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Blank Gold Coast Reviews Die! Die! Die! 'Swim' Album

"Have always balanced melody and song structure alongside sheer punk thrash."

New Zealand trio, Die! Die! Die! have been bringing the noise since 2005 but have been relatively quiet since their last critically acclaimed record Form in 2010. Despite their name, the band have always balanced melody and song structure alongside sheer punk thrash. 'Swim' sees this balance tipping in favour of the former with brilliant results.

Opening with the title track, coming from the internet acronym Someone Who Isn’t Me, gets things rolling with short, sharp guitars and pounding drums. The pace is kept up for Out of Mind with an almost sing-along chorus. Things are taken down a notch for Crystal, which brings lead singer and guitarist Andrew Wilson’s lyrics to the fore.

'Swim' features water-tight (accidental pun) production from Chris Townsend (Portishead, Violent Femmes) and additional assistance from Rory Atwell (Yuck, Palma Violets and The Vaccines), setting a solid tone across the 12 tracks. Comparisons can be made to fellow New Zealanders The Mint Chicks (RIP) or perhaps an angsty Les Savy Fav, but a closer musical relative would be Sydney outfit Love of Diagrams with Wilson’s higher octave vocals and penchant for lyrical word play (see She’s Clear). Side B launches into the catchy Angel filled with fuzzed out guitars and topped with pop ‘oooohs’ harmonising the chorus. She’s Clear and Trigger lead the charge back to more standard punk fare before the 2:30 lo-fi punk of Sister.

Wilson describes the album as one of survival and any group still rocking after almost ten years whilst being true to their sound has to be respected. The trio have never broken new ground but come from a strong lineage of much loved but always underground alternative bands from across the ditch. This scribe remembers seeing the band for the first time on the Goldie play to a room of 15; three of those were bar staff. Years later Die! Die! Die! are not only surviving but producing quality records which deserve your attention.

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