“Battlephant” is the guitar-heavy title track from the debut album by Dunedin 4-piece The Violet-Ohs, released just a few days ago.

The Violet-Ohs grew out of one of Dunedin’s finest ‘post-rock’ bands A Distant City. That band included The Violet-Ohs’ Zac and Josh Nicholls along with Nick Tipa and was a seriously mind-bending live band even before the members left High School. The Violet-Ohs also share drummer Josh Nicholls with Space Bats, Attack!, so it should be no surprise to hear a bit of each band in this album.

A Distant City played mainly long instrumentals, and Violet-Ohs have refined that into a more condensed song-based approach, without losing any of the propulsive, multi-faceted sonic adventure of their previous band.

The songs are built around the skillful & adventurous psychedelic space-rock guitar skills of Zac Nicholls but also lent a distinctive high-quality vocal sweetness by the fine voice of Nick Tipa – a choral singer in his other life.

“Battlephant” reminds me a little of a riff-heavy version of Field Music, such is the intricate, restless, genre-hoping prog-rock of these well-crafted songs, and the way the vocals are layered.

The whole “Battlephant” album is a great, confident start for the band. It’s well worth checking out, particularly if you are a fan of the heavier side of Dunedin’s rock music heritage (thinking HDU, Operation Rolling Thunder and Idiot Prayer).