZY (sometimes referred to as Breezy) is a rapper who has quickly made a name for himself for not only his distinctive, rapid flowing delivery but his unique style that blends influences from Bengali culture. Above all, this release is genuine.
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Eden Iris - Single Review: Young Guest Feat. Lucie Hill
17 Nov 2022 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
I have followed Eden Iris since her (albeit brief) appearance on NZ X Factor in 2013, and I admire the way she has carved out her own path musically since then and created herself a life with music and songwriting well and truly at the heart of it. Proving she never really needed that glorified karaoke contest anyway!
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James Hunter and The Gatherers - Single Review: Revelation
17 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This four-piece alt folk group was originally a solo venture by James Hunter, but he brought in others to work with him, and The Gatherers are now Taylar Mallo (bass), Jacob Gates (lead guitar) and Emerson McCullough (drums.) They say they are influenced by the likes of Jeff Buckley, Sufjan Stevens and Bon Iver, but there is also a major influence which is somewhat out of left field, as whether they have recognised it or not, Justin Hawkins of British rockers The Darkness has had an impact.
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Marianne Leigh - Single Review: Crazy GF
17 Nov 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Auckland performer Marianne Leigh's new track Crazy GF sees her compact the very real human emotions of jealousy and distrust into a compelling, satirical take on female stereotypes. It's catchy, concise, and as the title promises, extremely crazy.
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Odds & Ends - Single Review - 'Better Days'
17 Nov 2022 // A review by IShadowcasterI
Odds & Ends present what might have just become my summer anthem as they give us the song Better Days.Koen Aldershof, Jonathan Meyer, Max Earnshaw, and Luan Meaker make up the Dutch-Kiwi Indie Rock band, and already have 4 singles and an EP reviewed right HERE with us, and yet I would dare to say that this may just be their best effort to date.
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Greta O'Leary - EP Review: Treasure Horse
17 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Following on from the release of her first two singles earlier this year, alt-folk artist Greta O’Leary has now released her debut EP which contains five songs, including both singles. In the past I have likened Greta to Vashti Bunyan, Jazmine Mary and French For Rabbits, and she has attributes of all of them, as what makes this EP work so incredibly well is the depth of her vocals and the way the arrangements refuse to conform to any normal theme.
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Anderson Rocio - EP Review: Chapter One
17 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I guess it will be a long time before I think of Anderson Rocio of anything different to how I first saw her, playing a grand piano wearing a wonderful ballroom dress as she opened for Sol3 Mio. We have kept in touch since then, and last year I reviewed her excellent We’re Fine EP.
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Terrible Sons - Gig Review: Terrible Sons @ The Wine Cellar, Auckland - 16/11/2022
16 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Into central Auckland for my second gig of the week, this time down to Wine Cellar to see folk duo Terrible Sons who describe their music as being “Indie folk music for day-dreamers, cloud watchers and sad song enthusiasts”. The only reason I was here that I had to drive into the city on Friday afternoon for a meeting and heard Lauren and Matt Barus doing a live session on the radio, and when I realised they were coming up from their home in Christchurch to play a gig in Auckland I knew I had to be there.
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Seas of Conflict - Single Review: Consume Feat. Lana Paige
15 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I know I was not the only one within the metal scene to be excited when I heard there was a new release coming from Seas of Conflict. Although there have been significant line-up changes since I last saw them play, the duo of Kody (vocals) and Nic (all instruments) are producing music which is as dynamic, downtuned and brutal as ever.
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Tahini Bikini - Album Review: Fever Dream
15 Nov 2022 // A review by Andrew Smit
An album full of very danceable funk tunes, loaded with tight guitar, bass, brass and percussion that provide a perfect foundation for the expressive soulful vocals of Madeline Lucy Taylor. Her unique clarity is reminiscent of Amy Winehouse or our own Kiwi songstress Gin Wigmore.
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Concert Review: Kristallnacht Commemorative Concert @ King’s School, Auckland - 14/11/2022
15 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Tonight was the second of two concerts, the other being in Wellington a few nights ago, to provide a tribute to the "The Women's Orchestra of Auschwitz", telling the stories of four women through the course of the evening. It is a very long time since I attended an evening of classical music, but I was intrigued to discover more about the awful events which took place during the Second World War.
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Dead Favours - Gig Review: Dead Favours @ Valhalla, Wellington - 12/11/2022
14 Nov 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
There was a palpable energy in Valhalla on Saturday night; something akin to an orchestra warming up before an opera or athletes preparing for a big game. Before the first act, standing patrons were clamouring for the front line to enjoy three fantastic (and quite different) rock bands.
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Synthesis of Self - Single Review: Atlas
13 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Last night I saw this young band open for one of the biggest bills of the year, and were not fazed by it whatsoever, and given what I witnessed then and what I am listening to now, I can see why. They performed this song at the finals of Smokefree Rock Quest two years ago, and now it is the lead single for their debut EP, Crushed by the Sky, which will be out soon.
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Come Together: The Beatles @ Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre, Auckland - 12/11/2022
13 Nov 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
The Beatles wrote much of their ninth album, their first double, on a Transcendental Meditation course in India with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in early 1968. They called it simply “The Beatles”, but, in contrast to the previous album cover for Sergeant Pepper, extreme in colour and pageantry, this album was just…….
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Late to Chelsea - Single Review: Permanent Stankface Disorder
13 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest single from the self-confessed “worse band in Auckland”, Late To Chelsea. There is only one small thing wrong with the comment, they’re not (either late, or the worst).
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Written By Wolves - Gig Review: Written By Wolves @ Tuning Fork, Auckland - 12/11/2022
13 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I, and a whole load of fans, have been waiting for this gig for way too long. The reason it is called “Third Time Lucky” is that the original gig, with a slightly different support line-up, was due to take place last September but thanks to Covid it was canned.
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House of Bonnie Presents @ Valhalla, Wellington - 10/11/2022
12 Nov 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
While Wellington’s Valhalla can often seem the perfect venue for dark and brutal music with the Viking themed attire, steep black walls, not to mention imposing decals (including some surviving Halloween decorations), the bar was all colour and light on Thursday evening when Sodalight, REID, Happy Two and Burnt Out Graduate came to brighten the corners. The event had been organised by The House of Bonnie; an organiser who regularly puts on pop shows that are often related to Massey University creative art graduates.
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This Silent Divide - Gig Review: This Silent Divide @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 11/11/2022
11 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back down to Dead Witch for the first of two consecutive nights of gigs for me which were both originally planned for last year but postponed due to the pandemic. Wellington-based quartet This Silent Divide were finally up in Auckland to promote their excellent EP, Tall Stories, which I reviewed last October.
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Goodnight My Darling - Gig Review: Goodnight My Darling w/ Ersha Island @ Whammy Bar, Auckland - 10/11/2022
11 Nov 2022 // A review by Lou Clement
Goodnight My Darling played at Whammy Bar along with Ersha Island last night. Ersha Island are a sister-duo, playing a classic (but not often seen in their genres) accompaniment of violin and piano.
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Swallow the Rat - Single Review: Other Rooms Feat. Yuko Miyoshi
10 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Swallow The Rat are back with a new single in time for their NZ tour (with Ripship in support, which makes a lot of musical sense to me), where they have also brought in Yuko Miyoshi of Memory Foam who provides additional lead vocals. This is a tough one to listen to, almost as if Can have been invited to a Stooges gig, and they have decided to fuzzily distort everything, bringing in additional instruments to create a carpet of sound for the vocals to rest on.
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Khailana - Single Review: Like A Demon
10 Nov 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Otaki based independent ethereal pop artist Khailana, has just released her third single Like A Demon. Four years in the making the track is a mystical and captivating song, a moody tale ultimately about “how people can construct an entire version of you based off of one little thing that you’ve said or done”.
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Ant Utama - Single Review: Biding My Time
10 Nov 2022 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Pop artist Ant Utama releases his new single Biding My Time today, Friday 11th November. The Kiwi born, now German based artist has enjoyed success with the release of his debut EP Brave in 2020, clocking over 300,000 streams.
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Investigator - Album Review: Shade
10 Nov 2022 // A review by Kerry MB
Investigator is a band that makes you think you know what they’re about after one song, when really there is so much more and you have it so wrong. Formed from the creative mind of singer songwriter, Adrian Drew, Investigator are in fact a five piece from Auckland doing everything right with their new album release, Shade If you’re familiar with their sound you’ll know their penchant for melody and darkness, an almost evolving sound each new verse or chorus.
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Book Review: Matthew Goody - Needles and Pins: The Flying Nun Story 1981 - 1989
09 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I have been a writer for more than 30 years, have written thousands of reviews and literally millions of words, while a publisher has also seen fit to put out four books and ask when the next ones are coming. Yet having been looking through this I feel totally inadequate, as this is one of the most incredible pieces of work I have ever come across.
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Pieces Of Molly - Album Review: Pieces Of Molly
09 Nov 2022 // A review by Epitomised_Drummer
Have you ever heard a tune for the very first time, and within 10 seconds been like "holy crap this is insane, where did this come from???" Very few bands that I listen to ever give me that massive burst in energy like i got when opening the very first track Atomic Fuzz on Pieces Of Molly’s brand new self-titled album.
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No Cigar - Gig Review: No Cigar @ Galatos, Auckland - 5/11/2022
09 Nov 2022 // A review by Lou Clement
No Cigar played Auckland on the final date of their Bienvenido Album Release Tour. Nestled behind Karangahape Road, the venue, Galatos, was sold out and packed to the brim on an electric Saturday night.
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Eve Kelly - Single Review: Gotta Let Go
08 Nov 2022 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Gotta Let Go is the new contemporary anthem from Eve Kelly, a vocalist born and raised in Whakatane. Eve grew up performing in music theatre around Aotearoa, as well as singing in national competitions and at smaller gigs such as weddings and local fundraisers.
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laura. - Single/Video Review: Safety in Numbers (Graeme Woller Remix)
08 Nov 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Taranaki songwriter Laura Griffiths is releasing a banging dance remix of her hugely popular track Safety In Numbers. This version produced by Graeme Woller, transforms a “fun indie pop” tune into a dance banger.
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Finn Johansson - Single Review: You Look Down At Me
08 Nov 2022 // A review by taffynz
I am SO having a golden run with these reviews! Yet another that has sent me to that place I like to go.
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NZTrio - Gig Review: NZTrio @ Pah Homestead, Auckland - 06/11/2022
08 Nov 2022 // A review by Clare Martin
NZTrio treated us to some very tasty mouthfuls of their Legacy 3 programme on Sunday night at Auckland’s Pah Homestead. It was the final third of their Legacy series, marking their proud twenty-year anniversary.
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Christine White - Single Review: Taken
08 Nov 2022 // A review by mebaynes
Acclaimed music maker, Christine White, released a lush new single Taken on October 27th. The second single and video from her upcoming multifaceted release, The Raven Project due for release on November 24th 2022, is an epic collaboration with over fifty musicians and artists including legendary composer John Psathas.
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Kiero - Single Review: Kiero
07 Nov 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Kiero, a relatively new three-piece from Tamaki Makaurau, made up of musicians who are definitely not new to creating colourful noise. There is Michael Collier on keyboards, Jin Song on bass, and bandmate as well as a great friend of mine, Grant Kirkpatrick on drums.
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Adam Hattaway & The Haunters - Gig Review: Adam Hattaway and the Haunters @ Wine Cellar, Auckland - 04/11/2022
07 Nov 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
Rick Topp opened for Adam Hattaway and the Haunters on Friday night three hours before pumpkin time. You know Rick Topp, you might not think so, but you do.
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Crying Club - Single Review: Hide
06 Nov 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Poneke Wellington indie-emo maestros Crying Club, formerly and hilariously known as The Chonus Brothers, have made waves both in Tamaki Makaurau as well as in their usual stomping grounds of the Capital. After said name change, and the release of their brilliant 2021 single Taxi Man, the quartet pressed on, and are now proud to present to the world a dark, new single for all to sing along to, headbang with, and feel appropriately glum to.
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Riqi Harawira - Single/Video Review: E Rere Ai (Fly Away)
06 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
E rere ai is a song which originally came from a poem written by Riqi and his partner Floss (who appears in the video) which touches on love, hopes, and dreams. They are a Maori/Pakeha blended couple deeply in love with each other, with the idea of an equal union formed in Aroha (love) and respect even though they are from different cultures and backgrounds.
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Curlys Jewels - Single Review: Criminal
06 Nov 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Curlys Jewels' Criminal begins with one hell of a riff inspired by the glory days of 90’s grunge, but produced with a little more bite giving it a metallic vibe. I instantly thought of Alice in Chains, not only as an influence on the song but also as another band that drew heavily from both genres.
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Finger Tight - Gig Review: Finger Tight @ Zeal, Auckland - 05/11/2022
05 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This Saturday found me over in West Auckland for my first ever event at Zeal, which I have on good authority used to be the hub for punk/metalcore/hardcore shows back in the day. This was an all-ages show, so was starting at the ungodly hour of 7:30, but at least I had a great place to sit and write, on the desk next to the lighting and sound, with a proper chair with a back!
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Reece Milton - Album Review: Elixir
05 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the debut album from Wellington-born and Nelson-raised singer songwriter Reece Milton. As with many other young Kiwi musicians, Reece was involved with Smokefree Rockquest, where his band won their regional heats in 2018.
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Teraset - Album Review: Bones of Contention
04 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back in 2018, drummer Will Stairmand was undertaking interviews for Angie's Gunroom Sessions, when he came across a demo by a band called Teraset. He enjoyed it, so arranged an interview with those involved and discovered that it was guitarist Lee Mallett’s project along with some mates.
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Jack Robertson - Single Review: Dim Lights
04 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I must confess that I know nothing about singer songwriter singer songwriter Jack Robertson apart from the fact he released his debut album Broke and Broken back in 2019, and then released some singles earlier this year. When I think of a singer songwriter, I think of someone playing an acoustic guitar, with or without support, what I don’t expect is a song with an annoyingly catchy riff which owes more to the blues than anything else and contains a dynamite guitar solo near the end.
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Molly Devine - EP Review: Still Here
03 Nov 2022 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Otepoti musician Molly Devine releases her new EP Still Here today, on November 4th.The three track EP is a collection of thoughtful and powerful songs that tell the story of Devine's experience with dating app Bumble.
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Amanaki - EP Review: Tempest
03 Nov 2022 // A review by Paul Goddard
Hardcore.It tends to mean extreme.
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Deep Water Creek - Single Review: Bucket Spider
03 Nov 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This is the first time I have come across Otautahi-based singer/songwriter Deep Water Creek (Matthew Smith), but this single is taken from his forthcoming third album, so I obviously have some catching up to do. Recorded and mixed by Josh Logan at Loho studios, what we have here is a confident singer/songwriter very much in the classic Paul Simon style, and one where there has been a great deal of work undertaken in the arrangement which really makes this stand out.
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Adam Hattaway & The Haunters - Album Review: Bug Eyes
03 Nov 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
Have you ever looked a bug in the eye? It’s scary stuff.
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Nika - Single Review: Saviour Complex
03 Nov 2022 // A review by darryl baser
A song with an interesting title will always grab my attention, and the idea of people with a saviour complex has always fascinated me, so when the new song by Nika called Saviour Complex was offered to me to review I almost somersaulted. The song opens with a gently and alluring piano melody before Nika’s voice kicks in and from the first notes some vocal training is obvious.
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Scarlett Eden - Single Review: Real Life
02 Nov 2022 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Scarlett Eden’s new track released this October 21st, and it’s called Real Life. Coining herself a "funked up pop filled R&B singer", Scarlett experiments with blues, funk, jazz, R&B, and soul.
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Deprivacy - Single Review: Beneath
02 Nov 2022 // A review by Kerry MB
Beneath is the latest single from former one man metal act, Deprivacy, AKA Robbie Scott. If you’re familiar with his offerings, you’ll know what a powerhouse of talent he is and I’m so stoked to dive into his latest single for our listening pleasure.
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Jack Panther - Single Review: Weekend At Bernies
02 Nov 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Fresh off the success of his sophomore EP why don't you come over?, Auckland creative Jack Panther is back with new single Weekend At Bernies, a tight alt-pop release carefully positioned for commercial success.
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Jaggers x Ska - Single Review: Blue to Grey
02 Nov 2022 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Jaggers x Ska are a Dunedin duo made up of Ridge Jaggers (drums, bass, keyboard, production) and Skalisko (guitar, keyboards, bass, vocals). Blue to Grey is a dark disco-tinged goth pop song that sounds like it would play at the gates of purgatory in a David Lynch movie.
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Desbot - Album Review: Pass of Change
02 Nov 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Desbot is made up of Maurice Beckett (bass), from Napier’s post rock legends, Jakob. He is joined by Nick Blow (keyboards) and Tom Pierard (drums).
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The Dirty Tones - Album Review: Can't Stop
02 Nov 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
@page size: 21cm 29.7cm; margin: 2cm p { line-height: 115%; margin-bottom: 0.
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The Late Starters - Single Review: False Victim
31 Oct 2022 // A review by taffynz
Okay, here's another belter. Christchurch's groovy rockers The Late Starters are releasing their new single False Victim on 1st November, and you need to hear it.
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Gig Review: Come Together - Tom Petty @ Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre, Auckland - 30/10/2022
31 Oct 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
Tom Petty hit us like a bullet train in 1976. It was London, and prog rock was being challenged by punk.
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Ryumas - Album Review: Brand. Construct. Form.
31 Oct 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Dunedin-dwelling producer and musician Hamish Crabb, under his stage-name Ryumas, has been creating experimental electronic music for the past four years. In the present day of October 2022, his collated work over that time has been released as a full-length album.
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Villainy - Gig Review: Villainy @ The Powerstation, Auckland - 28/10/2022
31 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It has been 10 years since Villainy released Mode. Set.
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The Treasury - EP Review: Shimmer / I'll Return From On The Sea
29 Oct 2022 // A review by Peter-James Dries
I get a lot of pretty obscure releases thrown my way. For every Six60 single, there are fifty songs you will never hear, from artists you have never heard of.
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Keeltys - EP Review: Strange
29 Oct 2022 // A review by HazzaMakingNoise
For a place that is the epitome of Aotearoa’s blokey sport-heavy monoculture, Otautahi is having a remarkable renaissance of churning out quality bands and artists. Jazz-rock infused pop band Keelty’s have just added their name to the roll-call sheet with their debut EP Strange.
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Thrashing Marlin - Album Review: Wildlife
28 Oct 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
I wasn’t sure about anything, let alone a band, called Thrashing Marlin]. Are they beating a marlin with a rod or are they invoking a marlin trying to shake off a hook?
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Aldous Harding - Gig Review: Aldous Harding @ Auckland Town Hall, Auckland - 26/10/2022
28 Oct 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
Ah, Aldous, it’s been three years since you filled the PowerStation twice and etched your name and face in our annals. Three long years, only relieved by a cameo at the Flying Nun birthday party last year.
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The Nukes - Album Review: Homespun
27 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I have always had a soft spot for folk music, and five years ago travelled to the other side of the world just for a folk festival (honest), but one instrument I did not come across a great deal in the UK was the ukulele, probably due in no small manner to everyone there relating that instrument to the entertainer George Formby. Here in Aotearoa, and in the Pacific in general, there is a far different approach to the instrument although this is the first time I have come across a ukulele trio (although they do also play additional instruments and also have numerous guest musicians and singers).
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Grant Haua - Album Review: Tahanga (Unplugged)
27 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Some 40+ years ago David Coverdale sang the immortal words, “I love the blues, They tell my story, If you don't feel it you can never understand” and they are as true today as they ever were. If you get the blues, really get the blues, there is nothing else like it and although I love the electric works of Lightnin’ Hopkins, T-Bone Walker and Muddy Waters, there is something about the pre-war acoustic blues which hold a special place, people like Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Blake, Lead Belly and so many others.
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Renee Millner - EP Review: Fly Me Back
27 Oct 2022 // A review by Hannah Jane
Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of reviewing New Zealand based Australian singer-songwriter Renée Millner’s single Not OK, and much to my delight I have been listening to her EP Fly Me Back over and over ever since. The five songs contained within this album all carry a gentle strength both lyrically and melodically, and the music surrounding them is truly lovely.
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Impostor Syndrome - Album Review: Oriens
27 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Impostor Syndrome is an experimental recording project based in Auckland, New Zealand. Becoming best of friends as seventeen-year-olds over a shared love of Alice in Chains, it took until 2019 before vocalist Ryan Culleton, drummer Scott Nicolson and multi-instrumentalist Shannon Coulomb were to create music together as a unit.
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Amanaki - Single Review: Tumor
26 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Amanaki are back with the second single from their forthcoming EP, Tempest, and is a song which they say was incredibly difficult to record, and even harder to play live given the emotions behind it. During the first lockdown, April discovered that her father’s cancer had spread, and she was unable to see her parents through much of that time.
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Kyla Greening - Single Review: Promises
26 Oct 2022 // A review by mebaynes
Promises by Kyla Greening is described as a "funkadelic 'boy-bye' to promise-breakers that have led you on for too long" - inspired by the grooves and rhythms of neo-soul and hip-hop artists like D'angelo and Erykah Badu. Yes I hear those famous Soulquarians in this track, but I also hear Prince (or TAFKAP), Beyoncé-like pop sensibilities, all of this is wrapped up using an up-to-date production style.
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Racing - Album Review: Must Be The Moon
26 Oct 2022 // A review by Investigator
Must Be The Moon is the sophomore album from electro-rockers Racing. Boasting the talented line up of Ed Knowles and Sven Pettersen (The Checks), Daniel Barrett (Sherpa) and Izaak Houston (Space Creeps), it's not surprising that the band have achieved some notable success.
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Gig Review: Emo Day Party @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 23/10/2022
25 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Being a glutton for punishment, I was back out the next day at an even more stupid time to catch the Emo Day Party which was taking place over the three floors of Ding Dong Lounge in conjunction with next door’s nightclub, Infinity. The stage was actually up in the nightclub, and it was the first time I had ventured in there so this was going to be interesting.
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Stonehurst - Single Review: Whispers
24 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Don’t let the first ten seconds of the latest single from Christchurch outfit Stonehurst lull you into a false sense of security. Admittedly, I was staring at the speakers trying to work out what was going on and equate the sounds with the band I saw play last year but then everything crunches, and we are off.
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Reece Milton - Single Review: Ms Mona Lisa
23 Oct 2022 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Born in Wellington, and raised in Nelson, Reece Milton is a singer songwriter and guitarist who’s recently earned a recording contract with Antipodes Records, and management with StudioBox Creative. Finding licks that match indie rock influence, pop and a bit of jazz, Reece has created a new single which follows the success of his debut.
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Festival Review: The Others Way Festival, Auckland - 22/10/2022
23 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This evening was my first visit to The Others Way, a festival being held up and down K Road in Auckland featuring eight different venues. This meant getting into the city unreasonably early as the first band on my list was starting at 6:15!
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Pitch Black - Single Review: Exodus
22 Oct 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Having been in the scene for over a quarter of a decade, Pitch Black would know a thing or two about the past and present. Consisting of producers and musicians Paddy Free and Michael Hodgson, the duo toured the globe and played countless numbers of festivals and gigs both in Aotearoa and abroad.
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Gig Review: Ding Dong Bands Competition Heat 3 @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 21/10/2022
21 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
In 2020 I attended the heats of this competition which was where I discovered bands such as White Noise Mafia, Café Fistfight, Channeled and so many others. Of course, due to the small matter of a global pandemic and a lockdown there was no competition last year, but here it is back in 2022.
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Jaz Paterson - Single Review: Older
21 Oct 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Geraldine-raised, Christchurch-based performer Jaz Paterson’s latest release Older takes a stripped-back approach to her electronic artistry. Soft, smooth and serious, it’s a unique single stepping into new territory for the pop musician.
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Finger Tight - Album Review: Messages From The End of the World
20 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
In June of last year I made my way to Wine Cellar to see Melanie for the first time, and one of the bands on the bill that night were Finger Tight, and when I reviewed them I said “I was extremely impressed by the end and found it hard to believe this is just their third gig – we are going to be hearing a lot more of these guys.” Since then, I have reviewed some singles, one of which (I Hear It Rains In Seattle) is included on this their debut album which is going to make a lot of people sit up and take notice as this is a punk/pop/emo banger from start to finish.
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Blindspott - Single Review: Pretty Violent
19 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
What can you say about Blindspott which hasn’t already been said? When it comes to metal icons from NZ, there are few who exist in the same rarefied atmosphere as these guys, and when I saw them play recently there was no doubt they were among friends who knew all the words to every song.
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Sounds Escape - Album Review: Voices
19 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Sounds Escape is a new project by multi-instrumentalist Logan Wedgwood, with Voices being the debut release. This six-track 30-minute-long instrumental album was conceived during the first Auckland lockdown when Logan discovered he and his wife were not coping well with the stresses of being at home all the time, attempting to combine parenting with Zoom meetings and each other.
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Crooked Royals - Album Review: Quarter Life Day Dream
19 Oct 2022 // A review by Kris Raven
Kiwi progressive Metalcore 5-piece Crooked Royals are a ticking time bomb, the anticipation and hype for their debut album Quarter Life Day Dream is brewing, and their path to global domination has been building since their inception. They have come out of pit swinging and have hit 2022 hard, heavy and ready to take on the international stage.
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Skank Bandit - Single Review: I Am The Master?
19 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
The latest single from New Plymouth outfit Skank Bandit explores themes of doubt, self-belief, and self-control, promoting awareness of the risks of drink driving and challenging people to take responsibility for their actions and choices in life. It is an unusual song in many ways, as while the repeated guitar riff is hypnotic and light, the lyrics are dark, and when the guitar crunches, we are taken away from summer and into something else altogether.
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Devils Elbow - EP Review: Riverlands
19 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It has been quite a while since we last heard from Hawkes Bay trio Devils Elbow, but here they are back with their latest EP Riverlands. One thing which is interesting to note is that only Alec Withers (vocals, guitars, percussion) plays on all four tracks, while the threesome play as such on just one, then they are joined by an additional guitarist on another, while the last two are just Alec and a different keyboard player on each track.
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Fear Up Harsh - Album Review: Fear Up Harsh (III)
19 Oct 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
It’s been described before here on Muzic.net.
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2Fly Ty - Single Review: Dance Floor
19 Oct 2022 // A review by 24KLegacy
2Fly Ty has released his single Dance Floor, a high energy rap song revolved around the artists story of a night out. Describing his night as he follows a woman through the nightclub, 2Fly Ty flows across the song with his catchy hook over the bass and kick instrumental.
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The Seizure Police - EP Review: Volume 1
19 Oct 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
When I say that this release is perfect for meditation I intend it as a compliment. It’s difficult to make music this laid back, this thoroughly reliant on delay; this austere.
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S H E - Single/Video Review: Everything Was In Black And White
19 Oct 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Everything Was In Black and White is the newest single from Wellington’s S H E, and it packs a wallop. The band have described their sound as "Lady Gaga meets My Bloody Valentine" and although I was sceptical of such a description at first, it all makes sense when you hear the song (or see the fantastic video that features members in drag alter-egos and is shot in glorious 4K, and of course, in black and white).
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Demons of Noon - Single Review: Sphere of Peace
18 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I first came across Demons of Noon when they opened for the mighty Beastwars at the Powerstation last year, and I came away very impressed indeed by raw sludge-driven doom, and also noted that when they had two female singers come on stage for the last few songs the dynamic changed considerably. Since then, singer Sophie Jackson has left the band and moved to Wellington, and they have just gained a replacement in Tamsyn Matchett but she does not feature on this single, just Aria Jones.
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Claudia Robin Gunn - Album Review: Sing For The Sea
18 Oct 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Auckland songwriter Claudia Gunn has recently released her latest family friendly album Sing For The Sea (Little Wild Ocean Friends). A robust 24 tracks of delightful marine themed songs.
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Troy Kingi - Gig Review: Troy Kingi and The Promises @ Powerstation, Auckland - 14/10/2022
17 Oct 2022 // A review by Lou Clement
Available on both vinyl and cassette, Troy Kingi’s (Te Arawa, Ngapuhi, Te Whanau-a-Apanui) new album, Year of The Ratbags and Their Musty Theme Songs, was debuted at the Powerstation, Auckland. It was a fun and fantastic return to live performance for 2022, following the years of COVID cancellations and absences.
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Sweet Mix Kids - Album Review: Stargazing
17 Oct 2022 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Sweet Mix Kids are an Auckland DJ/Production duo made up of Sandon James and Chris Scott. They've played some of the hottest parties around the world, including a sold out 14,000 Synthony show at Spark Arena.
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Into Orbit - Gig Review: Into Orbit @ San Fran, Wellington - 14/10/2022
17 Oct 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
A mere two days before Spook the Horses were scheduled to play a much anticipated show at Wellington’s San Fran, it was announced they would not be playing at all. Due to some of the members contracting Covid, the band posted on social media that the gig would be going ahead with fellow Wellingtonians Into Orbit taking their place as the headliner.
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Gig Review: Ding Dong Bands Competition Heat 1 @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 14/09/2022
16 Oct 2022 // A review by Gideon Voon
I remember entering this competition for 3 consecutive years (if I remember correctly), during my early days of playing in bands. Each time with a different act, 2 times making the Grand Final.
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Alba Rose - Single Review: Mountains
16 Oct 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Alba Rose’s new indie-pop track Mountains is indescribable. Bright and dynamic, simple yet full, it’s a song devoted to following through on your feelings and declaring, “I can’t be scared of love”.
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Mel Parsons - Gig Review: Mel Parsons @ Hollywood Avondale, Auckland - 15/10/2022
16 Oct 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
I’m slow on the lesson, I’m slow on the learn, getting into Mel Parsons has been a slow burn. Painting the fence got me started last November before her solo gig at Tuning Fork.
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Lorenzo Vichi - EP Review: Anima
14 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This 13-minute-long 3-track instrumental album is by Lorenzo Vichi, an Italian who now lives in Aotearoa. Everything we hear on the EP was written, arranged, recorded, mixed, produced and edited by Lorenzo who decided to record and produce this EP by himself to demonstrate that it is possible to make music without the need for expensive equipment.
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Eliezer - Single Review: Certified Professional Dreamer
14 Oct 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Eliezer is back after a little while with his new track Certified Professional Dreamer. Produced with long-time collaborator Ten Oh, the track continues to show why Eliezer is name you need to stay aware of.
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Teazse - Single Review: Love, Money Or Drugs
14 Oct 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
The new single from Teazse, an independent rap artist from Auckland, brings a lot of what people like about modern hip hop and brings it into his own world, while still acknowledging the sound of those that came before. For example, the sampled pitched voice works well when used well, and it's done here well.
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Scalper - Single Review: I'm Life Feat Nawazish Ali Khan
14 Oct 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Scalper is Nadeem Shafi, born and raised in East London of Pakistani descent. First seen in Aotearoa New Zealand at WOMAD 1997 as the vocalist for the British band Fun-da-mental.
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Christine White - Single Review: Raven
14 Oct 2022 // A review by Trevor Faville
Christine White is an experienced and accomplished composer, with an impressive musical background. Raven is the first part of what is being described as a ‘multifaceted release’ called The Raven Project and is available on video and audio formats.
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Roonie - Single Review: The Way It Should Be
13 Oct 2022 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Pop artist Roonie releases her new single The Way It Should Be today, Friday 14th October 2022. Taupo raised, Christchurch based Roonie is Michaela Pointon, who burst onto the scene in 2020 with the release of her debut single My Heart.
