Here’s the selection for day 9 of the PopLib New Zealand Music Month 31 Days of May challenge of buying something each day from Bandcamp. This time it’s a cassette tape with a free EP download from Wellington punk trio Fantails.

According to their Bandcamp page “Fantails are: Charlie – drums; Na – Bass; Sarsha – Gat and vox. Fast punk with diggable poppy leanings, masked with some heaviness. Politically motivated lyrics sung in English, Maori and French make Fantails Fantails.”

That also makes Fantails unique. The lyrics are borderline indecipherable but I think I read the cassette comes with a lyric sheet. It is exactly as described and it’s great. Nothing longer than 2 minutes, a couple of songs don’t even pass the one minute mark.

The music is heavy, fast, skilfully executed and suitably abrasive. Yet there’s also melody and playfulness in these songs too. If you like Street Chant, Fantails are a concentrated dose of the same medicine, only less self-absorbed and more activist in their outlook.

There’s some substance behind the punk attitude too. An informative blog gives their insight into the socio-political context of punk and linking through to other bands, books and activities (‘zines!)

The cassette and a 7” lathe-cut of the EP are also available through Wellington label Epic Sweep, who have released a very eclectic catalogue of limited editions in many formats now, most of them selling out pretty quickly.

Fantails play at Queens in Dunedin on Friday night 10 May 2013. I’ll probably be there.