Here’s day 14 of the 31 Days of May New Zealand Music Month Bandcamp challenge.

Wilberforces doesn’t sound like the kind of band name I’d normally associate with a rather dark and singular guitar band, notionally ‘post-punk’ in sound. Which highlights the perils of judging a band on its name. Their EP ‘Paradise Beach’ (available in glorious 12” vinyl format) which this track comes from is as fine a slice of angular, sharp-edged guitar rock as you are likely to find. Anywhere.

There’s variety across the 6 tracks on the EP too. I get a hint of The Clean and The Modern Lovers in the scruffy garage rock of ‘Magdalene Brothers’ while closing track ‘Fire in the Hills’ turns down the volume but unsettles in different ways with choppy guitar over ghostly vocals and cathedral choir/ synth backing.

Wilberforces ‘Paradise Beach’ is on Muzai Records of course – New Zealand’s premier alternative noise rock (and a bit more) label. Muzai Records celebrates 4 years of releasing great music with an event at the Wine Cellar in Auckland this Saturday

I guess I’ll have to steel myself to buy the 12” vinyl some time. As a surfer, that cover image will ensure it won’t sit at the front of my vinyl stack, particularly after a close encounter in the water off Dunedin earlier this year with one of these. But it’s what’s in the spiral groove that matters most…