Archives for posts with tag: punk
Moonpup Photo by Michael Bull

Moonpup – photo by Michael Bull

More rip-snorting sonic mayhem from Christchurch. This time it’s a new band called Moonpup, who release their debut EP of garage-sludge surf-punk tonight (Friday 24 June 2016) with a release show at Christchurch venue Darkroom. Here’s  “Wolfgirl” from the EP:

“Wolfgirl” sounds like frenzied Sonic Youth crossed with UK 90s crusty Punk-Goths Skeletal Family (an old favourite). In other words, it’s superb.

Moonpup are Sophia White (Vocals/Guitar), Erica Mackie (Bass), Nick Glen (Lead Guitar) and Cameron Hoy (Drums). The whole of their Moonpup EP is great, if you like that kind of noisy messy noisy melodic punkish rock thing. Of course you do. You should give it a listen.

The opening track Seagulls is another early favourite here, sometimes carrying a faint whiff of the kind of noise-choas created by the punk/ New Wave bands from Wellington’s 79/80 scene, like Life In The Fridge Exists.

Trampoline TeamTrampoline Team are from New Orleans. They do not play jazz. They do not play funk. They are a punk band. That’s P.U.N.K. spelled R.A.M.O.N.E.S.  Here’s “I’ll Destroy You” to introduce you:

The album is great. Eight out of 12 songs on their album “Make It Faster” are under two minutes. They condense a lot into those sub-two-minute blitzkriegs.  I love the titles here too: “I Don’t like You”, “I’ll Destroy You”, “I Don’t Wanna” etc. etc. You get the idea.

OK, so ramalama punk is pretty much a thoroughly worked out genre by now and you may think  it’s hard to add much to what’s been before. But Team Trampoline do an excellent job of helping you forget what you know and just enjoying the moment with their electric shock rock.

Trampoline Team are Michael Hohan (guitar and backing vocals), Sam DeLucia (bass, vocals) and Shelby Grosz (drums). They sound as electrifying as this when they play live as well. Here’s a live performance video too from Amped & Wired (via Mississippi Public Broadcasting):




CrumbsCrumbs is a punk/ lo-fi/ post-punk band from Leeds UK, consisting of Ruth, Gem, Jamie and Stuart. That’s all there is to know. That’s all we need to know. “On Tiptoes” is the 2nd song on a 5 song release called simply “demos”

The five songs are all somewhat rudimentary constructions built around rumbling basslines and crunchy guitar, sounding like live practice room recordings, as you might expect with that “demos’ title.

Despite the superficial rough-around-the-edges nature of the songs each is satisfyingly different from the other and all pack an undeniable DIY pop-craft charm, with rattling-good post-punk structure and momentum.

“On Tiptoes” is built on a big pushy Steve Hanley-ish bassline but this isn’t The Fall. The song is reflective and melancholy, with Ruth or Gem singing “hope this message reaches you” – and instructing or admonishing “mind your manners, when it matters, always be kind, never ever undermine” in a voice that sounds more like its channeling deep regret and sadness – or perhaps cynicism – than anger.

It’s all very mysterious, and all the better for that. In a world of overcooked, glaringly obvious pop, a bit of mystery and anti-style no-shine grit is a wonderful thing to lose yourself in for a bit.






Abjects are a London-based trio playing primal ultra-fuzzy melodic garage rock. “Gone” jump-starts their 2015 EP also called “Gone”.

Garage-punk-psych-fuzz-rock… whatever this is called, Abjects are quality practitioners of a sub-genre that has been around for ages.

In “Gone” (the songs and the EP) they seamlessly combine some good old fashioned Punk Rock with some primitive but ultra-melodic Garage Rock and infuse it all with some heavy psych-fuzz through the wild feedback guitar solo. Timeless, fun and perfect.

As well as their 2015 “Gone” EP there is a new single “Double Bind” due out next month.

“Double Bind” was recorded, mixed and mastered by Jim Riley (long-time producer for Billy Childish) at his classic analog Ranscombe Studios and will be released via Greenway Records on March 10th 2016 both digitally and on limited edition 7” vinyl.