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TeamSquad - EP Review: All Dream
13 Oct 2022 // A review by Kerry MB
TeamSquad is a Whaingaroa/Raglan powerhouse (no pun intended) duo Ruth and Kane Power who have a unique synth rock blend, marching to the beat of their own drum. All Dream is their second EP compromising of four stunning tracks that are truly their own.
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Vogel Town - Single Review: Desert Toast
13 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest single from Wellington-based indie-alternative band Vogel Town who feature Andrew Roberts is on the guitar, and Aaron Mody on drums/percussion. This instrumental track starts with some hand drums and a single guitar playing a repeated riff, and then quickly builds so we have a full drum kit and at least three guitars and a bass being deployed.
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Anthea de Milo - Single Review: Dead Sea
13 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the second single to be taken from Anthea’s forthcoming debut solo album, The Vicar’s Daughter, which will be out later this year. Hailing from Lyttleton, she used to spend her Wednesday nights with The Eastern until Adam McGrath told her, ''you gotta write your own music'', so she did, forming the country, rock 'n' roll machine Runaround Sue with whom she recorded two albums and toured widely.
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Parasitic Infestation - EP Review: Intergalactic Harvest
13 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Brutal death metal Auckland quintet have just released their debut 5-track EP, following on from the two singles which were released from it last year. I was lucky enough to see these guys when they supported Pale Flag earlier this year, while I have also caught singer Liam Hand in his other band Silent Torture, with the band being completed by Aidan McGorry (guitar), Grady Gottler (lead guitar), Jacob Raffaelli (bass) and Blake Plester (drums).
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Broke - Single Review: Through Her Eyes
12 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
When Lisa sent me this, she said to me that Broke reminded her of The Rabble. Now, although I am playing rapid catchup on NZ bands, that is a band I know as they were connected with Orewa College and one of my daughters even wrote and recorded a song with Chas.
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Villainy - Single Review: The Launch
12 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I was chatting with singer/guitarist Neill Fraser from Villainy at a gig recently, and we agreed that the acoustic style gig they did with Dead Favours earlier in the year was fun, but we were both looking forward to having Villainy back on a rock stage (roll on next month, got your tickets yet?).
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Paddy and the Cryptids - EP Review: Demo EP
12 Oct 2022 // A review by Kerry MB
Paddy and the Cryptids are a three piece up and coming Punk/New Wave medley hailing from the sunny Hawkes Bay. This is their self- titled debut EP and straight off the bat there is everything to enjoy about this short, sweet and to the point 4 track ensemble.
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Erin Myers - Single Review: Bad Reception
12 Oct 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Hamilton based multi-talented musician Erin Myers has taken a new musical direction with her latest release Bad Reception. An evocative track as the name suggests, telling a story of miscommunication and loneliness within a relationship.
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Troy Kingi - Album Review: The Year of the Ratbags And Their Musty Theme Songs
11 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It is safe to say there is no other artist in New Zealand currently working at the pace of Troy Kingi. Earlier this year he released the te reo version of Holy Colony Burning Acres, Pu Whenua Hautapu, Eka Mumura, finished the tour for Black Sea Golden Ladder, and is now back with his latest album, Year of The Ratbags and Their Musty Theme Songs, while already in the studio with TeMatera Smith working on his next one.
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Xile - Album Review: I Am Your God
09 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Last weekend I was at Whammy Bar in Auckland to see the album release show for Xile’s I Am Your God. Thanks to a certain pandemic this album almost slipped out with people not realising, as it was released in May 2020 back when everyone in NZ was in lockdown.
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Blindspott - Gig Review: Blindspott & Written By Wolves @ The Factory, Hamilton - 8/10/2022
09 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
When the tour was originally announced there was no Auckland gig, so I quickly put my hand up for this one, and by the time an Auckland show was pencilled in I was already committed to see Reb Fountain on that date, but there was no way I was going to miss them this time around. It may be more than 100 kms to the gig, and it took me ages to find somewhere to park, but that all went out the window when I wandered to the back door and was greeted by Davie wanting to know if I would like a beer.
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Renee Millner - Single Review: Not OK
07 Oct 2022 // A review by Hannah Jane
New Zealand based Australian singer-songwriter Renee Millner has an ethereal voice that carries a gentle strength through the bars of a rhyme in a way that brings otherworldly artists Annie Lennox, Sinead O’Connor, and Dolores O’Riordan to mind like kindred spirits. Within moments of hearing her new single Not OK, Renee whispers something beautifully familiar in my ear, and her melodies carry me away somehow to Scottish Highlands I have never seen before.
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CRYSTAL - EP Review: Garlic Ice Cream
07 Oct 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Aotearoa artist and producer Crystal delves into the complexities of youth on Garlic Ice Cream. The debut EP takes a heavily electronic approach to the anxieties of stepping into adulthood, empowered by Crystal’s honest songwriting and production skill.
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Volts - Single Review: When You Go
06 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Last month a gig I was planning to attend fell through, so I looked around and ended up going to Wine Cellar, where the headline band that night was a group from Christchurch I had not previously come across, Volts. Their combination of melodic classic rock with female vocals and great stage presence just blew me away, and I had difficulty comprehending that I had not come across them previously as there is something about them which is incredibly special.
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Amanaki - Single Review: Leech Feat. Luke Manson
06 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I had to smile when I saw this single, as while melodic hardcore outfit Amanaki is new to me, on this release they have a guest in the form of Luke Manson, who I have seen in both Antagonist AD and Xile in recent weeks. Punchy, fast, and hard-hitting, Leech has an underlying repeated sound (not sure if it is synth or treated looped guitar to be honest, could be either) and there is a lot packed into its 128 seconds.
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Glasshouse Keepers - EP Review: Scratching The Surface
06 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I was at a gig last week, and was really intrigued by the opening act, Glasshouse Keepers, very much enjoying their complex rock sound with female lead vocals, so when I realised they had released a four-track EP called Scratching The Surface earlier this year I knew I had to check it out. The band comprise Danielle Hawkins (vocals), Brian McDonald (lead guitar and screams), Linton Graetz (rhythm guitar and backing vocals), Giacobe Otty (bass) and Kevin Jaspers (drums), and they are an alternative rock band who have a great deal of complexity within the arrangement and then over the top there are Danielle’s vocals which are quite sweet and innocent in comparison.
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Mirrored Walls - EP Review: if i didn't have you here
06 Oct 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Mirrored Walls' first EP, if i didn’t have you here features a wide range of sounds and genre influences, but somehow it all makes sense. On the cover, a couple walks away from us in a faded blue image, but one figure is distorted perhaps through how they are remembered by the other.
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Blake - EP Review: Skeptical
06 Oct 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Queenstown-born, Auckland-based alt-pop starlet Blake is Skeptical on her newly released sophomore EP. It’s a smooth, soulful collection narrating the highs and lows of the dating scene, blending a range of genres into a compact pop format.
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Murmur Tooth - Single Review: Antidote w/ Lars Moston
06 Oct 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
I conducted an email interview a couple of years back with Leah Hinton, aka. Murmur Tooth, and was impressed by her work, thus I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hear what she’s been up to in the years during the pandemic.
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Madeline - Single Review: Consume
06 Oct 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
“These violent delights have violent ends”, opens Madeline’s debut single, an infamous quote from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet which sets the scene for the brutality of Consume. It’s the artist’s first solo release away from her alt-rock band She Loves You.
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The RVMES - Single Review: Simple Things
05 Oct 2022 // A review by darryl baser
Oh My God. There are bangers then there’s this tune.
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Leejun - Album Review: Leejunardo Da Vinci
03 Oct 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Leejun is a Hip-Hop R&B Artist who lives and works in the 03 Christchurch, New Zealand. His complex lyricism and smooth delivery alongside his soulful singing voice reflect the amount of time he's dedicated to working on his craft.
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Gig Review: Immolated Volume 3 @ Valhalla, Wellington - 30/09/2022
03 Oct 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
In the murky surroundings of Vivian Street I followed the sounds and smells to Immolated Volume 3 at Valhalla. Initially I was confused about the entrance to the gig, but soon found my way before the stage where bands were still being set up.
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Brown-E - Single Review: Give Me Your Love
02 Oct 2022 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Jenna Palmer, AKA Brown-E, is a self-managed and independent singer songwriter based in Auckland and Tauranga. Stepping on the scene at the right time, she’s got a single for the sweethearts!
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Xile - Gig Review: Xile @ Whammy Bar, Auckland - 01/10/2022
01 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
So, it is back out on K Road again for another gig, but strangely enough I am sure this is the first time I have been at Whammy Bar in more than a year, and tonight it is for Xile’s album release show. It shows just what strange times we have been living in as I Am Your God has been out for a couple of years, but this was the first opportunity for them to get out and play, so they were making the most of it.
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Dead Beat Boys - Album Review: Dead Beat Boys
01 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I’ve always had a soft spot for punk, ever since it exploded in the UK and my dad told me he would kick me out if he ever found any of that music in my collection. I was just 14 when the Pistols were due to play in the next town over (they were banned instead), and it was the most exciting thing to happen in the local music scene until 1980 when Genesis kicked off their national tour with two dates in Paignton.
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Gabriel Bond - Single Review: Temporary Insanity
01 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I was very impressed with the last single I heard of Gabriel’s, 2021’s Lights Burn Low, so when I asked to review this, I was looking forward to it. As I noticed last time, this is full of class with very high production, and does not sound like the performance of a musician who has yet to release his debut EP (out soon).
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Investigator - Gig Review: Investigator @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 30/09/2022
01 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back to Dead Witch for another night of rock ‘n’ roll. I have reviewed Investigator quite a lot and saw Crystalator support them the last time I saw them at the Cupid, but tonight the band opening was new to me, Glasshouse Keepers.
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Voodoo Bloo - Gig Review: Radicals w/ Voodoo Bloo @ Meow, Wellington - 29/09/2022
30 Sep 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
On a stormy, unusually wet Thursday, (even by Wellington’s standards), I approached Meow bar in the heart of the CBD to attend what would prove to be Voodoo Bloo’s homecoming gig of their recent tour. This event, their third to last, is in promotion for their latest offering, The Blessed Ghost.
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Miller Yule - Album Review: Let It Burn
29 Sep 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
You can tell by the name, can’t you, you can just tell. I mean, Dwight Yoakam couldn’t be anything but a country singer, could he?
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Dead Favours - Single Review: Sink or Swim
29 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Just the opening few bars of their new single lets the listener know that Dead Favours are back, and yet again they mean business. Charlie sets up an intricate backbeat, Kyle and Jared have their guitars in sync, and at the heart of it all is a filthy bassline with Alex providing melodies and countermelodies, so one is brought into the music long before Jared even starts singing!
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Impostor Syndrome - Single Review: I Talk Too Much
29 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest single from Auckland trio Imposter Syndrome, which is based strongly on a riffed acoustic guitar (the sound of which is superb, congrats whoever engineered this), with vocals over the top. Due to its nature this has plenty of space within the arrangements as even when additional instruments are added they are sparse, so the concentration is always on the voice and the guitar.
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Old Salts - EP Review: Stories Told by the Sea
29 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Alt rockers Old Salts hail from the shores of Bream Bay, Northland, and features John Buckle (lead vocals, guitar) Scott Brown (lead guitar, BV) Marcus Jones (bass, BV), and Lucas Hargreaves (drums, BV). This four-track EP contains three previously released singles plus the new one, Casual Smoker, which they describe as being reminiscent of Barry Manilow meets RHCP.
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BO And the Constrictors - EP Review: Love
29 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
These guys are new to me, and when I checked them out, I realised they are from Dunedin, which is why I have not come across them yet on the Auckland circuit, but I do hope they can make it up here at some point as these three songs are a nice slice of rock, and they are doing something quite different with their sound. Named after lead singer/guitarist Boaz Anema, the band also comprises Dean Armitage (bass, backing vocals), Jacob Rutherford (slide guitar) and Callan Carne (drums).
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Trepidations - EP Review: Time Flies
28 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
The latest EP from Trepidations follows a rather unusual format in that we have one vocal track which was recorded in a studio, and then three instrumental tracks which were played live which are quite different in approach and sound quality. Having not played any of their music before I must confess, I do not know if these distinctly different approaches are what one would expect from the trio, or whether one of these paths is new to them.
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Will McClean - Single Review: Man on a Mission
28 Sep 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Te Whanganui-a-Tara’s resident hip hop star Will McClean collaborates with Casual Healing on Man on a Mission, a mellow, emotive track that showcases his earnest lyricism. McClean’s verses capture a deceptively relaxed flow, that in actuality is carefully constructed with tight rhymes and subtle melodies.
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Ms.Take - Single Review: Grow
26 Sep 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Operating under the stage name Ms.Take, Lora Thompson has developed herself as a master of guitar pedals, as well as a producer, bassist, guitar player and audio engineer.
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John Michaelz and the Black Brothers Band - EP Review: Limited Edition
26 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It is not often that I am asked to review reggae, as it is an area which is very much a strange land to me, so I am coming at this as a straightforward listener as opposed to having any knowledge in the genre. This EP is a collection of three previously released singles, plus dub versions of the same, one of which has been broken in two to provide us with seven numbers.
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Ekko Park - EP Review: UnMute
25 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
There are times when it is just impossible to write a review as I am having so much fun playing the music that I find myself hitting the desk in time with the drums, bopping to the beat and fully in the groove. Then the damn thing is finished, and I have to put it on again (not really an issue) and the debacle repeats!
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Gig Review: Smokefreerockquest National Finals @ Q Theatre, Auckland - 24/09/2022
25 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I must admit I had to look up the address for Q Theatre on Google as I had never heard of it but having found it, I realized I must have been past it hundreds of times as it is right next door to Auckland Town Hall. Tonight, I was at the finals for Smokefree Rock Quest, the most important school competition for music in Aotearoa, and it would not surprise me if it was one of the longest running in the world as they were celebrating 35 years of the event.
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Looking For Alaska - Gig Review: Looking for Alaska w/ Chris Dent @ Wine Cellar, Auckland - 22/09/2022
24 Sep 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
Here we are on a cool, wet spring night, but as always, it’s warm inside the Wine Cellar. In The Shallows were originally on this bill but have been plagued by some ill health and we can guess what that might be, so instead Looking for Alaska step up and, no surprise, invite their old mate Chris Dent (Albi) along to open the show.
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Achilles Complex - Gig Review: Achilles Complex @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 23/09/2022
24 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I cannot believe I have not been at Dead Witch since the beginning of July, but there has been so much music going on that I kept having clashes. Luckily, Harley asked if I could come and see Achilles Complex quite some time back so this date was locked in.
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Chris Bates - Single Review: Lose My Mind
22 Sep 2022 // A review by taffynz
In short, if I could give this a six out of five I would. Do I need to go on?
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Becca Caffyn - EP Review: The Replacement Blonde
22 Sep 2022 // A review by taffynz
Dunedin-based singer-songwriter Becca Caffyn brings us her debut EP release The Replacement Blonde, a four song journey through pivotal experiences that have left their mark on her 19 years in this life. Produced by Christchurch-based Will McGillivray (Goodwill) and mastered by Joe Faris, Becca has traversed Parachute Music's great Artist Development initiative.
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Planet Hunter - Album Review: Moscovium
22 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
On April 19th, 2018, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite was launched on a two-year mission to find a rocky world with an atmosphere which could be probed for signs of life. Although it had an official name, the media just called it a planet hunter which seemed more exciting, and a Wellington rock band finally came across a name they felt was fitting for the music they were creating.
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Medusa Glare - Single Review: Lay It To Rest
21 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It is not unusual for me to have conversations with music lovers which revolve around me attempting to convince them there is a vibrant and exciting music scene in Aotearoa as sometimes it feels like I am coming across a wonderful new band on a daily basis, and here is another. I am sure if Medusa Glare were an Auckland act as opposed to being from the ‘Tron I would have come across them long before now, but given they were formed back in 2014 there really is no excuse on missing out on this classic hard rock band until now.
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Dark Divinity - Album Review: Unholy Rapture
21 Sep 2022 // A review by Kerry MB
Formed in 2017 and based in Wellington, Dark Divinity might be a name you’re familiar with if you’re a Death Metal genre fan, or maybe even if you’re familiar with the local Wellington Metal scene in general. If not, then sit tight, you’re about to experience one hell of a journey.
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PolarisRadio - Album Review: Legend of the Broken Claw
21 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I was not too sure what to expect from PolarisRadio, which is the pseudonym for Dean Moroney, but I am pretty sure this wasn’t it! Dean’s music is normally described as Synthwave, and in some respects that still fits as here we have an instrumental album which appears to be based on a video game, yet while there are some tracks (such as Sea of Stars) which are solidly sat within that genre, there are plenty of others which do not.
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CACO - EP Review: Chisme
21 Sep 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
CACO is a 23-year-old South Auckland raised Iraqi. Over the last 6 years, CACO has become an all-encompassing musical artist; producing, mixing, mastering, writing and recording the near extent of his 30+ track catalogue.
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Captain Festus McBoyle's Travellin' Variety Show - Single Review: Leaking - The English Whinging Song
20 Sep 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
New Zealand's award winning pirate Captain Festus from the family entertainment troupe, Captain Festus McBoyle's Travellin' Variety Show has recently released another single from his up-and-coming album Look Wot The Cat Dragged In. Leaking - The English Whinging Song is an unapologetic musical whinge of unfortunate events from this sometimes unlucky pirates adventures.
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Stu J - Single Review: Hyper Slow
19 Sep 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Aotearoa-born producer, DJ and musician Stu J is a self-confessed lover of electronic music. Under his mononym, he has created and released up to three singles over the past two years, including the light and airy We Love The Moonlight, and the soundscape-heavy Destination Unknown.
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Thousand Limbs - Single Review: The Aurouchs - Ensnared
19 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the second single from Auckland-based instrumental doom outfit Thousand Limbs. It is taken from their forthcoming debut album The Aurouchs, which is a ten-part song-cycle based on Kakuan Shien’s Ten Ox Herding Pictures, and is set to be released later this year, with each of the ten songs being based on one of the ten woodcuts.
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Jaqualyn Taimana Williams - Single Review: In Between
18 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
In Between is the third single from the upcoming 2023 EP Guns Of Dialogue, but is the first time I have personally come across Jaqualyn Taimana Williams. As with her debut album she has been working with producer Tim Skedden and Chris Chetland, and when I read that I was somewhat confused as the way this song starts there is no way that it sounds as if Chris has been involved as I have huge admiration for what comes out of Kog Studio.
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Dub Asylum - Album Review: Beg, Steel or Borrow
18 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I have no idea who many albums I have reviewed over the last 35 years, but it is countless thousands, while the words written are well into the millions, but I must confess this is the first time I have ever been asked to review an album where steel drums are the main instrument, let alone when they are being used to play dub versions of Kiwi classics! The man behind Dub Asylum is Peter McLennan, who formed this project after leaving reggae-thrash-punk-ska outfit Hallelujah Picassos in the Nineties.
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Volts - Gig Review: Volts @ Wine Cellar, Auckland - 16/09/2022
16 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
To be honest, I wasn’t supposed to be here tonight, but yesterday I was checking out the gig I was supposed to be attending only to discover the band had pulled out due to injury. Although I had already reviewed one show this week (the excellent Pop Will Eat Itself at Tuning Fork) I had been geared up for this one so wondered, what else was on in Auckland?
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Silcrow - Single Review: Keep The Silence
15 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Silcrow will be a new name to many, it certainly was to me as it was only when I was arranging to see them play recently that I discovered this is the new name for Close to the Bone. I was aware of that band, but had not seen them play, although I had seen lead singer Lorenzo Hazlewood undertake an acoustic set.
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Big Tasty - Single Review: Diamond Eyed
15 Sep 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Auckland based 9-piece funk and soul band Big Tasty have just released a groovy disco inspired track with an epic full sound. Diamond Eyed is possibly one of the best original 70's soulful disco beats I have come across in a very long time.
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Anxiety Club - Album Review: Old Dreams
15 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
A little while back I was fortunate enough to hear the single Carousel, and now Wellington-based Anxiety Club are back with the album. As I said in the earlier review, due to various reasons Kev Fitzsimons (Thom Cross) and Clint Meech (Matt Langley band) found themselves as the only band members left, and with Kev suffering an injury which meant he could not play guitar they could either quit or bring in some others to help out.
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Mel Parsons - Album Review: Slow Burn
15 Sep 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
Mel Parsons’ 5th album is out today, September 16 and it’s been a Slow Burn, a journey of highs and lows as the world of lockdown and locked out intervened in thousands of creative processes sometimes positively other times depressingly and if nothing else this record is a reflection of these times. The opening track, Lights “when the lights can’t always be on, you can’t expect that I’ll always be strong” captures the malaise which follows a pandemic, and the dark flavour and nuance of the songs on Slow Burn often conflate the sense of generic, world melancholy with deep personal issues.
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Honeybee - EP Review: From An Unreliable Source
15 Sep 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
After the success of their first EP Dusty, Honeybee return with a solid and positively shimmering five-track EP written and recorded during the uncertainty of the lockdown period. This offering contains the same heavily effects laden guitars from Dusty, but there is more energy and perhaps less influence from hip hop.
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Planet Hunter - Single Review: Humans of the Wild
15 Sep 2022 // A review by Investigator
Humans of the Wild is the first single from Wellington rock band, Planet Hunter, off their upcoming album Moscovium. I profess to not having heard of Planet Hunter before, they are self-described as having a small but dedicated following in Wellington's heavy rock scene.
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Frau Knotz - Single/Video Review: Supernova
15 Sep 2022 // A review by taffynz
Frau Knotz (Lauren Nottingham) has what her former Mexican host family would describe as cojones. She found herself stuck in Mexico City - not the world's most placid of places - for eight months during the height of the pandemic, thanks to a cruise ship gig being cancelled three days after she arrived there.
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The Hopkinsville Goblins - Album Review: Bite the Wax Tadpole
14 Sep 2022 // A review by Peter-James Dries
The Hopkinsville Goblins is always a challenging review. If you want it done right, you really need some hard-broiled journalist from a bygone era on the job, not some gumshoe with a grudge like me.
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Landlords - EP Review: Codeine
12 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the second EP from Hamilton-based quartet Landlords containing five songs at approximately 20 minutes in length. Interestingly the band are signed with a UK label, something I only realised when I checked out their Bandcamp page and could not work out why prices were in sterling instead of NZD.
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Shepherds Reign - Gig Review: Shepherds Reign @ Galatos, Auckland - 10/09/2022
12 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Tonight, was another rescheduled gig from Covid, as this was originally planned to take place to celebrate Matariki, the Maori New Year, but because of band illness could not take place at the time. Due to other commitments, I had missed seeing Shepherds Reign when they supported The Hu last month, so was really looking forward to this I had not seen them play since the middle of last year.
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Nadia Reid - Gig Review: Nadia Reid & Jenny Mitchell @ Auckland Town Hall, Auckland - 09/09/2022
11 Sep 2022 // A review by Lou Clement
Worth the wait might be the short summary of an epic and memorable evening with Nadia Reid with the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra and support from Jenny Mitchell. Both acts were accompanied by their bands and a packed Auckland Town Hall cheered every song.
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Lung - Album Review: Bad Acid Soundtracks II
11 Sep 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Lung was a legendary punk, noise band in the early 90’s that embarked on world tours in the Northern Hemisphere and were lauded by none other than the mighty John Peel. Despite this, by 1994 they were splintering after a tumultuous and short career.
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Dillastrate - Single Review: Taku Aroha
09 Sep 2022 // A review by Trevor Faville
Dillastrate is made up of drummer/vocalist Henare 'H' Kaa and Tim Driver who handles Keys/loops/vocals, adding MC Luis Mill for live work. This group comes with a background of considerable musical skill and experience and brings this all to bear with their latest single Taku Aroha.
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Loveta - Single Review: Drive
09 Sep 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Christchurch pop artist Loveta’s new single Drive finds the starlet “dreaming wide awake” of escaping her daily life into exciting new experiences. Polished to perfection and fizzing with dance-pop energy, the track is as radio-ready as anything currently spinning on commercial airwaves.
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DateMonthYear - Single Review: Slipping Through My Hands with Black Velvet Butterfly
08 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
The first thing which struck me about this single, even before I listened to it, is that the artwork is such a strange shape, but given that many of these are only released digitally these days there is no actual reason they need to be square at all, and I really like it! What we have here is the most recent collaboration from Trevor Faville of DateMonthYear who this time is working with fellow multi-instrumentalist James Castady-Kristament of Black Velvet Butterfly.
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Electric Tapestry - EP Review: The Origins EP
08 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Any group who say they are inspired by bands as diverse as The Beach Boys, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, King Crimson, Genesis, Van Halen, Radiohead, Crowded House, The Chills and Straitjacket Fits are going to be interesting to say the least, and with three guitarists in the line-up, they are going to have a distinctive sound. With this release, Electric Tapestry say they aim to mix the atmospherics of post rock with the immediacy and sensibilities of pop, and while I am not 100% sure if they have achieved this, they are certainly doing something different.
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Tablefox - Single Review: Give It All
08 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I thoroughly enjoyed the last Tablefox album, Battles, while I was also fortunate enough to recently catch them supporting Capital Theatre so was looking forward to their new single. Musically they are based in alt rock, but that covers a multitude of sins, and they are also heavily influenced by the sound of some Eighties bands such as Simple Minds, and that really comes through here.
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Greta O'Leary - Single Review: Body, Now
08 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It has been quite a while since Greta O'Leary released her debut single, Outnumbered, but now she is back with the follow-up which is a precursor for an EP which is hopefully not too far in the distant future. What we have here is a solid case of alt-folk/dream pop which is full of passion, pain, angst and so much more.
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Black Sands - Album Review: Black Sands
08 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Black Sands are a real rarity in that they are a totally instrumental act, and while they bring in plenty of progressive tendencies, they are always first and foremost a metal band. The band started life as a duo of Cameron Owens (guitars) and James Trimmer (drums), with Ruaidri Keens (guitars) joining later and it was only when they went into the studio with producer/engineer Matt Hammond who then offered his services on 5-string bass that they ended up as a quartet.
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Danica Bryant - Gig Review: Danica Bryant @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 7/09/2022
07 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back into central Auckland on a school night, but it was for a good reason as Danica Bryant was in town and as I had yet to see her perform but had heard some of her releases, I just had to make the effort. Before Danica started, we had Katie—Lee, (they/them), a young singer songwriter who was new to me.
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Serpent Dream - EP Review: Deadlock
07 Sep 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
You could be forgiven for anticipating a heavy metal with a cover and title like this. A glowing photogram of an Australian mental health institution key hints at themes of incarceration and of security or danger.
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felix danilo. - Album Review: The Territories West
07 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
The latest album by Felix Danilo finds him exploring different musical textures where the main (and often only) instrument is a multi-layered guitar full of reverb. Although the album is mostly instrumental, he is joined by singer Kayla McGee one song, and by his SkeletonCrew bandmate Nicole Obren on two others.
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Goodwill - EP Review: Incontrol
07 Sep 2022 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Otautahi musician Goodwill released his debut EP Incontrol on the 19th of August. The solo project of musician Will McGillivray, formerly of successful Kiwi band nomad, Incontrol is the result of six years of work in Will’s home studio in Christchurch.
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Saint Lane - EP Review: I Thought My Name Was Cursed
07 Sep 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Saint Lane’s newest EP begins with a highly predictable chord progression borrowed from The Righteous Brothers’ Unchained Melody and exploited in such songs as The Air That I Breathe by the Hollies, I Know It's Over by The Smiths, Magic City by Gorillaz, Underwear by Pulp and perhaps most famously in Radiohead’s Creep. More modern listeners might recognize the chord sequence from The Steven Universe opening theme or perhaps Akon’s rearrangement of Bobby Vinton’s Mr Lonely.
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Lando - EP Review: Lost at Sea
07 Sep 2022 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Lando is a 4-piece Alternative Rock band from Auckland's North Shore. They self-produce, mix and record their music.
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Personal Igloo - Single Review: Old Me
06 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Personal Igloo is the solo project of Auckland based song writer/producer, Hamish Nixon, which brings together soul and pop with some raspy vocals and a love for bands such as Kings of Leon. Old Me is the first track from his forthcoming second EP, which will be out in the next month or so and is a very clean representation of modern pop with some look backs to Eighties-style soul.
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Medusa Glare - Single Review: Something's Got to Give
06 Sep 2022 // A review by Kerry MB
With two EP’s and a single already under their belt since forming in 2017, Waikato three piece, Medusa Glare know a thing or two about catchy hooks, great rhythms and crunchy hard rock riffs. Something’s Got to Give is their latest single, and they’ve hit the nail on the head again with their signature sound that fans have come to know and love.
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Young Moon - EP Review: Paraverbal Orchids
06 Sep 2022 // A review by Peter-James Dries
There is this Japanese art form called Kintsugi – Golden Joinery – which is a method of mending cracks in broken pottery with gold. The idea is that the broken pieces are part of the object’s history, so are something to remember rather than something to hide.
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Marlon Williams - Album Review: My Boy
06 Sep 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
Shit, Marlon’s gone poppy. Not just My Boy.
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Coridian - Gig Review: Coridian @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 03/09/2022
06 Sep 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Let’s not dwell on the obvious.Lockdowns were not nice, we all missed live music, we’re all glad scanning QR codes in every doorway aren’t a thing anymore.
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Ripship - Single Review: Ripship Is Online
05 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I first came across these guys a few months back when I saw them open for Daniel Armstrong & The Monsoons and I was immediately impressed by their approach which was both effective and infectious, so I was pleased when this single recently came my way. They are a duo comprising Callum Lincoln (guitar, vocals, loops) and Eva-Rae McLean (drums, vocals), and they mix together live loops, crunchy guitar and live drums to create something which would be what Ozric Tentacles would be doing if they were more into space rock.
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One Man Bannister - Album Review: The Saddest Noise
05 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
One Man Bannister is the name used by Hamilton-based Matthew Banister when he is not performing in one of his bands such as Sneaky Feelings or The Changing Same, and this is his latest album. It is somewhat unusual in that for the 16 songs he took poems written by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) and then put them to music.
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Anthea de Milo - Single/Video Review: Mama Got It Bad
05 Sep 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Lyttelton based soulful songwriter Anthea de Milo (Anthea Struthers of Saint Satori, Runabout Sue & The Harbour Union) has just released her outlandish (in the best possible way) debut single accompanied by an eccentric music video full of originality and colour. A combination of song and visuals that invade your senses with delightful quirkiness.
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The Jordan Luck Band - Gig Review: The Jordan Luck Band & Ekko Park @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 3/09/2022
03 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Tonight, it was back to The Tuning Fork for another fun night of great rock music. I knew Midnight Oil were playing next door so got here early, and not only managed to get a free parking space, but the lighting guys made sure I had a great place to be able to review from and even provided me with power and my own lighting.
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Jason Parker - Single Review - How To Be Lonely
03 Sep 2022 // A review by IShadowcasterI
Jason Parker has been described as a "Popstar in the making", and it is easy to see why when listening to his music. From the catchy, upbeat sound of This Is My Year or the slow, yet powerful delivery of You Rescued Me, Jason shows so much promise, and the single from his upcoming EP of the same name is here to show you just that.
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Goldsmith Baynes - Album Review: E Rere Ra
01 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Earlier this year I was fortunate to be asked to review To Ihu, one of the four singles to be made available from this album so far, and I was just blown away by what I was hearing. Allana Goldsmith is a classic jazz songstress with warm and embracing vocals while Mark Baynes is a compassionate and empathetic accompanist on the piano, and together they create the bedrock of a very special experience indeed.
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Dolphin Friendly - Single/Video Review: Radical Desire
01 Sep 2022 // A review by taffynz
And BOOM! Christchurch rock band Dolphin Friendly's new release Radical Desire is right up my street.
