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I have witnessed the trio energise many a crowd, from Re:Fuel U Bar pint nights to (relatively) relaxed all ages shows. Koizilla released its first EP, Blunder Brother, in September 2016, and followed it with Doomsurfsurfdoom in June 2017 and Clean the Kitchen, end the world in September that year. Now, after a trilogy of snacks, we have finally got something substantial to sink our teeth into, debut LP Lazy Hazy.
If you had to classify it, you’d put it squarely in the "psychedelic rock" camp, but more in the King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard kind of way than Pink Floyd. They’re pop songs, most of them are around four-minutes long and they keep the mucking about to a minimum.
Instead there’s energy, lots of energy, and some incredibly catchy songs. The album is broken up by a bossa nova interlude in the middle, where bassist Connor Blackie thanks us all for getting this far and suggests we pop the kettle on and have a cuppa.
Music, especially in Dunedin, is often an outlet for negativity and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s refreshing to hear people having fun. If I were to criticise one thing, it would be the mastering. A sound as energetic as Koizilla’s needs a spicy master, and on Lazy Hazy it’s pretty laid back. The drums have too much pop and not enough slam, and the overall master is significantly quieter than others in the genre.
Unfortunately, this sort of thing matters. People might not consciously be listening out for mastering decisions, but they make a huge difference. For example, I don’t think King Gizzard’s Nonagon Infinity would have done as well as it did if it weren’t for its crushed master. I believe Koizilla’s music is world class and I really hope the mastering doesn’t hold it back — it probably won’t, since once I turned my speakers up past 11 it didn’t hold me back. My favourite song off the album, 4am, recounts an experience we can all relate to: dodging drunk students as we make an early-hours pilgrimage to a fast-food place for a salty snack.
And much like fried chicken at 4am, Lazy Hazy is a very satisfying meal.
- For more from Fraser Thompson go to dunedinsound.com.
• Listen to Lazy Hazy or pay what you want for a digital copy at koizilla.bandcamp.com