Archives for posts with tag: post-rock
Too Tone NZ Music Month

NZ Music Every Godzone Month! sign from Too Tone Records in Dunedin.

Our New Zealand Music Month day #30 tune is the gorgeous instrumental “Lull” from High Dependency Unit (HDU):

“Lull” is from HDU’s 1998 album “Higher + +” which is one of the classic NZ experimental post-rock albums. It encapsulates perfectly the dreamy astral psychedelia side of the band, usually remembered for their searing futuristic “space blues” soundscapes of walls of firestorm guitar and thunderous bass over tight patterns of crunching drums.  It’s wonderful to see the whole glorious catalogue of HDU albums available on Bandcamp for new generations  and audiences to discover.

Too Tone NZ Music Month

Shop display of re-purposed NZ Music Month poster at Too Tone Records (2010-2017) in Dunedin.

Our New Zealand Music Month song for day # 17 is from Christchurch noise rock trio No Broadcast and their most recent single “WASTE”:

No Broadcast hail from Christchurch and evoke the spirit and sonic fury of High Dependency Unit/ HDU in the way they use sonic guitar textures combining elements of noise-rock, post-rock, shoegaze and post-punk into a frenetic stew of noisy but melodic guitar rock.

No Broadcast are Josh Braden (Guitar and Vocals), Thomas Isbister (Drums) and Kieran Colina (Bass) and are an impressive and powerful live act as well.

for the quailDay 30 of PopLib’s 31 Days of May marathon for New Zealand Music Month is “Election Drinking Party” by Dunedin post-rock/ post-punk/ post-everything trio For The Quail.

For The Quail are Evan Sunley James (Guitar, vocals), Karl Bray (bass, backing vocals) and Samdrub Dawa (Drums). The song was written, recorded and released to mark New Zealand’s 2017 General Election, and captures an essence of the squabbling frustration of the 3 year political cycle of blame and claim, truth and lies and mis-use of statistics. Enough to drive anyone to drink.

The second half of the 8 minute epic goes off into space in a pretty wonderful way with delay guitar looping back on itself over and over to provide a noisy blanket of swirling sound as the percussion starts to become motorik and mechanical and steadily disintegrate and it ends in a kind of apocalyptic ambience.


residue nzContinuing the instrumental guitar music theme from a few days ago, here’s something new from the darkest corners of Dunedin’s noise underground. This 5 track album – “Rotting In The Stomach of Melancholy” – by Residue is a dark, wordless masterpiece and our introduction is the symphonic melodic minimalism of the first track “You Are Missed”

“You Are Missed” is sombre and majestic with a heavy and dark grace. Guitar notes washed in cathedral reverb swell and fade and gentle waves of white noise ebb and flow. “Commit Your Body to Dust” is an even sparser but equally beautiful atmospheric drone before “You Are Mist” completes the mood by enveloping those swelling guitars in a sonic mist of white noise.

After this relative calm all hell breaks loose on the final two tracks and sonic metallurgists will rejoice. Dense layers of distorted guitars and feedback create two saturated epics. The final track – the album’s title track – is a churning, fiery monster, several atmospheres heavier than Fripp and Eno’s “An Index of Metals”, and fine material for readjusting the atomic structure of your brain via headphones.

It’s a self-contained sonic world that may not be for everyone, but is likely to appeal to fans of atmospheric sound explorers like Labradford and Stars of the Lid, and worth a visit by the adventurous, the curious and the brave.

Space Bats Attack Live to Air 2017.jpgA month ago Dunedin post-apocalyptic space-surf-rock guitar band Space Bats, Attack! dropped into their local University radio station Radio 1 and recorded a mesmerising set of new heavy riffing guitars/bass/drums instrumentals. They did such a fantastic job they put the live set up on their Bandcamp. Here’s the first pulverising track for your sonic exploration:

As Radio 1 video these live-to-air performances now you can also watch while you listen. Of particular significance is the fire extinguisher next to the bass drum, presumably placed there in case of spontaneous drummer combustion.

These are fantastic performances – musically complex, brutally propulsive yet lithe, full of dynamics with sonic twists and turns as effect pedals are manipulated like instruments. The video of the whole thing is a pretty compelling watch too:

Space Bats, Attack! are also a discovery point for a swathe of other noisy Dunedin guitar bands. As well as guitarist Lee Nicholson (Thundercub, and Lighting Wave effect pedal guru) you have guitarist Richard Ley-Hamilton (formerly of Males, now Asta Rangu), and the Nicholls brothers – Josh (drums) and Zac (bass). Zac is also a brilliant guitarist and along with Josh was in A Distant City, then The Violet-Ohs before forming their current band Koizilla.

Transcendents 2016Day 29 of NZ Music Month is the fractured rock music of Christchurch band (of one) The Transcendents. They have a new 10″ EP out Called “The Sun Is Still Asleep” and “Say Never” is the more reflective acoustic song therein.

Once more The Transcendents create their own post-rock landscape of sounds which defy most of the accepted conventions, like a song might sound in one of those dreams where your mind is stuck in a loop.

Yet, like an abstract painting, this still displays enough form for recognition. The lyrics provide a narrative and the song still has shape and form. There may be no easy listening on “The Sun Is Still Asleep” but you’ll still be rewarded for listening.

Space Bats Attack_MirrorDay 25 of NZ Music Month is “The Riff” – a live recording from Dunedin’s masters of crafted outer-space noise-rock Space Bats, Attack!

They say this was recorded live at a show in Dunedin late last year and at about 2:30 am. Remarkably, all present are awake and flying as one. The way this instrumental ebbs and flows and then bursts into a breath-taking and frenetic race-to-the-end with some remarkable drumming is something else.

Here’s hoping Space Bats, Attack! have another recording mission lined up this year.

Violet-ohs1Day 10 of NZ Music Month is “Big Leg” from Dunedin post-punk-post-rock band The Violet-Ohs.

“Big Leg” is a track on The Violet-Ohs album “Battlephant”, the title track of which PopLib featured back in November 2015 upon the album’s release.

As noted last November the album is an accomplished collection of intricate, restless guitar-driven post rock with a strong pop heart and some fine psychedelic guitar work.

“Battlephant” set something of a record for Dunedin band releases, having been recorded during October and November 2015 and released immediately it was mastered, on 12 November 2015. The Dunedin tradition these days seems to be to take forever to finish and then release anything, so hats off to The Violet-Ohs for living in the moment.


“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).

Day 25 of PopLib’s May Month of Madness Music Marathon for NZ Music Month comes from Christchurch band Sereines. The song is “Distant” and it’s from an album called “Stories Not Worth Telling”.

Helpfully, I know ZERO about Sereines and there are no useful links on the Sereines Bandcamp page. But at the moment I’m preferring that anonymity as I explore beyond “Distant”.

It was released 21 May 2015 and all songs were written and recorded by Nick Jessop. The tags: ambient instrumental emo post-rock New Zealand are our only guide. Explore…