NZ Punk Releases of 2020 Reviews


DARTZ — “High at the Beach” Single

Wow! Does NZ music require being insufferably mellow with good vibes aching over corny bass riffs all the time, or is it just symptomatic of boredom? Wellington fucking sucks. I like pop music and I like punk music but I can only imagine this is fun live with ya mates dancing and at the back of your mind you’re just descending into a constant spiral focusing purely on the durry you’re gonna smoke in between sets. I can see people enjoying this kind of jam, and I’m sure they do like it, but there’s one too many of these corny songs about idleness and they’re only good when they mention wanking. You lose points for not having a J. Arthur Rank or an Arthur J. Frank cos frankly any song that features the lyric “mental health” is horrific, and that’s especially the case if you mention having mates. No one cool has ever had friends. You can hardly notice that dude’s atrocious art style in the album art, so that’s a plus.

Arsehuffer — “EP 2020” EP

Hell yeah. Anything that sounds like SEPTIC DEATH is gonna be somewhat decent even if it’s bastardized with a facile attempt at shoving local kiwi audio culture right into it. The first track samples the sound of a guy screaming from some fucking mid-2000s ad for a breakfast cereal or possibly LCMs, and there’s another sample of weird accented British cunts saying incomprehensible liturgy in the Queen’s English — That shows a refined taste of culture matching even the most inscrutable of listeners. The blast beats followed with ayayayayas are good and short and sweet. What a god-proven perfect format. A mutated Midas touch with a fist full of gruel I reckon. Do we have enough grindcore records? I don’t think so pal.

Piss Shop Boys — “Public Freakout” EP

I despise pun band names but the exception makes the rule and I guess ‘PISS SHOP BOYS’ is OK as far as respectful impressions go. I like when rhythms are done badly and can’t seem to keep in time because that’s a skill I can’t do and I can do-like. This is amplified with a worthy jam including one guitar and drums and vocals. Easy. On the other hand faking American accents is tres whack cos you guys (in the country) need to embrace your god-awful accent. Punk is about hitting people with chains and shoplifting from record stores so this is in due course of ‘good’! Self-abasement rules. Listen to this record of you resent yourself.


FLIPPER mastered and even maybe coined the laughing as hack word lyric thing, but laughing through a trick is a decent song. Nice try! My favorite is ‘Thanks and Gratitude’ though. I can’t tell if the gang vocals do nice with the descending riffs but it grooves and feels fun. Unfortunately there’s another ‘friend’ themed track. Who cares? Oh well. Other than that I don’t have a clue what the fuck any of these songs are about, which is probably a good thing cos I doubt anyone from Christchurch has anything good to say.

Happy Valley — “Triptych” EP

I feel extremely bizarre reviewing this EP since I was ‘almost’ in this band, and was in SICARI with the guitarist Jack Flude. But I obviously am going to like this record at least a little. The track I dig the most is 150319 which when I search on Google shows up a drainable urine collection bag (the Bard Dispoz-A-Bag Leg Bag With Flip-Flo Valve) so I got no idea what that could possibly be about. There are lots of quiet and then loud parts on this record, and angsty Screamo typical of angsty Screamo. They rock live though, particularly this MCR cover that they played in my former stomping grounds/lounge in Hataitai. Ignoring the nerdy EP name and the album art depicting Jacinda Ardern sitting fuck off in the middle of some German urban nightmare, this record is good. I like it. Also there’s some lyrics in Te Reo which is pretty cool. Anyway this review feels incredibly disingenuous because fuck me if I write anything remotely nasty about my mates. And fuck me too if there isn’t get another ‘friend’ related track here. I’m assuming it’s about me exclusively.

There’s a Count Your Lucky Stars Records-esque monologue intro-ing this first track, which isn’t done insufferably even if it follows the most dramatic quiet drum fills of all time reminding me of Screamo that sounds like atmospheric ‘Worship music’ for some reason. But this style of music is all about sincerity even if the band doesn’t take itself as seriously as say other post-hardcore bands or some such shit.

Unruly — “Unruly” Album

This record sounds like your run of the mill sludge but ‘blackened’ with the attempt of making you want to shit yourself, I guess. The band are named after, and have a song on this record about this fucking kick ass Roma family that left a trail of fear and destruction travelling through NZ in the Summer of 2018 and who I have nothing but respect and utter admiration for. I’m half Romanian and the blood in my veins just wants to fuck off baristas and poncy / yuppie restaurant owners so spot fucking on. The record art looks like a close up photo of salami, which was probably intended to look like something gory and fucked up. I haven’t really written that much about the music but it’s sludge stoner doom so there really isn’t that much to say and I’m a hack reviewer. Listen to it if you like sludge stoner doom and albums that go on for fucking ever.

Carradine Choke — “Planet Fatigue” Album

First things first the art clearly resembles DISGRACE TO THE CORPSE OF SID by SORE THROAT which is cool. There’s a track about that cunt Brian Tamaki, which is definitely an under explored hilarious topic in art and music in general. The dude blamed the 2016 earthquake on ‘sexual perversions’ (gays) which is pretty great for me since the quake happened right as I was about to jerk off. What a dreamboat. The drums on this record stand out particularly in Germs in which they sound great. The music seems harsh but in a way that isn’t at all corny. Good.

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