Every now and again a band comes along that makes you sit up and pay attention. Last October I was introduced to UK band, fiN, when they were a last minute fill-in support band for Muse at London's O2 Arena. Though not exactly novices on the tour circuit - including support slots for Incubus, Feeder, and The Kooks to name a few - it can't have been easy having to perform such a big show at very short notice (official support band The Joy Formidable had withdrawn earlier in the day owing to illness) and they won themselves a lot of new fans that night.
The four lads from Wandsworth, UK, have quickly become one of my favourite bands, due in no small part to the feeling that their music is incredibly honest. In the era of the dreaded "Autotune" and an increasing number of artists who wouldn't know the front of an instrument from the back, fiN is a breath of fresh air - all four members (Luke Joyce - vocals; Jonny Garner - guitar; Simon Harding - drums; and Kerry Lambert - bass) are skilled musicians in their own right and they appear to have found a fine balance as an ensemble.
Life Is Wasted On The Living is their first LP - recorded by the band themselves, under their own label,Artisan Records, and mixed by Adrian Bushby (Muse, Foo Fighters, Two Door Cinema Club) - and is a collection of their singles including "The Artisan", a predominantly instrumental track which opens the album;"Twenty Three", a stomping track with a pleasantly growly bass line, a message of optimism to Joyce's dad upon being made redundant; "Everybody Dies Alone", a track which puts you slightly on-guard with its discordant start before forming up into a soaring ballad; and title track "Life Is Wasted On The Living", a song about consumerism and the waste of living for material gain, is reminiscent of Biffy Clyro in its attack.
Mingled in with the singles are unreleased tracks and some bonus material. Standouts for me on the album are "Where Are You Now", a raw, intimate piano ballad that will surely resonate with anyone familiar with heartbreak; "The Truth Lies In Honesty", a song about rebuilding yourself after defeat that should have you breaking out into a healthy dose of chair-dancing instantly; and bonus track "5am", a stripped-back tune that had me picturing The Beatles with Kurt Cobain on lead vocals.
This album is extremely well balanced, and almost impossible to define in terms of genre. I can't decide if they are alternative, rock, pop, or just an incredibly clever spin on all of the above. Luke Joyce's vocals are eminently listenable whether he's belting them out or drawing you in on an intimate level, Jonny Garner's guitar work is smart and engaging without being overpowering, and the rhythm section of Kerry Lambertand Simon Harding is slick and solid.
fiN is on the edge of something special and I'm more than happy to stick around for the ride to see where it goes.
Check them out for yourselves - the LP is available as a digital only download on March 25th from iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.
In the mid to late 90's, when grunge began to wither away and MTV strived to find the next easy to access label to attach to new batch of up and coming rock bands, global attention started to shine on the Alt Rock scene.
The I Love The 90s Tour returns to Auckland next year March 23rd at Auckland’s Spark Arena, with a completely off the chain lineup featuring classic Hip Hop crew Naughty by Nature. Vin Rock from the Grammy Award winning rap group speaks fondly of this country and love of our people.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
Anthonie Tonnon is taking his new Extended Player and single to Australia, and to New Zealand towns that missed the first run of dates, or sold out too quickly. He’ll also be appearing at three summer festivals this February.
After a stand of three Auckland concerts that sold out in minutes in January, Connan Mockasin is hitting the road across Aotearoa for the first time in eight years this summer for a select run of headline shows.