Sound — 8
Boom! This is one hell of a record from the Auckland boys who promised to take the world by stealth. And take it they have. Having already released a stellar EP and album on Capitol Records, the trio of young rebels (Andrew Wilson-guitar/vocals, Henry Oliver Bass, and Michael Prain Drums) changed to Tardus Music and spat out this little gem. Four tracks of blistering and burning artpunk mixed with hints of pop that leave you so close to believing it might even be played on late night C4TV. The band have been touring non-stop around the and even performed at the legendary SXSW in 2005, being penned one of the top ten acts to see at the U.S festival. The years passed have also seen them finish a residency at the Rainbow in New York, take London's Barfly by storm not to mention tear it up in their home country of New Zealand. I've said it before and I'll say it again: this is one of the best bands you will see live ever.
Lyrics — 9
Expectations were high for Locust Weeks, an Australia and NZ only EP, and the hype has certainly paid off this time. Kicking off with the ruckus stomp 'I Wanna'. It takes us through a 55 second intro before the chiming guitar dies and Andrew joins us with his scathing vocal talent. The rhythm section is solid as per usual with Henry's bass providing a cool pulse over the ricocheting drums. This is the closest thing you will get to pop on this record and it doesn't disappoint. Second track 'Drop Off' dawns upon the listener with fragmented samples of synth before the trademark frenzy of bass and drums that leads into a chugging soundtrack-to-the-end-of-the-world style chorus. Sadly this is the worst track on the EP. That doesn't mean it's not very good, but the formula could have been improved. Next up is Untitled (whether this is the name of the song or it just doesn't have a name I don't exactly know), a sub-minute rocket of a song that provides a driving, repetitive middle section that sees Wilson ranting: You don't want a lover, you just wanna love her. Keeping up with the speed of this disc is hard, because as soon as the last lyrics of Untitled drift away you can hear the next song and latest single 155 (written about a flat in Auckland) rising up from the speakers of your stereo. There is a simple reason as to why this is the single: it is the best damn Die! Die! Die! song ever! The inventive drum rhythm provides a solid platform for Oliver's stoic bass riff and Andrew's two chord guitar progression. This is also the catchiest, lyrically speaking, single they have released. For an example, at a recent gig the whole audience were shouting along with the singer's cry of Bad Company! Bad Company! Bad Company! '155' sends a message to all the musically complex bands out there: You don't need a massive guitar riff to make a chorus sound great.
Overall Impression — 7
A fantastic EP, a massive step forward from their self titled effort in 2003. 'Drop Off's' drabness is the only let down but we will certainly see them powering forward into underground stardom. The jeans may be black but the noise is definitely white, and remember: best played loud.