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New library ‘Wellington’ music on CD & Vinyl: July-Oct. Part 2: Tape Wolves/Mermaidens/The Black Seeds/Too Many Chiefs/Pervertor/Opium Eater

Every month, Wellington City Libraries acquires new CD’s for its large, broad, eclectic collection, and Wellington music is no exception. We regularly inspect Bandcamp, local music websites, trawl music vendors latest releases and check out independent labels like Flying Nun, Arch Hill, Rattle and Lil’ Chief for the latest in Wellington and New Zealand music. So, with this influx of mint music in mind, every month we’ll provide the latest titles and artists added to our Wellington music collection…

Fabric / The BlackSeeds.
6th full-length studio album from the Black Seeds after a 5 year break from 2012’s Dust and Dirt sees Barnaby Weir and Daniel Weetman’s vocals propel a harder more reflective edge to their patented reggae-dub sound. Single ‘Better Days’ establishes the bands trademark sunny groove, but some edgier synths and focused lyrics bring a darker vibe with tracks like ‘Lightning Strikes’ & the political/social focus of ‘Beleza’ which samples Noam Chomsky. Some crowd pleasing familiar elements will always be at play with any band that has been around as long as the Black Seeds, but they can still find nuances in different sounds, elements and lyrics to bring something fresh to the table. Bandcamp’s Album of the Day. Facebook here. Website here.

So many tracks.
The answer to what would happen if you put 4 distinct songwriters together on one album is answered with Too Many Chiefs ‘So Many Tracks’. After a chance meeting in a Paekakariki cafe in 2012, singer/songwriter bandleaders Laura Collins, Rob Joass, Andrew London & Wayne Mason decided to join forces and present a show featuring their favourite original songs, without their usual respective band mates. With the resulting studio album each track features a different leader, which may seem like it would lack identity or cohesiveness, but all the tracks play off each other nicely. Collins’ mournful ballads sit next to London’s whimsical tracks, Joass’ country-Americana and Wayne Mason’s classicism. Each person supports the other, instruments are swapped and you can feel the level of enjoyment they get from playing with each other, and the combined years of experience show in every track. Bandcamp here. Facebook here. Interview here.

Perverted tales of depravity.
Second album from Wgtn’s purveyors of Black Thrash metal. Features eight new tracks, that the band claim as being ‘forged in the fire of alcohol, heavy metal and perversion!…’. Who are we to argue with titles like ‘Systematic Violation’ & ‘Faecal Apocalypse’. A barrage of catchy thrash metal riffs underlie the unhinged vocals that could probably work well as the backing music for the fight scenes in hell’s arena…Bandcamp here. Facebook here.

Tagging Opium Eater as something encompassing like ‘progressive metal’ or ‘post rock’ probably acts as a limiter rather than anything else. ‘Post genre’ might be a better term as the band, signed to Art As Catharsis (the same label as Into Orbit), don’t really subscribe to any particular musical philosophy. Instead the songs on ‘Ennui’ form themselves through shifting styles, overriding an easy definition or pigeon-holing, subsuming genres, metres, keys, & vocal styles into the original narratives of each of the songs rather than being in service of them. With 3 vocalists at play and elements of everything really from post-hardcore/sludge, psych Rock, post-Rock, stoner riffs, desert rock, doom layers it’s impossible to delineate the trajectory of each track adequately, suffice to say that each is challenging and complex and overall its an alum that reveals its musical and emotional layers after repeated immersion. Bandcamp here. Facebook here. Interview here.

Vinyl exclusives:

Esoteric surf trash.
The Tape Wolves second full-length LP ‘Esoteric Surf Trash’, via Stink Magnetic Records is more of the garage -surf-rock trash that defines their sound. Listen to ‘Mysterio’ here. Buy here.

Perfect body.
Vibrant second album from the Mermaidens trio scored a flurry of great reviews upon its release, and rightly so. The tracks wind in and out of indie rock influences (newer bands like Warpaint, and older classic exponents like Sleater Kinney), elements of shoegaze , brighter Britpop, & echoy layers of early Cure’s goth. As a whole the album sounds fantastic, the breathy vocals merging perfectly with the dense drum patterns and creeping sinuous guitar lines, creating a cavernous sound that builds and releases. The precision of the music is aligned with the murky melodicism of the vocals which shift between a intense attack and detached emotion, as they dissect the juxtaposition of animalistic physicality and the sensory experience of the natural, with the pressure of the modern digital world of social media, fractured relationships and uncertain interactions. Bold and accomplished, enigmatic and intense at the same time. Bandcamp Album of the day here. Facebook here. Bandcamp here.

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