Shacklock Meth Party Release Party

Zen Mantra
Zen Mantra

Rhett Copland put together this terrific party at All Plastics studios on saturday night for the album release of his latest project – Shacklock Meth Party.

With performances from the excellent young groups Zen Mantra and Ipswich, Auckland’s former Nevernude vocalist Anthony Drent, debutants Raygun (with Damo Suzuki / Mark E Smith style rhythmic ranting) and the headline act all playing pretty tight sets.

I took a bunch of really cool black and white action shots – which you can see the rest of here.

Ipswich
Ipswich

You can check out a video for Shacklock Meth Party’s ‘This is my Shit, Gwen’ below:

Shacklock Meth Party – This Is My Shit, Gwen

Shacklock Meth Party
Shacklock Meth Party

Die! Die! Die! ‘Harmony’ album release tour

Andrew Wilson of Die! Die! Die!
Andrew Wilson of Die! Die! Die!
With Opposite Sex and Ipswich at Dux Live. Saturday July 28th 2012.

It’s no secret that Die! Die! Die! are one of my favourite New Zealand bands. Since the group first morphed from the ashes of Smokefree Rockquest champions Carriage H (initially taking the name Rawer), the formative duo of Andrew Wilson (Guitar and Vocals) and Michael Prain (Drums) have been pushed the boundaries and expectations of what a New Zealand group can be. Now supplemented with former Mint Chick Michael Logie on bass guitar (replacing the departed Lachlan Anderson) the group are now very influential in their own right.

You can see an element of Die! Die! Die!’s fury and passion in opening act Ipswich. The trio have made great strides in the last year establishing themselves throughout New Zealand. Ipswich have releases coming out on excellent Auckland-based independent label Muzai Records and recently won the coveted RDU ‘Round-Up’ band competition – a testament to their power in a live setting. Their songs are built on jagged guitar riffs and overdriven bass, invoking the likes of the Skeptics, the Gordons and other Flying Nun era groups.

Lucy Hunter of Opposite Sex
Lucy Hunter of Opposite Sex
Dunedin group Opposite Sex made for an intriguing contrast. With their North Island based guitarist Fergus Taylor sitting out these South Island shows, the duo of Lucy Hunter (Bass and Vocals) and Tim Player (Drums and Vocals) varied between primal drumming and sing-shout songs and melodic, whispered numbers built on Hunter’s extraordinary virtuoso approach to bass guitar. I saw elements of old-school Welsh post-punk group Young Marble Giants in their songs, very cool.

You can tell Die! Die! Die! are a very special group – as soon as the boys hit the stage the audience surged forward, hanging on every word from frontman Andrew Wilson and thrusting back and forth to the military rhythm of exception drummer Michael Prain. Starting their set with a handful of older songs before gradually introducing their new material the trio never relented in intensity. Michael Logie showed he’s no slouch on bass, adding huge crunchy, fuzzy riffs to Prain’s powerful beats and allowing Wilson to freely roam around the stage and into the crowd, leading the audience in anthemic chants ‘A.T.T.I.T.U.D’ and ‘How Ye’. The new album Harmony shows the groups continued evolution and refinement – truly one of New Zealand’s finest bands.

See more photos here.

Muzai Records

Auckland-based independent label formed by Martin Phillips and Benjii Jackson in 2009, with Michael McClelland (writer for thecorner.co.nz) and Maeve Munro, completing the team. With a focus on youthful groups and a D.I.Y. ethic, their albums are distributed NZ-wide by RhythmMethod, and the label favours on-line releases through the likes of SoundCloud / BandCamp etc.

The label made a splash in their early days by releasing a series of compilations that featuring primarily ‘All-Ages’ groups, i.e. those under NZ’s legal drinking age – the most visible being Bandicoot and Kitsunegari. More recently, Benji Jackson had a public fall-out with previous label group Sherpa, with the group pulling out before the release of their debut album.

Other groups associated with the label include: Nice Birds, The Bemsha Swing, Cat Venom, God Bows To Math, Ipswich, Psych Tigers, Pairs, Sunken Seas, Wilberforces, Idiot Prayer, Operation Rolling Thunder, Onanon, Mountaineater, Hussies, Cool Cult, Full Moon Fiasco, Roy Irwin, Diana Rozz, Fatangryman, BMX Rapists and Postures.