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Ema I'u - Single Review: Midnight Mistress
01 Sep 2022 // A review by HazzaMakingNoise
I’m going to speculate that most music scenes in cities around the world have someone like Ema I’u (AKA Ema Barton.) However I’d wager that all these other cities are in envy of our own Tamaki Makaurau and its “open mic queen”, whose remarkable talents are no secret to those who have traversed the various haunts around the city which generously let artists cut their teeth.
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Seaside Sloths - Album Review: Claws
31 Aug 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Seaside Sloths are a 7-piece, genre-defying outfit, here to remind everyone to slow down. Hailing from the jungle and now residing on luscious shorelines of the Kapiti Coast.
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Munro - Album Review: The Book Of Isaac
31 Aug 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Rapper/producer Munro makes all his songs in a humble caravan studio located in Matakana.On his new album, The Book Of Isaac, he explores different soundscapes that range from acoustic, east-coast jazz influenced hip-hop and others all influenced by the hip-hop sounds of the last 30 years.
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The RVMES - Single Review: What's Troublin' You
31 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It seems to have been ages since I last heard from The RVMES, and I can see from looking through my records that it is more than a year since I last saw them play, and also more than a year since I reviewed their excellent album, Lifetime. Now they are back with the first single from their next album, Simple Things which will be out in a few months’ time.
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Impostor Syndrome - Single Review: Locksmith
31 Aug 2022 // A review by Peter-James Dries
Across their body of work, Imposter Syndrome have been known for their blurring of the lines between sub-genres and laying waste to the traditional ideas of song structure. Well, that’s what they’re known for to me at least.
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Citris iNK - Single Review: Knowing You're Mine
30 Aug 2022 // A review by taffynz
This release is the debut single for Kristin and Nick, two highly experienced and focused musicians based out of the City of Sails. Titled Knowing You're Mine, it's an homage to their influences of old school R&B, blended with the neo-soul of today, and it could be described as smooth and professional, and ready for radio.
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Fur Patrol - Gig Review: Fur Patrol @ San Fran, Wellington - 27/08/2022
29 Aug 2022 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
I finally arrived at San Fran just on 8pm, a little grumpy after spending 30+ minutes driving around trying to find a park in Wellington city, where, like many other cities around New Zealand, the councils have decided to eliminate as many parking spaces as possible with bollards, flower pots, bus stops, loading zones, road works, or just by erecting scaffolding barriers for no apparent reason!! The venue was wall-to-wall full, and I marveled that all these people had managed to find parking spaces also.
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Silcrow - Gig Review: Silcrow @ The Thirsty Dog, Auckland - 27/08/2022
28 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
After three gigs last weekend it seemed a little weird to be doing just one this, but that’s what happens sometimes. I had been planning to come to this gig to see support act Venom Dolls, as I had no idea who Silcrow were, so it was something of a surprise when Lorenzo Hazlewood responded to my message and let me know that Silcrow is the new name for Close To The Bone.
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VÏKÆ - EP Review: Love Games
25 Aug 2022 // A review by darryl baser
Veronika Bell, known to music fans as Vikae, has been composing and producing music for a good few years, and is gaining some crossover traction between the dance and pop worlds. While she writes many of her tunes on a piano, and can perform them beautifully with piano and her impressive voice, it is the dance-styled pop versions of her tune which have been garnering her acclaim.
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Pieces Of Molly - Single Review: I Don't Wanna
25 Aug 2022 // A review by [email protected]
Pieces of Molly have been busy beavers, racking up a slew of international and major national support slots to go with their commercial radio play, EPs and single releases. I Don’t Wanna is their latest single, and you can hear influences ranging from Aerosmith to Red Fang, while Jet and The D4 also come to mind.
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Electric Temples - Single Review: I Want The World
25 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This is the debut single from Christchurch-based rock group Electric Temples, and the thing which impresses me most right from the off is the use of space. When a band starts, it is easy to throw the kitchen sink into a recording instead of understanding that often less is more, yet here we are provided with music in waves so there is plenty of contrast.
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Coridian - Single Review: Rakshasa
22 Aug 2022 // A review by bensargent00
Auckland-based 4-piece Coridian return in full force with their second single Rakshasa off their much anticipated upcoming album HAVA, which is due early next year. A winter storm of progression and melancholy proving once again that one of the fastest rising Kiwi Rock acts can still push the boundaries of their sound whilst still dialling in plenty of that early 2000's nostalgia.
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Matt Joe Gow - Gig Review: Matt Joe Gow @ Wine Cellar, Auckland - 21/08/2022
22 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
So, it was off into central Auckland for my third consecutive gig, this time to Wine Cellar to see country musician Matt Joe Gow on the final date of his NZ tour, where every gig had sold out. Given how difficult the market is at present, which has been some vindication for Matt, and it was no surprise he was happy with how things had gone.
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Haze Lane - Single/Video Review: Natural Feeling
22 Aug 2022 // A review by Andrew Smit
Matching the songs title very aptly South Auckland indie band Haze Lane has produced Natural Feeling, a very organic song that does indeed deliver a very smooth natural feeling. The ultra-cool ambient sound is reminiscent to the early roots sound of Six60 and L.
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Come Together: David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust @ Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland - 20/08/2022
21 Aug 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
Here we are, back in 1972, the year when if you hadn’t heard of David Bowie before, then wham!... an indelible stamp of wonder and amazement and disbelief is delivered to your consciousness for the next 50 years if not forever.
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Fur Patrol - Gig Review: Fur Patrol @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 20/08/2022
20 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This was the first time I had heard anything from support act Wellington-based Soft Plastics, who comprise Sophie Scott-Maunder (vocals/bass), Jonathan Shirley (guitar) and Laura Robinson (drums), but I had heard good things and right from the off I could see I was not going to be disappointed. They started with Day Job, and right from the distorted jangly guitar chord opening, the audience responded and made their way from the bar to the front.
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Troy Kingi - Gig Review: Troy Kingi @ Auckland Town Hall - 19/08/2022
20 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
At the Auckland Folk Festival last year, Tory Kingi and Delaney Davidson premiered material from the forthcoming Black Sea Golden Ladder album, which they had written together when Troy had the Matairangi Mahi Toi Artist Residency in Wellington. Looking around the full marquee, at that time no-one knew we would be going back into extended lockdown, or the impact it would have on the forthcoming tour.
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Ella Minehan - Single Review: First Light
19 Aug 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Auckland based emerging female singer / songwriter Ella Minehan has just dropped her third single First Light. A smooth RnB sounding track which has been described as an upbeat, flirty track about taking chances with relationships.
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The Infinity Chamber - Single/Video Review: Nothing
18 Aug 2022 // A review by Kerry MB
The Infinity Chamber is the brain child of musician, Dylan Paul Ware, a Kiwi currently based in Turkey. His blend of alt-rock, dark indie-folk jams is uniquely his own with some solid influential sounds thrown in for good measure.
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Adam Hattaway & The Haunters - Single Review: Salt
18 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Only nine months since their last album, and Adam and the band are back with the first single from the next, Bug Eyes, which is due out in November. Salt clearly shows that here we have a band who have paid their dues by working the circuit since they released their debut in 2018 and soon, they will be back with their fifth – the work ethic puts many other bands to shame.
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Taylor Roche - Single Review: day&night
18 Aug 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Auckland based Pop/RnB artist and TikTok personality Taylor Roche has just dropped his latest catchy offering day&night. Described as "rebellious 80's synth pop" this is an upbeat track detailing a broken relationship hanging by a thread.
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Danica Bryant - EP Review: Ego Death
18 Aug 2022 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Hawkes Bay songstress Danica Bryant is back with her sophomore EP Ego Death, released to the world on August 19th. Following on from her 2020 debut EP Cider, Bryant has continued to enjoy success with a string of singles, including sugary pop tune Heart Eyes and head-banging Ready To Bite.
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Big Scout - Album Review: Council Sport
18 Aug 2022 // A review by Paul Goddard
It’s finally here. The first Long Player from Blenheim noisy buggers Big Scout.
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Goldsmith Baynes - Single/Video Review: Hei Kawe i a Au
17 Aug 2022 // A review by Trevor Faville
Allana Goldsmith and Mark Baynes have worked together for a decade and form the creative heart of Goldsmith Baynes. They both have extensive experience in the international and local worlds of Jazz and have brought considerable skills and knowledge to this single Hei Kawe i a Au which is from their upcoming debut album E Rere Ra.
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Banks Arcade - Gig Review: Banks Arcade @ Tuning Fork, Auckland - 13/08/2022
17 Aug 2022 // A review by Gideon Voon
In you are a fan of the newer generation of Metal or Heavy Music. You really missed out.
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Brookes & Johnstone - Album Review: When Summer Calls, Break Down the Walls
16 Aug 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
Brookes & Johnstone sound like a pharmaceutical company, or a high street tailor with a side in patent leather shoes. But they are not.
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Sylvee - Single Review: Slow
14 Aug 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Sylvee’s latest single Slow is an impassioned love song dedicated to supporting someone beloved through struggles with their mental health. Featuring the artist’s signature soft, introspective vocals and honeyed melodies, it’s a dreamy release soothing listeners in the toughest of times.
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Scapegoat - Album Review: Reality and the Hanging Tree
12 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Rene Black can often be found out and about on the Auckland scene, either playing in the premier NZ Sabbath tribute band After Forever, or just supporting other bands and enjoying the vibe. We regularly bump into each other at our favourite dive, Ding Dong Lounge, but whereas that is a relatively new place for me, Rene has been on the circuit for years as he was also drummer and founding member of both His Masters Voice and {Cripple Mr.
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Caitlin - EP Review: States
12 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the debut EP from young Christchurch-based indie-pop musician Caitlin (Caitlin Bradley) who is currently studying at Ara Music Arts in the city. She took the songs to Ryan Chin (Fisherman), and together with Will McGillivray (Goodwill), Thomas Isbister, and Shaun Malloch they worked to capture her innocent vocals and songs in a manner which brings together lots of different styles.
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The BackChat - Double Single Review: Effortless and Conspirator
11 Aug 2022 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Auckland-based four piece The BackChat have created two new singles which are releasing this August 12th. Breaking through the loneliness of winter months, Effortless gives us an aural experience for closed doors.
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Corduroy. - Single Review: Ozone
11 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Ozone is the latest single from Wellington-based band Corduroy., and is taken from their forthcoming EP, Halftime Oranges.
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Mim Jensen - Single Review: Germaphobe
11 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This is the debut single from Otautahi artist Mim Jensen, and a load of fun it is too. It commences with jangly guitar and Mim’s vocals, and soon we are taken into commercial indie rock which has definite nods back to the likes of Fur Patrol.
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Moone - Single Review: I Am Who I Am
10 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
There are some people who come into this world and put the rest of us to shame as to what they achieve, and undoubtedly one of those was Eva McGauley, who at the age of 15 was diagnosed with terminal cancer, to which she succumbed a little more than 3 years later. Eva was involved with the Wellington Rape Crisis Organisation, was an intern with the Green Party, ran her own charity 'Eva's Wish' raising more than $70,000 to help sexual abused survivors, was involved in the '200 Women Who will change the way you see the world' book and exhibition and was nominated for Youth Wellingtonian of the year award, among others.
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Wallace - Album Review: And Other Colours
09 Aug 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Having spent her past few years across the ditch, Wallace now returns to her hometown in Wellington just in time for the release of her delightful new album, And Other Colours. It’s an exciting future soul affair, bathed in bright, simple lyricism and the voice of a charismatic rising star.
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Nick Burson Band - Single Review: Should Have Let You Know
08 Aug 2022 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Nick Burson spent a decade cutting his teeth on the covers scene of Christchurch city. The lockdown of 2020 allowed him to finally focus on releasing his own music to the world.
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Jodi Vaughan - Album Review: For The Love of Country
05 Aug 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
The moment Tennessee Dancing strikes up, we know we are in a deep country space. Somewhere just out of Nashville, maybe a famous farm, maybe an even more famous figure, but actually, no, fooled you, we’re in the country alright, but close to home, in our very own Waikato country.
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All I Seek - Single Review: Envy
05 Aug 2022 // A review by River Tucker
More than just a progressive Metal band, All I Seek have coalesced many of the best Alt Metal styles around, including at times Melodic Death (with a slight Djent edge) into their rip-roaring third single, Envy.This massive four-minute track fills a gap in New Zealand’s current progressive Metal scene and the juxtaposition of the songs uplifting message, delivered during mid-winter, makes it a very well timed release.
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Oliver Birch - Album Review: Burning Daylight
05 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This is the debut album from Auckland musician, Oliver Birch, although older versions of many of the songs contained within have already been made available as singles. When the album started with the lengthy keyboard chords and feedback intro I thought it would fall into krautrock, but instead it quickly changed into a psychedelic experimental art rock number with emotionally charged vocals and an outright refusal to conform to any expectations.
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n1ghtmar3cat - Album Review: Rat Race
05 Aug 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
n1ghtmar3cat is Dave Johnston’s alter ego and solo project, when he’s not busy drumming for Villainy or co-DJing as Delivery Boyz. Under this moniker, Dave has been crafting releases and remixing for nearly four years, and has returned again with his brand new, sophomore album Rat Race.
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Flaxxies - EP Review: Beach Rudes
04 Aug 2022 // A review by Lou Clement
Flaxxies release a four track EP, that heralds Spring with its’ playfulness and optimism. The band are a five piece who blend a number of influences: most obviously surf rock and reggae.
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Black Velvet Butterfly - Album Review: Black Velvet Butterfly
03 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Black Velvet Butterfly are a one-man band from Auckland featuring James Castady-Kristament. I was intrigued to be sent this as when I looked on their Bandcamp page it said, “It may just well be the coolest thing you’ve heard in the Goth scene since Type O Negative.
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Bill Angus and the Mighty Ways - Album Review: All Night Before the World Began
01 Aug 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Bill had a musical career in England before deciding to do something different, and returned to his roots when he started working in New Zealand. This is his third album.
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Blindspott - Gig Review: Blindspott @ The Trusts Arena, Auckland - 29/07/2022
31 Jul 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Still feels like a bit of a treat, walking into a large music venue. Having been through so many lockdowns and cancellations over the past couple of years, I felt both right at home yet also like I haven’t set foot at a big gig in a while.
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Antagonist A.D. - Gig Review: Antagonist A.D. @ Galatos, Auckland - 30/07/2022
31 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Once more into the breach dear friends, as I made my way into the city for the third night in a row. I knew this was going to be the most dramatic gig of the week and was one I had been looking forward to for months.
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Reb Fountain - Gig Review: Reb Fountain @ Town Hall, Auckland - 29/07/2022
30 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back into central Auckland for the second consecutive evening, this time to see an artist for whom I have great admiration for the first time, and whose latest album, Iris, was rightfully in my Top Ten of 2021. Until last month it had been years since I had been in Auckland Town Hall for a gig, but here I was again, this time for one of the series of Auckland Elemental events, and I could see lighting gantries across much of the venue so knew we were in for quite some night.
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Capital Theatre - Gig Review: Capital Theatre @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 28/07/2022
28 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Down to the Tuning Fork on a school night, whatever next?! Mind you, it was for a special occasion as Capital Theatre were back in town and it has been way too long since I last saw them play (thanks Covid).
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Banks Arcade - Album Review: Future Lovers
28 Jul 2022 // A review by Shade
For the last 23 years I've been completely immersed in New Zealand music, soaked through to my inner core. I've been living it, breathing it and drinking it in.
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Infinity Ritual - Infinity Ritual - EP Review: Infinity Ritual
28 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the debut EP from New Plymouth trio Adam Colless (guitars, vocals), Jason Karam (bass, vocals, mellotron) and Mark Thomas (drums and percussion). The four songs, 23 minutes in length, show a band who are bringing together groove metal with stoner, displaying plenty of bottom end with rich distortion.
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Sea Mouse - EP Review: Evil Heart
27 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
There is a time in many music lover’s lives when they finally fall into the caress of the blues. Everyone has their own genre they prefer, but the best blues is that which really calls to the listener on an emotional level, and for me that means two very different strands, and my favourite depends on what I am feeling like on any particular day.
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Brian Baker - EP Review: Open Up Your Heart
27 Jul 2022 // A review by ApolloSteamTrain
Brian Baker is an established Kiwi songwriter whose career spans 40 years and is still going strong. His latest release is a 5-track EP entitled Open Up Your Heart and it brilliantly showcases Brian's musical experience and the journey that his art has taken him on.
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Krispy & The Pooch - EP Review: The Reckless Eclectic: Part One
25 Jul 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Waiheke’s electro-soul duo Krispy & the Pooch are back. And I don’t just mean back with brand new music, the lads relocated from Berlin back to little ol’ Aotearoa, and this new EP The Reckless Eclectic: Part One is the first produced and recorded on home soil.
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Reuben Hudson - Single Review: Gasman
24 Jul 2022 // A review by HazzaMakingNoise
I’m not gonna muck around with the preamble here, instead a question… Has Reuben Hudson written the most catchy chorus of the year? I’d wager it.
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Velvet Arrow - Single Review: Dark Was The Night ...Song For Blind Willie Johnson
24 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
When I started work on my first book some eight years ago, I decided I was not going to listen to anything I was supposed to be reviewing during this period, and instead threw myself into the world of pre-war acoustic blues and Sixties electric blues. I made some wonderful discoveries during this time, not least of which were the famous blind blues musicians such as Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Willie McTell, and of course Blind Willie Johnson.
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Gig Review: By The Power of Rock @ The Thirsty, Auckland - 22/07/2022
23 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Just a week after being at The Thirsty for Swamp Song XII, I was back for By The Power of Rock featuring three bands, two of which were new to me. First up were Living State, a band whose single One Sided I put in my Top 10 last year, but I had only seen them play live once before so was looking forward to this.
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Silent Torture - Single Review: Omnipotent Reign
21 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Auckland death metal outfit Silent Torture have been playing some well-received gigs recently, and now here they are back with their first new material since 2018’s Phallic Self Mastication EP. Formed in 2015, Ross Curtain (drums), Aidan McGorry     (guitars) and Liam Hand (vocals) have been there since the beginning while bassist Elijah Pinho joined back in 2017, and it is only guitarist Daryl Hodgetts who did not play on that last release.
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Mecuzine - Album Review: Locksmith Thief
21 Jul 2022 // A review by darryl baser
Now that’s a great way to open an album. Bruised and Broken is the first track of Mecuzine’s new album Locksmith Thief, and my god what an epic track to open their new record.
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Sonic Space Lab - Album Review: Cycles
20 Jul 2022 // A review by JamieDenton
Sonic Space Lab is the musical pseudonym of Dunedin-based, Venezuelan composer and sound engineer Luis Rodriguez, who some may know from his guitar work in Dunedin’s Tomahawk Radio. Having spent more than 20 years writing music for television, film, and advertising and collaborating with countless musicians in both musician and producer roles, Luiz Rodriguez turned his hand to Sonic Space Lab (also the name of his studio) in the mid-late 2010’s.
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The Knids - Album Review: Rescue Me
19 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
The Knids are back with their second album, which has one of the coolest covers ever! I was a big fan of their debut, One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Manknid, and I am glad to report that this one continues exactly where that one left off.
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Gerry Paul - Single Review: The Fairy Child
19 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Gerry Paul surely needs no introduction, as not only he is an established musician who has shared his wares in more than 40 countries around the world (as well as more than 40 American states), a festival organiser and award-winning children’s author, but he is also incredibly well-known within the folk community. Most recently he and his colleagues in T-Bone well-deservedly made it to #2 in the NZ album charts with the excellent Good ‘n’ Greasy, and he has called on those friends to join him again in this new single.
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Heavy Chest - Heavy Chest x BENEE - Single Review: Sunday926
19 Jul 2022 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
I must say, I am thoroughly enjoying the new offering from Heavy Chest; a dreamy collab with BENEE, how exciting is that!? And a very new and different sound altogether for this band, led by the talented Andre Smith.
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Coridian - Gig Review: Coridian @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 15/07/2022
18 Jul 2022 // A review by Gideon Voon
Coridian, who I have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with in my band’s most recent NZ gig, have put on a gig titled ‘Power to Rock’. But we do not get the power part straight away, we build up to it.
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Gig Review: Swamp Song XII @ Thirsty Dog, Auckland - 15/07/2022
15 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Originally, I was not supposed to be in Auckland this weekend, which is why tonight I was not at Ding Dong watching the mighty Coridian, but as that gig was being covered by another writer from MNNZ I instead headed out to The Thirsty for another of Sean’s soirées. The Swamp Song events pride themselves on bringing together some of the most metallic and interesting bands around, and tonight was no exception with another four-band bill.
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The Black Seeds - Album Review: Love & Fire
15 Jul 2022 // A review by Chris Chick
What a privilege it is to review a legendary band that is The Black Seeds. The band has been entertaining and soothing the ears of many a listener now since 1998.
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Voodoo Bloo - Album Review: The Blessed Ghost
15 Jul 2022 // A review by Investigator
Wellington Rockers Voodoo Bloo have released their second album The Blessed Ghost. This sophomore album follows on from the 2020 debut Jacobus.
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Gig Review: Dee and the Sweet Somethings @ Meow, Wellington - 13/07/2022
14 Jul 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
The crowd is electric at Wellington’s Meow this Wednesday evening, now the home of Dee and the Sweet Somethings, Walker and Clara van Wel for one marvellous night. Looking out into the sea of people reveals a particularly eclectic bunch, of all ages, genders and fashion styles - it’s all slicked back hair, bright scarves, leather boots, full suits and colourful beanies, a visual display of how many diverse people adore tonight’s acts.
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Ghost Merchants - Single Review: Careless Ones
14 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
While the band name may be new, and Careless Ones is their debut single, all three of the guys involved in Ghost Merchants are no strangers to success in the NZ rock market, as here we have a combination of drummer Nick Douch (Ekko Park) and multi-instrumentalists JP Carroll (Swerve City, Arrays) and Adrian Drew (Investigator). Both Adrian and JP are singers as well of course, but here Adrian takes the lead while JP is right behind with double-tracked vocals while we get the strong riffs we expect from JP, combined with the more commercial sound of Investigator with Nick always driving them forward.
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Arrays - Album Review: Patience Way
14 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
JP Carroll (Swerve City, ex-Armed in Advance) is back with his latest album as Arrays, yet again proving what a talent he is as Patience Way takes us on a journey through different styles of melodic rock, often with buzzsaw guitars, and always with hooks and a commercial understanding missing from many other releases. Many of the songs on this could happily find their way onto radio, as even when he is doing his best Devin Townsend impression the vocals and licks keep us tuned into what he is doing.
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Ben Woods - Album Review: Dispeller
14 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Firstly, this is an album which must be played on headphones as otherwise much of it will be lost, and secondly here we have music which is going to challenge a lot of what people expect from that term. However, of the many words used to describe my musical tastes (my children say it is weird, while I would rather use the term broad minded), conservative is not one of them and for me this is a delight.
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Masslands - EP Review: It Doesn't Matter Anymore
14 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Last month I reviewed the single Forget What You Heard from these guys, and now I have the four-track EP from which it was taken. Masslands started as a project between Jacob Tait of Orphic Décor (who I also recall reviewing last year) and Mason Blair of Highway Goth, but as they started to build up steam, they were joined by the rhythm section of Orian Green and Ben Liley and this is their debut EP.
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Wills & Wills - Album Review: Ain't Seen The Likes of You Before
13 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This trio is formed around singer/songwriters and father and son team Shayn (guitar, harmonica, viola, vocals) and Zephyr Wills (guitar, bass, vocal) along with Freddy Limbert (drums, vocals). Shayn is a well-established singer-songwriter and blues musician who has performed in almost every town in the North Island, as well as supporting artists ranging from Albert King to Junior Wells.
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Leigh Franklin - Single Review: So My Love
13 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have a song which every parent can totally relate to, as it is Leigh’s song to her 4-month-old son, although it took 4 years to come up with the final version. She sings about the changes taking place and how much she loves him, and it reminded me of sitting just looking at one of my daughters when she was about that age thinking my heart would break and I would do anything for her.
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Jenny Mitchell - Album Review: Tug of War
12 Jul 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
Jenny Mitchell releases her third album on July 22nd. It’s Tug of War, a collection of sweet songs which see Jenny wear her heart on her sleeve and talk about all the pushes and pulls of a still young life where “things don’t always work out the way they do in your mind”.
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DateMonthYear - Single Review: Thots and Prayers w/ Golden Plates
10 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Golden Plates from San Diego, California and DateMonthYear from Hamilton, New Zealand have teamed up for a new single song release called Thots and Prayers. DateMonthYear’s Trevor Faville wrote an instrumental track to which Golden Plates’ Elder Brycen added the vocals and lyrics.
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Gig Review: Crushfest @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 09/07/2022
09 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back down to The Tuning Fork for a night with six acts, all of whom had just 20 minutes to make an impact. This was going to be a hard one for bands, crew, Ginny and I, but hopefully the fans would have a great time for a great price.
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Forty Bucks Till Tuesday - Gig Review: Laid to Rest @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 08/07/2022
08 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Tonight’s show was called “Laid To Rest” as it was the last gig for the Yakushima Assassin Clan Metal band from the distinguished ghetto streets and suburbs of West & South Auckland (Forty Bucks Till Tuesday) with singer George Shinobi Mishinoku, who has decided to leave the scene for now. Opening act were Moshpitt, and this was the first time I had seen them since James Trimmer (Black Sands) had joined.
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NEEKOH - Single Review: Breathe
08 Jul 2022 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
NEEKOH is a Finland based fashionista, interior designer and former Pop Idol finalist. He took a break from celebrity status in Finland, traveling the world and has found himself in New Zealand.
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Moofish - Single/Video Review: Sparrow
07 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
A short while back I reviewed Ash Tree Lament by MOoFiSh, and the first thing I said was that I had no idea how on earth I was going to be able to describe it, and now I have their latest single I am wondering why on earth I volunteered as I have exactly the same problem! There is just so much going on in this arrangement, from complex layers to simplicity, that one really does not know where to start.
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Daniel Ashcroft - Album Review: Caramel Honey II: Ribbed For Her Pleasure!
07 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Daniel Ashcroft is a multi-instrumentalist who played in metal bands and released solo work during his mid-20’s, but stopped about six years ago, with no intention of creating any more music. These songs started off as tunes he would play with his acoustic, sitting on the floor next to his daughter when she was a baby.
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CHOEY G - Album Review: Time?
07 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It has been some 15 years since CHOEY G has been in a studio, and on this album, he provided all the lead vocals and guitars. Working with producer Reagan McKinnon at The Porch Recording led to Reagan playing drums, providing backing vocals plus all other instruments as well as polishing the result and assisting in the creative direction.
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Finger Tight - Single/Video Review: I Hear It Rains In Seattle
07 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
The video accompanying this song probably tells you all you need to know about the five guys from West Auckland, as interspersed with playing in the studio is them going to a fancy-dress party, and there is a real sense of humour throughout. Red is a vibrant frontman, even though he does leave the party on his own (or does he?
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Bird Machine - Single Review: Our Kind
07 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the second single from Kiwi/Aussie duo Bird Machine, and if the debut is anything like this then I can see I need to check it out. Jenna and Luke Grbin come from different musical backgrounds, one from alternative and the other from pop, and here they combine those influences to meet somewhere in the middle.
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No Man's Land - Single Review: It's All Over
07 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest single from No Man’s Land, which is quite different indeed to the last one of theirs I reviewed, West Coast. That was heavily based on the piano, but here the keyboards are much far more restrained, with held-down organ chords as there is a far greater emphasis on vocals, harmonies and guitars.
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Big Scout - Single Review: How Lovely
07 Jul 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Self-proclaimed “Hillbillies in Hiluxes” Big Scout from Blenheim (Jim Tannock, Mathew Hellriegel and Gregg Slatter) are an original 3-piece band full of loud fast paced energy that may (or may not) be post punk (not to be pigeonholed). The band's third single off their up-and-coming debut album Council Sport is How Lovely, an assault on your senses in the best way.
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Matt Joe Gow - Single Review: 'Til My Whole Heart Bursts
07 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I first came across Matt when I was asked if I could write a release for his tour, and I was fortunate enough to catch him in Auckland playing solo in the middle of last year. It was a great night, and since then I have investigated all three of his albums and am looking forward now to his NZ tour and his fourth.
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Blake - Single Review: You Don't Decide
07 Jul 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Hailing from Queenstown, soulful pop artist Blake’s new single You Don’t Decide is a breath of fresh air amongst today’s highly produced and often overly busy commercial material. Yet another splendid product of Covid lockdowns, it’s a whispered discovery of self-assertion, which reaches to the depths of human experience and compacts its realisations in a beautiful yet clearly comprehensible way.
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Sonic Delusion - Single/Video Review: Fingertips
06 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to come across the incredible album When Turkeys Fly by Turkey The Bird which meant I was determined to see them when they came to Auckland and had an amazing evening. One member of that trio is André Manella, who has also been touring as Sonic Delusion, and over the last eight years he has played more than 800 shows and released five albums.
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Big Sima - Album Review: Stereotypes of a Polynesian Misunderstood
04 Jul 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Currently one of the most active NZ Hip-Hop artists on the live circuit, The Underground King AKA Big Sima is no stranger to the big stage. During his come-up, he has played support for everyone from Busta Rhymes to Bone Thugs 'n Harmony, Guru (Gangstarr), Mobb Deep and Cypress Hill.
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T-Bone - Gig Review: T-Bone @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 03/07/2022
03 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Down to Tuning Fork for an early start with doors opening at 5:30 and the whole thing expected to be over by 9:30! I was so glad that Al from Hoop sent me the running times in the morning otherwise I would have missed their set altogether as well as possibly missing the beginning of T-Bone!
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Miles Calder - Gig Review: Miles Calder @ Wine Cellar, Auckland - 2/07/2022
03 Jul 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
There’s a warm and welcoming atmosphere tonight in the Wine Cellar. It seems to be lighter along with the mood.
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Y$O - Single Review: So Sexy
03 Jul 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Y$O returns with a new funky and R&B-infused track So Sexy.From the moment the track starts, I can feel that there is a lot of influence from N.
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Ange.Mac + Shaun Garea - EP Review: Ange.Mac + Shaun Garea
03 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
What we have here is the debut collaboration from Ange.Mac and Shaun Garea.
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Pale Flag - Gig Review: Pale Flag @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 01/07/2022
02 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Tonight, I was supposed to be at The Tuning Fork for Ekko Park and Jordan Luck but the dreaded Covid had cast its spell and the gig was cancelled earlier in the week. I did a quick check to see what was on at Dead Witch and discovered there was a four-band bill and knowing three of them I could see it was going to be a good night so decided to head that way.
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Molly Devine - Single Review: Shades of Blue
30 Jun 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Molly Devine’s sweeping waiata Shades of Blue, created in collaboration with guitarist James Bulter, is an emotive piano-led ballad carried by her strong, deep vocal. Like previous release Because I Love You, Shades of Blue takes Devine away from her earlier dance-pop works into experimental territory.
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Ayla Wesley - Single Review: Say To Me
30 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Normally, when I am reviewing singles for MNZ the turnaround time we work to is 7 days and it is not unusual for me to work on far tighter deadlines than that, but Ayla was incredibly well organised with the promotion for her second single, and I have been playing this for the last 3 weeks at least. In that time it has become a real earworm, and I have even found myself singing it as I walk around (not a pleasant experience for anyone in the vicinity, let me assure you).
