Chart Disc Vol.1 09 – ChristchurchMusic.org.nz – Reviewed By Joe Dodgshun

Someone, somewhere in some kind of position of power (read; celebrity) once said that children are the future. While literally speaking, kiwi youth seem to be lazy little snots in unhealthily skinny jeans; the figurative cool kids of Christchurch’s independent music scene are consistently proving this hackneyed expression true. Chart Disc Vol.1 09 is an exploration of the latest and greatest rising bands currently representing ChCh town.

Fittingly, Chart kicks off with the side-splitting energy of ‘4 To The Floor’ by rock-heavy dance commanders Bang Bang Eche, who have just recently returned from ripping up SXSW stages in Austin, Texas. Along with their legendarily vigorous live shows and seemingly indestructible pint-sized cannonball of a vocalist, this track is highly indicative of why the five-some are currently rampaging through both local and international music psyches. Weaving scything crescents of synth through new-wave guitar chatter and a sexy bass-line this track incites nothing less than mosh-pit mayhem, a crazy party when experienced first-hand at Homegrown.

Continuing in a vein more infectious than Amy Winehouse’s needle collection, Clap Clap Riot brings an undying anthem of boyfriend jealousy in the form of ‘Don’t Want Your Baby’ complete with worried sounding post-choral refrains of “uh-oh, uh-oh, here we go” being slapped silly with chocks of riffage and rhythm aplenty.

From a band that on first impression seem ready to administer silent death by shoegaze, 2008 Roundup winners The Tiger Tones let their music do the talking, oozing funk after funk ridden stanza charged with key administrations describing affections for the barely legal on ‘Seventeen’.

‘Still’ by the L.E.Ds intertwines curious pop bleeps and dreamy vocals to the effect of creating what I imagine The Dandy Warhols may dream up were they to chillax out recording in a Taylors Mistake bach, followed by the re-emergence of the up-beat thanks to The Insurgents. ‘Skip A Beat’ has class written all over it, drawing on effortlessly ascending vocals and a level of driving rhythm/percussion unison reminiscent of Weezer, delivering a killer love song of guaranteed swoon appeal.

Next up is a short oddball tune from Jimmy & The Beytown Drifters. With kooky lyrics referring to Stephen Fleming and Jeremy Coney, ‘5 Day fever’ initially seems too kiwiana for its own good, but the charming piano rambles and back-yard flavour grows on you with repeated listening.

‘Big Sky Blue’ by Minisnap captures the expansive imagery of a Canterbury plains afternoon in the sun in two minutes 56 of lazily paced guitar led escapism which surely should used in Christchurch tourism promotions to combat Modules’ insidiously good Wellington ad.

Leading into the more introspective end of the compilation, Kimo deliver a smooth, sophisticated tune laden with dusky melodies in the aptly named ’Keeper’, and Chart draws to an end with ‘Scattering The Sun Like Gunshot’ showing The Enright House flexing their abstract muscles with modded bass distortion laying a foundation for ethereal guitar peals in a manner similar to departed Auckland band Eight.

The official ChartDisc launch is on this Friday, the 17th at the Dux De Lux with live performance from The Insurgents (acoustic), The L.E.D.s and Tiger Tones, so head along to check out these quality bands, and keep an ear out around ChCh for the sound of the underground!

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