Here’s a video for “Double Bind”.

Emily Edrosa by Keva Rands

Emily Edrosa by Keva Rands

In the long wait between the first album by Auckland trio Street Chant and the second Street Chant album (which I’m hoping is ‘near’), guitarist/ vocalist Emily Edrosa has been playing solo shows and assembling the self-titled Emily Edrosa EP via DIY recording and cool/ distressed/ inventive samples/ loops/ percussion). It’s great stuff too.

Dragged outside of the power-trio punk snarl assault of Street Chant Emily’s song-writing reveals a dark, bruised introversion expressing itself with wry self-deprecating gallows humour. ‘The Corner of the Party’ confronts, but does so with so much style.

Try another great song from the EP –  ‘Underground’ – a hypnotic standout from Emily’s live solo sets.

Astro Children, Kings Arms, AKL - photo by Ben Howe

Astro Children, Kings Arms, AKL – photo by Ben Howe

Excuse me for repeating myself here but Sunday tradition round these parts involves me frightening the cat & the neighbours by playing Dunedin ‘shoeglaze’ space-punks Astro Children’s ‘Proteus’ album thrillingly loud.

So day 18 of the song-a-day-May NZ Music Month madness is ‘Shoe’ – a face-meltingly visceral two minutes thirteen seconds of fury from Astro Children. Strap yourselves in:

‘Shoe’ has long been a live favourite from Astro Children’s set. Isaac Hickey’s drumming here is the perfect bludgeoning beat willing it on; each piston-stroke compressing the volatile gasses of belligerent retributive anger, causing combustion.

And, as if the temperature isn’t already at a critical enough level here, the moment at 1:06 when the extra explosion of overdriven guitar kicks in is sublime.

This is rock and roll and punk rock at it’s primal scream elemental best; fury & rage channelled into a beat-rocking blast of propulsive plasma – a solar flare from an exploding sun.

I am now metaphorically exhausted… just listen to the song loud & see what you think. Oh & get the album too please… it’s on a lovely limited edition CD from Muzai Records.

Astro Children at the Kings Arms in Auckland, December 2013. Photo by Ben Howe from

Astro Children at the Kings Arms in Auckland, December 2013. Photo by Ben Howe from

The River Jones

The River Jones

Saw this Christchurch 4-piece band at Chick’s Hotel last night. Mind blown. If you like your guitar pop noisy/ dreamy/ explosive/ angsty/ sublime/ complex/ angular/ experimental/ technical/ manic/ subdued (sometimes all of the above in the same song) then check out The River Jones and their pay what you like Bandcamp album.

Here’s a song from it called ‘D in 3’. But do yourself a favour (if the description above is for you) and give the whole album a play.

There’s also a pretty cool/ gross video for the opening song ‘Steady Vision’. I like how it subverts all the standard NZ backyard barbecue goodtimes with alcohol and burnt food video clichés to create something funny, disgusting & troubling in equal parts. Spot the cameos from members of Doprah too (the two bands share a guitarist in common).

The River Jones

The River Jones


Astro Children has been a fascinating band to follow here in Dunedin; from hesitant teenagers a few years ago to accomplished performers now. In the process they have created their own distinctive sound and, with quiet self-belief, instructed an audience for it through perseverance and repeat lessons.

The concise but diverse and dynamic ‘Proteus’ is their first album. Here – in the form of childhood friends Millie Lovelock (guitar & vocals) & Isaac Hickey (drums) – is the emergence of intelligent and individualistic talent from the Dunedin music underground incubator in recent years. By accident rather than design, creative communities and spaces like The Attic, supportive live venues that welcome developing bands, and internet services like Bandcamp which provide an effective means of releasing and sharing music as it is created, have all helped nourish an extraordinary flowering of young musicians and bands.

‘Proteus’ was recorded at The Attic by Adrian Ng, another of the young Dunedin music creators, currently in a purple patch with his solo project under the name Mavis Gary, and as Trick Mammoth (which also features Astro Children’s Millie in a quite different persona).

