Sunday, 24 July 2016

Fuzzed Out at Fuzzy Islands - Bozo, Astrochildren, Miss June


If your a fan of psyched out U.S college radio friendly music this band is for you. Yolanda (singer/drummer) and gang offered some trippy tunes their overall sound was accentuated with some tasty snare accents and singing processed through a phased chorus cloud of reverb. Guy also of The Echo Oh's played some concrete riffs and chords on rhythm guitar anchoring the whole group whilst demonstrating some impressive musical leadership. The younger guitarist in the band who plays with New Gum Sarn also threw up a collage of delectable lead riffs and scales that added complexity and shimmering colour to the bands sound. The musical rapport between the younger guitarist and Guy was obvious to myself in the crowd leaning on the pillar at Fuzzy islands. It's always a beautiful thing to witness two musicians in sync parlaying riffs off against each other adding to the bands high stakes performance. 

Another thing I liked about Bozo was the dedicated percussionist playing tambourine. By playing sixteenth and quarter notes on the tambourine as well as solidifying the backbeat on the two and the four this freed up Yolanda to play more toms and rolls while singing. The percussionist effectively eliminated the drummer from needing to play the standard rock drum beats and allowed her to play nice ride patterns and tribal patterns. I also thought Yolanda had a natural and well poised technique with even hitting that mad the drums sing, smashing the crap out of a kit can get rather boring and sadomasochistic. 

The bands first and middle songs of the set I found to be there strongest. One song that jumped out had a great dynamic guitar motif where the band would get louder for a certain refrain with an almost ear splitting ripping apart of the song by the musicians before being quickly super glued back together. I almost forgot to mention the young female keyboardist/singer/bass player who shared vocal duties carrying the band for certain numbers. I found the juxtaposition of to singers pretty kick ass as you would never know who was gonna sing the next song. I was also deeply impressed with the musical low end of the young female musicians bass playing. To sum up a raucous cacophony of buzzy music.


Hailing from Dunedin the windswept two piece were hanging on the walls of Fuzzy Islands pre-gig when I paid my door charge to see them. After releasing their first record on Muzai records they're and their latest release themselves they preformed a formidable set on the night alongside Miss June who played after them. When my friend and I skipped over the entrance to the gig people were still running late to the maxed out show so we dipped outside to get a drink and turned up a bit later. Our stamps were studiously studied for possible forgery and we again re-entered Fuzzy Islands. Dis-claimer this was my first time at said venue which I liked. After Bozo played DJs spun indie approved obscure records before Astrochildren tuned up and turned their lone amp up to 12 for a full on audio attack.

Astrochildren's drummer Izaak bashed on his cracked gold cymbals to make sure they were ready to give way for another night of RockNRoll torture, thankfully they were. Distorted feedback rang out throughout the room like a foggy mist with an amp fighting against lead guitarist Millie. Eventually the amp was seduced and dominated into submission and the songs flowed like a tsunami. My favourite two songs of the night were 'Boys Encourage Female Rivalry" discussing gender issues and feeling inadequate faced by the beautiful other as well as the new single on the 7 inch vinyl 'when you lose'. I always enjoy hearing lyrics from a feminine perspective and also know how Millie felt as men also struggle with identity issues and body dis-morphia. 

I firmly believe musics a sick art form to educate people about social issues, but sometimes it's good not to end up preaching to the choir. At one point I was almost overpowered by the volume of the Astro set and had to stand outside and get some fresh air while being splattered by rain. Eventually I sucked in my guts and went inside to finish off the gig. In all honesty I was stoked to see the droony uncompromising style of Astrochildren as I came away from their set knowing they had given everything they had on stage and feeling buzzed out that new Kiwi artists aren't afraid to be themselves 100%.

It's also pretty obvious now on reflection that Astrochildren are about jarring people and making them feel uncomfortable through music. They want to test your belief systems and the socially ingrained status quo that lives within every member of New Zealand society. Kinda like the first matrix movie I mean do you want to step out into the real world with Astrochildren surrounded by the heaving weight of social disparities or do you just want to sit on a chair and drink beers and not really give a fark.

Miss June: 

After being an online fan of Miss June on the back of their debut E.P "Matriarchy" I was excited to see them play. I managed to make out the whole band in the crowd and it was sweet to see them supporting the other bands always a sweet move. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the intimate glances that the band members would do to each other like a platoon or a militant army psyching themselves up before storming the barricades of the packed house to rocknroll. For their first song they launched into a grunge blast beat after a showy musical flex of virtuosity in a pre-set warm up that I wish had been an actually song haha. Fanboy dis-claimer I also developed a great respect for Miss June's drummer and appreciated his lightning fast jazz chops and powerful as well as unique combinations behind the drums. 

The bands first song really started to get cooking when the guitar dropped with a snarl whipping crash driving the moshing crowd into unrestrained fury. The venue was pretty small for a circle of death but as the set progressed things started to get pretty hectic with myself trying to avoid another elbow in the stomach ones enough lol. The song that really sent people into hyper drive and caused the room to shudder was 'Clyde the Turtle' people were singing the chorus from the opening guitar twang and when the chorus dropped everyone went bezerk and the crowd turned into a raging horde of insanity, well you know what I mean. A guy i was next to moshing was dressed up in a classic punk outfit and he had a kinda of devilish vibe about him, I thought perhaps he was gonna go stir crazy but surprisingly he was quite civil and well behaved in the crowd. 

Andrew from Die Die Die was also halfway up the stairs hanging through the rafters filming Miss June which was cool to see and made me thought man everybody's a director these days and the film is well our lives haha. Their was also a bit of funny banter from lead singer Annabel Liddel as she explained how basic her guitar part is for the song 'Clyde' plonking one string with a laugh. If I can remember the band played an encore with Annabel doing a post-mint chicks unstable vocal delivery on amp after losing her black beret and the set ended. Many people wanted more music but fark'em sometimes you get what your given laughs and have to flog that shit on trade me. 

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