Proving that punk isn’t just about buzzsaw guitars, the Wax Chattels channel the spirit of seminal acts like Suicide on this splendidly splenetic slice of abrasive electronic bedlam.
The Deep Set is unmistakably a Bats album, stacked with their now trademark jangle-y pop. As singer-guitarist Robert Scott notes: “We don’t want to reinvent the wheel.”
Why would they? Formed in 1982 in the aftermath of the first break-up of The Clean, The Bats have quietly established themselves as one of Flying Nun’s best known acts and have retained the same line-up of Scott, Kaye Woodward (guitar), Paul Kean (bass) and Malcolm Grant (drums) throughout their 30 year plus existence.
Below, Scott talks about the secret of The Bats’ longevity and why they are unlikely to do a leftfield turn and make a reggae album.
Although it does include two new originals, Bic Runga’s latest album is pretty much a covers record in which she pays tribute to some of her favourite artists and songs.
Beastwars’ famous mantra has always been “obey the riff”. That hasn’t changed on their third LP, the suitably apocalyptic The Death Of All Things. However, frontman Matt Hyde acknowledges that there is more to their new album than just monster riffing.
“We definitely wanted to go to the ‘quiet/loud’ spectrum,” he tells us over the phone from their band’s hometown in Wellington. “We wanted to experiment, we wanted to come out of our comfort zone and we wanted to take risks. And I think we pulled off – I think we made a great record, with different sounds and different feels all through it.”
After battles with his health and a stuttering musical career over the past two decades, Martin Phillipps is back with a settled The Chills line-up and a brand new album Silver Bullets, which has received rave reviews both here and abroad.
In this extended Q&A, Phillipps takes us through his new album, explains why he is now more comfortable tackling political themes in this lyrics and reflects on his status as an elder statesman of the Flying Nun scene.
Picture a New Orleans street brass band, in which a bass clarinet player and a trumpeter are so lost in the music that they fail to notice that have taken a wrong turn and are now separated from the rest of their fellow musicians. But when they do belatedly realise what’s happened, they play on regardless, this time marching to their own tune…
With his dance and theatre work, bands such as Motocade and The Mots and his solo career, Eden Mulholland is no stranger to the art of multi-tasking. But for his latest Hunted Haunted, he decided to share the load a little: it’s the first time he was worked with an outside producer, New York-based Victor Van Vugt, whose credits include Nick Cave and PJ Harvey.
“I felt like I needed to break out my own tendency to do things the same way,” the Brisbane-based singer-songwriter explains on a visit to Auckland to oversee his latest theatre production with the New Zealand Dance Company, Lumina. “It was quite challenging because Victor had his own ideas. But it really opened my eyes and it was quite a wonderful experience. Part of the great new energy that I think has made it to the record are other people’s ideas, which is really cool.”
When a band has been together for more than 15 years – more in the case of The Phoenix Foundation if you count their high school beginnings – it’s not surprising that for their sixth studio album Give Up Your Dreams, lead songwriters Samuel Flynn Scott and Luke Buda have been looking back and doing a bit of soul-searching.
And with songs that reflect on the ageing process and whether it is even worth continuing being in a band, you could be forgiven for thinking that their new album might be a bit of a downer. But while it might touch on some gloomier themes, Buda maintains Give Up Your Dreams is still an uplifting affair –“it’s party music but it’s pretty depressing,” he quips! – partly because the band adopted a more collaborative approach on this record.
The cover art actually best sums up the transformation Princess Chelsea has undergone since her superb debut Lil’ Golden Book. Whereas her 2011 offering depicted her as a slighted unhinged-looking fairytale heroine, on her latest The Great Cybernetic Depression she looks more like an elegant extra from an 80s synth pop music video.
This Kiwi trio – who divide their time between New Zealand, New York and Paris – are technically purveyors of club music, but there is not a lot in the way of big bangers.