Sound — 7
New Zealand has been brewing a lot of alternative music for a long time now and to me, this EP is the pinnacle of creativity for the Dunedin-moved-to-Auckland three-piece. After seeing Dunedin comrades HDU play in their hometown, Andrew Wilson guitar/vocals wanted to start a band and many years later, flanked by Michael Prain drums and Henry Oliver bass were off, furiously touring around New Zealand and winning Indie kids the country over by stealth. The jeans may be black and skinny but the noise is definitely white. This is their first release on Capitol Records and boy, oh, boy is it a goodun'. Recorded at Platform Studios in Auckland in just under a day, this fine piece of Indie/Art punk whistles past in just over 15 minutes and it does not let you rest until the last ebbs of feedback die away.
Lyrics — 8
Relying on squalling staccato vocals, schizophrenic drums, jangly, overdriven guitars and throbbing basslines, 'Ashtray! Ashtray!' the first track and lead single off the EP, is a frantic and refreshing rush of adrenaline with Wilson's scathing voice shining through the fuzzy bass and snare fills, screaming Rub your eyes, don't rub your eyes, there's blood in you eyes! This is merely a taster for what is to come. 'Made Up In Red' charges forth out of the ashes of 'Ashtray! Ashtray! '(pardon the pun) enforcing an incredible wave of sound and energy. A quickly strummed guitar intro announces 'Auckland Is Burning' before the drums and bass kick in to create something of thunderous wall of noise. The opening bars of 'Shyness Will Get You Nowhere' come as something of a surprise to the listener with a slowed down, jerky rhythm before kicking back into high gear once again in the middle of the song. This is the standout track on the album with an almost pop-sounding chorusthat is until Wilson joins in the fray with lines like She gave him everything! So why the f--k are you frowning? The pace barely lets up at the end of the song with the quick 1 2 3 4! intro and Oliver's bass letting out an instantly likeable groove for 'Rat'. 'Brat', the final track on the EP, is the longest and by the far the more 'art' of their 'artpunk' sound. Starting with a chugging but clever drum beat, the song steadily diminishes into a flood of wailing feedback.
Overall Impression — 7
Their album(also self titled) is produced and recorded by the legendary Steve Albini(Big Black, Rapeman, Nirvana, Shellac) so fans of his music will more than likely dig this EP. Also see NZ bands like HDU, Bailter Space. The only let down with this album is the lack of variation in sound. Although the 100000MPH songs are fine, a certain balance is needed to make a better album or EP. If you manage to catch their live show then you will understand how well it has been translated down and the furiousness of a Die! Die! Die! gig is well represented in these six songs. Die! Die! Die! do tour frequently and their shows are the best you will see in a long time but be prepared to have your eardrums crushed. More variation for next time huh boys?