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DiCE_NZ - Single Review: Feshh + DiCE_NZ - Undointerpolation (Meant 2 Be Remix)
30 Jun 2022 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
DiCE_NZ is back, after no delay! DJ/Producer Dave Ti and friends (Mr ‘House of Downtown’, DJ Christiaan Ercolano, Percussionist Matt Sawyer, & DJ Duncan Funk) have recently created and re-shaped a fresh take on a new tune.
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Ed Waaka - Single Review: E Kura
30 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It did not take long for me to fall in love with this song, probably the first 30 seconds I guess, as there is something about it which grabs hold the listener, puts them in a safe place, and lets the singer bare their soul. Soul, yes, this is full of it in a musical sense as well as an emotional one, and when I discovered he was singing about the upcoming birth of his first daughter, whether he would be a good father, and the need to reconnect to his Maori heritage it made a great deal of sense.
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Danica Bryant - Single Review: Crush
30 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the lead single from Danica Bryant’s forthcoming EP, Ego Death, and if this is fully representative, then that is something to look out for. For a young artist she has already had considerable success, mentoring with Bic Runga while also gaining a support slot for Elton John on his ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ tour, and while she has already tasted success on the NZ Hot Singles Chart, I am sure this is going to head the same way.
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Tia Ward - EP Review: Me and Me Too
30 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This is the debut EP from Hawkes Bay singer Tia Ward, following on from two singles which were released ahead of time, Under Wraps and Paint Dry, both of which are included here. The first thing which the listener notices are her vocals, which are both understated yet firmly to the fore.
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Dark Divinity - Single Review: Left For Dead
30 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Formed in 2017 by drummer Ian Moir, melodic death metal act Dark Divinity have been through quite a lot in the last five years, as not only have they supported the likes of At The Gates, The Haunted, The Black Dahlia Murder and Psycroptic but have already released an EP, some singles and have of course been running the gamut of line-up changes. The most recent of these has seen the departure of singer Jolene Tempest and the return to a male singer in Jesse Wheeler, with the line-up completed by guitarist/bassist Paul Stewart and guitarist Jiji Aligno.
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Tryonics - Album Review: Fragmented
29 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Tryonics is the solo project of Hap Richardson, formerly of My Little Pony, Go Victim and Freezer Child. It is completely a one-man affair as Hap not only provided all the music and vocals but also recorded and mixed it as well.
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Kev Rowland - Book Review: The Progressive Underground Volume 4
28 Jun 2022 // A review by Epitomised_Drummer
Well, here I find myself in the weird situation of reviewing a series of reviews. What a novel idea!
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Memory Foam - Album Review: Steel Magnolias
28 Jun 2022 // A review by Paul Goddard
Did you know that Memory Foam creates a matrix of cells through which air can move? Me neither.
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Anamnesis - Single Review: Coms
26 Jun 2022 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Coms sounds like a clown rubbing wet crocks against a saxophone. After a few seconds it also sounds like somebody close is tracing their finger around a half empty wine glass and somebody far away is buffing a bird cage with an angle grinder.
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Anxiety Club - Single Review: Carousel
24 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest single from Wellington-based Anxiety Club, taken from the forthcoming album Old Dreams, but anyone expecting more of their guitar-led music is going to be in for quite a surprise as there has been a major shift in their sound, caused by circumstance as much as by design. Like many bands unable to perform or tour over the pandemic, they used the downtime to focus on new songs, but that was not their only issue.
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Capital Theatre - Album Review: A Hero's Journey
24 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back in March last year I made my way to the Tuning Fork to catch a three-band bill, one of whom was Capital Theatre. At that point I had not heard any of their material, so was mightily impressed to discover they had recorded a concept album for their debut with Mike Clink (Guns ‘n’ Roses, Megadeth etc) in America, and that night they were playing it in sequence.
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Sam Bartells - Single Review: Good Intentions
23 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Last year I saw Sam Bartells at The Tuning Fork with a full band, and then a few weeks ago he was playing acoustically at a tiny venue in Ponsonby with just a keyboard player for support (what an incredible night that was). In some ways his latest single is a combination of those two very different facets, as the central core of his music is always his acoustic and vocals.
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South for Winter - EP Review: Acoustic Sessions
22 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Earlier this year I agreed to review a concert of the Nashville-based husband and wife duo of Nick Stone (vocals, guitar) and Dani Cichon (vocals, mandolin), without previously having heard any of their music and it is fair to say I was blown away. I was fortunate enough to see them on two consecutive nights, and the mix of Dani’s pure, clear vocals with Nick’s more classical tones was something to behold.
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Achilles Complex - Single Review: Jack In
20 Jun 2022 // A review by Kerry MB
Achilles Complex hail from Hamilton and have been making a name for themselves since 2019, when they came on the scene with their explosive prog rock medley. The four piece, compromising of frontman, Harley Flynn (vocals and guitar), Zak Cole (drums), Reece Gielen (vocals and lead guitar) and Jordan Carpenter (bass) create a stunning blend of intricate sounds, both heavy and melodic.
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Recitals - Single Review: Rock Dove
19 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Recitals are a 7-piece band based in both Te Whanganui-A-Tara (Wellington) and Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland) and comprise Xanthe Rook (bass, vocals), Tharushi Bowatte (trumpet), Carla Camilleri (keyboards, vocals), Olivia Wilding (cello), Christian Dimick (guitar, vocals), Josh Finegan (drums), and Sam Curtiss (guitar). Even before playing the first single from their debut album Orbit I (released at the end of August on Flying Nun Records) I was intrigued by the line-up as it is unusual to find both a trumpeter and cellist in the same band, and having now listened to the single I am still intrigued, but now it is because I am wondering what the album is like.
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Matt Joe Gow - Album Review: Break, Rattle and Roll
19 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
After touring and playing numerous festivals in support of Seven Years, Matt returned to the studio in 2018 to record the follow-up, Break, Rattle and Roll. Released to wide acclaim, it went one better than his previous release and was awarded Best Country Album in the 2019 Music Victoria Awards.
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Jenny Mitchell - Gig Review: Jenny Mitchell @ Kumeu Live, Kumeu - 18/06/2022
18 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Over to Kumeu Arts Centre tonight to catch two Country singers, along with ace photographer Steve Bone who I had not worked with since Dragon in February last year due to both Covid and his schedule getting in the way of things. We both got there early enough to catch up with the ladies and listen to the soundchecks beforehand and it was obvious we were on for a good night.
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Arun O'Connor - Album Review: Songs From The Reading Room
17 Jun 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
Arun O’Connor is as good as gold when I speak to him in dark and gloomy Invercargill about his new album, his debut album, Songs From The Reading Room, which came out sneakily in late April.  You can see my interview with Arun in my interview series, ‘It’s a Wrap with Roger” here, but the dark and gloomy winter afternoon seems appropriate when you play the first song on the album, When the Darkness Comes Around.
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T-Bone - Album Review: Good n Greasy
16 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the debut album by Wellington-based Kiwi folk Americana act T-Bone, and mighty fine it is too. The quintet comprises Gerry Paul, Aaron Stewart, Richard Klein, Michael Muggeridge, and Cameron 'Dusty' Burnell, and they bring together an acoustic mix of zydeco, old-time, blues, bluegrass, and folk with Americana to create something which is incredibly enjoyable and full of depth.
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Steve Wells - Album Review: Songs For Summer Rain
16 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
When I heard that Steve Wells (ex-Fur Patrol) was releasing his debut solo album I had no idea what to expect, but I know it wasn’t this! For a musician who made his name as guitarist in a multi-platinum band, there are way more keyboards here than one would expect, and the production makes this album sound huge.
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Hoop - Single Review: The Brightest in the Land
16 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I have seen Hoop play twice this year so far (the third will be in a few weeks) and each time I have come away impressed with the depth and breadth of their Americana-inspired folk. This is due in many ways to having two songwriters in the band, both of whom are singers and multi-instrumentalists while they also have an excellent rhythm section and a great fiddler.
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Coast Arcade - Single Review: Tattoo
16 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I don’t know how old these guys are, but given they formed in High School towards the beginning of last year I am guessing not that old, especially as they have been playing mostly all-ages gigs, although they did also open for The Beths in Auckland earlier this year and would have also opened for Clap Clap Riot if the tour hadn’t been cancelled due to Covid. Bella Bavin is the lead singer and lead guitarist, and here she sings about wanting to tattoo a girl on her neck.
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SKRAM - Album Review: Walk Into the Sun
15 Jun 2022 // A review by bensargent00
Floating in a sea of offset guitars and Fender reverbs, SKRAM manage to swim not sink with their debut album Walk Into The Sun. This Wellington 4-piece's 12-track album is drenched in cerveza-popping Summer vibes and pop-rock madness.
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MELLIS - EP Review: Escape
14 Jun 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
There’s been a retro-wave revival simmering around the world, with groups like Drab Majesty, Gunship, Perturbator, plus Kiwi artists PolarisRadio establishing themselves in various electronic and rock circles. Many have performed live to vast audiences and also racking up healthy amounts of plays on streaming platforms.
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Turkey The Bird - Gig Review: Turkey The Bird @ Ministry of Folk, Auckland - 11/06/2022
11 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It was a very wet and windy drive over to The Ministry of Folk, but one I was willing to make as I loved the latest Turkey The Bird album and tonight was the last night of the tour. I made it safely to the old hall, which was very dark and atmospheric which was certainly enhanced by the Northumbrian and Uilleann pipes care of Helen Douglas and Mark Muttley Sanders, otherwise known as The Underdrones.
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Becca Caffyn - Single Review: Stair Kid
09 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the debut single from Hamilton native Becca Caffyn who discovered Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan when she was 15 and has spent the last four years developing her own songwriting and performing style. This song is all about the vocals, which are double tracked, so playing on headphones is the best way to really appreciate them and they have deliberately been kept and clear and not over polished.
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Gideon Voon - EP Review: EPsode II: Wanderer's Path
09 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Gideon Voon is of course guitarist with the mighty Shepherds Reign, one of the finest metal acts in Aotearoa, so when I saw a post from him on FB earlier this week where he put up a teaser for a new track I was intrigued. What would a solo piece be like from someone who is known for crunching out mighty riffs?
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Stealphish - EP Review: No Road To Shadesmar
09 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It has been quite a while since we last heard from Stealphish, probably due to a combination of Covid and guitarist Josh Barker busy recording an EP with Café Fistfight, but this time around we have a 3-track EP instead of just a single. He is again joined by his brother Dan who wrote and arranged the drums, while pianist Caitlyn Abbott again makes an appearance on one track.
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Nuggiez - Album Review: Toil In The Time of Monsters
09 Jun 2022 // A review by Trevor Faville
In something of a classic Punk tradition, the opening paragraph in the press release for this release begins with some social commentary, and a position statement- establishing Nuggiez’ attitude and intent before mentioning the band or its music, and if ever there is an appropriate introduction to this band, that would be it.Nuggiez are based in Tamaki Makaurau , and have been evolving the material for Toil In The Time of Monsters over a period of quite some time.
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Josie Moon - Album Review: Paint Me How You Need Me
09 Jun 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Independent Wellington artist Josie Moon’s debut album Paint Me How You Need Me is a highly conceptual, artistic alt-pop exploration, questioning identity, and the search to be perfect for others. With a voice full of childlike innocence and yet deepfelt cynicism, Moon establishes herself as an unmissable artist emerging on the scene.
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Lee Mvtthews - ShockOne x Lee Mvtthews - Single Review: Thinkin About
09 Jun 2022 // A review by ApolloSteamTrain
If you are entrenched in and or familiar with the world of EDM (specifically Drum n Bass) then Lee Mvtthews will require no introduction, but for those of us that are perhaps not keeping up, here is the group summary in three sentences from a Kiwi perspective: A few years back in 2012, a couple of Auckland blokes named Graham Matthews and Tom Lee were knocking the top off a few beers while shooting the shizness about the music business. They found that they were both into the same stuff, right and decided to have a crack at making a few tunes on the computer.
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Masslands - Single Review: Forget What You Heard
08 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the debut single from Hawkes Bay quartet Masslands who feature Orian Green (drums), Ben Liley (bass), Mason McNaught-Blair (vocals, guitar) and Jacob Tait (guitar). They describe themselves as Indie-Rock / Post-Punk, but while I understand the first and agree, I don’t necessarily hear the latter, at least not in this number which sits solidly within alt rock to my mind.
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AJSCeleste Music - EP Review: Beautiful Words
06 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Beautiful Words is the latest release from Tauranga-based musician Amanda Sloan, who goes under the name Celeste Music. This five-track EP is under 13 minutes long, and for the most part is based around the vocals of Amanda, accompanying herself on picked acoustic guitar, with additional instrumentation such as keyboards laid over the top.
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Arrays - Single Review: Glass Traps
06 Jun 2022 // A review by JamieDenton
Auckland-based rock/metal act Arrays is the brainchild and ‘creative sandbox’ of musician/producer JP Carroll (ex-Armed in Advance, and currently also with Swerve City). Having known JP for a number of years, and having followed his career through Stitches, which became Armed in Advance, and then into Arrays and later Swerve City, he has consistently remained a strong creative force, a passionate and prolific producer and performer of music, and possibly kiwi-music’s most genuine, nicest, and most down to earth personalities (albeit one that is loaded with a plethora of terrible puns that he will unleash at any and all opportune moments).
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Midwave Breaks - Gig Review: Midwave Breaks @ Whammy Bar, Auckland - 03/06/2022
05 Jun 2022 // A review by Gideon Voon
Tauranga and Hamilton joined forces to send some of their best Alt-Rock acts to show Auckland a thing or two. First up is a 5-piece band from Hamilton, Retro Valley.
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Gig Review: NZ Music Month Wrap Party @ Tuning Fork - 31/05/2022
05 Jun 2022 // A review by Lou Clement
Live music is back with swagger as event numbers grow and crowds swarm for a crucial mark of ‘return to normal’ in Auckland. At the Tuning Fork, sandwiched between the Port and the central city streets, a diverse crowd gathered at this all-ages event, to mark the end of NZ Music month, 2022.
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Investigator - Gig Review: Investigator &, Crystalator @ Cupid Bar, Auckland - 04/06/2022
04 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
So, it was back out to Point Chev tonight to catch Investigator who are currently on a high with their song Shade at #15 in the Official NZ Rock Airplay Charts. It was my first time to see Crystalator, who may have a new name but may well be known to many on the Auckland Scene as they used to be called Meridian Vibe, and with both Investigator and Crystalator having albums in the works it promised to be an interesting night.
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SNRXG - Single/Video Review: Makaveli-C Feat. SNRXG - Brothers
04 Jun 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
The new video from Makaveli-C Feat. SNRXG takes Hip-Hop and puts some New Zealand flavour in it.
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Written By Wolves - Gig Review: Written By Wolves & Coridian @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 3/06/2022
03 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
When I was told a few weeks back that Written By Wolves and Coridian were doing another fundraiser for Dead Witch I was blown away, as the same gig last year was my #1 for 2022, and in my Top 10 of all time. I arrived early to ensure I could grab one of the limited-edition t-shirts (only 50, and only being sold here tonight) and was fortunate enough to catch the boys before the soundcheck and then stayed for that as well.
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Gig Review: Tuning Fork Birthday @ Tuning Fork, Auckland - 01/06/2022
03 Jun 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
It’s the Tuning Fork’s birthday although it’s unaware. Inertness.
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Aanvi S - Single Review: I See You Now
02 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I first came across Aanvi last year when I was approached by her mother to see if I would mind writing her first ever press release. The reason it was from her mum and not Aanvi herself was because at the time she was just nine years old.
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Phil Doublet - Album Review: Journeyman
02 Jun 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
Phil Doublet is yet another of our unsung heroes in terms of New Zealand musicians plying their trade under the radar. For forty years.
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Paul The Kid - Single Review: Close My Eyes
01 Jun 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Paul The Kid is an extremely diverse artist, combining an eclectic mix of contemporary genres with prominent themes of hip-hop, dance and reggae to create absolute bangers. Paul is most at home performing live and his shows generate an eccentric energy that invites the audience to get involved in the party.
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Mister Unit - Album Review: Wake Me When We Get To Utopia
31 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
There are times when nothing will hit the spot like a dirty filthy good old-fashioned hard-hitting rock and roll band, and that is exactly what we have here. If I didn’t know they were from Wellington I would have guessed possibly New York, as there is no way they sound Kiwi.
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Revulva - EP Review: Girl's Gotta Eat
31 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the debut EP from Wellington-based octet Revulva which contains six songs at 27 minutes in length, three of which have been released as singles. They describe their music as “nu-jazz, nu-pop, nu-wave” which puts me at something of a loss, as when I think of the word “nu” I tend to put it in front of “metal” which gives us Slipknot et al.
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NZTrio - Gig Review: NZTrio @ Town Hall, Auckland - 29/05/2022
31 May 2022 // A review by Clare Martin
NZTrio celebrated mighty masterpieces alongside contemporary genre-busters for its twenty-year anniversary at Auckland Town Hall ’s Concert Chamber on Sunday night. NZTrio comprised of Somi Kim (piano), Ashley Brown (cello) and Amalia Hall (violin) have a proud legacy of performing works by Kiwi composers with over 70 commissions over two decades.
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Konarucchi - Single Review: Tongue-Tied
29 May 2022 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Konarucchi is a multi-genre solo artist from a small town in New Zealand called Wainuiomata. He likes to experiment with many styles of music, without focusing on how they will fit together, because he believes that cohesion in music comes from the artist, rather than the genre.
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Geneva Waves - Single Review: Wild Arrivals
29 May 2022 // A review by darryl baser
Geneva Waves is a one person musical project, based in Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland. Steven Tait is the man behind the moniker, who’s produced this wonderful piece of music.
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Sam Bartells - Gig Review: Sam Bartells @ Ponsonby Social Club, Auckland - 28/05/2022
28 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Over to Ponsonby on a Saturday night – I must confess I cannot remember the last time I was in this part of Auckland, very different indeed to the rock dives I normally frequent. But given Sam Bartells was playing a special acoustic show, and it had been a year since I last saw him, it had to be done.
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Daniel Armstrong & The Monsoons - Gig Review: Daniel Armstrong & The Monsoons @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 27/05/2022
27 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Only a few weeks back I was saying I had not been to Tuning Fork for well over a year, and now here I was back again, this time to see a three-band line-up which was due to start at 8:00 pm with the last band due on at 9:30 which is a very sensible state of affairs if you ask me! First up was Ripship who comprise Callum Lincoln (guitar, vocals, loops) and Eva-Rae McLean (drums, vocals).
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Ariana Tikao - Single Review: Fly You Home
27 May 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Ariana Tikao’s Fly You Home is a beautiful track devoted to “indigenous solidarity” across the nation. Produced by Brooke Singer and Ben Lemi of French for Rabbits, the track is dreamy and gentle, offering a true sense of tranquility amongst the stress and sound of current times.
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Torn Chorus - Single Review: The Meaning of Light/Rhythm of Sound
26 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Torn Chorus is Franklin Davis, an Auckland-based songwriter, musician, and photographer, who provides bass, various guitars, and vocals. This is about how he perceives the world through light and sound, as a photographer and musician.
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Moofish - Single/Video Review: Ash Tree Lament
26 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I must confess to knowing very little about MOoFiSh apart from that they are a duo of Rhonda Hofmans Johnson and Chris Fish Johnson, and while Rhonda is the lead singer I don’t know if they create all the music themselves or if other musicians are involved. They have been releasing music since 2018, and my first thought on playing on this was “how on earth am I going to be able to describe this”?
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Shadowcaster - Single Review: Cast a Shadow
26 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Although there is a band when it comes to performing live, in the studio Shadowcaster is a one-man affair with Trent Graham performing all manner of guitars and some keyboards. While it contains elements of the likes of Mumford & Sons there is also a very definite nod to The Levellers and our very own Albi & The Wolves (although with no violin).
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Wiri Donna - EP Review: Being Alone
26 May 2022 // A review by bethany_rachell
It’s been two years since Wiri Donna’s first and only official release - a double single Manuka Money and Wandering Willies. Those who are in Wellington and have had the opportunity to see Wiri Donna live will be more accustomed to the heavier sound that they bring live.
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STATES - Single/Video Review: Hostage
26 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It has been a year since States released their last single, Relentless, but they were caught up in the COVID lockdowns and even though they recorded drum tracks at the end of 2020 they were unable to complete the songs. However, they are in the studio right now with Zorran Mendonsa (Devilskin, Coridian, City of Souls, Blacklistt) and hopefully they will be releasing material throughout the rest of the year as if this is anything to go by then we are on for a treat.
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Substax - Album Review: Linear Shift
26 May 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Those familiar with Kiwi dub and breakbeat music will likely be familiar with the name Substax, the electronic musical duo consisting of Nick Farrands and Claudia Gunn, who have been in the scene for well over twenty years. And those not yet familiar with Substax will undoubtedly get a good introduction with their newest full-length release Linear Shift.
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Al Park - Album Review: Pony
26 May 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
Last year it was a Rooster. This year it’s a Pony.
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Rhombus - Album Review: After Party
26 May 2022 // A review by Peter-James Dries
I was wearing a New Zealand Music Month hoodie the other week. Upon seeing it, my niece gleefully exclaimed “You’ve got the year I was born on your hoodie.
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Riqi Harawira - Single/Video Review: Walk of Freedom
26 May 2022 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Musician, Support Worker, Maori Customs Teacher, Non-violence Facilitator, and basically all-round amazing human being Riqi Harawira (aka ‘Creative Native’) presents his new single Walk of Freedom with accompanying music video on 24th June 2022. This will coincide with the release of the full-length feature film Whina – ‘A biopic of the trailblazing Maori leader, Dame Whina Cooper, whose extraordinary life saw her break gender boundaries, champion the rights of Maori, and fight for the land - all the while staying true to her heart and her beliefs.
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Michael Signal - Single Review: Magnetism
25 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Now, I must confess to being as much a fan of short song as I am of long ones and given how much I listen to Napalm Death that is probably a good thing. But all short songs I know tend to fall into one of two camps, in that they are either complete in their own right (and are generally brutal), or are introductory tasters for a longer piece of music and I cannot help but feel that what we have here is the latter and my only complaint is that it stops after 90 seconds and I feel somewhat bereft.
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Skank Bandit - Single Review: Suck On That
25 May 2022 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Taranaki band Skank Bandit are excited to be releasing new music once again, in the wake of all the Covid lockdowns, hold-ups, and disruption to the music scene. As soon as they were able to jam together in person, this track was the first song they wrote.
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Infinity Ritual - Single Review: I'm Gone
25 May 2022 // A review by Kris Raven
New Plymouth three piece Infinity Ritual are blasting out the gate, fresh off the boots of their debut first single I'm Gone from their self-titled upcoming EP. The song begins with a thunderous drum fill courtesy of drummer Mark Thomas, making way for a big groovy, distorted onslaught of guitar riffage.
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Max Hill - Album Review: M.H.
23 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Max Hill (they/them) originally started as Slow Rage, which became a duo with the addition of drummer Sam Hatley, building quite a reputation in the all-ages scene. However, like many other musicians they decided to make the most of the first lockdown in 2020 and started work on what would turn out to be a totally solo album recorded in their bedroom.
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Stephen McDaid - Album Review: Trail Maps
23 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the debut solo album from Stephen McDaid, who has been somewhat busy helping out his in-law’s by playing on both Guy Hobson and Kay Duncan’s recent releases, but now he has found time to go out on his own. Given that he has been adding guitar to both those other albums it is no surprise that this is the primary instrument, but here it is an acoustic which is the perfect accompaniment to his strong vocals.
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Kay Duncan - Album Review: Interstellar Refugee
23 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
On this her debut album, Kay Duncan provides vocals and guitar, and she is joined by her husband Guy Hobson on keyboards and brother-in-law Stephen McDaid on lead guitar. I was initially listening to this while working outside on the farm and it took me a while to work out who her voice often reminded me of, namely Karen Carpenter.
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Guy Hobson - Album Review: Latitude
23 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Guy Hobson is a Christchurch-based composer and performer who specialises in instrumental music for film and was featured most notably on one by Force Five Films about the unveiling of Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Spaceship Two SS2. He is a classically trained pianist who describes his music as Ambient, hypnotic and alt/modern classical, bringing in influences from classical, jazz, blues, and funk.
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Oliver Birch - Single Review: Docile Healthier
21 May 2022 // A review by HazzaMakingNoise
There is a strange paradox in the independent, self-produced musician who laments the seemingly ever dangerous trajectory of technological society. Because that same trajectory enables them to find liberation in creating new soundscapes without any objection.
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The New Things - EP Review: Pink Chocolate
20 May 2022 // A review by darryl baser
If I had to sum up The New Things four-song EP Pink Chocolate in two words they would be ‘perfectly imperfect’. The New Things are Tina McIvor and Jason Tamihana-Bryce, both have been around the indie music scene for a number of years separately and together; touring Japan a few years back.
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Caitlin - Single Review: Hardly
19 May 2022 // A review by Kerry MB
Caitlin Joy might not sound familiar but you’re a fan of some great acoustic pop/folk tunes, then you’ll want to read on. Having been raised by musicians, it’s no wonder that her musical beginnings started young.
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Cafe Fistfight - EP Review: Mourning Brew
19 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It feels like a lifetime ago now, but I guess it must be closer to 18 months, when I started daring to head into central Auckland and Dead Witch. I had agreed, in a moment of madness, to cover all the heats for the local battle of the bands competition and had no idea what I was letting myself in for.
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Elliott Dawson - Single Review: CEO
18 May 2022 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Elliott Dawson plays angry art rock inspired both by British post-rock and South London jazz. CEO is the first single from his album Hang Low which will be released independently in September 2022 and was recorded at Surgery Studios in Te-Whanganui-a-Tara with engineer James Goldsmith (Avant-Glass, Recitals, Wiri Donna, Mermaidens, Earth Tongue).
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Voodoo Bloo - Gig Review: Voodoo Bloo w/ Friends @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 14/05/2022
16 May 2022 // A review by Gideon Voon
It’s mid-2022 and yet another gig is at the mercy of Covid. This time, Melanie was not spared.
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Anthonie Tonnon - Gig Review: Anthonie Tonnon @ Hollywood Cinema, Auckland - 14/05/2022
16 May 2022 // A review by Andrew Smit
On a coolish Saturday evening it was great to see a rather large crowd that clearly were so happy and eager to experience a night of live music, and what a perfect venue to stage it at the slightly musty but still majestic Hollywood Cinema in Avondale. Opening the proceedings was the cool 4 piece band Lips with their ambient 80’s groove thanks to the techno synth sounds from keyboardist and singer Steph Brown.
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Afterlight - Single Review: Resolve
16 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
There has never been any doubt in my mind that the most difficult musical format to get right is that of a trio, as while it is expected that the sound will be full and complete, there is also no room to hide. That is even more the case when that trio decide to be instrumental as there is no singer to take some of the load, and then what about when the musical grounding is in metal?
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Boy Virgo - EP Review: VILLAIN
16 May 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Despite hyperpop’s impressive rise in pop culture over the past few years, there’s a surprising lack of Kiwi artists in the genre. Boy Virgo is here to remedy that.
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DiCE_NZ - EP Review: The Situation
15 May 2022 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
DiCE_NZ is a DJ and Producer from Auckland, Aotearoa. DiCE has worked with epochal bands such as Fat Freddy’s Drop and The Black Seeds, with his own collection of Disco, Funk, and Jazz edits to his name.
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French For Rabbits - Gig Review: French For Rabbits @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 13/05/2022
15 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
So it was back to The Tuning Fork for the first time in quite a while. I am struggling to remember the last time I was there, but possibly it was for Dragon, which was well over a year ago.
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No Life - EP Review: Radical Thoughts
14 May 2022 // A review by Kris Raven
Whilst fairly fresh to the NZ music scene (original formation in 2019), South Island quartet No Life are here to leave a pummeling imprint on 2022 and beyond with the release of their debut EP. Radical Thoughts delivers three massive tracks of progressive metalcore with embellishments of modern nu metal and industrial.
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Yung Ludd - EP Review: Yung Ludd - Two Tone
13 May 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Born and raised in Lyttelton, Yung Ludd is the rap alias of musician Connor Strati. Having spent some time in Auckland in his twenties, he was exposed to a lot of the underground Hip-Hop scene there which proved to be very influential on his sound.
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Violet Highway - Single Review - Sick of Waiting
12 May 2022 // A review by tonymcdonald
I love the ending to this pop rock song - it's not your typical finish... so, make sure to check the song out all the way through.
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Samuel Philip Cooper - Single Review: Forever Loved
12 May 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
Somewhere, over the rainbow, Samuel Philip Cooper’s Nana is still sitting in her favourite chair, a grey-haired old lady with a hint of a smile enjoying the late afternoon sun dappling into her garden. In reality Samuel’s Nana passed away during lockdown and he never got to say goodbye.
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Tess Liautaud - Album Review: Tess Liautaud
12 May 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
Oh, the people of Christchurch have got music and soul everywhere, and yet another singer/songwriter emerges with an astonishingly mature debut and an international pedigree. Tess Liautaud is French, American and now Kiwi.
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Tony Jacob - Single Review: Just One Step
11 May 2022 // A review by darryl baser
The 2021 released single Just One Step by Tony Jacob is a sumptuously produced song, with lyrics and a very positive vibe. "You can move on mountains with just one step, you could take the world on with no regrets..
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James Hunter and The Gatherers - Gig Review: James Hunter and the Gatherers @ San Fran, Wellington - 7/05/2022
08 May 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
San Fran is absolutely bustling with people on Saturday night, all buzzing to see the unique line-up. With only two weeks' notice of the event, the turnout is astounding, proving the crowd's devotion.
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Tablefox - Gig Review: Tablefox @ Anthology Lounge, Auckland - 06/05/2022
08 May 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
It’s New Zealand Music Month and here we all are at Anthology Lounge for the much awaited and much postponed Tablefox new album launch for Battles. It’s been a right old battle getting the new album out and played live, and this gig was originally scheduled for last August.
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In The Shallows - Gig Review: In The Shallows @ Spirit Festival - 05/05/2022
08 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I left work a little early on Thursday, and then fought my way from South Auckland, West to Kumeu Showgrounds, where Spirit Festival was taking place. In many ways this is a sister festival to Earthbeat which I attended last year in that it is very much for the alternative culture movement, with lots of stalls and a wonderful vibe.
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Colette Rivers - Single/Video Review: Memory Lake
08 May 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
New Zealand-American indie folk artist Colette Rivers has just released a video for her latest song Memory Lake. The video was filmed on the shores of Lake Taupo and is also the theme of her song.
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Imperial Slave - Gig Review: Imperial Slave @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 07/05/2022
07 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
And so, it came to pass I was back in Dead Witch for the second consecutive night, and my third gig in as many days, which really shows how the scene is ramping back up again under the orange settings. We have all been deprived of live music for so long, and bands are now dipping their toes back in the water while others are resetting dates which previously had been cancelled.
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Pull Down The Sun - Gig Review: Aotearoa Prog Alliance Tour @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 06/05/22
07 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This was the first night of the Aotearoa Prog Alliance tour, which is a showcase of progressive rock/metal over 9 shows in May, featuring three of Aotearoa's leading progressive rock/metal bands - Pull Down the Sun (Whanganui), Elidi (Christchurch), Claemus (Wellington) plus a local support at each stop. First up was Claemus, or at least a close approximation, as due to the wonderful lurgy which is COVID, plus a family commitment, the band was down to a duo of Taylor and Dan.
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The Hootz - Single Review: Stay Away
06 May 2022 // A review by Chris Chick
Hailing from the Garden City and just a short 15-minute drive from yours truly, the 4-piece band known as The Hootz are releasing their upcoming single Stay Away. This song has a very melancholy vibe to it, but not in the sense of it being a negative thing, if anything it has a very Summer vibe feel to it.