More often than not, studio recorded albums tend to soften and tame the wild energy of a band’s live performance. Not so with ‘Proteus’. This album instead accentuates and adds further depth and intensity to the live two-piece. The occasional careful addition of extra tracks and a crackling live sound courtesy of The Attic recording space acoustics (and a stairwell that lends itself to great cavernous drum reverb) makes the most of Astro Children’s noise.


‘Proteus’ starts with ‘Sunday Afternoon’ – a dubby experiment in echo and delay, sounding simultaneously tribal and playful and a studio experiment taking them beyond their live shows as a guitar & drums two-piece and setting the direction for the adventure that follows.

The album contains the three songs released via their Bandcamp page this year. ‘Jamie Knows’ & ‘Gaze’ mark the reflective gentle reverb washed dream-pop side of Astro Children. The most recent of the three, ‘Nora Barnacle’ was the first to hint at a darker, more complex direction.

Of the new recordings here ‘Eden’ stands out as a perfect calling card for the band. It’s pop and punk, gentle and violent, there’s melodic singing and a bit of yelling, it speeds up and it slows down. It’s theatrical, funny, dark and smart and I adore it.

‘Shoe’ – another live favourite – is thrillingly fierce and rage-filled here. The song packs all the malevolent sonic energy of early Bailter Space.

While the word-play title of ‘Big Muff (Strikes Again)’ might suggest a wry nod to Millie’s much loved Smiths, the song is a gentle strum, reminiscent of fine US two-piece The Spinanes.

‘Yonsi’ closes the album in similar experimental style to the opening track. Two gentle chord strums, like waves or slow, deliberate breathing, under attack from the deafening and very un-gentle crash of drums and cymbals and topped with the conspiratorial whispering of a TS Elliott poem that can’t quite be made out over the din.

Astro Children seem free of the burden of anyone’s expectations about what their music ought to be, and how songs ought to be constructed and played. Combining gentle effect-laden dream-pop with fierce personal punk, shoegaze and, at times, tumultuous avant-noise soundscapes, as if all these things ought to belong together on the same stage and album, somehow works perfectly. Lyrics range from the personal (via the unique filter of Millie’s ‘magnetic nervousness’ and introverted world-view) through to cryptic literary entanglements.

After a recent binge of Velvet Underground albums following Lou Reed’s death, I realised that the same thrill I had from listening to their music was the thrill I get from listening to Astro Children. Rules being broken, conventions challenged, noise and words combined as a form of expression that goes beyond the entertainment of pop music. On ‘Proteus’ it’s the stuff they do that’s so wrong which just seems so refreshingly right.

‘Proteus’ is released by Auckland avant-noise label Muzai Records and is available from Astro Children’s Bandcamp page as a pay-what-you-like download.


OK, I’ve made it to Day 31 of the 31 days of May New Zealand Music Month via Bandcamp challenge. I’m going to pick an easy one to end this run of posts on – something from Die! Die! Die! There was no particular plan when I started the first of those 31 posts. It turned into a process of discovery but along the way I’ve posted some familiar music too. Just because something is familiar to me doesn’t mean others have heard it.

I’m hoping most people (in NZ at least) have heard of Die! Die! Die! even if they haven’t had their eardrums assaulted in a live show. But if not – here you go; something (gentle) from their most recent album ‘Harmony’ … and, after this week of snow closures in Dunedin ‘Season’s Revenge’ seems appropriate.

I’ve been going to Die! Die! Die! shows since their earliest days. I’ve never regretted going to see Die! Die! Die! live. They are the hardest working NZ band over the last decade – multiple NZ and overseas tours, done the hard way. And I’ve found each album – at the right time and when I’m in the right frame of mind – is perfect.

Die! Die! Die! play in Dunedin this afternoon – an all ages show at Queens Café & Bar from 4 with Not From Space and Trick Mammoth – and again on Saturday night, with Opposite Sex and Trick Mammoth.

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.