Published on May 19th, 2006 |
by The Beige Baron
New Zealand has produced some killer bands in the last 10 years. The Bats. The Clean. Superette. The 3Ds.
The current crop of NZ bands — including rockers The D4, on tour in Australia at the moment — have a tough act to follow.
Based on their show at The Tote last Thursday, you got the impression these guys have been on the road for a while. They came complete with a decent entourage of trendy-haircut faux punk fans, legions of scurrying guitar techs and even a Mad Fan who clung to a speaker bin on the side of the stage yelling the words to each song through a big shit-eating grin, reaching ecstatically to touch the hem of the guitarist’s garment whenever he strayed into range.
The high point of the whole night was when the band played a song Mad Fan didn’t know the words to, leaving him to mouth awkwardly through the verses and try to make up for it with enthusiastic outbursts during the chorus.
It was refreshing to see such an energetic, entertaining band after copping so many pedal-twiddling, shuffling shoe-gazing acts that seem totally unaware they aren’t in their bedrooms. These dudes ran around the stage like squirrels on powerful acid.
The D4 play the sort of music that’s trendy at the moment: ’70s guitar rock ala AC/DC with a punky edge. While some bands can make the cock-rock style their own, the majority don’t seem capable of adding a great deal to it. By the fourth song, it was clear The D4 weren’t going to break new ground that night.
The vocal harmonies were great, guitarist #1 ripped off a few killer solos from his perch atop a speaker bin; the band was tight, and the songs solid, but ultimately it came off a little tired and contrived. More Spinal Tap than Motorhead. By the 300th “yeah” and “come on” from the two singers, I was looking for the door.
Their best song on the night was undoubtedly Sake Bomb, which rocked hard. The kids at the gig dug it big-time, which was cool to see, and that means there are at least a handful of under-20s out there who won’t be buying a Delta record this Christmas.
Five luke-warm pots out of ten.
–The Beige Baron