Release of the Vengeful Millennial

Electro Rock, INDIE, Indie Rock, Rock

Pop in your air-pods and grab your avo-toast, Hazza Making Noise’s Debut EP Vengeful Millenial is here, and it’s solving the housing crisis.

Harry Platt, the face behind Hazza Making Noise, has been releasing a string of singles since 2018. Each track takes a unique spin on re-imagining the grunge era through electronic music. Singles such as Do You Wish To Print A Receipt cracked the algorithm to break into a hallowed Spotify editorial playlist. Regular single release shows with backing band, The Ellice Road Boys, have helped build up a loyal fan base eager for the first debut EP.

NoMoreGaps is the opening track of the EP, and it starts tentatively. A mellow take on the lead riff begins to fade in with samples taken from the countdown self-checkout aisle, a subtle node to an earlier single. The track then swells in with its catchy synth lead and builds to a fast pasts chorus with off kilter rhythms and shouted vocals. “The duelling riffs in the verse is probably one of my favourite things I’ve stumbled into” says Harry, “The bass and guitar really groove out, and the beat just sews it together”. The track continues bouncing between ambient verses and bridges and its “bipolar punk rock chorus” which talks of liberating oneself to all sorts of vice to fill the gaps.

Boomers is Disguise is a punk rock football stadium chant that comes in hard straight out of NoMoreGaps. The track previously came out as a single with artwork showing ol’ Winnie Peters sporting a fantastic pair of Groucho glasses. The track goes hard with mellow verses teasing the reckless pace and chanted vocals of the chorus. The track came from an old flatmate who dared Harry to write a “rock-opera about baby boomers”. This becomes clear in the bridge where the chorus fade back for a chorus of Harry’s to slowly sing the mantra “Blame the Baby Boomers, Blame the Goverment, Blame the Baby Boomers, It’s all their fault”. Its a hard hitting tune, definitely slaps.

After the two fast paced singles, we’re lead into a reprieve with a slightly western guitar riff over some ambient instrumental loops. Harry starts with introspective lyrics with self doubt and wistful thinking of the past. This builds with a heavy kick groove then proclaims the track title, Rewind Time, Return Desire, in true stadium rock fashion. The instrumentation does a fantastic job of setting the tone of pining for a passion now lost.
“How can a treasure become a monotonous curse?
We follow each other’s lives like two satellites orbiting different Earths””

The ambient instrumental loops begin to speed up as a the bass guitar takes the lead in A Ship Came Into Harbour. The catchy riff is backed up by a soft guitar with a delay that almost makes it sound like a robotic cello. The track takes a twist on the drinking game, describing people as ships struggling to retain control in the ocean, holding the precious cargo of their hopes and dreams. The track builds into a big guitar solo distinctive with its heavy delay, which gives way to a strings led bridge with a final iteration of the chorus in a hard hitting half time.

The music suddenly drops into a menacing groove with the same guitar tone with heavy delay, electric drums and a soft piano line, reminiscent of Gorillaz. NoMoreCows is a scathing critique of people ignorant of their privilege and selfishness from a self proclaimed “Doctor Truth”.

“The diagnosis is not looking good,
with medium to high chance you’re an ignorant fool
Roaming around this stolen land,
All that bastard freedom, can you not give a helping hand?
But alas it’s the divine meritocracy,
a product of your own making that you foolishly believe”

The track also includes some self reflection considering Harry’s own privelege stating he is “Riding [his] bike in a tailwind”. After proclaiming that “this race must be rigged” the track drops, and lets anticipation build. This finally drops into a filthy heavy riff which takes the prize as THICCest groove on the EP.

Vengeful Millenial was a switch up from HMN’s usual exploratory singles to form a cohesive body of work. “I always wanted to do a project where each song blends into the next” says Haryy “I like the sense of journey that is created when the record doesn’t break between songs, and there is relationship between themI mean it’s probably a f*cking terrible idea in the age of streaming and the dominance of single tracks and playlists … but sh*t sometimes you gotta just do want you want first.”
Personally I’m a big fan of through album listening. It’s good to finally have a cohesive bit of HMN to delve into. Here’s to many more.

Listen in to Vengeful Millennial and Follow Hazza Making Noise on Spotify, Apple Music, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Never Coming Back – Underscore

Indie Rock, Uncategorized

After an enticing build up for their new single on Tik Tok, Underscore have finally released their sophomore single Never Coming back, and oh boy it slaps like a prima donna.


Unlike their first release Dirty Word, Never Coming Back hits hard and heavy with a lumbering blues groove that finishes on a crunchy chromatic descent. Front man Jonathan Meyer describes the track as a “bitter breakup song that draws on progressive rock influences”. Never Coming Back builds on this idea switching between sarcastic verses and emotionally charged choruses. A soulful solo leads into a fast paced bridge that carries the song into a final heavy iteration of the tracks iconic riff.

