Archives for posts with tag: surf rock

We can’t travel far in Dunedin right now, but we can explore outer space with Space Bats, Attack! thanks to a brand new release of timeless 5 year old recordings called “Oort”. Here’s “Suns”:

“Suns” is a relentlessly heavy psychedelic monster of a track, melting together hot sparking guitars with an old analogue mono synth to stretch the fabric of space and time. It’s in the same kind of league as those fabulously heavy psych jams created by the combination of Kandodo McBain.

The whole album – recorded 2016 but unreleased for 5 years – is a deep well of psychedelic space-rock, futuristic astral surf rock, and, well, just joyfully inventive noise. There’s so much to explore here, and so much exploratory wigged out energy, insane riffing, and pulverising bass and drums, it will give your stereo (or heaphones) a good workout.

To recap briefly – 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 Lightning 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 is in  Koizilla. Various members are also present in current noisy Dunedin bands Bathysphere and Dale Kerrigan.

Belair Lip Bombs bandcampFrom the bottomless scuzzy pop pit of Melbourne here’s another Mikey Young mastered sound explosion from a band called The Belair Lip Bombs. So far so surf. Their recent three track EP “Songs to Do Your Laundry To” kicks off with “Everybody Cool”, which starts like the ghost of Dick Dale sparring with Thee Oh Sees. But keep listening…

… because, at around the 1 minute 30 mark, “Everybody Cool” shifts gear, transforming from surf instrumental beginnings into a kind of hybrid collision of post-punk and pyschedelic rock which works like a treat.

The Belair Lip Bombs are Maisie Everett on guitar and lead vocals, Mike on lead guitar, Jimmy on bass and Liam on drums. The genre-confounding hybridised mutating sound of “Everybody Cool” is a feature of the whole EP. Even the radio-friendly sophisticated funky soul-pop cheese of the second track “Blah Blah Blah” is a killer mix of Orange Juice and Frente style pop coolness. [postscript: finally figured out what this earworm tune reminded me of – The Cardigans “Lovefool (Say That You Love Me)”]

The trio of tunes is rounded out by the frenetic punk-pop speed-fest of “I Think I Like You” for a bit of a sonic purge to confuse the casual listener even more. It’s like having three favourite new bands on the one three-song EP.

Belair Lip Bombs FB

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.