New From NZ: Power Nap, Mountaineater, Trick Mammoth
Pure pop, post-rock vistas and New Age voyaging await in our latest roundup of current New Zealand music.
– The various vibes emitting from Power Nap’s Eat or be Eaten EP go something this: a submersible yacht voyaging through New Age waters (title track); Kraftwerk starring in a funky Atari noir (‘Night Business’); and an intergalactic bloop convention (‘Abstract Pizza’). It’s all the work of Chris Cudby, half of Auckland’s Golden Axe (so you know his knowledge of classic videogames is strong). The EP is out now via Sydney label Crystal Magic as a limited CDR and name-your-price download. The follow-up to last year’s Just Do It, the label calls it “a concept record riffing on production, each track playing with a distinct process of music-making, from track one’s sample-driven grooves to In-Box VST instrument-emulation net-pop to the tactile workouts produced by hardware synthesisers.” We call it “shape-shifting dag science.”
– Dunedin trio Mountaineater live up to their mythic name immediately, chewing right through stoner riffs and growling bass on their self-titled debut. It’s ominous stuff that’s able to channel Bleach-era Nirvana on the three-minute single ‘Lord of Sumo’ as well as spacey effects and post-rock vistas on the nine-minute ‘Spider Baby’. Recorded over two years by the great Dale Cotton and out now through Banished From the Universe, the album’s just been launched with a four-city NZ tour.
– Another Dunedin trio, Trick Mammoth, go in quite another direction: bashful, hummable indie pop. The new name-your-price single ‘Delphine (With a Purpose)’/‘Pinker Sea’ is super sweet, thanks to the lead vocals of Millie Lovelock (also of the more bedroom-y Astro Children). It foreshadows next month’s debut album Floristry, due out through Fishrider, which apparently departs somewhat from the single’s jangle-pop impulses. Trick Mammoth guitarist Andrew Ng also released a solo single last week as Mavis Gary; the free ‘Home Video’ follows TM’s lead back to the more innocent, home-recorded, micro-label glory days of the ’90s pop underground.