Image by: Ngamihi Pawa
Concert Reviews

Concert Review: Guardian Singles offer Catharsis at Whammy

Where: Whammy Bar, Auckland NZ
When: 18 Jul 2020
Etienne McNeill

Guardian Singles headlined on Friday night at Auckland's Whammy Bar with support from Memory Foam and Ripship.

Guardian Singles ruptured the tissue of phenomena for a moment with their immediate guitar-rock, aching melodies splintering against each other played with manic precision.

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All members of the band seemed to surrender to their intense drive, desperately cathartic vocals over a zealous shambolic rock, with beautiful bright guitar suggesting influences of Deerhunter and Wire (It was great to see them perform Wire’s Mannequin with as much attitude as the original). 

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They played with so much intensity and emotional catharsis that there was a distending of time, the whole crowd also appeared to give in and surrender to the band. I found myself paying full attention to them.

Guardian Singles are musicians who really value what they do and have the self-respect to play it to its best capacity.

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Memory Foam played Motorik post-punk sounds fronted with erratic high-pitched yelling. Dissonant fuzz riffs and synth-whalesong exchange feedback. A rhythmically tight punk structure carrying short, blasting creations bleached in velvety distortion. Their songs were all very short, creating a sense of minimalist urgency. Considering that they haven’t been playing that long, their set was great. It was sort of like The Fall’s rhythm section with Tangerine Dream synth-scapes. I hope to see them perform again.

Listen to Memory Foam on Bandcamp HERE

Ripship delivered their thunderous textures of gothic space-punk, interjected with drummer Rae McLean’s spoken-word pieces evoking strange and lonely scenes of post-apocalypse. They played with the one-mindedness of real vision, guitarist Callum Lincoln opening up worlds with his heavy textures of acid guitar, his playing bringing The Cure unexpectedly to mind.

Both Memory Foam and Ripship played with terrifically unyielding precision. There was a real sense of the size of their music, a beautifully crafted and carefully designed thing, but when played to its best capacity could be searing and unpredictable. 

 Radio 13 thanks and credits Ngamihi Pawa for all the images featured in this article. 

Written By: Etienne McNeill Etienne has a passion for music and bands that sees him frequenting the indie gig scene in Auckland. He writes original music material of his own and has an ever-expanding vinyl collection. He works for Real Groovy Records.