If guitar rock is dead, no-one told Bad Sav. The latest blast of Analogue Dunedin comes from the band that refused to be left behind. Although featuring Death And The Maiden guitarist/vocalist Hope Robertson and bassist/vocalist Lucinda King, plus Shifting Sands guitarist Mike McLeod (on drums here), Bad Sav are the primary strain from which both of those bands sprang.
When asked to describe her band’s sound in a 2010 interview (and yes, Bad Sav have been around for a bit, forming in 2008), Hope suggested “…a missed punch and a grazed fist. Sad, heavy, unpredictable loud pop”. Indeed, Bad Sav offer a far more guitar-oriented hard attack than DATM; their distinctive filtering and reassembly of influences from shoegaze, psychedelic noise-rock – and goodness knows where else – conjure up a uniquely electrified Dunedin sonic alchemy, bursting with colossal, majestic, melodic noise.
If you could define an emerging band by the bands they have been asked to play support slots for (and we are not suggesting you can), then what would a band asked to open for The Dead C, The Terminals, Sebadoh and The Cult sound like? Well, like Bad Sav, clearly. Guitarist Hope Robertson not only occupied the same position on the Dunedin Town Hall stage as Cult guitarist Billy Duffy but also filled the cavernous venue with as skillfully crafted guitar noise as Duffy.
Bad Sav’s debut album mixes off-kilter earworm pop with post-rock noise and huge soaring instrumentals eminently suitable for soundtracking epic space battles scenes or exploding universes in huge science fiction movies. “Hen’s Teeth” is the first song the band has chosen to share ahead of the album release worldwide on 21 September 2018.
Death And The Maiden are celebrating the release of their 2nd album “Wisteria” by playing album release shows around NZ in late August and early September.
Thursday 30th August – Wellington, Caroline w/ Introverted Dancefloor
Friday 31st August – Auckland, The Others Way Festival
Friday 7th September – Christchurch, w/ Plaines, Motte and Ben Woods Group
If you are in Dunedin but missed their epic album release show at Pioneer Hall in Port Chalmers back in June you can catch them at The Captain Cook Hotel opening for Die! Die! Die! on Friday 24 August.
The band have also just released a video for “Mercury” from “Wisteria” made by Chris Schmelz which you can read about and view here at Under the Radar NZ.
“Wisteria” has been out for a month now. Here’s a quick catch up on some of the responses to the album and interviews with the band.
UK magazine/ website The Quietus reviewed “Wisteria”, declaring it “an album that, at once, glistens with a hearty pulse and drifts further and further into ghostly fog…Beautiful, scary and endlessly evocative”.
The review was by Mick Middles, author of “Factory: The Story of the Record Label”, writing about a band from Dunedin, about as far away from Manchester as it is possible to go on earth.
Lucinda and Hope talked about his review in an interview on Dunedin’s access radio station. Lucinda and Danny talked to Music 101 on Radio New Zealand explaining the background of some of the album’s songs.
The band also talked to local newspaper the Otago Daily Times, where Lucinda revealed her lyrics are influenced by the setting of their home town, Port Chalmers. “I walk around Back Beach in Port Chalmers a lot and that’s where a lot of my lyrics are written – as I’m walking, usually in cold weather.”
Source – ‘Weekend Mix’ in the Otago Daily Times 2 June 2018
The Shifting Sands and their regular visual collaborator Veronica Brett have done it again. Here’s “Zoe” (which is pronounced “Zoh” says Mike, and refers to the name of a guy they met in LA while recording the two songs released as a double-A-side 7″ single).
Death And The Maiden return with their second album, “Wisteria”. If there’s a theme to “Wisteria” then it may best be summed up by the line “everything is wrong around us” from the enigmatic “Oooh Baby in the Chorus” which was the first song from the album shared by the Port Chalmers trio.
“Wisteria” is released in NZ/ Southern Hemisphere on Fishrider Records (distributed by Rhythmethod NZ) and in the UK/ Europe / Northern Hemisphere by Occultation Recordings (distributed by Cargo).
“This is the perfect soundtrack for the enveloping heat of a new season. Beautiful, scary and endlessly evocative.” The Quietus (UK)
“Wisteria” creates a shadowy world within a world; populated by melancholy melodic synth waves, dreamy reverb washed guitars and vocals that celebrate the excruciating beauty and crushing weight of everyday life.
The band – Lucinda King (vocals, Bass), Hope Robertson (guitar, drums, vocals) and Danny Brady (synths, programming) – create a beautiful depth of sound, nestled between the programmed beats, synth arpeggios, hypnotic guitars and a pulsing bass.
Continuing from their eponymous debut, “Wisteria” conjures dreams of love, decay. Sounding at times wispy and ethereal, “Wisteria” also has passages of driving, pulsing cacophony; breathing life into the dreams of the dead.
Another feature of the album is the art of vocalist and bassist Lucinda King, who embroidered the lettering on the album sleeve and the two images on the insert sheet.
Stef Animal (The Golden Awesome) presents her debut solo release “Top Gear” – a concept album of fifteen tracks of op-shop mysticism, each conceived and recorded in one session, and each made using a different piece of obsolete or unfashionable music equipment, resulting in a collection of lo-fi epic miniatures.
Even if you didn’t grow up with Atari video games, have no idea what Acorn and Commodore computers are or what acronyms like PCM and MIDI mean, you’ll still find the intricate universe of sound represented on “Top Gear” to be full of adventure, mystery, melancholy and wonder.
Here’s a short interview with Stef on Under the Radar explaining the origins of her “Top Gear” album.
Élan Vital are playing Melbourne, Hobart, Auckland, Whanganui and Wellington in a tour starting late January. They have also shared a new video for “Dreams” from their “Shadow Self” album, featuring the Fabulous Dancing Diamante Cocaine Horse Head
Èlan Vital – Renee Barrance, Danny Brady, Nikolai Sim [photo by Phoebe Lysbeth Kay]
View the video and read the stranger-than-fiction story behind its ‘star’ at Noisey Music.
24 Jan: The Yarra – Melbourne w/ V, Luodown & Permission
27 Jan: The Brisbane – Hobart w/ The Pits & Hearts Beach
28 Jan: (Secret House Party) – Hobart w/ All the Weathers
29 Jan: Northcote Social Club – Melbourne w/ Second Sight,
30 Jan: Tom Tom Club – Melbourne w/ Embedded Figures & Hex Waves
31 Jan: Wine Cellar – Auckland w/ E/N/T
1 Feb: Lucky Bar – Whanganui w/ E/N/T
2-4 Feb: Eyegum’s ‘A Gathering in the Forest’ Festival
7 Feb: Caroline – Wellington w/ E/N/T
The psychedelic, dreamlike dance video for their single ‘Dreams’ was created by regular collaborator and light witch extraordinaire, Erica Sklenars (Lady Lazer Light). It is a playful, fun video featuring a replica of the notorious diamante horse head from New Zealand’s biggest ever cocaine bust.
Inspired by the ridiculous beauty of the object and the comical hubris of the failed drug smuggling operation, Erica created a replica diamante-studded horse head. The diamante horse head has traveled from Winter Solstice dance floors in Dunedin to Wellington house parties and now stars in a DIY video for “Dreams”.