Underscore features Hon Manawangphiphat on bass guitar, Josh Johnston on drums, and Jonathan Meyer on guitar and vocals. The trio started playing music together as students at the University of Auckland, and have performed shows throughout Auckland ever since. While Jonathan is the principal songwriter and guitarist, the whole band brings together their backgrounds in pop, rock, metal, and jazz to create the one-of-a-kind sound Underscore is known for.

This track was a lot of fun to listen to, and we’re keen to see where Underscores following releases take them.

Make sure to follow them on Spotify, Facebook, Instagram and Tik Tok.

KITA – Self Titled Debut Album

INDIE, indie pop

KITA is the debut self-titled album by Wellington musical alumni Nikita Tu-Bryant, Ed Zuccollo and Rick Cranston. Between them, these talented musicians have played with such artists as Holly Smith, The Black Seeds and The Bushman. Combine this with Grammy award-winning producer Tommaso Colliva and you have an album heavily influenced by a wide range of genres and styles.

The overall feel of the album is very calm and down to earth, with rich instrumentation, warm tones and a rain motif featured in more than one track. I particularly enjoyed the solos and licks that showcased the skill of the musicians without overpowering the vibe of the track – KITA feels like the perfect album for a midnight swim, drive down an empty street or to have a quiet drink in a dimly lit speakeasy. Almost as though they are aware of this, KITA found a few moments to check if you’re really listening with massive musical moments. For this reason, a personal favourite was River in My Veins.

The single from this album is Everyday, released with a music video one week prior to the album release. The relaxed jazzy, indie pop feel of the song is perfectly portrayed in a music video of slow, dead-pad dancing and soft pink and blue lighting. This track is a great introduction to some of the more complex songs on the album. Tickets are on sale now for their album release tour and I reckon it will be one to catch!

Ministry of Folk – Hoop, Jazmine Mary, Being., Looking for Alaska

Acoustic, Folk, folk rock, Live Music

Artists meet sporadically at the Ministry of Folk to deliver intimate live performances in an old church hall. The audience munches on snacks brought from home, enjoying the fairy lights and ambience. The event is hosted by the inimitable Hoop, who make the stage feel like the lounge of a family friend.

Running a little late, we stumbled through the door at 7.35 with a bottle of what we’d just realised was cork wine. Hoop’s talented and kind violinist Emily welcomed me into the kitchen where we found a rustic corkscrew, and their drummer used brute strength to release the stopper. The band was huddled in the kitchen for a pre show chat; it’s clear that they’re a well bonded and comfortable group of musicians.

Hoop opened the stage like the audience were old friends. Based on the Australian bush fires, Devil’s Choice is a stand out track written in 5/4. The violinist imitated an ambulance’s siren, and the band built the atmosphere with a jungle rhythm on the flute. Nick and Al’s voices blended impeccably, allowing for that classic “folk” sound riddled with harmonies. 

This Year was written from the perspective of a family who had battled COVID, cancer and chemotherapy throughout 2020. The song claims 2021 as a new and brighter year – a sentiment the room was holding on to with hope. It was a pleasure to watch Hoop perform again.

Jazmine Mary and Being. are a duo founded on the common ground of the name Jasmine. Both artists appeared comfortable on stage, drawing the audience in with sarcasm and a genuine friendship. The set began with Jazmine Mary’s latest release Dancer. The track is melancholy and features impressive vocal depth from Jazmine Mary. We rediscovered our love for Dolly Parton when the pair delivered a haunting cover of Jolene. 

Being. fronted the second half of the set. Her music was driven by modal shifts and a precise vocal performance. Count Me In was moving, arranged with sliding synths under a soft guitar. Beings.’s lyrics have a poetic quality to them, as she described the feeling of defeat as “dragging around a lifeless body. Truly, the clarity in her voice held the audience captive.

The final set for the evening was performed by the enchanting Looking For Alaska. What defined their time on stage was the mesmerising stories they had to share. Each song was driven by human emotion; frontwoman Amy told the tales of her late little cousin and a Grandmother who used to laugh so hard her teeth fell out. The duo’s trust for each other was tangible. It was a mesmerising set.

It’s difficult to pick any one piece that stood out, as each song boasted a certain ‘X Factor’. Where Have You Gone was a sultry slow jam with tight harmony that built to a phenomenal belted section. Home drew the audience to sing along and Hey You was a display of love coupled with a drinking game. Each song in the set was polished and precise, featuring flawless guitar playing from Aaron and out of this world vocals from Amy. The duo’s voices blended impeccably.

Part way through a song the room erupted into surround sound alert level 3 warnings. Despite the anxiety the sound always entices Looking For Alaska remained comfortable on stage, and soon had the audience yelling for several encores. I’m glad we spent our last night of freedom listening to such an astonishing display of musicality.

