In geographical terms, there aren’t too many places farther apart than Christchurch and New York; neither would you naturally align the confident, brazen New Yorker with the almost institutionally affable Christchurch resident. Musically, however, it’s a different matter.
T54 hail from Christchurch, yet in the music you hear the art-punk rock of the lofts of ’80s and ’90s NYC. The opening track, ‘Nails Painted’, is dark, brooding and mesmerising and ‘Life Is Swell’ is pop with attitude. ‘Kill Red’ cuts a swathe through a host of forgotten antecedents and cheap impostors; if you can’t see the spirit of Teenage Riot shining here, you’re not trying.
But that’s not to say T54 is in any way predictable: ‘O Nina’ is to In Brush Park what Ann was to The Stooges – surprising and thus necessary. ‘Return Of The Worm’ is thick with guitar sludge and freakish melodies and ‘SW Chops’ is replete with indulgent noise. Finally, there’s the seven-minute opus of ‘Biscuit City Sisters’: a collage of noise, rhythms and melody, a squall of sonic intensity and an extended moment of psychedelic force.
In the end, it simply stops, and silence fills the void. This is some very good shit.
Out now on Flying Nun/Remote Control