Life on the dark side

Dunedin's resident surf-rock sweethearts Koizilla (from left) Zac Nicholls, Connor Blackie, Josh Nicholls. Photo: Julie Dunn.
Dunedin's resident surf-rock sweethearts Koizilla (from left) Zac Nicholls, Connor Blackie, Josh Nicholls. Photo: Julie Dunn.
Dunedin surf-rock trio Koizilla is set to release its sophomore EP next week.

The follow up to 2016's energetic and fuzzy summertime release Blunder Brother, the band says the six-track, 26-minute EP is true to its name, doomsurfsurfdoom, in putting the doom ahead of the surf.

''These are all the doomier songs,'' guitarist and vocalist Zac Nicholls explained over coffee.

''They're the darker songs, the ones with the heavy bits. The ones that moved away from a surf a little bit, while still trying to keep a little surf.

''It's going through the metal phase.

''It's like just getting those bits out, exorcising them,'' bassist Connor Blackie adds.

''The songs are [Texas gloomy neo-revivalists and shoegazers] Black Angels dark; there's some good psychedelic parts in there.''

The trio, along with drummer Josh Nicholls, worked on the songs while on a summer tour around the South Island before fine-tuning them upon their return to Dunedin.

Everything was then recorded with engineer Samdrub Dawa.

''It's more that these are the songs that fit together, rather than putting the time into an album,'' Nicholls said, laughing.

''Also, we kind of like the idea of doing three EPs to start with, all with a picture of my Mum on the front when she was a kid.''

Lead single Yes, released earlier this week, is the first taste of the forthcoming EP.

Opening with a guitar riff that descends and squirms with Nicholls' theatrical vocals before dropping into a heavy garage rock chop, a tambourine soon joins in for that authentic and psychedelic Black Angels nod, your head bobbing to the swaying, shaking rhythm.

Around a minute in, as the second verse starts up, Blackie's bass, punchy and taut, leaps up from the mix playing it's own variation of that squirming riff, sounding a little like something the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea would play.

As the trio enters a breakdown, Blackie's bass again holds your attention with some blissed out and chorused chords, before all three start to build into a fried and freaky circus yard melody.

The EP will be released next week digitally and on cassette through Dunedin micro-independent label trace / untrace, and the trio are also putting on a show to celebrate.

Alongside Koizilla, the show will feature progressive groove rockers Boognish, The Simpsons-referencing and recent Battle of the Bands finalists Milpool, and Laney Blue, a new duo featuring Nick Tipa and Olive Butler.

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