Compilation Discography
Picks In Bold

  • Fuck These Bands [2009]
  • Fuck These Bands Too [August 2009]
  • Fuck These Bands III [2011]

Contact Details

Website(s)

Goodshirt, Sleepy Age and RDU Round Up Winners: Ipswich

Sleepy Age at Dux Live
Sleepy Age at Dux Live
Goodshirt at Dux Live
Goodshirt at Dux Live

 

 

Ok, a couple of big shows at Dux Live this weekend; firstly Goodshirt returned after what seems like a decade, playing material from their to-be-released comeback EP plus a string of their catchy earlier singles.

 

Sleepy Age we’re just phenomenal in support, playing in a new line-up with three (sassy) backup singers. Check out the photos here.

 

 

 

Ipswich at Dux Live
Ipswich at Dux Live

 

 

The 2nd show was saturdays final of the RDU 2012 Round-Up band competition, won by the talented up-n-coming lads Ipswich.

Only got the chance to see Ipswich, but they were a lot of fun, with the crowd moshing around to ‘Alien vs. Sexual Predator’. Choice. Photos here.

Camp A Low Hum 2012 – Part Three

Kirin J Callinan
Kirin J Callinan

I awoke to a wonderful, sunny day in Wainui. Finally the heat that had made the 2009 festival such a delight had returned, although I was still not going anywhere near the lagoon! I had a really relaxed morning, taking in repeat performances from the terrific Guerre, Wintercoats and a little bit of Brian Borcherdt.

I somehow managed to miss Watercolours (the current pseudonym of Chelsea Jade – one of the wonderful voices behind Auckland trio indie-folk trio Teacups) and took lunch during the mid-day slots before catching Perth 3-piece Usurper of Modern Medicine inside the noisy room. Describing themselves as post-rock is a bit of a stretch, but I did enjoy their big bass-grooves, before heading to the forest where solo drumming-based act Sexy Merlin had a few technical difficulties to start his set.

The impressive Bare Grillz played their repeat show out in the harsh sun of the lawn stage, but it was Christchurch’s Sleepy Age I couldn’t miss in the afternoon slots. A fairly packed room saw the indie-pop 4-piece play a solid selection of songs, including the disco-tinged single Décor (which they’ve made a terrific video for) and a couple of songs showing off front-man Josh Burgess’s falsetto skills.

Prince Rama
Prince Rama

I spent a lot of the afternoon chilling at the camp site with my friends, hearing the tongue-in-cheek hair-metal sounds of Razorwyre echoing around the camp. Wellington’s quirky Orchestra of Spheres impressed with hand-made instruments and out-there costumes, and guitar whizz Kirin J Callinan received a rousing reception to a large crowd at the Lagoon.

As the evening approached I was in the renegade room checking out some quality indie-rock. Firstly Auckland’s Grass Cannons played to a packed crowed; bassist Paul Brown somehow kept playing despite suffering a broken arm earlier in the festival.

Christchurch’s punky Trio Ipswich had to call upon Rueban Winter to fill in on drums for the absent Jamie Larson; which gave the group a sloppy but intense feel. As night fell US duo Prince Rama graced the big stage, playing a very theatrical percussion based set – high on atmosphere.

Crowd for Dan Deacon
Crowd for Dan Deacon

Sydney duo Baaddwere super-fun down at the lagoon, heating up the crowd with dancey songs and a whole lot of cheeky screaming; proclaiming ‘You don’t need musical talent to form a band. Just wear a leotard, jump around and scream a lot’.The Dan Deacon Ensemble were probably the head-line act of the festival, and it was an incredible site watching their crowd ripple back in forth following Dan’s dance move instructions and pulsating sound. An over-excited crowd flowed forward too fast for their own feet, causing havoc at the front of the stage.