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Samuel Gaskin - Single Review: Rain
05 May 2022 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Samuel Gaskin is a New Zealand born, Melbourne dwelling artist; he has just released his latest single Rain. Sam is an inspiring and innovative artist that stands up for the BIPOC LGBTQIA+ community; addressing his Indigenous heritage and ancestry in each art piece he produces.
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Bleeding Afterglow - Album Review: Find Your Taboo
05 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back in 2004 guitarist Sharne Scarborough was looking for a new rhythm section for Just One Fix, and he asked Ant Ward and Gaylene ‘G-Force’ to join. Although the bassist and drummer had bumped into each other on the circuit they were not really friends, and G actually complained to Sharne at one point that she was not sure if she could handle Ant’s persistent innuendos.
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Big Scout - Single Review: Redwood St. Massive
05 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
It’s not often that a song can take me straight back more than 40 years on the first time of hearing, only to reinforce that with repeated plays, but that is exactly what happened with this angry trio from Blenheim. This is stripped back music which has a great deal in common with the post punk Oi!
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Saint Mercury - Single Review: Ominous Warning (Ft. Shooless)
05 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Saint Mercury is the artist name for electronic producer Mark Linton who doesn’t see himself being at home in any particular genre but is more of a shapeshifter and on hearing this track one can understand why. Ominous Warning is his debut single, and he has given himself enough room to move around as it is more than five minutes in length.
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Davey Beige - EP Review: Rise Above
05 May 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
Davey Beige comes straight out of the blocks on his new EP Rise Above. 80 In A 50km Zone is just what it implies, we’re off and running at almost top speed, even though “Life goes way too fast”.
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Goodspace - Single Review: Sit Down
05 May 2022 // A review by ApolloSteamTrain
Goodspace are an Auckland 4-piece band in the style of what I want to call Glitch Dream Rock. A style that fuses together traditional songwriting styles with modern EDM soundscapes over Dream Pop vocal styles.
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LVST Night - Single Review: Roller
03 May 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Having recently nailed down releases with the sensational The Not Okays, as well as the mind-twisting alt-rock outfit MIRA, guitar player and songwriter Nori Wong has continued to keep himself occupied. Now trying his hand at producing electronic music, Nori has emerged under a new moniker, LVST Night.
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Arrays - Single Review: Forget Fast
03 May 2022 // A review by Epitomised_Drummer
Remember the Names Armed In Advance or Stitches? Perhaps you should!
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No Man's Land - Single Review: West Coast
02 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This is the third single from all-girl Wellington-based quartet No Man’s Land, which I am guessing is the rationale behind the name and I must admit it made me smile. That smile continued as I listened to West Coast as there is a naivety and pop sensibility to it which just a delight.
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ARIA - EP Review: Love Songs Till Midnight
02 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the debut EP from ARIA, and a really interesting release it is as well. The focus throughout is on her pure clear vocals which have a tone that bring the listener in close, no matter what style they are performing.
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This Little Badge - Single Review: Think of A Number
01 May 2022 // A review by darryl baser
Think of A Number is the first of a series of seven singles being released by This Little Badge, a project led by Dave Pope. This song is an upbeat little number, based around the house lyrical phrase "think of a number", with the title line being repeated for the chorus.
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Jackie Bristow - Gig Review: Jackie Bristow @ Anthology Lounge, Auckland - 28/04/2022
30 Apr 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
Jackie Bristow brought her new album Outsider to Anthology Lounge in Auckland on Thursday night, inside it’s warm and intimate and the seats are out. We’re still getting used to an almost post-Covid world but enough brave souls have come out to make this a proper gig and to experience the little things which make live music so special.
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Gig Review: Rock Resurrection @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 29/04/2022
30 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Tonight, was my first gig at Dead Witch since we moved into Orange, so I was looking forward to a hot and sweaty night from the three bands involved. First up was Venom Dolls, whose EP I reviewed last year, then Living State who’s single One Sided I had in my top 10 for 2021, while the only band I had seen previously was Gravity Road, who now had a new bassist in Nathan Field who told me he had joined in February, but this was his first live gig in two years.
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Channeled - EP Review: Channeled II (Part One)
29 Apr 2022 // A review by [email protected]
Channeled, the facet of musical expression for Auckland’s Ben Ruegg are returning to the fold with Part One of Channeled II, a 3 part album that is being released over the next 6 months. Originally this was purely a solo project, and Channeled now has a live element as well as a debut album under their belt.
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Daniel Armstrong & The Monsoons - Single/Video Review: The Company
28 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Realistically, the cover art for this single tells the listener all they need to know about this song, as here are a band who are determined to have a load of fun and bring everyone along with them. It is actually a still from the video, more of that later.
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Pretty Stooked - Single Review: Wanted
28 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Eddie Kiesanowski has been involved in music from a young age, and while studying at ARA he formed his first band, Skelter. After they had released their debut EP they headed off to Melbourne with mentor Tom Larkin (Shihad).
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InDuna - Single Review: Love and Affection
28 Apr 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
South African artist InDuna teams up with Jah Tung and Kasa on the Tiny Triumph produced track Love and Affection. It’s a thrilling Afropop release encouraging a woman to keep pursuing true feelings and relationships, demanding her not to “call murder on love and affection”.
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Will McClean - Single Review: Ego Prison
28 Apr 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
I'm getting to hear more Will McClean... yes please!
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Ellery Daines - Album Review: Failure Thirty Minutes Deep
28 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Since I came across the single No-One I have been waiting for this album to drop, a feeling which was only exacerbated by the follow-up, Imposter Syndrome, but at long last it is here. I could quibble that there are only eight songs, and it is only 31 minutes long, but seeing as how it took Ellery some five years to get to this point, I am happy to have it at all!
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Taiotims - Single Review: All For You
28 Apr 2022 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
This charming track from Mataio Timaloa AKA Taiotims really put a smile on the dial today. With simple uncluttered beats and a nostalgic feel, backing close, intimate vocals that have been recorded in such a way as to capture that up-close-and-personal vibe, and the subject matter “A love letter to my significant other half” is so lovely to hear in Hip-Hop, or any style of music really, what’s not to love about it?
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Brown Sugar Factory - EP Review: Halina't Sumayaw
27 Apr 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Brown Sugar Factory’s latest EP Halina't Sumayaw is an incomparable blend of funk, house, pop and dancehall, boasting the diverse musical backgrounds of producer Reid Ulberg and singer-songwriter Roberto Jatulan.Opening to silky vocal adlibs and gentle rain, Til Next Saturday pulses under smooth guitar and incredible harmonies.
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Sonic Space Lab - Single Review: Coming Out On The Other Side
26 Apr 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Based in Dunedin, Venezuelan producer and sound engineer Luis Rodriguez has been amongst the Aotearoa music scene since 2018, and he doesn’t appear to have lost steam along the way. His latest offering is entitled Coming Out On The Other Side, a new venture in which he places more focus on instrumental, electronic music and less on the structures of conventional songwriting.
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Mojo Alice - Single Review: Sad Face
26 Apr 2022 // A review by Paul Goddard
If there is a phrase I can't stand right now it's "let's get ready for the new normal."Fuck that.
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WoLF - EP Review: Kook
26 Apr 2022 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
WLF (Wolf) is the solo project of Otautahi Christchurch, NZ musician Aaron Hogg. With over 25 years as a vocalist, guitarist & bassist for bands such as Pumpkinhead, Slim & Thunderwülf, Aaron has amassed a wealth of experience both live & in the studio.
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Vogel Town - Single Review: Sludge City
24 Apr 2022 // A review by Andrew Smit
Interestingly Vogel Town's new song Sludge City begins with an automated telephone voice, and then a street argument which is soon accompanied by a very groovy walking bass line, quickly growing from just a couple of notes to a broad melody of its own. At first the only addition is some nice, nonchalant drum fills, but as the background street noise fades away, the introduction of vibrant reverberating guitar strums adds a final element that completes the ensemble perfectly, and altogether this provides a very cool bluesy vibe.
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Fin Rah Zel - Single Review: Negativity No More
21 Apr 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
If you’re looking for a quintessentially Kiwi kickstart to your day, Negativity No More is the perfect toe-tapping new release from New Plymouth surf-pop band Fin Rah Zel. It’s a barbecue jam about “having the courage to let go of the negative influences in our lives,” and a showcase of musicianship so strong, it sounds entirely effortless.
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Janine Mitchell & The Haewai Collective - Album Review: Etched In My Soul
20 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Janine is a Wellington-based folk artist steeped in the 60’s tradition of protest singers and environmentalism, and on this album, she is joined by Jack Binding (acoustic lead guitar, vocals), Kevin Ikin (mandolin, harmonica, percussion, backing vocals), and Shaun Clifford (production, various instrumental overlays), while she provides vocals and acoustic guitar. On the rear cover she details what each song is about, the message she is conveying, while the songs always have her vocals front and centre, with others joining in on the chorus.
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Hans. - EP Review: Kimyuntak
20 Apr 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Hailing from Auckland, New Zealand, Hans. is an exciting Korean artist that has been dubbed by VICE Magazine as "One of the rising stars of New Zealand Hip Hop.
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Eliezer - Album Review: Diary Entries Vol 1
20 Apr 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
This is a great album. Even at 30 mins long, the overall feel and vibe of it is fantastic.
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Ignatia : Rising - Single Review: Not One Step Back
18 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Apparently, these guys were around in the Nineties before they went on an extended sabbatical, getting back together in 2019. Since then, they have released a few singles, of which Not One Step Back is the latest.
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Pale Flag - Gig Review: Pale Flag @ The Thirsty Dog, Auckland - 16/04/2022
16 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
So, it was back up to The Thirsty Dog tonight for the first time in quite a while for a three-band bill. I was looking forward to this as the last time I saw Pale Flag they were very good indeed, but it did mean I was missing Deathnir at Ding Dong.
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Hybrid Rose - Album Review: Hyperkunt
14 Apr 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Wellington based electronic artist Hybrid Rose has just dropped her fifth album which goes by the no nonsense name of Hyperkunt. A futuristic cyberspace like character with attitude occasionally courting controversy, Hybrid Rose continues to deliver inspiring original dance tunes infused with an abundance of attitude.
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Checaine - EP Review: Black River
13 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to catch Hamilton-based Checaine on the Auckland leg of the tour to promote the EP I am now listening to. I came away impressed that night and playing these five tracks remind me again of just why that was.
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Neil Beales - Single Review: Missing Words
13 Apr 2022 // A review by ApolloSteamTrain
Missing Words is the latest solo offering from Wellington based songwriter Neil Beales who is also a member of the band Tower of Flints. The track was Recorded at the Outland Sessions, a week long songwriting collaboration event where Neil has been a regular attendee for the last few years.
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Joseph E Harrison - Single Review: Blameless
11 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Joseph E Harrison came over to NZ from Sheffield at the end of the 90’s, since when he has been performing in different bands, most notably in Brave New Void. His new single, Blameless, is a totally solo performance, with Joseph writing, performing, and recording this on his own, and it immediately evokes one performer and period in particular.
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Nigel Parry - Album Review: Tales of Common Folk: Salt & Sweet Kisses
11 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Much of the folk music I hear in NZ has other elements added to it, such as bluegrass, Americana and country, but after only a few seconds of the opening number Three Danish Galleys, on Nigel Parry's new album Tales of Common Folk, Salt & Sweet Kisses, I knew we were in for what I think of as “the real thing”, namely English Folk Music which has been brought up to date yet  staying true to the tradition. Even though I think of myself primarily as a metalhead or proghead, there is no doubt that folk has always had a powerful hold on me, and when I travelled from one side of the world to the other for a festival some five years ago, it was to attend Cropredy not Wacken.
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Steve Tofa - Album Review: Koko Stax: The Legend Of Leni Mafu
11 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
There are times when an album is put on, and the listener starts to smile virtually immediately, warming to what is going on in their ears and Steve Tofa's new album, Koko Stax: The Legend of Leni Mafu, is just one of those. I loved this the very first time I played it, and it has just got better each and every time since then.
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Tony Lee - Album Review: Man on Mars
11 Apr 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
Tony Lee is a Man on Mars. With a “here we go” Tony Lee’s band launch into a hootenanny rocking billy of an opening song which reminds me of the kind of frantic rhythm you might see and hear at Roberts Western World of a night, any night, on Broadway in Nashville.
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Gravel Pit - EP Review: Wolves/Gravel Pit Split EP
10 Apr 2022 // A review by Kris Raven
Open your ears, get your windmill arms ready and brace yourself for 5 tracks of hardcore punk from some of New Zealand’s finest. Bringing back the classic 7” vinyl split EP on side one are the relatively new Auckland 4 piece Wolves featuring members of the Bleeders, City of Souls and Evil Priest.
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Mousey - Gig Review: Mousey @ Meow, Wellington - 7/04/2022
08 Apr 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
It’s the first truly cold night of the year as Mousey and her band fill out Wellington’s Meow. The venue’s eclectic vibe, covered in bookshelves, clocks and colourful walls, perfectly match the energy of the two indie acts of the evening, and the room buzzes with anticipation from many devoted, excitable fans.
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The Mechanism - Single Review: Living in Colour
08 Apr 2022 // A review by Epitomised_Drummer
People who follow the NZ music scene will have probably noticed by now that musicians tend to move in circles dabbling in different types of music, and often work on each other's projects or play in multiple bands throughout their careers. One of those awesome names to have hit the scene in recent times with 3 of his own EP’s is Geoff Ong.
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Pale Lady - Single Review: Never Satisfied
07 Apr 2022 // A review by River Tucker
2017 Battle Of The Bands national champions Pale Lady have hit another home run with their latest single; Never Satisfied. Contrary to the song title, you can tell these four young guys who hail from Wellington are having shit loads of fun playing this fantastic song.
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Turkey The Bird - Album Review: When Turkeys Fly
07 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
When one sees cover art where the band are wearing clothes which were never in fashion even in the height of disco, combined with a somewhat unusual name then this is either going to be something incredibly special, or something spectacularly bad. However, I had high hopes from this band and when the harmonies hit just 25 seconds into opener Orbit, I knew I was in for a fun time.
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End Boss - Album Review: They Seek My Head
07 Apr 2022 // A review by Kris Raven
Wellington's End Boss featuring members of Beastwars and Ghidoragh and the incredible vocals of EJ Thorpe, have delivered one of the finest albums of 2022. A heavy music juggernaut, which combines huge lashings of doom, stoner and heavy metal with cinematic, post metal, ethereal vocals and elements that leave your ears comfortably bleeding and your mind blown musically and lyrically throughout.
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REID - Single Review: Savannah
07 Apr 2022 // A review by Lou Clement
REID is solo artist, based in Wellington, who is making straight-up fun and catchy pop music. Inspired by a desire to simply get people to sing and dance along, REID’s debut single, Savannah, is one of those songs that is the soundtrack to sunny days.
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Michèle Ducray - Single/Video Review: Manifesto
06 Apr 2022 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Christchurch-based pop artist Michele Ducray releases her sophomore single Manifesto, complete with slick video clip produced by Shae Sterling, courtesy of NZ On Air. This dark and intriguing track opens in a foreboding room, filled with polaroid pictures hung on strings, and a somewhat disturbed-seeming character sitting on a step, alone.
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Hannah May - Single Review: Written in the Sea
05 Apr 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
There is no time for “beating around the bushes” with Hannah May’s latest single Written in the Sea, a warning call to act on climate change that also introduces her debut EP, out later this year.Led almost exclusively by a jaunty acoustic guitar, every musical element of Written in the Sea sounds warm and comforting, thanks to a skillful mix by Tay Oskee, and mastering from Paul Blakey.
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Imugi - EP Review: It's OK To Be A Lil Alien
05 Apr 2022 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Auckland-based Imugi is comprised of beatmaker/producer Carl Ruwhiu and songwriter/vocalist Yery Cho. With regular releases since 2017 and some big shows and festivals under their belt, Carl and Yery have carved out a space for themselves in the New Zealand music scene, and don’t look to be going anywhere anytime soon.
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Arrays - Single Review: Obsidian Oceans
03 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I can’t believe it is more than a year since I wrote about JP’s last album, Light Years, but it was and now here he is with the new single from the forthcoming third album, Patience Way. Arrays never sound like the work of just one man but always come across as a full band, which says a great deal about the skill of the person behind it all.
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Album Review: Various Artists - True Colours New Colours
03 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Unless you live in NZ it is probably unlikely you will realise just what an important band Split Enz was/is to the local scene. Sure, they had some international hits and I remember hearing I Got You back in the UK when it was released as a single, but in NZ/Aus they were/are royalty and True Colours has rightly taken its place as one of the most important albums ever released in Aotearoa.
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Marianne Leigh - Gig Review: Marianne Leigh w/ Edera and Rose Lubransky @ Valhalla, Wellington - 30/03/2022
31 Mar 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Behind Valhalla’s metal doors and graffitied walls, you would be surprised to find a trio of young acoustic performers playing to a sold-out student crowd this Wednesday night. Auckland’s Marianne Leigh took to the stage for the final night of her release tour for the Simple Things EP.
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Jeiel - Album Review: Fatal Attraction
31 Mar 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Jeivenchy, not to be confused with “Givenchy”, is a singer/songwriter based in Wellington, New Zealand. His debut album Seenzoned introduced his melodramatic lyrics, 80's inspired vocals and catchy choruses.
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Sam Bambery - Album Review: Songs About Sailors
31 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
One of the real delights in discovering so much NZ music is most of the artists I am asked to review I know nothing about beforehand, so each piece of music is a total surprise and I have no preconceived opinions ahead of time. I also never read press releases until I have played the album/single, so I approach the music very clean.
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Voodoo Bloo - Single Review: Small
31 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Wellington band Voodoo Bloo are back with the second single from their forthcoming album, The Blessed Ghost, and given what I have heard so far that it definitely one I am looking out for. I was impressed with Skin, which came out towards the end of last year, and while this one obviously has similarities it is also very different indeed.
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No Broadcast - Album Review: Lie In Orbit
31 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Back in May last year I was fortunate enough to catch No Broadcast supporting Dead Favours in Christchurch, since when I reviewed the title cut of this album when it was released as a single. Their last album was all the way back in 2015, but after four years hard work the guys are finally back with their third, and it was worth the wait.
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The First Child - Album Review: Sincerely Yours
31 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I’ve seen The First Child play a few times over the last year, so was pretty sure I knew what to expect from this 7-track EP, but when it commenced with Lunacy, You’re So Beautiful, I was nothing short of shocked. The reason for that is these guys are a post hardcore act with stacks of aggression, so to have the album start with gentle vocals and plenty of keyboards was not what I expected at all!
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Sin City - Album Review: Welcome to Sin City
31 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the full-length debut from Sin City, a duo formed around Jack Beesley and Nick Armstrong, who here have combined with producer Delaney Davidson on bass, John Segovia on lap steel and Alistair Deverick (Boycrush) on drums. Jack and Nick are probably best-known for their antics with garage punk rockers The Cavemen, and it was after that band’s world tour in 2019 that they relocated to Spain and knocked out about 100 songs.
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Slimivich - Single Review: Desert Shimmer
31 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This release is probably going to confuse quite a few people when they realise that the person behind Slimivich is none other than Slim Jenkins from Christchurch metal outfit Tainted, here back with his first new music in some time. But this isn’t metal, it is rap/hip-hop being taken in a new direction.
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Corrella - Single Review: Seafarer
31 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Corrella are a 7-piece band based in Auckland who have real links to the sea as some of their members have been in the navy while others are still serving. The sea is something to which I have always had a close affinity, as I was raised in a small fishing community where most of the men on my mum’s side of the family were trawlermen while my dad was in the navy, and his father was a coastguard.
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Odds & Ends - Single Review: Something Else
31 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
When I reviewed their last single, Picture, I said I could tell Odds & Ends had a sense of humour just from the cover, and that is the case again as here we have a digital release which features a pile of cassettes (which are apparently very much in fashion again, although I have no idea why). That song saw them break the Top 40 Singles chart, while it was in the Top 10 NZ Singles, and it is possible to see this going the same way.
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Sabreen Islam - Single Review: Count Me Out
31 Mar 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Auckland based young singer-songwriter Sabreen Islam, has just released the third and final instalment of her “pop trifecta” the last of three songs called Count Me Out. A light and airy original based around being stood up on a first date.
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Kyla Greening - Single Review: Rich Girl
31 Mar 2022 // A review by Trevor Faville
Kyla Greening hails from Cambridge, and while Rich Girl is her first release as such, she is already known to many in the Waikato as an experienced performer and  very capable singer who is comfortable in range of music situations. Fair to say that for many it could be said that for many, this release has been keenly anticipated, Greening combines three key elements into Rich Girl - A thorough understanding of RnB/ Soul songwriting and arranging, sensitive and intelligent production/arrangements, and a sophisticated, melodic sensibility.
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Hamish Gavin - Album Review: I've Been Waiting For This
30 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This album was originally recorded as home demos while Hamish Gavin was living in a community in Germany. Drums were later recorded at a home studio at a different volunteer project in Pisa, Italy while the mixing took place over the following year.
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The Chaddington Street Milk Collective - Album Review: Crescendo Ultima Morendo
30 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
When Wellington-based Juddy first heard Love Junkie by California-based Sonnyboy he was so inspired that he started recording similar music himself. From there it was just a simple matter of contacting Sonnyboy and suggesting they collaborate on an album together, and this is the result.
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Juddy - Album Review: I Am A New Tie Wearing
30 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Juddy originally started off as a guitarist in punk bands before discovering Love Junkie by Sonnyboy, which inspired him to invest in a MIDI keyboard and pull together an album which is apparently influenced by his love of mid 90’s video games. Mind you, even then those games must have been retro, as the sounds being utilised on this have a much better fit with the decade before.
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The Late Starters - Single Review: Quarter To Ten
30 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest single from Christchurch band The Late Starters, which is a precursor to the EP due out later this year. They released their debut album, Age – A State of Mind, back in 2019 and lovingly describe their music as “an enjoyable nostalgic trip into the future.
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Bach Musica NZ - Gig Review: Bach Musica NZ @ St Matthew-in-the-City, Auckland - 26/03/2022
29 Mar 2022 // A review by Clare Martin
A night of opera choruses and arias performed live in the wake of the peak of Omicron was the miracle delivered by Bach Musica NZ at St Matthew-in-the-City, Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland. A miracle because choral singing has proven to be a super-spreader of Covid and was avoided like, well, the plague.
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Fear Up Harsh - Fear Up Harsh - Album Review: Fear Up Harsh (II)
28 Mar 2022 // A review by Peter-James Dries
There is a rumour that, when played simultaneously, Fear Up Harsh (II) syncs perfectly with Jim Jarmusch’s The Limits of Control. The rumour is a lie of course, like many rumours are, but you’d be forgiven for believing it.
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The Flow Collective - Album Review: Flow
27 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This is a wonderful album, very New Zealand, but also very much classic singer-songwriter in a way which is not often heard these days. It took me a while to think who they remind me of, but in the end, I settled for English singer Talis Kimberly and Australian Maryen Cairns, both incredible performers who have released essential albums.
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Fire For Glory - Gig Review: Fire For Glory @ Save Ding Emothon, Dead Witch, Auckland - 25/03/2022
26 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Tonight was the Save Ding Emothon, with DJ sets in the main bar and then Fire For Glory playing a gig at Dead Witch upstairs. Of course, the decision was made that they would not start their set until 10:30 which was a pain in the neck as I decided that I was going to have dinner at the bar, so I was there for just after 7:00!
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Wiri Donna - Single Review: No Follow Through
24 Mar 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Te Whanganui a-Tara's Bianca Bailey, better known as Wiri Donna, shares her enticing indie rock jam No Follow Through as an introduction to her hotly anticipated debut EP due for release later this year.Its message insists that the only person with real expectations for you is you, making No Follow Through an excellent single as it offers something of a thesis statement for the quality of music Wiri Donna plans to share.
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Birdfeeder - EP Review: The Vile Isle
24 Mar 2022 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Led by keyboard player and songwriter Stephanie Cairns, Birdfeeder makes music for time travellers, tea leaf readers and full moon gazers. Their south seas art-pop is characterised by unearthly melodies, surprising shifts and vintage timbres.
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SKRAM - Single Review: Living Our Lives
22 Mar 2022 // A review by Andrew Smit
Beginning with some straightforward but quite funky keys your soon steered to a very upbeat and chunky ensemble of music that energetically drives along with its super groovy reggae vibe. SKRAM are a very high energy 3-piece pop group that have delivered a fine tune that embodies their claim of “energetic” perfectly.
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Goldsmith Baynes - Single/Video Review: To Ihu
20 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
There are times when one is sent a song which oozes class from every pore, and that is exactly what we have here in one of the most delicious and delightful jazz numbers I have ever come across. Goldsmith Baynes is a musical partnership between singer Allana Goldsmith and pianist Mark Baynes, but in this number they bring it out to a full band with Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa (drums), Alex Griffith (electric bass), Cameron Allen (saxophones), Jono Tan (trombone) and Mike Booth (trumpet and horn arrangement).
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OTTS - EP Review: Overboard The Troubled Ship
20 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
OTTS are a trio from the Taranaki, and this two-track EP is their fourth to date as they work towards their debut album. Formed in 2020, they have a sound which takes me back more than 40 years to the indie commercial punk style which came through in the second wave in the UK when bands decided they would actually like to be featured on Top of the Pops and the radio after all.
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Crystalator - Single Review: Sludge
18 Mar 2022 // A review by Investigator
I have the pleasure of introducing THE new rock act hailing from Auckland, Crystalator. I'm listening to their debut single Sludge.
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Jarrod Ross - Single Review: Hail
18 Mar 2022 // A review by [email protected]
Jarrod Ross, formerly of Pan Am and Valedictions, brings us Hail, a solo effort of the rock variety, born of lockdown conditions. Reminiscent of some of the dreamier aspects of American and British rock of the recent and distant past, Ross’ solo project was a long time plan, enabled by the pandemic.
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SOJØURN - EP Review: Mystic Ways
17 Mar 2022 // A review by HazzaMakingNoise
Surf, Sun, Sojøurn. If it isn’t a catchphrase of a quintessential Kiwi summer, then it will be soon.
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Ellery Daines - Single Review: Imposter Syndrome
17 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Ellery Daines is back with the second single from his forthcoming album, Failure Thirty Minutes Deep, and I really wish he would hurry up and release that as it something I am really looking forward to, given just how different this is to the last single, No-one, which I also really enjoyed. Originally from Nelson, but now residing in the Norwegian Arctic city of Tromsø, Ellery is a multi-instrumentalist who has been working on his album for some five years.
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Eurenza - Single Review: Victim of Circumstance
17 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Following on from last year’s Good Luck... You're Gonna Need It EP, Eurenza are back with their next single.
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Unknown - Single Review: I Am
17 Mar 2022 // A review by Epitomised_Drummer
Sins of Eve have just released their wickedly evil new single I Am. I’ve not heard of Sins of Eve before personally, but a little bit of a back story tells me that they have been around for quite some time on the rock scene in Christchurch but have recently rejigged their line-up with the inclusion of Lexie Mia Le Cocq on vocals.
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Scapegoat - Single Review: The Dead of Night
16 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Rene Black is best known as being the man behind the kit for Cripple Mr Onion and His Masters Voice, and these days can be found in premier NZ Sabbath tribute band After Forever, but anyone expecting a similar bombastic approach to the debut single from his solo project Scapegoat is in for quite a surprise. The Dead of Night commences with a pre-war ballad, even down to the crackly vinyl, before it is replaced by a simple repeated motif on acoustic guitar.
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TOOMS - Album Review: Fake Teeth
16 Mar 2022 // A review by Lou Clement
So, a 15 tracker, entitled Fake Teeth, released on limited vinyl, from the excellent duo which are Tooms. They are: Nich Cunningham and Dorian Noval.
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Partyboi Pan - Single Review: Mystical Barz
16 Mar 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Partyboi Pan is the founder of The Mason, a vision to upgrade the very idea of what parties are with the sole purpose of showcasing local passions and talents.His latest track Mystical Barz opens with a dialogue that really sets the mood for the track.
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Revulva - Single Review: One Puff Wonder
15 Mar 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Revulva are an eight-piece band from Wellington who describe themselves as “nu-wave, nu-jazz, nu-pop”. A jazzy-pop octet who have just released their third single One Puff Wonder, which follows on from debut singles Sniffy Lady and Turning Out and builds on the foundation for their up and coming EP Girls Gotta Eat, set to be released late March 22.
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Video Nasty - EP Review: Menthol b/w Filthy
15 Mar 2022 // A review by Kerry MB
Video Nasty are a three piece hailing from Auckland. Having formed in 2020, their cacophony sound is a blend of noise rock that gives you reason to listen.
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Lauren Gin - Single Review: Remedy Feat. Janayah
14 Mar 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Lauren Gin has her goals set high. She has confessed that ever since the age of 20 she’s determined to set her name among the world of Kiwi producers.
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Flying Man - Single Review: Since You've Been Gone
14 Mar 2022 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Dunedin based; Irish born artist Flying Man released his debut single Since You’ve Been Gone on the 28th of January. A haunting acoustic ballad about the aftermath of losing someone close to you, Since You’ve Been Gone is a reflective look at life after death, and the struggle that comes with trying to go about everyday life when you’ve lost someone special.
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Lee Martin - Gig Review: Lee Martin @ Wunderbar, Lyttleton - 09/03/2022
11 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I had been waiting a very long time for this gig, but finally it was the night of Lee Martin’s album launch for Gypsy Soul. I had promised her I would be there for it, so I had taken time off work and had flown down from Auckland back home to Oxford just for this.
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David Sutton - Album Review: X
11 Mar 2022 // A review by darryl baser
Wellington based songwriter David Sutton has been regularly releasing albums of his original songs for a good few years now. This year he’s changed tack a bit and released a covers album.
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The Not Okays - Single/Video Review: Better Days
10 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the second single from The Not Okays, following on from their cover of Bite Me which came out towards the end of last year. Noriel Wong (guitar), Aaron Prictor (guitar, vocals), Lauren Kate Borhani (vocals), Caitlin Clark (bass) and Bahador Borhani (drums) started this band as a fun excuse to be able to go out and blast some of their favourite Emo tunes, and this is their first original.
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Lorenzo Hazelwood - EP Review: Vol. 3
10 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I first came across Lorenzo Hazelwood last year with his single Same Mistake, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but due to one or two lockdowns I had been unable to catch either him or his band, Cut To The Bone, in concert. Thankfully, that was rectified last Saturday when he performed an acoustic gig (it’s hard to undertake rock gigs in Red Traffic Light) and I came away mightily impressed with his voice and approach to music.
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Mousey - Album Review: My Friends
10 Mar 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Christchurch artist Mousey is well-recognised for her tremendous list of achievements, from Silver Scroll and Taite Music Prize Best Debut nominations, to support slots for industry giants. But the best way to prove an artist is worth listening to is simply telling you they make good music.
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Ersha Island - Double Single Review: Good Day/Gut Feeling
09 Mar 2022 // A review by Trevor Faville
Ersha Island consists of Auckland based siblings Danielle Hao-Aickin (vocals and keys) and Tee Hao-Aickin (violin) both of whom bring extensive musical training and experience into this foray into a more contemporary genre. Quite a bit of press attention has already gone the way of this duo, and even a cursory read of this reveals two highly motivated women with a clear vision of what they are doing- in terms of both the musical intent and cultural perspective.