Lucky Stars – Mikaela Cougar

pop rock, rock, Singer Songwriter

Mikaela Cougar is a force to be reckoned with, releasing three killer singles this year alone. Her latest feat is the cosmic Lucky Stars EP, which she hopes will “shoot people through moonbeams, landing them amongst the stars”. Dude. You gotta hear it.

The EP slaps from the get go, starting with nostalgic “grrl rock” single Lucky Stars. The track is moody gold, and it took me straight back to watching 10 Things I Hate About You in the early 2000s. There’s a certain No Doubt energy to the song, but it’s definitely that little bit edgier. It builds through the use of classic palm muting, distortion and layered vocals. It’s a good time.

I Don’t Wanna Be In Love is one of my absolute favourites. It was great to listen to the track again; it impressed me just as much this time. From there it moved into Stupid Love Drunk, which gave me major Lorde vibes. Mikaela’s pop alto shined in this track as her vocals walked the edge of spoken word in the verses. I can picture Stupid Love Drunk being  s o  m u c h  f u n  live as the audience yells the words with her. Don’t be fooled by the groovy rhythm section and fun chorus though; the song has secret lyrical substance. 

The fourth track See Straight is the single that made me fall in love with Mikaela’s music earlier this year. It was just as eerie and mesmerising this time, and nice to hear it in the context of the rest of the collection. The final track Scared begins a little more sultry than the earlier tracks. It’s cool to see Mikaela experimenting with different sounds and topics. It launches into her iconic “grrrl rock” sound before long. Overall the Lucky Stars EP is a really well balanced set of tracks. Mikaela has managed to develop a distinct and coherent sound while still delivering a diverse set of songs; a feat worthy of recognition.The full Lucky Stars EP will be available to the public this Friday, and Mikaela will take to the stage with her band at Wine Cellar. If her live performance is anywhere near as epic as her discography then the crowd will be in for a super fun night. Get your pre Halloween boogie on, and maybe I’ll see you in there!

You can find Mikaela Cougar and her music on Instagram, Facebook and Spotify.

Wanderer – Molly Devine

Ambient, Easy Listening

After years of working collaboratively with New Zealand songwriters and musicians, the isolation of 2020 has inspired something completely different from Molly Devine. It’s been a year of polar opposites for the artist. One moment she was touring the country with her new single Call Me Up, the next she was home alone crowded by her thoughts along with the rest of Aotearoa. Fortunately for Molly she runs a music school out of her home, so she spent her hibernation in a mini recording studio.

Wanderer is about the “magnetism (Molly) feels towards simplicity and easefulness”. The track is a first for Molly, as she wrote and produced it solo. Wanderer comes with a beautiful music video that paints pictures to compliment the soundscape.

Wanderer begins with a sparkling right hand piano line, and twinkling city lights to match. The introduction is based around a montage of busy modern living; a time-lapse of traffic, flight times at the airport, a crowd at a zebra crossing. As Molly’s soothing voice describes a “familiar silhouette leaning against the door frame”, the imagery settles into a warm indoor scene. There’s poetry in Molly’s lyricism. She “loves you like the ocean loves the moon”, drawing imagery from nature to parallel human emotions.

I particularly enjoyed the appearance of classical guitar; an intricate line written by Jayendra Birchall. The dynamic blend of Molly Devine’s songwriting and Birchall’s mystical performance results in an ethereal piece of writing; reminiscent of some of Sufjan Steven’s work. Wanderer is a beautiful piece of writing. I look forward to keeping up with Molly’s journey on Facebook and Instagram.

Photo: Nik Brinkman

VÏKÆ – Finelines

Pop

Born in Ukraine and seeking refuge in New Zealand post Chernobyl, VÏKÆ is no stranger to adversity. Finelines is her second 2020 single soaked in beautiful tragedy. In this song VÏKÆ “explores the way in which human interaction has changed because of party culture and how this can have an adverse effect on mental health”. The song touches on a similar message to Kendrik Lamar’s “Swimming Pools”, with a bleak but poetic story touching on how good mind altering substances can feel, but ultimately that overuse is “dancing with the demons”.

With a voice reminiscent of Lana Del Rey and Sia, VÏKÆ evokes the similar feeling of a message spoken by a tragic hero. Finelines is co-written by and produced by Abigal Knudson (aka Missy) who provides rich and eerie production. The chorus percussion bounces around your head like a strobe giving you the delirious feeling in a club that the song describes.

VÏKÆ’s music brings to light “struggles with bipolar, addiction and poor judgement”. She describes her art as “brassy to purposefully make the psyche uncomfortable”. In an attempt to steer clear of coming across “disingenuous”, her “unique DIY approach” to making music, costuming and directing and editing her own music videos allows her to have “complete autonomy” of the authenticity of her artistry and music.

Vikae will be going on tour with Prins later in the year playing in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington and Ohakune.

Keep up to date with VÏKÆ on Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify.