Archives for posts with tag: Koizilla

Our Day 7 song for 31 Days of May Madness, attempting to post a New Zealand track every day of the month of May, is another track from the recent Dunedin music compilation “…And It Could Be Right Now” – “Dale Kerrigan” by Dale Kerrigan:

Dale Kerrigan is a band, not a singer-songwriter. There is no-one called Dale Kerrigan in the noise-rock band called Dale Kerrigan. No clue is revealed as to who exactly Dale Kerrigan is or was, nor what they have done to have a noise rock band, and song, named after them. Maybe it’s an Australasian cultural reference to a character in film The Castle: ‘I dug a hole’ Dale. That one. Who knows?

This track is monstrous, in all the right ways. Is it punk? Is it metal? Is it noise rock? Is it prog rock? The answer to all those questions is YES.

Dale Kerrigan is the brainchild of Ōtepoti/ Dunedin musician Shlee Nicholls (Mary Berry, Flesh Bug). Yep, she’s another from the noisy Nicholls family production line of musicians, alongside hyperactive drumming brother Josh Nicholls (Koizilla, Fazed on a Pony, Asta Rangu, Space Bats, Attack! et al.) and friends Joel Field (Porpoise), and Connor Blackie (Koizilla, Adelaide Cara).

The band is Shlee Nicholls’ response to the “ugly boy singing noise” stereotype, combining chunky riffage, loud-quiet noise dynamics noise with lyrics from a woman’s perspective. As with Mary Berry (the band) that combination of muscular noise rock heaviness with the opposite of the “ugly boy singing” is a fresh combination.

The band have an album out next month called Noise Bitch, recorded by the other Nicholls brother Zac (guitarist in Koizilla) in the same house as Koizilla’s 2020 release I Don’t Surf I Boogie and Bathysphere’s recent release Heaven is Other People. “Dale Kerrigan” (the song) will be on it. There’s also an excellent single called “Grudge” from the upcoming album just up now on trace / untrace records’ and Dale Kerrigan Bandcamp.

Dale Kerrigan is the support for Bathysphere’s album release show at The Crown Saturday 8 May.

Koizilla 2019

Our day 8 song for New Zealand Music Month 2020 comes from Dunedin hyper-active psych-surf turbo-prog band Koizilla, and a typically over-achieving precision riff-fest called “Prooble”.

Koizilla are Zac Nicolls (guitar and vocals), Hilary Faul (flute, vocals, keyboards, percussion), Connor Blackie (bass, vocals) and Josh Nicolls (drums). The band have always seemed to have some accidental early 1970s German psych-prog sound in their skillfully executed blend of riff-rock and prog-rock precision. But this song sounds more like a manic version of Anglo-French ensemble Gong.

Koizilla’s adventurous risk-taking glee of melodic multi-instrumental synchronicity avoids the joyless mechanical precision of musical theory mathematics exercises that prog-rock forms can sometimes amount to. It’s fun, and if it sounds exhausting to listen to, imagine what it’s like to play.

NZMM 2020


Koizilla 2019Here’s some magic flute-tootlin’ psychedelic-prog rock rifferama for your Psychedelic Sunday from Dunedin band Koizilla, with their new single “I Can’t See Anything”:

Koizilla – Zac Nicolls (guitar and vocals), Hilary Faul (flute, vocals, keyboards, percussion), Connor Blackie (bass, vocals) and Josh Nicolls (drums) – have always had a bit of that accidental early 1970s German psych-prog sound to me, which is why their skillfully executed blend of riff-rock and prog-rock precision time changes has been so easy to enjoy. Koizilla are all about the adventurous risk-taking glee of melodic multi-instrumental synchronicity rather than the joyless mechanical precision of musical theory mathematics exercises that prog-rock forms can sometimes amount to.

“I Can’t See Anything” is all over the place – in the best possible way. Nothing else does what a flute does in rock music. The magic flute melodies here bounce off the riff and rhythms and when the rhythmic pulse drops away for the more pastoral passages here Koizilla head deep into the territory of Swedish psychedelic rock ensemble Dungen, which is a wonderful place to be for all of us.

fazed on a pony 2019“Natural Toast” is a new release from Dunedin former bedroom DIY pop outfit, now fully-fledged band, Fazed on a Pony.  The FoaP bandcamp says: ““Natural Toast” is the first track from our new EP, out 1 February on trace / untrace records.”

“Natural Toast” is sweetly recorded at the Radio One studio. The buttery studio sheen is spread on a considerably thicker slice of sound than the previous self-recorded introverted masterpieces we’ve enjoyed from FoaP over the years. Smeared all over that buttery sound slice are some delicious jammy fuzzy guitars, smokey low-key vocals and a sprinkle of subtle synth.

Fazed on a Pony is now a 5 piece band, incorporating members of a couple of other Dunedin bands. Josh Nicholls and Connor Blackie are also in Koizilla while synth player Jayde Medder also alternates between guitar and drums in dynamic, hard-to-pigeonhole newcomers Mary Berry. Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Peter McCall has been a key part of Kane Strang‘s band in recent years too.

Koizilla 2018Koizilla‘s first full length album, following a succession of fine EPs, is called “Lazy Hazy” and it’s jam-packed full of energetic psychedelic pop and adventurous prog-rock, perfect fare for a Psychedelic Sunday song share.

First time I saw the Nicholls brothers playing in a band (the wonderfully atmospheric and mostly instrumental A Distant City) guitarist Zac reminded me – in appearance and playing style – of an early 1970s German space rock guitarist… and brother Josh also fitted the mold of the archetypal manic psychedelic space-rock drummer. The music on “Lazy Hazy” often still sounds like it could have been made by some undiscovered early 1970s offshoot of Amon Düül II.

There’s a lot of “look at me” fiddly and technically impressive musicality here; gratuitous time changes, tricky stops and starts and impossible drum fills (just listen to “Sandflies” for example of all of that). That kind of thing usually leaves me cold these days – thinking particularly of over-achieving and over-producing but ultimately mostly under-whelming Australians, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.

But Koizilla have a lightness of touch and also playfulness evident from the absurdist sense of humour and ridiculous fun of the songs. That infectious charm keeps the music on “Lazy Hazy” as compulsively entertaining as it is adventurous and always on the right side of taking itself too seriously. There’s seriously pop-tastic hyper-drive space rock along the way, even including some very appropriate and tasteful flute here and there.

Don’t be afraid to let yourself go all “Lazy Hazy” for a bit and immerse yourself in a different slice of Dunedin sonic exploration.


koizillaKoizilla is another supercharged band from the guitar-drum axis of Dunedin brothers Zac and Josh Nicholls along with bass accomplish Connor Blackie. They’ve provided stellar progressive guitar-based music since high school through their bands A Distant City and The Violet-Ohs, but in Koizilla they’ve found their most natural and most explosively adventurous spark to date. Here’s “Child” from their “Blunder Brother” debut EP:

The EP – and especially the opening track above – channel perfectly the imaginary Dunedin version of Amon Duul II which was my first reaction to seeing Zac Nicholls playing guitar in A Distant City four years ago.

It wasn’t just the long hair but his guitar playing style, which combined serious technical skill with what seemed to my ears a real early 1970’s feel for fluid psychedelic adventure and melodic improvisation. That stood out as unusual in Dunedin in 2012 and he’s only refined that impression since, particularly with Koizilla.

While A Distant City maybe took the proggy post-rock soundscape thing a bit too far in one direction, and The Violet-Ohs perhaps pushed the guitar-driven pop a bit too far the other way, Koizilla seem to have these two elements in balance and have injected a bit of cartoon-colour-saturated fun into the equation (like the over-exuberant “Krill” for example).

Highly recommended for lovers of psychedelic power-trio music which dares to fly higher than the limits of the earth’s atmosphere.