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Aro - Single/Video Review: Tohora
09 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
When it comes to describing the music of husband and wife Charles (Ngapuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngati Te Ata, Te Ati Awa) and Emily Looker (nee Rice), AKA Aro, I have long lost all rationality as I love what they do so very much indeed. I was devastated (as were they, to be honest) when their national tour was cancelled last year when we went into lockdown, as I have not heard anyone quite like them.
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David Kirby - EP Review: Songs To Depress Your Dog
09 Mar 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Originally from Middlesbrough UK now based in Wellington, David Kirby is a singer/songwriter focusing on the unusual musical combination of folk/folk-punk acoustic songs. Songs to Depress Your Dog is Kirby's second EP, following on from his 2020 debut EP Can’t Move For Doom.
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Phil Stoodley - Single/Video Review: Shame Shame
08 Mar 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
The new single from Phil Stoodley, Shame Shame, is a fantastic track that is not only catchy but has such a vibe to it that you will be hitting repeat over and over. With a solid bass line propping up the main guitar riff, the drums hold it all together and allow for Phil's vocals to sit neatly in place, which by the way sound real and authentic.
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Ekko Park - Single Review: Breakdown
08 Mar 2022 // A review by [email protected]
After a phenomenal-yet-pandemic-maligned album release cycle with Horizon, Ekko Park are back with a new single, Breakdown. Ekko Park (Joe Walsh (lead vocals, guitar), Bryan Bell (bass), Nick Douch (drums) and newest addition Jessie Booth (guitar, backing vocals)), are a well-established Auckland rock quartet with an international pedigree and a penchant for hooky tracks of the highest order of quality.
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Nuggiez - Single Review: The Creeps
08 Mar 2022 // A review by Paul Goddard
Zeitgeist.One of my favourite words.
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Ella Minehan - Single Review: Lavender Hearts
07 Mar 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
A despondent story of lost love boldly released the week of Valentine's Day, Christchurch pop-R&B singer Ella Minehan shines on her latest single Lavender Hearts. The track is an easy yet affecting tune, which somehow sounds exactly like its titular colour, lavender, if colours could be heard.
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Sidewinder - Album Review: Vines
05 Mar 2022 // A review by Kris Raven
Wellington's Sidewinder have just dropped their debut album Vines and coinciding NZ tour. The five-piece formed in 2020, have already made a mark on the rock NZ scene, releasing three singles (featuring on the Vines), along with national and international radio play and playing extensively in their home town and beyond.
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Jamie McDell - Album Review: Jamie McDell
04 Mar 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
What a year it has been for Kiwis in Nashville. Just last month we had Cy Winstanley from Tattletale Saints pass through (on holiday), South for Winter play a few cameo gigs supporting the release of their great little record Luxumbra, and then Jackie Bristow releases her 5th album, recorded in Nashville, while she stayed locked down here in New Zealand.
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AJSCeleste Music - Single Review: Celeste
03 Mar 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Though the album was released last year, it’s not uncommon for artists to retroactively release songs or submit to publications. The song of choice, interestingly, is the final song off the LP Let's Go, simply entitled Celeste.
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Daniel Hayles - Album Review: Other Futures
03 Mar 2022 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Daniel Hayles is a piano and keyboard player, performing regularly in a variety of styles and settings. He also writes and arranges music for local and international artists, bands and shows.
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Tarn PK - Single Review: Street Noise
03 Mar 2022 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Singer songwriter and producer Tarn PK has been emerging in New Zealand's music scene. He is a Wellington-based artist who, so far, has released two EP’s, received over 500 thousand streams on Spotify, and has landed himself in various Apple and Spotify playlists.
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Jackie Bristow - Album Review: Outsider
03 Mar 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
Jackie Bristow has travelled a long, rough-hewn road. It’s nearly seven years since her last album, the gentle and sweet Shot of Gold.
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Metrosideros - Single Review: If This Be Love
02 Mar 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu
Steve S AKA Paul T Gheist was honoured to be invited into the Metrosideros camp for a hearty sample of their newest single If This be Love. Having not sat down with a cup of tea and some electro-dub music in years, Steve was completely and utterly all ears as he delved in.
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One Dead Man - Album Review: The Deal
27 Feb 2022 // A review by Kerry MB
If his name sounds familiar, Michael Baxter also fronts the Tauranga punk/noise-pop band, The Dead Man 6 and The Knids. The Deal is a 13 track slab of rock opera genius created from the confines of 2021’s lockdown and revels in honesty about anxiety and the extreme of relationships with the idea of making deals with the devil and the power of attraction and revenge.
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Gig Review: Beauty and the Bogans @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 26/02/2022
26 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I have lost count of the number of times I have been to Dead Witch, but I do know that tonight is my third visit of 2022, and definitely the very first time I have been here when everyone had to be seated. For those outside New Zealand, the current rules are that there are set maximums which venues have to work with, everyone must be seated, and wearing masks with spacing between seats.
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Die! Die! Die! - Album Review: This Is Not An Island Anymore
26 Feb 2022 // A review by darryl baser
Die! Die!
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Speech Act Theory - Single/Video Review: Old Versus New
25 Feb 2022 // A review by JamieDenton
Initially conceived of as purely a studio project to fuse electronica with live drums and other instruments, Auckland-based alternative/electronica Speech Act Theory is the brainchild of producer/musician Pete Hickman alongside drummer Ben Bradford. With the project kicking off in the latter end of 2019 — which is probably not the greatest timing, with all the upcoming turmoil and disruption to live music etc.
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Glad Rabbit - EP Review: Pophits & Coffee
24 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
You must give this Dunedin quartet plenty of kudos for their name, as I don’t think I have smiled so much on seeing one since I came across Mice on Stilts years back. This is the debut release from Jack Ringhand (vocals, guitar), Ayumu Kobayashi (bass, vocals), Tom Corrigan (organ, vocals) and Ryan Finnie (drums, vocals).
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Don McGlashan - Album Review: Bright November Morning
24 Feb 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
Don McGlashan is gliding into iconic, almost patriarchal status in New Zealand’s musical heritage. His narrative is ours, his perspective the everyday, the mundane, the tragic and the joyful; snapshots of Kiwi normal, and occasionally not so.
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The Barry Holt Cohort - Single Review: 21st Century Rant
24 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Wellington band The Barry Holt Cohort comprises of Barry on guitars and vocals, Chris Coad on fretless bass and Louie Levin on drum machine. Hailing from Liverpool, Barry grew up when that city was going through a period of austerity, and it is no surprise to hear punk and post punk in his style as well as The Beatles (of course) and T-Rex.
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Greta O'Leary - Single Review: Outnumbered
24 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Outnumbered is the debut single from Poneke alt-folk artist Greta O’Leary, and from the first delicate picked notes on guitar, violin and double bass, the listener is being brought into an incredibly atmospheric world. Her voice belies her age, as one can never believe that anyone as young as this could have suffered the pain this voice brings us.
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Lee Martin - Album Review: Gypsy Soul
24 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I think I need to start this review with a series of statements. I first came across South African born Lee Martin when she signed to AAA Records for her debut NZ EP Lost Girl back in 2019, and my good friend TeMatera Smith asked me to write the press release.
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Ezra Phoenix - Single Review: Storm
24 Feb 2022 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Wellington based R&B artist Ezra Phoenix returns with his dreamy single Storm. Released on the 18th of February, Storm follows on from Ezra’s debut self-titled album, which was released in February of 2021, as well as the November release of Diamond Dress.
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Darryl Baser - Album Review: Voicemails to my Fiancee
23 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
There are some albums where the listener feels they are intruding way too much on something which is incredibly private. Back in 1979 Dennis DeYoung had a major argument with the rest of Styx as he felt that even though he had played them Babe it was way too private for it ever to be recorded and made available, but we all know he lost and even though it only made it to #3 here in NZ, it did top the charts in plenty of other countries.
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Little Ripples - Single Review: Little Bee
23 Feb 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Little Ripples are a children's music act from Whangarei Heads comprising of Sam and Emily Benges, plus their youngest son Arlo. The trio have recently released the first song from their album In My Garden.
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Human Susan - EP Review: Fun Is Fun
20 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
According to their Bandcamp page, Human Susan is an alien trying to assimilate herself into the world, navigating the absurdity and mundanity of human embodiment. A crunchy and sparkly cosmic soup.
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Viices - Single Review: Coffee
20 Feb 2022 // A review by Epitomised_Drummer
Something a little different landed on my desk this morning, a new release from a Wellington rock trio Viices featuring Jake, Geordie, and Will. I’ve not heard Viices before, so I thought I’d read a few of their previous reviews and see if I could form a picture of what they might sound like.
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Sean Bodley - Album Review: Past Present Future: Vol. 1
20 Feb 2022 // A review by HazzaMakingNoise
The electric guitar may have faded in its pre-eminence as the foundation of popular music, but New Zealand’s own Joe Satriani Sean Bodley won’t let that get in the way of producing the most delectable and technically mesmerising instrumental guitar music in Aotearoa. His first release since 2020’s full length album Neon Daydreams; Past Present Future: Vol.
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Kendall Elise - Gig Review: Kendall Elise @ Kumeu Live, Kumeu - 19/02/2022
20 Feb 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
It’s an easy drive out west on this balmy February evening because everyone must be somewhere else or dodging aerosol missiles at home or flinching at the news from Ukraine. Kumeu Live is a small venue fashioned out of the Arts Centre with seating for 40-50 inside and an open flow outside to benches on a concrete court.
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Looking For Alaska - Gig Review: Looking For Alaska & Albi & The Wolves @ Nivara Lounge, Hamilton - 18/02/2022
19 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Last Friday saw me drive more than 100 km north to the middle of nowhere to see Looking For Alaska and Albi & The Wolves on their A Little Less Space tour which sees them share the stage throughout the night. They were just so good that tonight I drove a little further in the other direction down to Hamilton to see them all over again, with the added bonus that South For Winter were tonight’s support.
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Rewind Fields - Album Review: Rewind Fields
19 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Rewind Fields is the experimental pop recording project of Auckland singer-songwriter Callum Lee, who discovered some previously unfinished and abandoned songs on an old laptop and revisited them to make an album. When one understands where the songs originated from, this makes far more sense as it feels exactly as if it has been recovered from somewhere, as opposed to something organically pulled together at a single point in time.
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South for Winter - Gig Review: South For Winter @ The Ministry of Folk, Auckland - 17/02/2022
19 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I knew tonight was going to be a first for me, although in more ways than I originally expected. We had been asked if we were interested in reviewing an American/Kiwi folk duo, South For Winter, who live in Nashville but were in New Zealand for a couple of months and of course I agreed.
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Saurian - Single Review: Ice Cream Man
18 Feb 2022 // A review by Paul Goddard
I am going to say it. This might be controversial but the best Ice Cream is a simple Vanilla Whip in a cone.
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Boy Virgo - Single Review: Blood and Guts
17 Feb 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Ushering in the "villain era" of Kiwi hyperpop artist Boy Virgo, Blood and Guts is a messy, brutal, and endlessly exciting new single, released in collaboration with Old Pup. It’s a defining statement for Boy Virgo’s promising upcoming EP, showing the artist in a more vulnerable light than previous releases, as he makes an effort to delve into the personal whilst maintaining his trademark sound.
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Iveta & Simone - Single Review: Ticking Bomb
16 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Iveta & Simone are back with their latest single, following on from Obsessed which I reviewed back in October. This starts with some gentle piano chords, with a delicate 80’s synth over the top, and then we get some riffing distorted guitars and bass, one of the ladies starts singing gently, with a husky edge to her voice, we get some more guitars and then we are into the chorus which is bouncy and bright.
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Steven Hue - EP Review: Assembly
15 Feb 2022 // A review by JamieDenton
At the start of December, I had the opportunity to review the double single Brainstare / Manatorquim by Tasmanian-based ex-pat Kiwi, Steven Hue. At that time, I noted that another three songs would be following shortly, and that, based on the strength of these original two, I was eagerly anticipating what this next batch would have in store.
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Mild Orange - Album Review: Looking For Space
13 Feb 2022 // A review by bethany_rachell
Mild Orange are back in New Zealand and back on the scene with their new album Looking For Space. Here is a breakdown of the key moments in the album.
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Looking For Alaska - Gig Review: Looking For Alaska & Albi & The Wolves @ Leigh Sawmill, Leigh - 12/02/2022
12 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
So, Aotearoa is in the red traffic light setting for Covid 19, gigs are being cancelled left and right, yet somehow, I found myself attending two on consecutive nights. Whereas the Thursday saw me in the middle of Auckland, Friday saw me out in the middle of nowhere.
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Villainy - Gig Review: Villainy & Dead Favours @ Raynham Park, Auckland - 10/02/2022
12 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
For those outside New Zealand, you may or may not be aware that we are currently in the red traffic light response setting for Covid 19. There are a whole load of rules and regulations around this, but the largest impact on gigs is that for anyone to attend they must be fully vaccinated and be able to prove that, while indoor limits are set to a maximum of 100 people, and everyone must be seated.
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TUi MAMAKi - EP Review: A L'Aube
11 Feb 2022 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
What an absolute pleasure to dip my toes into the cool water beneath the pier with TUi MAMAKi, and listen to her beautifully immersive EP A L’Aube. The title track is described by TUi MAMAKi as “inspired by a dream in which I met my animus : we sat together on a pier and, feeling no need to speak, played music til dawn.
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The Wax Birds - Single Review: Kansas
11 Feb 2022 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Based in Oxford Canterbury, smooth sounding acoustic duo The Wax Birds have just released their latest single Kansas. This is the follow up to their first album Slow Rise released in 2020, which impressed me with a lush country/folk mix of beautiful harmony and gentle flowing guitar.
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Gramsci - Album Review: The Hinterlands
10 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
My personal introduction to Gramsci was 2020’s wonderful Inheritance album, and in many ways that was a rebirth as it was the first album Paul McLaney had released under that name for 15 years. He credits the revitalisation with his teaming up with Greg Haver, an award-winning Welsh record producer most renowned for his work with The Manic Street Preachers.
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In The Shallows - Single Review: Let It Go
10 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
One can discover pretty much everything they need about the new single from Wellington duo In The Shallows by looking at the cover, as Let It Go is packed full of sunshine, festivals and fun. Although related to their normal folk style, this sees Danni Parsons and Lance Shepherd produce something which is crossing the boundaries of reggae, ska and pop, with some folk in there just for good measure.
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Tryonics - Single Review: Hey
08 Feb 2022 // A review by darryl baser
Tryonics is the solo project of Hap Richardson, formerly of My Little Pony, Go Victim and Freezer Child. And that’s about there is to know about Tryonics, apart from a growing catalogue of tunes.
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Pencarrow - Album Review: Live At San Fran
08 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
One of the (dis)advantages of writing about music for so many years is that it is not unusual for other writers to contact me about bands/albums they feel I should be aware of. So it was, that not long after the release of Wellington band Pencarrow’s second album Growth In The Absence of Light a mate of mine in Norway contacted me to ask me if I had heard it?
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Western Dip - Album Review: Warm Ups
08 Feb 2022 // A review by Peter-James Dries
It’s been over a decade since I thought “I might listen to some techno”. Probably longer since EDM was even called techno… And even then, the genre was never the main event.
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Stephen Riddell - Album Review: Acapella
05 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Performing with no instruments or studio trickery to hide behind is not for the fainthearted, so probably it of little surprise that it is unusual to find solo artists willing to put themselves out there like that. Possibly the one form of “popular” music where it can be found is folk, particularly folk from the British Isles where there is a long tradition of performing in that manner, deriving from the times in history when performers did not have instruments and songs were passed from one generation to another not through sheet music or recordings but by one person learning it from another.
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Brody Leigh - Single Review: Sad Club
04 Feb 2022 // A review by Danica Bryant
Sad Club is the debut single from 19-year-old Brody Leigh, a brooding, emotional ballad mourning the loss of a first love. It presents the incredibly intimate musings of a teenage girl on the cusp of adulthood, processing the complexities of real heartbreak in an almost frighteningly honest yet still relatable way.
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Built - Album Review: We've Been Hoping You'd Wake And Now You Have
03 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Dean Young is probably best known in New Zealand for being a radio DJ on stations such as Radio Hauraki and The Rock, but he has also been producing and releasing his own material since 1998 in different bands and guises. He started using the name Built a few years back, with the last release being the 2018 EP Here's To Sweet Sabotage.
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End Boss - Single/Video Review: Punished
03 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Lisa (MNZ) sent me a YouTube link one day and said, “Have you heard this?” I was shortly getting back to her saying no I hadn’t but was going to contact the band directly as I could not quite believe what I was hearing.
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Bevan Mical - Single Review: This Year/Resolution
03 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Thames-based lo-fi alternative indie pop musician Bevan Mical is back with his first single since last year’s Exhausting The Muse album. That was his third album, and following on from the success of that, he is bringing us into 2022 with a song of hope.
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The After - Single Review: Doesn't Matter
01 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Andrew Featherstone has been a mainstay of the New Zealand music scene for years, running his label/studio Intergalactic Records while for more than 25 years he has been running Battle of the Bands in NZ, as well as launching it internationally. If that wasn’t enough, he is also a bassist and songwriter who has performed alongside No Doubt, Collective Soul, Silverchair and Everclear.
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Fathom - Album Review: The World To Breathe
31 Jan 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I have often said that to me the purest form of music is when a musician is performing acoustically, with no effects whatsoever, just stood on the stage with no room to hide. There is nothing then between the artist and the listener, just their voice and the unplugged nature of their instrument, relying solely on their songs and performance to make that important connection.
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Motel Midnight - Single Review: Save Me
28 Jan 2022 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Motel Midnight are Reuben Keeling (vocals, bass guitar), Bruce Ferguson (vocals, guitar) and Ben Stanley (synths, beats, production). Emerging from the smoky neon haze, Motel Midnight have arrived with their new single Save Me.
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Floor Five - EP Review: The Garden
28 Jan 2022 // A review by JamieDenton
Indie-pop/rock band Floor Five are relative new-comers on the Kiwi music scene. Following up a couple of previous singles (2020’s Overthinking and 2021’s Strawberry Wine), the Wellington based four-piece’s partially crowd-funded EP The Garden was released just as the country returned to the red light setting of the Covid protection framework.
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East York - EP Review: Origins
28 Jan 2022 // A review by [email protected]
East York (Daz Coppins, Tarquin Keys, Zane Rosanoski, Eric Boucher) are an international amalgam of band members hailing from one part of the world, and living in another, with a Kiwi link. If their Origins EP is anything to go by, the band is certainly blessed with an international calibre.
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Tom Lee-Richards - Single Review: Human
28 Jan 2022 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Kiwi Alt-Folk artist Tom Lee-Richards is releasing his new single this January 28th. Human is a song about being out of one’s depth, confessing one’s human state of “losing ground”, and accepting their chosen fate.
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The Sam Loveridge Band - Album Review: Recovery
27 Jan 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Some albums are intense, some are incredibly hard work and only open up (sometimes, if at all) after a great many plays, and others will never be destined for mainstream radio play as there is nothing there to attract the masses. Then there are albums like this one, where all you need to do is check out the cover to have an idea of what it is going to be like inside.
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Cy Winstanley - Gig Review: Cy Winstanley @ Freida Margolis, Auckland - 26/01/2022
27 Jan 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
Zone red, and everything is being cancelled except the smallest of gigs, and best of all, an impromptu one at that, as Nashville based Cy Winstanley ventures out solo at the suggestion of old covers band mate Dave Khan. Which means of course that he’s not actually solo, just not Tattletale.
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Old Salts - Single Review: Take a Breather
27 Jan 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Old Salts are an alternative rock band that are set to leave listeners buzzed with the release of their debut single Take a Breather.Citing influences as Primus and Them Crooked Vultures, you can definitely hear this in the way the song, not only sounds but how it is written and arranged.
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Bad Llamas - Single Review: Day Dreamer
27 Jan 2022 // A review by HazzaMakingNoise
As someone who suffers from chronic mind wandering during daylight hours, Day Dreamer, the latest track from Otautahi indie rockers Bad Llamas, happens to find a resonant audience.With an almost Oasis-like commitment to the core elements of rock ’n’ roll, Day Dreamer is a fascinating song of two halves that defies conventional song structure.
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Melanie - EP Review: ABCD
25 Jan 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Since releasing their debut EP back in 2018, Auckland pop/punk outfit Melanie have been making quite a name for themselves in the old-fashioned way of doing things, namely playing anywhere and everywhere, and having total belief in themselves and their music. When I first saw them, I was impressed that here was an unsigned band who had invested in having their debut album pressed in vinyl and had a few different t-shirts available as well as some other merch including stickers.
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Trip Change - Single Review: Never Seen A Boy Like Me
24 Jan 2022 // A review by Chris Chick
It is not hard to know that I am fan of all music, I think the ability to pick up a musical instrument and compose a song is impressive. The intricacies of bringing many parts together and making the final product sound so good is beyond my capabilities.
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Gig Review: Come Together: The Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers @ Civic Theatre, Auckland - 21/01/2022
23 Jan 2022 // A review by roger.bowie
Oh man, what a funny old time. Here we are on the brink of climate catastrophe, and another Covid wave which threatens to lock us down if not out, and yet over the past 3 months we have been able to reflect on and enjoy the two song writing partnerships which have arguably defined modern rock.
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Checaine - Gig Review: Checaine & After Forever @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 22/01/2022
23 Jan 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
As normal I got in early to the venue, then soon left again to have a beer up the road with the guys from Checaine. I was mightily impressed as they had brought a bus up from Hamilton with a load of fans onboard – one way of guaranteeing playing in a strange town in front of a friendly crowd.
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Sit Down In Front - EP Review: Fuelling My Rage
20 Jan 2022 // A review by Kris Raven
3-Piece Punk Rockers Sit Down in Front have been consistently cranking out music and gigging nationally since they began in 2017. With two full length albums, a slew of charting radio singles and music videos as well as an impressive gigging resume, they have been making their mark, leaving their statement and creating a solid body of straight up punk hits ever since.
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Wisteria Falls - Single Review: Temperamental
18 Jan 2022 // A review by Kris Raven
Introducing you to Wisteria Falls, the latest project from Auckland musician and songwriter Will Walker. Will is no stranger to the Auckland & NZ music scene or the Australian rock scene for that matter.
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Blindfolded and Led to the Woods - Gig Review: Blindfolded and Led To The Woods @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 15/01/2022
16 Jan 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
I have been looking forward to tonight for ages, as Auckland went into lockdown in August with all gigs being cancelled until just before Christmas, and even then, that was with limited attendance. This means that tonight was going to be my first gig in five months, and given that I covered more than 30 in the first part of the year, that was some cold turkey.
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Fool's Lagoon - Single Review: Bizarre
13 Jan 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
Bizarre is the debut single from Auckland-based quintet Fool’s Lagoon. Mark, Connor, Joe, Matt and Joshua have created a bright and summery indie pop jangler which is heavily guitar-based yet is somehow light and airy throughout.
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Powder Chutes - EP Review: Sweet Noise Pollution
11 Jan 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
There is always that little hint of concern when reading a press release for a new EP and realise it contains a quote from yours truly for the single which was taken from it. How would they take it this time around if I panned this release?
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Tall Folk - Album Review: Wiser
11 Jan 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
2021 was a wonderful musical adventure for me as I threw myself into the NZ music scene, and towards the end of the year I realised that with nearly 200 reviews of local music I really should work out my Top 10 singles, EP’s, albums and gigs (check out https://www.muzic.
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Pass The Peas - EP Review: Pop
06 Jan 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland
This three-track EP is the latest release from Poneke-based quintet Pass The Peas, who describe their music as Wasabi spicy Rock n' Roll, whatever that means. To my ears it means they play mid-paced alternative pop rock with a strong concentration on the gravelly and emotional vocals of Kurt with loads of space within the arrangements, which are well-produced.
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Tomorrow People - Album Review: 21
02 Jan 2022 // A review by Andrew Smit
Tomorrow People have produced a wonderful assemblage of uplifting reggae tunes that are performed and sung with heart and purpose. All 16 tracks are packed with brilliant harmonies that are propelled along by the glorious uplifting off beat rhythmic delight that reggae music delivers so well.
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Kokomo - Album Review: A Little Something From The Attic
01 Jan 2022 // A review by Chris Chick
16 Blues songs to review was my mission if I chose to accept it, well naturally I did, otherwise you would not be reading this, but let me just tell you something, was I excited? Oh you can bet your bottom dollar I was.
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Night Bus - Single Review: Fine Lines
29 Dec 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
The latest track Fine Lines from self-described electronic bedroom pop artist Night Bus is a chill affair. It is a song that builds upon a simple melodic idea and explores it while a consistent beat runs through the background.
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Justin Sane - Album Review: Rising w/ Huz
29 Dec 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Justin Sane has been DJing at clubs and events around the world since 1997, released countless remixes and bootlegs on numerous labels, hosted Party Hard Mix on The Edge for 5 years and had singles in the Top 20 New Zealand Singles Chart. In 2020, Justin Sane again teamed up with fellow singer/Songwriter Huz and began releasing music again, both tracks of which ended up in the #3 dance singles on iTunes and in the Top 30 overall NZ singles, one reaching the #10 spot.
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Stu J - Single Review: Destination Unknown
29 Dec 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
A Kiwi-born musician, producer and DJ, Stu J loves to create energetic, up-beat indie-dance songs which have an electronic feel, but still include the best parts of rock and pop. His current music feels similar to artists like MGMT and Empire of the Sun.
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Wubchaser - EP Review: Signal to Noise
29 Dec 2021 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Wubchaser is the electronic music project of Auckland-based sound engineer and producer Luke Finlay of Primal Mastering. Hailing from the alternative music scene and having previously played in metal bands, Finlay has more recently been doing live sound at big events such as RnV, Shipwrecked, Aum, and Splore.
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Lady Bonestripper - EP Review: Awaken The Snake Hips
27 Dec 2021 // A review by HazzaMakingNoise
December it a strange time. Truly exasperating month.
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Craig Payne - Album Review: A Long Time Coming
23 Dec 2021 // A review by Paul Goddard
Life's a journey.Different phases, ranging from feeling bulletproof to feeling paranoid to eventually feeling resigned to whatever happens.
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Black Sands - Single Review: Apocalypse of Eden
22 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
To my mind this single is long overdue, as I have been lucky enough to catch these guys play live a few times this year and they always put on an amazing show. Comprising Cameron Owens (guitars), Ruaidri Keens (guitars), Matt Hammond (bass) and James Trimmer (drums) they are one of those very rare breeds, a hard-hitting metal act with no need for a singer.
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Kev's Top 10's - 2021
20 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
2021 has been a strange year, of that there has been no doubt whatsoever, but although everyone in Auckland is champing at the bit to be let out into the real world, it is probably best to remind ourselves that until we went into lockdown in August we were the envy of the world with festivals, plenty of beer, and the country being totally open (apart from the borders). At that time, I had been to more than 30 gigs, and was on course to hit 50 for the year, never thinking for a minute that August would be the last time I saw a band play live.
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Samantha Josephine - Album Review: The Finished Touch
19 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
This is a direct continuation of the work displayed by Samantha on the Fly Bird Fly EP which came out a few months ago, except this time around she has managed to secure the services of drummers Mars Slater Vitai and Olive Konai, who between them share the duties on this 16-track 39-minute-long album. They fit in well with the ethos and spirit of Samantha, not attempting to bring in any finesse of polish, but instead keeping to the very lo-fi and naïve approach demonstrated by the singer/guitarist.
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Mel Parsons - Gig Review: Mel Parsons @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 16/12/2021
17 Dec 2021 // A review by roger.bowie
You could hear a pin drop at the Tuning Fork tonight. Not the usual hum and bustle and sometimes annoying back of hall chatter.
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Brent West - Single Review: Run From The Fear
15 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
It has been a couple of years since the last release from South Auckland boy Brent West, but he is now back with his latest single. Run From The Fear is fairly lengthy for a single, at more than 5 minutes, and is packed full of emotion and angst.
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Gabriel Bond - Single Review: Lights Burn Low
14 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Class, sheer class. When I first heard this a face kept popping into my head as to who this reminded me of, but it took ages for the synapses to snap and finally it came into focus, Richard Marx.
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Fragile Colours - Album Review: Dancing With The Shadows (In Plato's Cave)
14 Dec 2021 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Studio project Fragile Colours released their second album Dancing With The Shadows (In Plato’s Cave) in June 2021, this time featuring Kamaea Harry on vocals. Nine out of the 10 tracks on the album were penned by Tim Julian specifically with Kamaea’s voice in mind after she sang most of the backing vocals on the previous album Southern Utopia.
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Brian Baker - Single Review: Everywhere You Go
13 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Brian Baker left Aotearoa some 40 years ago to find fame and fortune in Australia, and after a successful recording and touring career he has now returned home, setting up a studio and settling in an off-the-grid permaculture farm north of Auckland. His long-time sparring buddy Eddie Rayner (Split Enz, Crowded House) has provided tips and critique on this his new single, but multi-instrumentalist Brian not only produced this, but provided all the instrumentation and vocals.
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Summer Thieves - Album Review: Paradise Down The Road
13 Dec 2021 // A review by Lou Clement
As a cyclone bears down on the city, I’m hoping that Summer returns to us… especially with this, what could be the soundtrack to the summer, the second album release from pop-indie outfit Summer Thieves. The opening track Pages straddles a gentle reggae beat and a chorus that cries out for a beach day party.
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Coridian - Single Review: Endless War
12 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
If you had told me at the beginning of the year that we would be ending 2021 and I had only seen Coridian play a few times I would have laughed at you. Mind you, we also expected the full-length album, Hava, as well but COVID 19 has a way of messing up the best laid plans.
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Channeled - Single Review: Breathe
12 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Multi-instrumentalist Ben Ruegg is back with his latest single as Channeled, which also now appears to have a new logo. I have always been impressed with this band, either live or in the studio, but here Ben is moving in a slightly different direction, and I am not sure if it has come off entirely as he would have liked.
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Kaylee Bell - Album Review: Silver Linings
12 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Kaylee Bell is the most streamed female Country artist from Australasia, with more than 30 million to date, with her recent hit single That Summer breaking the million and being the most added song to mainstream radio in New Zealand in the month of release. That is one of the eight songs on this rather short album, which is less than 25 minutes long with every song being just either side of the three-minute mark with the longest being the title cut at 3:33.
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SuperFly Killa - Single Review: Hold I Down
10 Dec 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
A vast array of interests, influences, and experiences have come together in an amalgamation of soul, reggae, Dub, and rock. SuperFly Killa are a fresh new sound who reside on the sunny shores of Gisborne, NZHold I Down is a fantastic, fantastic track!
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Investigator - Single Review: Don't Touch Me!
09 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Earlier this year Investigator made it into the official NZ charts for the first time with Lake of Eyes, a wonderful achievement for a fully independent self-funded outfit. Since then, there has been the minor issue of an Auckland lockdown which prevented them from building on that success on the live circuit, but now they are back with the next single.
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Written By Wolves - Single Review: Papercut
09 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
There is no doubt that 2021 has been a hard ride emotionally for Written By Wolves. They went through the process of re-recording tracks from their ‘Secrets’ album and putting them out as The Collab Project//Secrets, baring their soul to get people talking about mental illness.
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In The Shallows - Single/Video Review: There You Are
09 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
2021 has been a voyage of discovery for me in the NZ Music scene, and it may have taken a lengthy road trip, but earlier in the year I finally managed to catch up with In The Shallows who have the temerity to live in the capital as opposed to Auckland. I fell in love with their debut album last year, which includes the wonderful singles Hold On and Take It Easy, and here they are now back with new music.
