Archives for posts with tag: Tidal Rave

Our Day 24 song for 31 Days of May Madness, attempting to post a New Zealand track every day of the month of May, is “The Four Seasons” by Tidal Rave:

“The Four Seasons” is a new song from the Wellington band, released in March this year, and following their first album “Heart Screams” released last year just as the pandemic lockdown commenced in NZ. That album demonstrated Tidal Rave do the dark garage guitar and keyboard thing that New Zealand is world famous for really well.

Anyone into those peculiarly dark and brooding Christchurch bands that were on Flying Nun Records in the 1980s (Pin Group, The Terminals, Max Block, Scorched Earth Policy, and their later post-FNR offspring Dadamah) would have recognised the uneasy listening claustrophobia lurking in Tidal Rave’s music on last year’s album. 

“The Four Seasons” seems a step up in the short disrupted year since the album, and the band here sound less like those NZ antecedents, and more like Vivian Girls with urgent its urgent pulsebeat drumming, three-guitar+keyboard density, those vocal harmonies, and a killer chorus.

tidalravepromo2Our day 19 song for New Zealand Music Month 2020 is a song from the recent album “Heart Screams” by Wellington six-piece Tidal Rave. Let’s go with the “Speed of Sound” –

Tidal Rave do the dark garage guitar and keyboard thing that New Zealand is world famous for really well. With three guitarists, and also as many alternating vocalists their music is full of melody as well as the busy churn and lyrical themes fuelled by anxiety and resentment.

Anyone into those peculiarly dark and brooding Christchurch bands that were on Flying Nun Records in the 1980s (Pin Group, The Terminals, Max Block, Scorched Earth Policy, and their later post-FNR offspring Dadamah) will recognise the uneasy listening claustrophobia lurking in Tidal Rave’s music.  Which is odd, because the band is from Wellington with at least half its members originally from Dunedin.

NZMM 2020

Tidal Rave FOMOWellington band Tidal Rave are back with a great new single “FOMO”:

Their EP last year had a churning claustrophobic feel, reminiscent of the dark garage rock of 1980s Christchurch band The Terminals.

“FOMO” is lighter – there’s more space around the three guitars to let the song breath – and the combination of keyboard with those three guitarists brings to mind the wry chamber pop of another 1980s/ 90s Flying Nun band The Able Tasmans, or perhaps even the Sarah Records pop of bands like Even As We Speak.

It has a distinctive Australasian feel to it. Maybe it’s the way we strum guitars down here, but it’s also in that distinctively Antipodean conversational vocal delivery and storytelling from Emmie Ellis, who takes the lead vocal here, and says of the the song “An ode for the excitable drunk who never wants to go home. Maybe based on real-life events.”   

Tidal Rave_Bronwyn Haines

Tidal Rave – photo by Bronwyn Haines

Tidal Rave are a 5-piece band from Wellington. Their first EP continues a grand New Zealand tradition of darkly compelling guitar-driven rock.

Tidal Rave may not have heard of The Terminals or predecessors Scorched Earth Policy who were both part of the gloomy disaffected Christchurch contingent on Flying Nun Records in the mid 1980s. But the music and lyrical focus of the EP evokes memories of both bands.

In part it’s the churning unsettled dense weave of the three guitars and bass backed by insistent drumming with primal floor-tom pulse. Add the character provided by the distinctive vibrato on the vocals – reminiscent of the ominous baritone proclamations of The Terminals’ Stephen Cogle – and it’s possible to imagine this EP as the product of another era.

There’s something slightly claustrophobic about the nature of all the songs and the often sombre lyrics on the Tidal Rave EP which sets the group apart from much of the contemporary scene in NZ. Here’s hoping the worldwide audience for NZ’s darker guitar music discovers Tidal Rave.

Tidal Rave