Tactical decision

Melbourne-based Tactical attack makes a stop in Dunedin on Friday. Photo: Supplied
Melbourne-based Tactical attack makes a stop in Dunedin on Friday. Photo: Supplied
I'm always excited when bands from overseas underground scenes briefly join Dunedin's underground whanau.

Obviously I love local music to a borderline unhealthy degree, but sometimes it's nice to experience a slice of someone else's local music, and hear something which might be missing from the local palette.

Which is why this Friday I'll be heading out into the heat/cold/rain/snow to have Melbourne-based bands Tactical Attack and Axillism blast their respective breeds of DIY punk into my face in the Pioneer Women's Hall.

Tracking down Tactical Attack and Axillism wasn't easy.

They're currently in the middle of a relaxed tour around the country, "camping and going to waterfalls" peppered by weekend gigs. Luckily they paused somewhere with cellphone reception (Taupo) to enjoy a few beers between camping trips.

"We're just preparing. Some of us are going to climb Tongariro tomorrow," explains Orla, vocalist for Tactical Attack.

"We deliberately planned it so we were playing only on the weekends, so we could go camping and see some beautiful nature things during the week.

"Today we swam in a thermal stream with a waterfall; it was really amazing."

Tactical Attack play what Orla describes as "confused hardcore punk" but she thinks their bassist JJ summed it up better as "the tactical response team for revolutionary surrealist audio assault".

Based on what I heard on their 2016 release Romance Musical I reckon that's pretty accurate. It's fuzzy, frenetic, and blazingly fast.

Axillism is a crustier sort of punk, although vocalist Brit rejects comparisons to the seminal bands of the genre.

"Someone said we sound like Amebix once but I don't think that's true."

There's no d-beat here, but there is plenty of guttural vocals, dirty guitar and fast tempos. As a production guy, I was wowed by the Albini-esque drum sound on their latest and first full album determination.

Because of their brilliant group plan to have the quintessential sweet summer holiday in Aotearoa they've only played two of the six shows they've got lined up, but have already had a great time doing.

"It was so much fun actually, the Auckland show, in terms of Tactical Attack shows, was one of my favorite shows I've ever played."

That bodes well for the Dunedin gig where they'll be joined by The Rothmans, Whiskey and the Wench and Yung Nat$.

"I think you can expect sweet dance moves from Tactical Attack," warns Brit.

"And from Axillism what you can expect is just generally like a big sound," adds Orla, "when I see these guys play I'm able to, like, get into a bit of a zone with it, in my head but still really enjoy the music."

Unfortunately they probably won't be back in the same configuration because Tactical Attack is nearing the end of their four years as a band.

"I guess we're just at a point where we're deciding whether to keep going - some of the members have other stuff they're doing with their lives," Orla says.
"It's also something we all really love so it's hard to say goodbye."

Tactical Attack Axillism Aotearoa Tour, Friday November 17, 8:30pm at Pioneer Women's Hall, Moray Pl, $10 on the door.

For more from Fraser Thompson go to www.dunedinsound.com.


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