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Ayla Wesley - Single Review: Salamanders
09 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
This is the debut single from Ayla Wesley, a young alt folk/indie artist who has been playing gigs in Tauranga and Auckland over the last few years. It commences with a few electric guitars combining to set an ambience until it settles down to just one guitar being gently played as if it were acoustic, just strummed to accompany Ayla’s fresh and inviting voice.
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Aro - Single Review: Muramura
09 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
At this time of the year, it is common to look back and think about what we have experienced, and while anyone living in Auckland will happily complain about the last 3+ months (with good reason), we were all able to experience live music earlier in the year if we so wished. One of the highlights of 2021 for me was seeing Aro at Auckland Folk Festival, and since then I have been busy discovering their music.
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Neutrikk - EP Review: E-P 2
08 Dec 2021 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Auckland duo Neutrikk have just released their second EP. Cleverly called E-P 2, I must admit to spending longer than I should have trying to find the name of the EP in the Bio.
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Tony Lee - Single Review: Closer
08 Dec 2021 // A review by Peter-James Dries
Here is yet another track that takes me back to the early-90;s. The days of our family following Vince Leatherby, the Happy Wanderer, around the Kiwi country music circuit.
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Lee Martin - Single/Video Review: Finally Going My Way
07 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
One of the sheer delights of Lee Martin’s new album, Gypsy Soul, which is due out in February, is the incredible amount of diversity contained within it. During the recording process, songs were rearranged, many discussions were had, and the album ended up being taken in some directions which probably were not in anyone’s minds at the beginning of the process.
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Pass The Peas - Single Review: Too Much Touch
07 Dec 2021 // A review by Investigator
Right from the off Too Much Touch roars into life, Pass The Peas are back with a big sound and massive hooks... I'm hooked.
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Ella Pollett - Single Review: Hold On
07 Dec 2021 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Hawkes Bay singer songwriter Ella Pollett released her second single Hold On on the 20th of November.The 16 year old songwriter has already celebrated success with Hold On, with the song taking out the top prize in the solo category at this year's regional Smokefree Rockquest competition.
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Solo Ono - EP Review: Lavender
06 Dec 2021 // A review by Steve Shyu
Poneke/Wellington three-piece garage rock act Solo Ono recently unveiled their newest effort, the EP Lavender. Recorded in Newtown, Wellington by Warwick Donald, mastered by Mike Gibson, and boasting a dazzling cover art by Tristam Sparks, the collection of tunes is set out to be the group’s best effort yet.
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Steven Hue - Double Single Review: Brainstare / Mantorquim
06 Dec 2021 // A review by JamieDenton
Ex-pat Kiwi now based in Tasmania, Steven Hue may be familiar to many through his previous work as former vocalist and co-writer for popular experimental band Full Code, his stint studying at the Nelson School of Music, or his commission work which has seen him produce work for art installations, short files, and video games. Turning his hand to solo electronic music, Steven has just released a double single of two new tracks: Brainstare and Manatorquim.
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One Dead Man - Single Review: Angeline
05 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
One Dead Man is Michael Baxter from Tauranga bands The Dead Man 6 and The Knids, who came up with the idea during lockdown of putting together a collection of songs which would work together as a rock opera or concept album, and he settled on the idea of relationships and making deals with the devil (both metaphorically and spiritually) to satisfy your own needs and wants. The Deal will be released by the end of the year, so for now here is the single, Angeline, which is sung by the character of Gabriel, played by Kingsley Smith (Knightshade) who also provides piano on the track.
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Nigel Parry - Single Review: One Word War
02 Dec 2021 // A review by darryl baser
“Me job to pick off the Hun, In the sights a lad like me, One shot, and I’m alone;” just a few of the lines of this stunning, beautiful and at times harrowing poem based on Nigel Parry’s family history of relations serving in World War I. 7:56 is typically too long for a single, Queen found that out when they first tried to release Bohemian Rhapsody.
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Mahoney Harris - Single Review: Band in Town
02 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Band In Town is the latest single from folk/pop singer Mahoney Harris. Inspired by memories of her mum and friends getting ready for nights out, the cover actually features both her mother (on the left) and her godmother.
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SWEATR - Single Review: Every Time Feat. teens
02 Dec 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
Music producer Will Henderson, known for efforts with Janine, CHAII and Foley, launches his own artist project SWEATR with the release of single Every Time, in collaboration with teens. It's an electronic fanfare booming with bass, 808s and distinct personality.
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Lazy Fifty - Album Review: 2021: A Lazy Odyssey
01 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Lazy Fifty are Adrian Athy (vocals, guitar), Ryan Raggett (bass), and Ali Sochacki (drums), and they play traditional solid Seventies-style melodic hard rock. This is their fourth album, and to put is simple is an absolute blast from start to finish and a load of fun.
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How To Escape Reality - Single Review: Not Another Pop Punk Christmas
30 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
How To Escape Reality were formed in 2020, by songwriter Samuel Fistonich with the help of his brothers and his wife to create music which was heavily influenced from the Emo and pop punk movement. Samuel and his family grew up in China, and this song was written with Mason May, a friend of the band from those days.
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The Treasury - EP Review: It's Warm Now
30 Nov 2021 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
The Treasury had exactly the genre of sound I expected from the bio, but with a presence and rich darkness to the tone thatI wasn't anticipating. Not dark like the musings of a goth rock icon destined to die at 23 but dark like a sexy old vampire.
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Dylan Storey - Single/Video Review: Foreign Sands
30 Nov 2021 // A review by Trevor Faville
Dylan Storey is based in Auckland and is the kind of musician who steadfastly treads his own path, be it as a contributing guitarist for the likes of Reb Fountain and Fleur Jack, or working in a variety of pro bands- as well as writing and releasing his own work. Storey maintains an impressive work rate and eclectic output.
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Rei - Album Review: Enjoy The Ride
29 Nov 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Enjoy The Ride showcases Rei’s diversity and prowess as a musician and producer with its mix of rap, pop, R&B and UK flavour, it’s a fusion of innovative styles. Written over the past 2 years, mixed and mastered by Kog Studio’s Chris Chetland and supported by NZ On Air, this project is a musical ride in itself.
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A Radical Sun - Single Review: Love Shakes
28 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Everyone in Auckland has been incredibly frustrated with the lockdown which has now stretched past 100 days, impacting everyone inside the borders. Obviously one group which have been unable to work are the gigging musicians, which has seen some of them go into the studio or even start new projects.
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The Not Okays - Single/Video Review: Bite Me
28 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
The Not Okays are a band who originally formed a few years ago just to have some fun at the Emo nights put on at Ding Dong Lounge. They comprise Noriel Wong (guitar), Aaron Prictor (guitar, vocals), Lauren Kate Borhani (vocals), Caitlin Clark (bass) and Bahador Borhani (drums).
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Ellery Daines - Single Review: No-One
27 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Ellery Daines is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer, and mixing engineer from Nelson, now based in the Norwegian Arctic city of Tromsø. Over the last five years he wrote, recorded, and mixed his debut album, Failure Thirty Minutes Deep, scheduled for release in 2022 and No-One is the first single and is a truly solo affair as Ellery performed all instruments and vocal parts, as well as producing and mixing the song.
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Fathom - Single Review: Mother Star
26 Nov 2021 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Mother Star is the debut single that introduces Fathom, solo project of Auckland-based Nancy Howie, to the world, with an extravagant and emphatic throwing back of the curtains, and a celebratory sense of letting the sun shine in. I suspect the incredibly creative and resourceful Howie has single-handedly ushered in the Age of Aquarius with this wholesome and uplifting alt-folk anthem.
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Cloudy - Single Review: Worth It
25 Nov 2021 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Kiwi-Austrian artist Cloudy’s new single Worth It ushers in a new sound and a new era for the Auckland-based singer/songwriter. Now accompanied by a full band, the vibe and the energy of the material has been lifted, and this has opened up exciting new songwriting territory for Claudia Paine and her upcoming EP.
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Jaz Paterson - EP Review: Ache
25 Nov 2021 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Emerging pop artist Jaz Paterson launches her debut EP Ache today, Friday 26th November. The Geraldine raised, Christchurch based artist has proved she is one to watch with previously released singles Lonely, Ache and NZ On Air funded LA.
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Radius Kink - Album Review: Orange Room
24 Nov 2021 // A review by Kerry MB
Radius Kink have been around for a while now with a few releases up their sleeve, so it’s hard to believe this ‘new’ release of theirs is actually ten years old. The five piece hailing from Christchurch is made up of father and daughter, Dawn Hendriske (vocals, guitar) Gary Hendriske (vocals, bass), a next door neighbour and couple of mates (in no particular order) Gordon Goodinson (vocals, guitar) and Simon Gemmill (drums, keyboard, guitar).
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Street Georges - Single Review: Different Kind of Girl Feat. Aung Zin
24 Nov 2021 // A review by Chris Poipoi
Street Georges' front man maestro Richard Beckmannflay brings us his third single Different Kind of Girl, another lockdown song hot off the press following on from previous 2020 lockdown project which was fittingly entitled Last Lockdown. My initial reaction brought back memories of 70's funk band Parliament.
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Aidan Ripley - Single Review: Let Us Bloom
24 Nov 2021 // A review by darryl baser
Teenage singer-songwriter Aidan Ripley released his new single Let Us Bloom on all platforms October 2021. The song is a stripped back acoustic guitar song which sounds like a solo love ballad, until Ripley’s partner Caspian Wilder adds her voice.
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The Sam Loveridge Band - Single/Video Review: I Wanna Dance
21 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Sam and the guys are back with the second single from the forthcoming album, Recovery, and if ever they were looking for radio play I can pretty much guarantee this will not be getting it with this one. The simple reason is that in the key part of the chorus, people get asked to go forth and multiply, and somehow, I don’t think the mainstream are quite ready for that yet.
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Gramsci - Single/Video Review: Ourselves
18 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
I first came across Gramsci last year when they released the amazing album Inheritance, which was then followed up with a theatre performance which was stunning by all accounts (I was gutted not to be able to make it). But I am very late to the piece indeed, as Gramsci are the brainchild of Paul McLaney who is so productive that he has lost count of the works he has undertaken to date.
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Pervertor - Album Review: Putrid Dominion
18 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Wellington-based blackened thrash outfit Pervertor are back with their third-full length album, Putrid Dominion, some four years since Perverted Tales of Depravity. Since they released their first demo back in 2009 the band have had the same line-up throughout of Necroar (vocals), Inebriator (guitar), Carnage (bass), and Rots (drums).
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Adam Hattaway & The Haunters - Album Review: Rooster
18 Nov 2021 // A review by roger.bowie
There’s a rooster down south, hiding out in Woolston, Christchurch and this rooster struts around like Jagger, high kicks Van Morrison out of the henhouse, and wakes you up in the morning with a raucous squawk. Why won’t that rooster shut the fuck up?
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On Tick - Album Review: Nothing New
18 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
On Tick was formed by brothers Brendan (vocals and drums) and Aidan O'Loughlin (vocals, guitar), out of the ashes of their previous band, Evil Tomato. They decided to work as a rough and raw punk duo, adapting some of the older songs to their new style, a few of which can be heard here.
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Ladyhawke - Album Review: Time Flies
18 Nov 2021 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Ladyhawke returns with her highly anticipated fourth studio album Time Flies. Her first album in four years since 2016's Wild Things, Time Flies is a shift away from Ladyhawke's more pop rock sound, and a return to her 80's synth pop roots.
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Goodspace - Single Review: Kicking Stones
18 Nov 2021 // A review by HazzaMakingNoise
"Catchiness" is a strange creature sometimes. It can lurk in places unexpected, or even uninvited.
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Neverwoz - EP Review: The Elysian EP
18 Nov 2021 // A review by Investigator
Neverwoz - The Elysian EP, is the follow up to the 2018 Minor Words and Major Thirds album. The album was recorded towards the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 on the Kapiti Coast by Karl and Charlie Wootton (Merrin).
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Powder Chutes - Single Review: Take It Or Leave It
17 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
I must confess to doing a little bit of a double take when I first saw a photo of these guys, as it looked like none of them were old enough to shave! A check of their bio and I was able to see that the band comprises Archie Orbell (16), Clarke West (16), Henry McConnell (16) & Otis Murphy (14) – when a group put their age into their bio you know they are young.
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SOL3 MIO - Album Review: Coming Home
17 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to catch these guys at Spark Arena and it was truly one of the greatest concerts I have ever attended. Given that my idea of a great night often consists of high energy metal of one type or another, I would not normally say that about an evening of light opera.
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DeLaye - EP Review: Blankspace.
17 Nov 2021 // A review by Gwarden
20 year old producer DeLaye creates music that defies easy description. Inhabiting the experimental electronic space pioneered by the likes of Aphex Twin and championed by modern masters such as Flying Lotus and Four Tet, his music features fat glitch-hop bass kicks and chopped beats anchoring sonic explorations that ebb and flow with intent.
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Henika - Album Review: Strange Creatures
16 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
It is safe to say that I listen to more varied music than the average person, and I have no idea how many albums I have reviewed over the last 30+ years but it is many thousands, and I have written well in excess of a million words on the subject. This means I am rarely surprised, and it is not often I come across something and can honestly say I have never heard anything quite like it before, but this is one of those times.
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Charles Aston - Single Review: Pedestal
16 Nov 2021 // A review by Lou Clement
Pedestal appears to be a song about doubt. Self-criticism is one of those things that many wrestle with, and listening to Charles Aston’s new single is a chance to hear a perceptive lyricist with a hearty country-esque vocal tone tackle the subject.
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Mac Summer - Single Review: Web of Life
16 Nov 2021 // A review by Gwarden
Mac Summer  may be a brand new name to drum & bass fans, but this new alter ego comes from Malcolm Welsford, who has been involved in the NZ music scene for over 30 years, most famously as the man behind the legendary York Street Recording Studios. Having produced a range of guitar-based Kiwi bands from Shihad to Supergroove, he has perhaps surprisingly turned to electronic music production with this foray into the saturated drum & bass market.
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Sabreen Islam - Single Review: Like A Movie
16 Nov 2021 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Auckland based young singer-songwriter Sabreen Islam has just released her follow up single to Glow in the trilogy of pop-oriented singles. Like A Movie is a track firmly aimed at the youth market "capturing the rift between romcoms and real life".
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Alba Rose - EP Review: Silhouette
12 Nov 2021 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Wellington based singer songwriter Alba Rose has released her lush four track EP, Silhouette. A beautifully rich collection of soulful jazz, contemporary in its delivery incorporating an indie-pop and neo-soul sound wrapped around playful harmonious lyrics.
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Sit Down In Front - Single/Video Review: Pixie Caramel Feat. Tiki Taane
11 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
When punk hit the UK in 1976, I loved the high-octane high energy music which came out of the scene and was quite surprised when the adults around me said there was no melody, and it was just a load of noise. The first wave of the new punk scene was made up of musicians who had been part of the earlier pub rock craze, so they knew what they were doing, and were far more musically inclined than many gave them credit for.
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NOVA - EP Review: NOVA
11 Nov 2021 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
A pleasure to review this debut self-titled EP from NOVA; the new musical project of Wellington locals Bryn van Vliet and Eliza Pickard, joined by Jeremy Richardson and Phoebe Johnson. The vibe is soothing, relaxed, and calming, and is a very nice listen indeed.
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Abby Wolfe - EP Review: Lose Myself
10 Nov 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
Abby Wolfe’s Lose Myself collects three previously released singles alongside the all-new titular track into an empowered EP, blending sweet acoustics with vibrant pop into a distinctive debut for the Dunedin-raised pop artist.Enthralling opener Lose Myself boasts credits from heavyweights like Djeisan Suskov, Nik Brinkman, Ciaran McMeeken, and Ambian & Sleo, thanks to its creation at APRA Songhubs.
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Before The Snooze - Album Review: Wipe The Slate
09 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Dunedin alt rock jangly indie pop heroes Before The Snooze are back with their debut album, following from the EP which was released a few years back. The lead track of that set, That’s A Fact!
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French For Rabbits - Album Review: The Overflow
09 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
French For Rabbits are back with their eagerly awaited third album, which is their first for AAA Records (home of Troy Kingi, Lee Martin etc.).
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Graham Candy - EP Review: Keep On Smiling
09 Nov 2021 // A review by Madeleine Howard
If you’re looking for the perfect sound track to summer, Graham Candy has got you covered with his latest release, EP Keep On Smiling, released on October 22nd. After relocating to Berlin to begin his music career, New Zealand born Graham Candy has enjoyed success collaborating with popular German DJ Alle Farben on the international hit She Moves.
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Scalper - Single Review: Toxicity Toxifies
08 Nov 2021 // A review by Steve Shyu
There appears to be no down-time for artists like Scalper. Album after album, one impressive single after another.
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Will McClean - EP Review: Will McClean and The Zooks - Live At The Surgery
06 Nov 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Will McClean and The Zooks - Live At The Surgery EP is a hat tip to live hip-hop. The band is super tight with wonderful guitar licks working wonderfully over top of the rhythm section.
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Jackie Bristow - Single/Video Review: Without You
06 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest single from Nashville-based Jackie Bristow, and no-one coming across this for the first time would realise that she hails not from America but from Gore, a small town towards the bottom of the South Island with a population in the district of just 13,000. Mind you, one of Gore’s claims to fame is that it is the centre of Country & Western music in Aotearoa (New Zealand), which obviously had a huge impact on Jackie in her formative years.
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Imperial Slave - Album Review: Imperial Slave
04 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Sam Sheppard is probably best thought of as the powering drummer for the likes of 8 Foot Sativa and Sinate, and now he is back with his latest project, Imperial Slave. This time around, as well as providing drums on the album, he is also the lead singer and main songwriter.
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Lee Martin - Single/Video Review: What If I Die
04 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
I guess I really ought to disclose that as well as writing the press release for Lee Martin’s last EP, and for the album from which this song is taken from (called Gypsy Soul, it is out in February!), but I was also in the studio when some of the album was being recorded.
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Marianne Leigh - EP Review: Simple Things
04 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
A few months ago, I came across the debut single from young Auckland-based singer-songwriter Marianne Leigh, Sweet Goodbyes, and now she is back with a six-track EP titled Simple Things. I thoroughly enjoyed her release gig, and at the time I said I would have enjoyed it more if she had utilized an acoustic more, but on that night, there were some technical problems, so she played electric, but the acoustic is well to the fore in this set.
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Bediquette - EP Review: Not Now
04 Nov 2021 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
If somebody decided to make an EP out of samples they ripped from a pirate alien distress beacon it might sound like Not Now. It feels like somebody's beaming a scrambled signal from a haunted bunker.
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Something Zesty - Single / Video Review: Footprintz
03 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Something Zesty are back with their fifth single, Footprintz, which sees the vocal debut of Isaac Chamberlain. This sees the duo of Isaac and Andrew Conlon move away from heavy funk they have become renowned for, and instead strip their music down to its most basic, guitar and voice.
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False Heights - Single Review: Inhale
03 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Inhale is the third single from Taupo based duo False Heights, April Pirie (vocals, keyboards) and Ashley Pirie (drums, guitars, vocals). They say they are inspired by a wide range of artists (Jimmy Eat World, The Cranberries, Taylor Swift, Bring Me The Horizon, Sigrid, Blink 182, Lorde etc.
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On Tick - Single Review: Rats
03 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
The On Tick trio are back with the next single, Rats, from their forthcoming album, Nothing New, which will be out later in November. I don’t know how many times I have seen guitarist/singer Aidan, his brother Brendan (drums) and 5-string bassist Matt play over the last 12 months, but it has been a few, and each and every time it is a blast.
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EM/FM - Album Review - Quixote
03 Nov 2021 // A review by Gwarden
Fitting snugly into the still-relatively underground retrowave sound (an umbrella term loosely used to describe the synthwave/vaporwave microgenres), EM/FM’s debut LP Quixote taps directly into the 80’s nostalgia vein and mines it for woozy pathos and dreamy yearning. Utilising many of the hallmarks of 80’s synth-heavy composers and movie soundtracks, from Phil Collins-esque reverbed drums, plucked bass twang, and all the analog synth tones you could dream of, it’s a fascinating re-composition of elements elevated to pastiche by focusing on real emotion and modern songwriting.
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Head Like A Hole - Single Review: Goliath
03 Nov 2021 // A review by Epitomised_Drummer
Head Like A Hole, arguably one of the greatest and most influential kiwi rock bands of our time. These guys have been around since longer than I’ve been listening to Rock!
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Jazz Night at the Aquarium - EP Review: Tabula Rasa
02 Nov 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Tabula Rasa is the first of three EPs being released by Julian van der Krogt under the name Jazz Night at the Aquarium, who wrote the songs, provided the vocals and guitars (and the artwork) while James Cartwright played bass and drums. Originally, he was planning to release a single 12-track album, but when he was working on the songs, he realized that they were better grouped in three sets of four, which is why he is releasing them in this format.
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Mini Simmons - Single Review: Railroad For Two
01 Nov 2021 // A review by Chris Chick
I had the privilege of listening to another cracking song by Mini Simmons. Their latest release Railroad For Two hit my ears and I am happy to say, my heart was warmed by such a melodic and poignant song that is perfect for any setting where peace and calm are the order of the day.
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Harry Hodgman - EP Review: Puzzle
01 Nov 2021 // A review by roger.bowie
Harry Hodgman plays the piano. He sings a little as well, a bit like Rufus Wainwright or Perfume Genius.
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This Silent Divide - EP Review: Tall Stories
31 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
I first came across Wellington-based melodic rock band This Silent Divide last month when they released the excellent single Lucinda, so when I heard they would be playing in Auckland and also releasing an EP I of course signed up for both. While the gig may have been postponed due to a certain lockdown (hopefully they will make it up here next year), the 4-track EP has still been released, which is what I am now listening to.
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Jacquie Walters - Album Review: The Forest
31 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Jacquie Walters has been active in the folk scene for more than 30 years, firstly as part of the group Pounamu before turning solo, and now performs regularly with bassist/guitarist James Wilkinson. James appears on the final track of this album, and harp player Maria Oxnam also makes an appearance - both James and Maria played on Jacquie’s first album all the way back in 1993.
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Older - Album Review: HUMAN+
31 Oct 2021 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Waikato based British producer Jel Legg and Kiwi singer Julie Legg are Post Punk band Older. Following on from their debut album Silence (2019) is their anticipated second album HUMAN+, which is due for release 1st November 2021.
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Bundy Lore - Album Review: Failures Peach
30 Oct 2021 // A review by darryl baser
Duncan Harwood (Dumb Dumb Head, Happy Hearse) releases his debut solo album Failures Peach under the moniker Bundy Lore. I’ve heard a lot of great first albums and Failures Peach sits nicely amongst them.
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Samuel Philip Cooper - Single Review: A Perfect Vision
28 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Wellington-based pianist Samuel Philip Cooper released his debut album in 2020 to raise awareness around mental health and raise funds for the Voices of Hope Mental Health Charity through a Givealittle fundraiser and physical CD sales. In January of this year, he was sat at home one night reflecting on what had happened so far and what the future may hold, and in that quiet time he sat and gently improvised some music which has now become the basis for this, his new single.
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Voodoo Bloo - Single Review: Skin
28 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
I first came across Voodoo Bloo at the time of their debut album, Jacobus, which was released towards the end of last year. Back then the band was pretty much ex-Lucifer Gunne frontman Rory McDonald, but now he has been joined by Daniel Maslen (guitars), Oli Cass (bass) and Jackson Kidd (drums) while still providing guitar and vocals himself.
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Rain - EP Review: No Promises
28 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
I first came across Rain in August last year with the release of the debut single Forget About You, since when there has been a string of singles, all of which have been thoroughly enjoyable. Rain came to fruition when Cathy Elizabeth, lead singer of Wellington-based band No Surrender found herself in lockdown and decided to form a studio-based project with sound engineer and producer Thomas Te Taite.
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Mat Gat - Single Review: Washed Away
27 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
There are times when some music is so personal that the listener feels they are intruding in an area they have no right to be involved with. That is the case here, as Mat Gat and his fiancée suffered the heartbreak of a miscarriage at 3 months.
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Oh Indigo - Single Review: Wondering
27 Oct 2021 // A review by Lou Clement
Oh Indigo are a new electronic musical duo composed of Sofia Machray and Connor Taumoepeau, based in Wellington, both with their own significant musical projects behind them. Their debut single Wondering was released on 22 October, 2021.
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Curlys Jewels - Single Review: Liberate
26 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Curlys Jewels are a Wellington-based hard rock band comprising singer person, Jel Pollock, Aaron Ludlow (guitar), Andy van der Heyden (bass) and Corey Bell (drums). Over the years they have played with some of the heavyweights of the NZ scene such as Villainy, Devilskin and The Feelers as well as supporting international acts such as Living Color and have also had success in the NZ Top 40 Singles chart.
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Apollo SteamTrain - Album Review: Generation Overload
25 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
It is safe to say that the debut album from Apollo SteamTrain, which is guitarist/singer/songwriter Brendan McCarthy plus assorted musicians from the Tauranga area, has been quite some time coming. I can count at least 7 singles which have been released from this 11-track album over the last five years, but a project which started in 2014 and took in 3 studios has finally been completed and we should all be grateful for that.
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Claemus - Album Review: Daydream
21 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
When I heard that Hutt Valley band Claemus had released their debut album I was immediately intrigued, as I came across the single Hedonist a few months ago, and given the number of influences and styles they had managed to ram into 5 minutes what could they do with a full album? These guys have managed to secure support slots with bands as diverse as P.
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Belladonna - Single Review: Wide Awake
21 Oct 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
Indie-pop darling Belladonna offers a blissful new musical fantasy with her latest release, Wide Awake. Musing on the great questions of life that keep her up at night, the song finds Belladonna “starting to take comfort” in her curiosities, creating a spacious, tranquil number ideal for late-night meditation.
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Kevin Posey - EP Review: The Story of Francis
21 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Oklahoma native Kevin Posey lives in Auckland these days, and throughout his musical career he has investigated different types and styles of music, and for this EP he has moved into yet another area, as what we have here is classical music that has been inspired by Halloween and psychological thrillers. Some, such as Fog Forest No.
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Jolandi Ford - Single Review: I'm Ready
21 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
This is Jolandi Ford’s third single since moving to Aotearoa from her native South Africa, and right from the first note one can why she has already been making a dent in international Country music charts. Although her voice is lighter in some ways, with a nice twang, her approach is quite reminiscent to the more rock-based approach of the likes of Shania Twain.
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Cking - Single/Video Review: No Snakes Feat. Dilz
21 Oct 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Cking is the Brisbane-based, New Zealand-bred rapper who’s eclectic catalogue of hits has seen him share the stage with everyone from T-Pain to Kerser, and now, he’s linked up with fellow NZ emcee Dilz for a hard-hitting banger, No Snakes. Cking and Dilz each come lyrically strapped with passionate and emotive verses, matching the energy of the rapid-fire, earth-rattling production alongside them.
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Khailana - Single Review: The Gnome King
20 Oct 2021 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
The delicate ringing of a single piano chord, like the rhythmic tolling of a funeral bell, seems fitting for a song about the potential ending of a relationship … stark in its simplicity, yet beautiful in its tragedy. An ethereal choir of voices are the only other accompaniment for Khailana’s poignant and resolute opening lines, concluding with the single strum of a tremolo-heavy electric guitar.
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Dallas Harvey - Single Review: Patience
20 Oct 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Auckland City’s up and coming Hip-Hop artist Dallas Harvey is a breath of fresh air with his honest lyricism, piecing his life together through story-telling and music. Mentored by the likes of Church from Church & AP, Chris RL and Melodownz, Dallas has built a well-versed understanding of self throughout his development at Te Karanga Navigators songwriting and production sessions.
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Comf - EP Review: Water
20 Oct 2021 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Comf is the solo project of sonic artist and electronic music lover Jazz Kane. With an appreciation and fascination for a diversity of genre, Comf connects their own personal experiences with manipulated samples of anything and everything, to tell a story that is a constant state of re-evaluation.
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Eurenza - EP Review: Good Luck... You're Gonna Need It
19 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Eurenza were originally formed seven years ago as Timeless, but eventually decided to go with a more uncommon name, and now have delivered their first five-track EP. Interestingly, much of this was recorded some time ago in preparation for an album, but they instead decided to go with the strongest tracks instead and cut it back.
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Stewart Allan - Album Review: 9 Rooms
18 Oct 2021 // A review by roger.bowie
Oh my goodness, how many more hidden talents do we have in this lockdown land? Stewart Allan has been a musician for over 20 years and first made a name for himself in a forest in Poland before the wall came down.
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Sam Bartells - Single Review: Bring You Down
17 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Sam Bartells is back with his new single Bring You Down, which finds him taking quite a different approach to Where We'll Go, which also featured Mema Wilda. Whereas he normally sits quite happily within alt country, here we see him using that as a base and then moving in a much rockier direction.
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Bingo Fighter - Single Review: Hobbits
17 Oct 2021 // A review by Steve Shyu
From the get-go, you knew this wouldn’t really be a ballad on social issues or an ode to unrequited love. No, the track is titled Hobbits, so if it wasn’t themed around fictitious, village-dwelling humanoids of short stature then confiscate my second breakfast and call a fool of a Took.
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Danica Bryant - Single Review: Ready To Bite
16 Oct 2021 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
I'm loving this dynamic pop explosion from Danica Bryant! The rock edge is really working for you, girl!
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Michael Llewellyn - Album Review: Oh My Darling
14 Oct 2021 // A review by darryl baser
Even though the press for Michael Llewellyn’s Oh My Darling album describe it as "a break up album in its purest", it seems he may have worked through some of the heartache and misery by the time he recorded it. It begins with the up-tempo Doolie, which sounds like a new romance beginning, full of love and hope.
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Jessica Leigh - EP Review: Summerland
14 Oct 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
Following her popular June release Summer Royalty, Jessica Leigh proudly offers her second EP Summerland, a sweltering collection of songs telling the story of a doomed summer romance through synth-pop and singer-songwriter stylings.Summerland opens subtly, with gentle guitar and quiet synths on Met Him At A Party, where Leigh introduces the EP’s vital romance with utmost sincerity.
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Jenny Mitchell - Single Review: Trouble Finds A Girl with Tami Neilson
14 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
The Auckland Folk Festival earlier this year was an embarrassment of riches, with so many great Kiwi artists playing multiple sets, and I spent the weekend trying to soak in as much as possible. There is no doubt that one of the highlights was Jenny Mitchell, who with her sisters Nicola and Maegan, provided warm and emotional country music in a style which seemed very much at odds with her age.
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Bianca Rae - Single Review: Flower
14 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
There are times when the music world is very small indeed, which is why earlier this year I found myself at The Portland Public House in Auckland to see a singer-songwriter, having been put in contact by a fellow reviewer who is in the UK. Even though Bianca Rae was the support, and everything was running late, she refused to let anything get to her, and I thoroughly enjoyed her set.
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Blue River Baby - Single Review: Green Cones
14 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Following on from the single Pay, which I reviewed a few months back, Blue River Baby (BRBB) are back with the second single from their second album, which is due next year. We find them moving much more into a dub style, with Ree Thomson’s wonderfully clear vocals very much the centre of attention.
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Slow Rage - Album Review: The Low-Down
14 Oct 2021 // A review by River Tucker
Every once in a while a release comes along that is just oozing with originality and that’s the case with Slow Rage’s debut album The Low-Down. Eleven tracks of pure musical goodness integrate a number of diverse styles that you cannot help but appreciate.
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Solo Ono - Single Review: Domesticated
13 Oct 2021 // A review by Kerry MB
Solo Ono are one of those bands that has been kicking about since 2011, yet still feel like a hidden secret. Over the years they have released singles, a full-length self-titled album and a handful of EP’s.