BMX Rapists
BMX Rapists

The night was a bit of a blur from this point on – US dance act Publicist brought the trance vibes back to the forest, $noregazZm played an exciting repeat show in the noisy room, as did All Seeing Hand at the new ‘screen’ stage (which consisted of a projection screen backed against the hillside covered in native forest) and I ended the festival with the incredible (and incredibly vulgar) BMX Rapists, and popular hip-hop act Tommy Ill – both lighting up the noisy room with enthusiastic performances late into the night.

Absolutely brilliant festival, I can’t wait for next year.

[Published in the Christchurch Press 2/3/2012]

Miniatures

Excellent shoe-gaze trio formed around the songs of Annemarie Duff (vocals, electronics and production), with Ché Walden (guitar) and Steven Marr (bass). Duff’s vocals (a wispy Cocteau Twins type approach), enveloping electronics and Walden’s guitar engulf the groups sound, with Marr’s bass adding substantial groove. The Christchurch group picked up steam in 2012 with more and more live performances, but sadly both Duff and Walden are now leaving for Melbourne.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • This & That (home demo’s) [April 2010 self-released]
  • New stuff (Dunedin 2011) [March 2011 self-released]

See-Also

Psych Tigers

Originally the solo recording alias of teenage frontman Sam Perry (Vox/Guitar), now a live band also consisting of Matt Gunn (Bass, also of Ipswich), Steven Marr (Guitar, Ipswich and Miniatures) and Todd Williamson (Drums). Perry’s recordings have made a splash since first appearing in mid 2011 – very colored, stylistic sounds from such a young musician, showing a lot of variation and a spazzy, exciting approach to making music.

The Group is now trying their hand at establishing themselves in the Christchurch live scene; with both Marr and Gunn also quite prolific in local Post-Punk 3-piece Ipswich.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Glitter [May 2011 self-released]
  • Crystal Methods single [June 2011 self-released]
  • Baptism (Crystal Castle remix) [July 2011 self-released]
  • Psych Tigers EP [November 2011 self-released]
  • Wake-Up single [December 2011 self-released]

See-Also

Ipswich

Excellent young Christchurch Noise-Pop / Post-Punk group featuring a trio of musicians that are becoming regular sites around local venues. Steven Marr (Guitar/lead vocals, also of Psych Tigers and Miniatures), Matthew Gunn (Bass/backing vocals, Psych Tigers), and Jamie Larson (Drums).

The group released their debut EP in late 2011, and then signed to Auckland-based independent label Muzai Records in early 2012, releasing a live album, then the full length studio album ‘Baby Factory’. Along the way the group were the 2012 champions of the coveted RDU (Christchurch Student Radio) Round Up band competition.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Ipswich EP [May 2011 Self-Released]
  • Living In A Strangers Home EP [November 2011 Self-Released]
  • Live In Dunedin [April 2012 Muzai]
  • Baby Factory [July 2012 Muzai]

See-Also

The River Jones and Ipswich at Darkroom

The River Jones
The River Jones

With a lot of people at the Bats show at CPIT (as part of the Flying Nun 30th anniversary), it was a quiet night at Darkroom. However both the River Jones and Ipswich put on a great show.

The River Jones have a post rock / math rock type of sound (ala Unwound or even Christchurch’s own A Flight to Blackout, particularly in their later incarnations) with an absolutely bombastic drummer and an underage vocalist/guitarist. Expect these guys to make a mark in the future.

 

 

Ipswich are a bit of a rising star in the local scene, with their self-titled EP now available and group playing shows around town quite often. The boys threw in a couple Flying Nun covers from the Bird Nest Roys and the Skeptics along with a set of catchy sing-shouty originals.

Ipswich
Ipswich

Click here for the rest of the photos.

Grand Spectacular: Sandfly Bay, Doctors, Ipswich

Titled Grand Spectacular, Thom’s leaving party at Kreation was certainly an endeavor – 25 bands in one venue over the course of a day. I managed to catch a couple sessions, with my new local fav’s Ipswich playing a chaotic and short set, an appearance from a preppy wannabe gangster-rapper, a new-look instrumental Sandfly Bay (veeeerry slick) and I finally managed to catch Doctors live too, after being a fan of their recorded work for some time.

Doctors at Kreation
Doctors at Kreation

I got a whole heap of photos, so I put a larger-than-normal photoset up here.