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Darryn Harkness - Album Review: Rare Grooves And Tone Research Volume 1
13 Oct 2021 // A review by roger.bowie
I met Darryn Harkness a few weeks ago when he supported Andrew Fagan in a little gig in a little bar called The St Heliers Bay Pigeon Racing Club. Yes.
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The Hopkinsville Goblins - Album Review: Mundivagrants
12 Oct 2021 // A review by Peter-James Dries
Mundivagrants is a weird release. Probably one of the strangest I’ve had to review.
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The Jesse Wilde Band - Album Review: Headin' South
12 Oct 2021 // A review by roger.bowie
With a name like Jesse Wilde you’d be sure he must be an outlaw. Especially when he looks a lot like Duane Allman in his cover photo.
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Ms.Take - Single Review: Maybe That's Just What I Am
11 Oct 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
The dystopian Trap Jam Maybe That's Just What I Am is the second official single from Ms.Take, a follow up to 2018's Silver & Gold, and a 2020 lockdown collaboration with Melbourne-based artist F.
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Downfall of Humanity - EP Review: Deceit
10 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
It is not often that a band can say they have had the same line-up for more than 10 years, but Auckland metal act Downfall of Humanity can claim just that. Daniel Carleton (lead vocals), Alex Carleton (guitars, backing vocals), Bryce Patten (guitars, backing vocals), Ben Pegman (bass) and Ben Bakker (drums) have a reputation for always delivering the goods, and I count myself lucky to have caught them a few times in the last year.
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The Rocky Bay Midnights - Album Review: Songs About People We Know
10 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
The Rocky Bay Midnights are a Waiheke Island-based group who first started some three years ago when Meredith Wilkie (vocals, percussion) and Kyla Dyresen (keyboard/piano) were both independently looking for musicians, to work with, and decided to form a band together. It took quite a while for them to settle on the current line-up of Simon McDowell (drums), Dione Denize (bass) and Julion Wright (guitar, saxophone) and now they have just released their debut album.
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Iveta & Simone - Single Review: Obsessed
07 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Although Iveta & Simone have been around for a few years, this single is the first time I have come across them. When it commenced, I felt we were in for some sort of electronic dance music, but I soon realized that in many ways they remind me much more of the Eighties band Yazoo.
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Shihad - Album Review: Old Gods
07 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
There is no doubt that Shihad are the Kiwi rock band who should have broken America 20 years ago, and if it wasn’t for a series of unfortunate events such as the attack on the Twin Towers, which caused the band to change their name (Shihad being too close to Jihad, but while Pacifier may have seemed a good idea on paper, it wasn’t and they eventually switched back), or accidently upsetting virtually every record label at a showcase gig, then they would have been. The first time I saw Shihad was at Western Springs opening for AC/DC, and there is no doubt that the guys were blown away by the reaction, as it seemed that although everyone was there for the main event, they were all diehard Shihad fans as well, singing along to every song.
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Stray Theories - Album Review: This Light
07 Oct 2021 // A review by JamieDenton
Based in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australian musician/composer Micah Templeton-Wolfe has a long, successful history with crafting works that explore rich, lush melodies within vast ambient, cinematic soundscapes. While some of his works have become the soundtracks to independent short films, television and radio commercials, multimedia projects, art installations, and specifically commissioned sound design or compositional pieces, he has also maintained an interest in releasing material as a musical artist.
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Vera Ellen - Album Review: It's Your Birthday
07 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Vera Ellen (Girl Friday, Maple Syrup) is back in Wellington after some time in Los Angeles, where she wrote most of the material which can now be found on her debut for Flying Nun Records. Written over the space of a few years, the album captures a time in Vera’s early Twenties where she was going through extremes of emotions.
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Finger Tight - Double Single Review: ineedsomespace vs. Polar Bears & Party Chairs
07 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
The other night I got a notification to say there was a new episode of The Distortion Transmission available on YouTube (subscribe to the Muzic.net.
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Bevan Mical - Album Review: Exhausting The Muse
07 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
For anyone who has come across Bevan Mical’s single, Weekend, we now have an album which is very similar in style and approach to that song, which is one of the 11 songs in the set. When I reviewed that previously, I said it needed repeated playing to get the most out of it, but somewhat strangely the familiarity throughout the album works in the same way, so that the more one gets through this the more there is to enjoy.
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Arjuna Oakes - EP Review: First Nights
07 Oct 2021 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo
Arjuna Oakes & Serebii have just released their collaborative EP, First Nights. Arjuna Oakes is a singer-songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist.
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Moonflower - Single Review: Karma
05 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Moonflower are one of those really rare bands, where the drummer is also the lead singer. They are normally described as being an incredibly tight outfit heavily inspired by 60's and 70's soul/rock and blues, but to be honest that is not what I am listening to.
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Y$O - EP Review: Young And Slept On
05 Oct 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Y$O. Note that down.
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Lake South - Album Review: The Light You Throw
03 Oct 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
“Let’s talk about politics, let’s talk about feelings”, sings Lake South on his latest album The Light You Throw, an excellent thesis statement for an album which covers such a spectrum of thought. It’s an astoundingly innovative album, melding electronic synth-pop with introspective folk, and resulting in a record I cannot call anything but pure magic.
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Aoturoa - Single/Video Review: Brothers Part I: Spirit
01 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Aoturoa is a new project from Tom Scrase, one of Aotearoa's leading drummers, who performs with the likes of dDub, Corrella and in the percussion ensemble Strike! Percussion.
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Reb Fountain - Album Review: Iris
01 Oct 2021 // A review by roger.bowie
Psyche emerges from an opening string sequence which evokes a western movie soundtrack before simplifying to a naked piano behind a barrage of poetry and sailing under a vast star….”who are we in this life?
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Renee Millner - Single Review: So Much
01 Oct 2021 // A review by Lou Clement
Taranaki-based artist, Renee Millner, brings substantial quality to her music – it’s effortlessly sung, lyrically modest and full of emotional impact, because of her unique and skillful talent. Her new single So Much was self-penned and produced by Sam Johnson.
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OdESSA - Single Review: It's Gonna Get Better
30 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
They may have disbanded in 2009 after seven years and three albums, but Wellington-based OdESSA are back. Given that lyricist/vocalist Matthew Pender had been living in London for an extended period, it was never thought that this would ever happen, but he returned from overseas just two days before New Zealand went into lockdown last year.
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Dark Water - Single Review: While the World is Bleeding
30 Sep 2021 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Dark Water are a New Plymouth based alternative rock band formed in 2009. While the World is Bleeding is their new single, mixed and mastered by Crazy Daisy Productions, USA.
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Jeiel - Single Review: 360
29 Sep 2021 // A review by Peter-James Dries
Take some heartbreak. Write it down.
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This Silent Divide - Single Review: Lucinda
28 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Formed in 2018, Wellington-based melodic rock band This Silent Divide comprise Shaun Jones (vocals, guitar), Kieran Williams (lead guitar, backing vocals), Peter Stitt (bass, backing vocals), and Sunil Jolly (drums). Lucinda is the first single from their forthcoming EP, Tall Stories, which they will be promoting with a North Island tour, and I am definitely looking forward to catching them in Auckland.
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Louis Ross - Single Review: Here To Help
27 Sep 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Local Tauranga DJ and Producer Louis Ross has created a new song Here to Help to bring awareness to mental health issues ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week. After losing his father and Grandma within a few months of each other and navigating his way through loss and grief, Louis is combining his own mental health struggles with his love of music to help others.
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Jason Parker - Single Review: This Is My Year
26 Sep 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
On his latest release This Is My Year, pop newcomer Jason Parker calls back to the cheerful anthems of early 2000s pop, firmly announcing 2021 as his moment to be “happy again”. After appearances with TVNZ’s Popstars and Wellington’s Peachy Keen festival, Parker now sets out to shape his own brave, colourful identity in Aotearoa’s bustling music landscape.
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Plum Green - Album Review: Somnambulist
25 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Born in a squat in England, raised in New Zealand, and presently residing in Melbourne, here we have the latest release from dream folk artist Plum Green. I have not previously come across any of her other albums, but somehow, I can see I need to undertake some investigations as this is a very special album indeed.
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Diehards of Deep Dish - Album Review: Traditional Speciality Guaranteed
25 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
There is a long history of band members using pseudonyms, with Ramones probably being the most famous, and here we have a band who use pseudonyms for their pseudonyms, so we have Cheese (Joey Provolone), Tomato (Ryley Base), Wheat (Beef Richards), Mushrooms (Mattzarella Gibson) and Herbs (Herbie Handcooked). I thought Cafe Fistfight had probably taken the foodie elements to the extreme with songs such as King Hit Quiche, but here we have six songs all aimed at the pizza lovers among us.
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Power The Light - Single Review: Snowing
23 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Power The Light is Max Roskilly, an 18-year-old musician who is based in Auckland , and has been self-releasing music for the last four years already, including the album Blueprints a while back. This is his second single in recent months, following on from Skys where he showed an interest more in krautrock than in is normal indie-jazz style.
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Glass Throne - Single Review: Glass Throne
23 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Glass Throne are an Auckland-based power trio comprising Justin Robinson (lead vocals, bass, guitar), Owen McKibbin (guitar, organ, backing vocals) and Daniel Cutfield (drums, percussion, backing vocals). I have managed to catch them play live a few times over the last year, and what always strikes me is just how different they are to the rest of the local scene, coming through as a mix of classic Seventies hard rock, progressive and modern alt rock.
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Sofia Machray - Single Review: The Untold
23 Sep 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
Wellington’s “singer-songwriter gone rogue”, Sofia Machray, crafts a spacious indie ballad with her latest release, The Untold. The track is highly reminiscent of bands like Daughter and Placebo, the former of which Machray cites as an influence.
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YAHYAH - Single Review: Little Joy
23 Sep 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
Named after a beloved bar in Los Angeles, Little Joy is the latest from pop singer-songwriter YAHYAH, reminiscing on the girls’ nights of her four-year stint living overseas. After writing professionally for other artists with Genuine Music Group, YAHYAH turns her eye back to her own artistry with this track.
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On Tick - Single Review: Nothing New
21 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
On Tick is the brainchild of brothers Brendan (vocals and drums) and Aidan O'Loughlin (vocals, guitar), and was formed from the ashes of their previous musical outfit, Evil Tomato, who began as a band in 2012. They came across 5-string bassist Matt Hammond when they heard the demoes for Black Sands, which he not only produced but played on, and he joined forces to work with them on the album and to allow them to play in the Ding Dong Battle of the Bands.
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Ravenhall - EP Review: The Coming Storm
21 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Ravenhall were formed by guitarist Joe Ravenhall and singer Chris Brebner in 2015. They were both already veterans of the Auckland scene, and wanted to perform music which concentrated on the power of acoustic guitar, wonderful vocals, plus some gentle electronic backing, and that is certainly what we have here.
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Lunavela - Single Review: Six-Out-Of-Ten Friend
21 Sep 2021 // A review by bethany_rachell
I'm not gonna lie; Six-Out-Of-Ten Friend was stuck in my head for a solid week after I listened to it for the first time – so be warned. Perhaps the reason it stuck so solidly in my head was that I kept finding myself in the painfully mundane and tricky situations that it laments.
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FRE3DOM - Single Review: On and On
20 Sep 2021 // A review by Paul Goddard
Who is pissed off right now? No?
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Black Alpine - Album Review: Black Alpine
19 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
The very first time I looked at the cover of this album I was reminded of Deep Purple’s In Rock, as even though that was a stylised version of Mount Rushmore, there we had dudes with long hair playing Seventies hard rock and that is the same here. I mean, we even have aviator sunglasses!
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Secrets Of The Sun - Album Review: Obon
19 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Obon is the debut album from alternative metal band Secrets of the Sun, a quartet based in Wellington. It has been a while in the making, in that the first single, Suffer With The Moon, was actually released a year ago while Wretched Tracks came out in February: both are included here.
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Montgomery - Single Review: Lonely, Only
17 Sep 2021 // A review by darryl baser
George Manning AKA Montgomery releases Lonely, Only today, and, oh my gosh, it’s a hauntingly beautiful song. In a world where for many artists their next single release has to be even more of a banger than their last, Montgomery’s Lonely, Only is packed full of heart and gentle charm.
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Written By Wolves - EP Review: Secrets - The Collab Project
16 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Since I started writing for New Zealand’s #1 music site, https://www.muzic.
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VÏKÆ - Single Review: Moon City
16 Sep 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
Vikae melds pulsating commercial pop with the climatic reach of drum and bass on latest release Moon City. Produced by Will Henderson and written during the March 2020 nationwide lockdown, the song is an emotionally charged ode to the end of a relationship, mourning physical separation and filtering through feelings needing to be “put to rest”.
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Alien Weaponry - Album Review: Tangaroa
16 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
There is no doubt whatsoever that Alien Weaponry have captured the imagination not only of the New Zealand public, but metalheads worldwide, with their combination of groove and thrash metal mixing with their Maori heritage to create something very special indeed. There really is no other band quite like them, although I do sometimes find myself thinking of the impact of Sepultura and their Roots album, but one does need to remember that was Sepultura’s sixth album, some 12 years after their first release.
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Domingo Candelario - EP Review: Sin Palabras
16 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Although there is always a very Cuban base to his music, Domingo has covered many different styles, as he transcends culture and language: music is about expressing emotions honestly and he tries to be as unique as he can.  As a child, his parents listened to a lot of Brazilian music, and he was fascinated by the way they used harmonies: it was so beautifully put together, so soft and in connection with the soul.
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Glenn Bodger - Album Review: I'll Leave The Light On
16 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the debut solo album from Glenn Bodger, who provided most of the instrumentation himself, although he has also been assisted by former Braintree bandmate Darryn Harkness, who helped with additional guitar, bass and keyboards where required. From the gentle, almost cautiously picked acoustic guitar notes on opener I’ll Leave The Light On, we are brought carefully into a world which is dated yet fresh, comfortable but new, as he mixes together different musical elements in an independent, alternative style which is often somehow commercial and others when they are definitely not.
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Samantha Josephine - EP Review: Fly Bird Fly
15 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Samantha Josephine's six-track Fly Bird Fly EP is less than 13 minutes long, but in many ways that makes total sense, as there is a feeling within this that we are being allowed into a secret and very personal world and that it would be intrusive to stay for too long. One can imagine Samantha performing in a corner, hoping that no-one will see or hear her, and when I read in her bio that only her girlfriend has seen her perform in the last year, and that even she is not allowed to be around when Samantha is writing, then it makes perfect sense.
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BrokeBoi Ace - Single Review: Watered Down Dreamz
15 Sep 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Oh man. I like this.
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NahBo - Album Review: Ruptured
14 Sep 2021 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
NahBo (Taranaki Ah Young-Grace) is breaking down creative barriers with their new album Ruptured. The intro track Download is a futuristic video game-esque prelude which sets the scene for what can only be described as the creation of a new genre (perhaps?
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John Martin - Album Review: Zealander
14 Sep 2021 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Wellington based Drummer/Singer and multi-instrumentalist; John Martin has just released his third album Zealander. His love of strong pop melodies and James Brown covers shine through on this album mingling with his uniquely upbeat sound.
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Comf - Single Review: Do You Feat. Ilena
12 Sep 2021 // A review by Peter-James Dries
Water, Clay, and Ceramic. If the sonic possibilities of these three textures are the question, then Comf’s triptych of EPs, The Texture Tapes, are the proposed hypothesis.
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The Night - Single Review: Untouchable
12 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
This cannot be right. According to the information I have in front of me, this Wellington-based band was formed from a group of music students in 2017, started performing live in 2018, and their ages now range from 15 to 18!
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Channeled - EP Review: Perception
12 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
As I have said previously, 2020 was a breakthrough year for Channeled, as Ben Ruegg recorded the second album and formed an operational live band to make it more than just a studio project. They made it through to the final of the Ding Dong Lounge Battle of the Bands and set up a headline show at the same venue with Cafe Fistfight and Mariner as support to celebrate the release of I Heard Penelope Sing, but then disaster struck with Ben being rushed to hospital following a Grand Mal seizure.
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Torn Chorus - Single/Video Review: This City Floats
10 Sep 2021 // A review by Andrew Smit
From a simple opening beat to a wonderful flourish of acoustic guitars layered with luscious chorus and flange effects, the new single from Torn Chorus, This City Floats, is brought to life with wailing electric lead guitar licks and slides that sound melodically precise and emotive. Crisp vocals tell you about the labour and reward that you get for following the beaten path to the top, which as the video shows so well, is Auckland’s remnant volcanic cones, but the metaphor could be used for any journey in life.
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D.Matthews - Single Review: Africa
10 Sep 2021 // A review by bethany_rachell
One thing is for sure. Wellington is not warm enough to do this song justice.
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Hotel Death Star - Single Review: The Daylight
10 Sep 2021 // A review by Gwarden
Hotel Death Star are a relatively new duo, finding life in 2020 when singer-songwriter Phil Stoodley collaborated with composer-producer Andreas Arianto to craft their interpretation of melodic deep-house blended with more traditional songwriting elements. Fans of electronic genres will find plenty to like here, but crossover appeal might be limited.
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SKRAM - Single Review: Freaking Me Out
10 Sep 2021 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Wellington based pop trio SKRAM released their debut single Freaking Me Out today, September 10th. Just in time for the warmer weather, the track is a fresh, uplifting pop tune, sure to be a crowd favourite this summer.
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Sam V - Single/Video Review: Wired
10 Sep 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
Sam V's newest track Wired is another demonstration of how Sam keeps refining his sound. His vision has been getting more focused over time, based on his previous tracks like Cotton Candy which is actually a Y$O track, and Up Up Down.
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Empress - EP Review: Trash Dynasty
10 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Empress were formed by guitarist/singer Lora Thompson and drummer Craig Gilliver after the demise of their previous project, Cheshire Grimm with whom they toured the length of NZ, played with international acts and local superstars, as well as releasing material along the way. The lead track from this EP, Sailing the Seas of Grease, was actually released towards the end of 2020 but it has taken until now for their six-track 23-minute-long debut EP to made available.
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Seas of Conflict - Single Review: XII.IX
09 Sep 2021 // A review by Kris Raven
Hamilton heavy hitters Seas of Conflict are back and mark their return with one of their most emotionally charged, progressively beautiful and heavily sombre tracks to date, entitled XII.IX.
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Venom Dolls - Venom Dolls - EP Review: Venom Dolls
08 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Venom Dolls are an all-female indie punk trio who formed at the end of last year, and comprise lead guitarist Carawai Gao, drummer Summah Auvae, and vocalist/bassist Jessica Frank. From looking at their photos I can see they have played Dead Witch, so I am going to have to pay closer attention to the gig listings as I have been to that venue a lot this past year, but somehow have missed these guys.
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Roulettes - Album Review: Demosphere
08 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
One may be able to discern from the title that the latest release from Roulettes (they dropped the “The” a while back) is taken from a series of demos and home recordings. Since forming the band in the early 2000’s there have been some additional musicians here and there, but the core has always been Justin McLean (guitars, vox, bass, piano and drum sequencing) with Ben Grant (bass, vox, drum sequencing, synths, and mixing).
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InDuna - Single Review: Strange Fruits
08 Sep 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
InDuna's approach to Hip-Hop/Rap is something that listeners should pay attention to. It fits into what kind of feels as almost progressive in regards to the styles it compasses.
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Tempist Fujit - Single Review: Fallen
07 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
It has been a few years since Northland quartet Tempist Fujit (yes, the spelling is quite deliberate) have released a single, but they are back with Fallen, which is a great introduction to the band for anyone who has yet to come across them. The band are a hard rock outfit with a kick ass singer in Lisa Walters, who has a great ability to hit long notes and keep them pure and on pitch, yet also has plenty of emotion and breadth in her range.
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Captain Festus McBoyle's Travellin' Variety Show - Single/Video Review: Love Song 4 Lucy
06 Sep 2021 // A review by Paul Goddard
Sometimes we need a distraction, and a reminder of the basic core reasons as to why we exist.Sometimes, perhaps now more than ever, we need to be reminded of the simple joy that comes with being who we are and of the love that we share with other people.
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Soda - EP Review: Nineteen Ninety Seven
05 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
In the Nineties, guitarist and singer Scott Pilgrim had a band in Melbourne called Soda, who released the Pan EP. Fast forward 23 years and he walked into Warwick Donald’s control room and saw a multi-track tape deck which could play the original tape of that recording.
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Malachim - Album Review: Vitasphere
05 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
I was sat working away at my desk one evening recently, when I had a message come through from TeMatera Smith, asking if I would be interested in hearing a brand-new album which he had literally just finished mixing. Of course, I said yes, and he provided me with a Soundcloud link to this release, which immediately blew me away.
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Hazza Making Noise - EP Review: Vengeful Millennial
05 Sep 2021 // A review by Peter-James Dries
You’re sitting in an average suburban home. A family is sitting at the dinner table in front of you.
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2Fly Ty - Single Review: That Track Feat. Dilz
03 Sep 2021 // A review by Ben Ruegg
2FLY TY's newest track entitled That Track is out now and features bars from Dilz. Both Ty and Dilz perform well here with TY’s flow being delivered on a rather flat way; not hyped and not like he’s not trying.
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Stephen Galvin - Album Review: Modal Behaviour
02 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Stephen Galvin is a multi-instrumentalist who was invited to teach at the New Zealand Guitar Academy at the tender age of 23, before opening his own teaching studio in 1984. Since then, he has performed in bands of different genres, as well as teaching music to thousands of Aucklanders.
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Anderson Rocio - EP Review: We're Fine
02 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to see Sol3 Mio at Spark Arena, and I came away as suitably impressed as one would expect, not only from the main act, but also by the support who impressed everyone with her wonderful vocals and delicate touch on the piano. Anderson Rocio was not someone I had come across prior to that night, although one of her songs, Paradise, had previously featured on an episode of Lucifer, but I came away incredibly impressed and said how much I would be looking forward to hearing more of her material.
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Aro - EP Review: He Wai
02 Sep 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
One of the absolute highlights of the Auckland Folk Festival this year were Aro, the husband-and-wife team of Charles (Ngapuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngati Te Ata, Te Ati Awa) and Emily Looker (nee Rice). At that event Charles provided vocals and guitar, while Emily “just” vocals, and I was blown away by the mingling of their voices, in both Te Reo and English, and how they made their stories so wonderful and real.
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Jaz Paterson - Single Review: Lonely
02 Sep 2021 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Alternative Singer-Songwriter Jaz Paterson released her debut single Lonely on the 13th of August. Produced by Will McGillivray (nomad, There’s A Tuesday, Bexy) and mastered by Kamandi, Lonely is the first of three singles to be released from Jaz’s anticipated debut EP Ache, set to be released in November.
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Oceanspace - Single Review: Silver City Rain
01 Sep 2021 // A review by Chris Chick
Now and again a song comes around that makes you stop and think "well that certainly surprised me". This is in no way a negative connotation, I would hate to think that my initial perspective was one of which, when I was given the task to review this song, I was already looking to the one-star rating.
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Odds & Ends - Single Review: Picture
31 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
The picture on the album cover is a picture, neat! That got me thinking the guys probably had a sense of humour and when I saw they describe themselves as a perfect fruit salad; filled with juicy melodies, tasty songs, and sweet, sweet harmonies, then I was sure of it.
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Lilith NZ - Single Review: Tears of Blood
31 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Just one look at the band name, song, and font, and one knows that here we have an act aiming to be on the heavy side. A quick look at Encylopaedia Metallum and one can see they have another nine bands listed with the same name, while this Lilith isn’t even the only one operating in New Zealand.
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Bevan Mical - Single Review: Weekend
31 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Bevan Mical is a lo-fi alternative indie pop musician from Thames, and Weekend is taken from his third full-length album, which is due out later this year. He says he is inspired by all forms of music from Fraggle Rock to Eminem, Crowded House to Pink, and it must be said that anyone who finds a way to reference Fraggle Rock is always going to be interesting.
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Samuel Gaskin - Single/Video Review: Reckoning
31 Aug 2021 // A review by bethany_rachell
Reckoning is a new single and video release from Samuel Gaskin that follows in the wake of his stage production by the same name. New Zealand born and now based in Melbourne, Gaskin intertwines his own roots and the roots of his current placing in this video, with a cast of 20 First Nations Aboriginal and Maori performers.
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Crying Club - Single/Video Review: Taxi Man
29 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Crying Club were formed in Wellington at the start of 2021 by friends Sean Beales (drums), Chrissy Pantelakis (bass) and Datu Beech (vocals/guitar), with the stated intention of starting a new emo movement in the capital!  They have been gigging over the last few months, mainly in community halls and house shows, but of course that has now stopped with NZ back in lockdown, so it is somehow fitting that their debut single was written after the first lockdown and is about feeling anxiety on a night going out to town, and the taxi drive has them wondering if they should just go back home.
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EM/FM - Single Review: Close Enough
28 Aug 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
From the library of mysterious Kaitaia artist EM/FM, Close Enough is a synth-filled slow jam, introduced by its bright retro wave artwork which visually represents the track’s creative blend of machine-generated instrumentation with traditional jazz.Close Enough offers a unique song structure, with its groovy chorus not hitting until just before the two minute mark, and a lengthy final chorus section.
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The Human Kind - Single Review: Ready To Live
27 Aug 2021 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Ready To Live is a beautiful inspirational track from The Human Kind; a collective with a focus on health and wellbeing. The song features a diverse array of instrumentation including strings, flute, synths, and something that sounds to me like maybe a Gudok or similar?
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Kendall Elise - Album Review: Let The Night In
26 Aug 2021 // A review by roger.bowie
The new album from Kendall Elise is out today. It’s called Let The Night In, and once again Kendall recorded at Roundhead.
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Alba Rose - Single Review: Eve
26 Aug 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
The captivating hook of Alba Rose’s debut single, Eve, warns listeners of the likelihood that they will be “swept away”. It’s a truthful mission statement for a track which introduces Rose as a soloist, outside of her performances in Wellington band Corduroy.
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WHITE NØISE MAFIA - Single Review: Let It End
25 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
The boys are back with their second single, continuing from where the last one left off. This was again recorded in sessions with the mighty David Rhodes (Blindspott, Stylus, These Four Walls etc.
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Gig Review: Loserpalooza Festival 2021 @ Tauranga - 21/08/2021
24 Aug 2021 // A review by Mattmyth
What’s everyone bitching about with level-4-lockdown and cancelled shows? This one ruled.
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Club Classic - EP Review: Greetings From Club Classic
23 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Club Classic like to portray themselves in photos as being an interesting bunch of jokers, and indeed their Facebook page says, “Welly’s favourite grass roots sports club + indie-funk band hybrid”, but don’t let any of that fool you, as when it is time to start playing music these guys are serious, and seriously good. This 13-minute-long 3-track EP finds them demonstrating just how slick and powerful they are, with different styles of funk and soul.
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Henika - Single/Video Review: The Future of the Species
23 Aug 2021 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Henika is the moniker of Slovak born multi-instrumentalist Henrieta Tornyai. Her self-titled EP won Best Independent Debut at the Taite Music Awards in 2017.
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SOG - Album Review: Blooming Buzzing Confusion
19 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
Wellington quartet SOG are back with their third album, with a somewhat unusual but very Kiwi cover photo. There has just been the one line-up change since their 2018 Slate Clean debut, as Bianca Bailey (vocals, drums) joined in time for 2019’s, alongside James Shanly (vocals, bass), Ethan Roberts (guitar, vocals) and Luke Cox (guitar).
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Arjuna Oakes - Single Review: Satellites w/ Serebii
19 Aug 2021 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
Satellites launches with a bump and instantly draws you into its gravitational pull by way of smooth lo-fi synth tones and spacey beat. Percussion floats in, further enticing us into its dreamy orbit, while deep fuzzy bass and envelope-filtered guitar play in parallel, setting up melody lines which become the anchor of the song.
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Louis TM - Single Review: Mercedes Car
19 Aug 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant
After years backing other artists on the keys, Louis TM is out to make his own mark on the musical world as a soloist. The resulting track, Mercedes Car, is a biting track directed at wasted wealth, carefully crafted with the help of Tiny Triumph Recordings, JJ Golden and Diver Records.
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HATT - EP Review: Vol.1 - Emulate + Dissipate
19 Aug 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland
HATT are a new band on the scene, but they are already here with their debut 5-track EP. Mind you, although HATT are a new name, those behind it are definitely not, as anyone who has been involved with the Auckland music scene will recognize all those taking part.
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Disciple Pati - Single/Video Review: Serious
19 Aug 2021 // A review by Corinne Rutherford
Auckland’s newest pop/RnB powerhouse Disciple Pati has just released her latest single Serious, along with a “revenge fantasy” style music video which the artist explains as “channeled my violent inner sadist for this moment so y’all don’t have to”. The video ultimately is about getting payback after a production meeting doesn’t go according to plan.
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Kerryn Fields - Album Review: Water
19 Aug 2021 // A review by roger.bowie
At last, some 2 ½ years after seeing her for the first time and hearing some new songs, Kerryn Field’s sophomore album, Water hit my inbox (thanks Kerryn) and is now firmly ensconced in my hard drive. Now I can listen to the whole collection, and from the opening unaccompanied courageously operatic shrill, Atlantis emerges… we’ve heard this song before, the one which pays homage to Rust Never Sleeps and Pocahontas and the death wish which surges in response to the way Kerryn’s partner loves that song.
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GiGi Genie - Single Review: The Phoenix
19 Aug 2021 // A review by bethany_rachell
Wow! I knew this track would be something else before I even listened to it.
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Villainy - EP Review: Dead Sides (The Lost EP)
18 Aug 2021 // A review by Andrew Smit
How wonderful it is to hear 5 new Villainy songs of rip roaring rock tunes that coalesce intimately in this EP format. There is a so much more spice added to this rock pot than the standard rock fare that you might consume from mainstream radio, and while comparisons to Shihad are apparent with their sound influenced by previous Tom Larkin produced material, but these tracks are self-produced and is a touch more raw and edgy.
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Sophie Gibson - Single Review: Deeper Waters
17 Aug 2021 // A review by Madeleine Howard
Singer-songwriter Sophie Gibson will be releasing her single Deeper Waters on 20 August. The hauntingly beautiful acoustic folk track is a tribute to Gibson’s brother who she lost to suicide in 2015.
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Shapeshifter - Album Review: Rituals
17 Aug 2021 // A review by Gwarden
Shapeshifter (affectionately known as ‘Shapies’ by fans) are a New Zealand music institution. With over 2 decades of live shows, 4 EPs, 5 full-length studio albums, a handful of music awards and a reputation as the best live Drum & Bass act in the world, they’re both revered locally and ambassadors of the sound worldwide.
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Graeme James - Gig Review: Graeme James @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 13/08/2021
15 Aug 2021 // A review by roger.bowie
On a cool spring evening (spring always started in August where I grew up, down south) the Tuning Fork is nicely staged with a clutch of instruments neatly arranged in anticipation. The modest crowd bunches up to form an intimate cluster and a familiar face takes the stage in the form of Chris/Albi without the Wolves, or at least half of them because the willowy, billowy puppet-like figure of Pascal Roggen also joins him on half a dozen instruments more commonly known as the violin.
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The After - Gig Review: The After @ Anthology, Auckland - 12/08/2021
14 Aug 2021 // A review by roger.bowie
It’s a year and a bit on and here we are again at Anthology for a night of rock curated by Andrew Featherstone and featuring his band The After. Last year we were left a bit muddled about promises of things to come and whether it would be the hereafter, but no, it