New Zealand’s post-punk purveyors, Vietnam, have released their third single off the album, This Quiet Room, accompanied by a video. Many of the members have, since the 80s, moved across the Tasman, to the shores of Australia, so with that in mind, some of “In Another Desert” is filmed in Sydney and other pieces, in their home town of Wellington.

There is the high paced jangle of guitars, matched by the drums. The vocals remind you, you have been to places you never thought you would be, left for greener pasture and ended up in another desert. The lead guitar gives us these most beautiful flourishes, whilst the adjoining guitars build and drop the tension so deliciously with the aid of the synths.

It is such a good single off the album, as it fare flies from the instruments with those gorgeous hues of tone. Shadows from the past, mixing with the reality of the present, incorporating a live sample of a stick countdown, by original drummer, Leon Reedijk, who sadly is no-longer with us. Every time I hear this track, it just gets better and Vietnam are kindred spirits to bands such as The Church and The Chills, and as such, masters of evoking sentiment and memories.

This Quiet Room | Vietnam (NZ) (bandcamp.com)

Vietnam – NZ | Facebook

The label Blue FX Records, released on the 13th of May, the album Dying World by Boston project, Wrong Path. The previous releases for Wrong Path, have all been instrumental, however, this album comes with the bonus of vocals!

Kicking off with the title track of “Dying World” with the driving guitar and deep vocals that tell you no one cares and are insincere because the world is nightmare. “Transparent Man” has echos of Soundgarden in the guitar work and the low tone is almost akin listening to throat singing. I can hear the resemblance to Motorhead in “Mankind“. Could be in the drums or guitar work but there is definitely something as the vocals roughly grind against the music. You have heard “My Way” and now there is “Fight My Way” and Wrong Path are fighting dirty.

Layered vocals echo over each other, in some psychedelic induced episode in “Break Me“. The change in drums grabs your attention in “My Misery” and the whispers wrap around you, trying to weigh you down in the mire of despair. “Breaking The Void” honestly sounds like a belching demon but then progresses into a black mass seance. The 70s is strong in the “The Truth” with those guitar riffs that Black Sabbath could deploy and there is a general fuzzing tone over the top of it all.

Like Rambo,”Meth Itch 2 (The Return)” is on a mission with rumbling rhythms, fuzzed out and clean guitars. When “Death Is Certain” then breakout the Buddhist ohms because that is going to work a treat in this dirge. Oh, the guitar work hear does remind me of Type O Negative in “Hate Within” and a news report from a British broadcaster which is about riots in Russia and it works together very well. “New Horizons” is the final track at a minute long and unlike the rest of the music, this seems to far more electronic and brighter. so maybe there is hope.

The deep rumbling vocals definitely bring something new to the table and possibly is part of the reason this album has a Type O Negative sound, though for me, it is more so in the guitar work. So bring on the doom and gloom of Wrong Path and a Dying World.

Dying World | Wrong Path (bandcamp.com)

Wrong Path | Facebook

Blue FX Records | Facebook

New Zealamd’s System Corporation, first started in around 2012 with Scott Newth, whom happens to be the live sound engineer, and music producer for The Datsuns. He was joined by The Datsuns’ drummer, Ben Cole (The Joint Chiefs), then Andrew Newth (Southern Tribe) and Kent Newth (Rumpus Room). They have a new single that came out on the 18th of April, titled, “The Zombies Walking“.

There is a despair that hits you in the guts. Maybe it is the simple drumming or the strumming guitar or the imploring vocals of Scott, who is asking, why are people being lead astray willingly by those in power?…no will power of their own to fight back because they are following the system. Underlying, you hear the synths wailing slightly for a little before they give up to the guitars and piano in a rising fervour, before the synths return to wind down the track.

Seems to be a lot of Newth in this band but it works for them. I have to say that in a way, they remind me a lot of Midnight Oil or Spy Vs Spy. It could be the whole activist, stirring people up to motivate them out of a stupor or it could also just be that wonderful use of guitars and drums to evoke feelings with a vocalist that is truly singing from his heart. Every time I heard this, I found myself liking it more, so wake up zombie people and join the System Corporation.

System Corporation (bandcamp.com)

System Corporation | Facebook

New York’s, London Plane are soon to release their debut album titled, Bright Black in June but on April 20th they dropped a single, which happens to be the title track. This is all released via record company Declared Goods and the members of the band being David Mosey (guitar and vocals), Jessica Cole (vocals), Bryan Garbe (drums), Grant Parker (bass), Julian Tulip (synths) and Kristofer Widholm (guitar).

“Bright Black’ is at once an anti-war song and a simple, hopeful sentiment or a little prayer to whoever is listening (the universe, the gods, you), if there is no life after death, indeed if it “goes black”, then let it at least go bright black,” – David Mosey.

Photo by Alice Teeple

The bass guitar is huge and underpins everything, while the guitars chime in delightfully. With both female and male vocals, this makes it a little more different from the normal fare and that is where you hear the striking resemblance to Peter Murphy/Bauhaus. The lead guitar makes me think of The Cramps’ dark boogie surf style.

It is quite an engaging sounding track with that tight rhythm section and those wonderful guitar flourishes, though the lyrics are not as joyful. They speak of armies on the march and in the current climate, it is true that we need to find a little hope for ourselves. London Plane seem to have their roots firmly in the fertile post-punk ground, so this debut album looks extremely encouraging as one to look out for.

LONDON PLANE (bandcamp.com)

London Plane | Facebook

Coitus Interruptus Productions have put together an extraordinary compilation of Love And Rockets covers, which includes a version of “I Feel Speed” by the lovely Caroline Blind. The Work Of Sinners, The Work Of Saints, is the name of the compilation, which was released on April 29th and coincidentally, so was a music video for the track “I Feel Speed“.

True to the title, the guitar work drives this along at a great pace with a variation of tone between the electric and acoustic, that swirl in that gorgeous way that Love And Rockets penned tunes do. Blind’s vocals perfectly meld into the psychedelic joy of ultimate freedom.

Every guitar piece in that track is played by Caroline Blind (ex-Sunshine Blind) and she has done a sterling job! She also programmed the drum machine and did the recording engineering as well, plus mixing/ production and moog synths were done by Simon ‘Ding’ Archer (1919 and Red Lorry,Yellow Lorry). The video is an extension of the music and I am very impressed by her ability to ride a motorbike, which Blind very obviously loves. The compilation can be found on Bandcamp for name your price, so honestly there is nothing stopping you from checking out both this incredible cover and others by the likes of Batávia, Mark E Moon, Stoneburner and Psyche to but name a few.

Coitus Interruptus Productions (bandcamp.com)

https://www.carolineblind.com

Caroline Blind Music (facebook.com)

We here at Onyx have already given our opinion of Australian band, Sea Lungs’ single “Lighthouse Noir” – which was that it is a sterling piece of deathrock/post-punk. I am pleased to say that the band, who are with Mantravision, have created a video with the help of Bruce Nullify of Orcus Nullify and Sequential Zero. A psychedelic experience, so get your dark yo-ho-ho on with a bottle of rum.

Lighthouse Noir | Sea Lungs (bandcamp.com)

Sea Lungs | Facebook

Mantravision Productions | Facebook

Things I am not an expert in… how much time do you have? While you contemplate this, I will tell you that Portland band, Supplemental Pills, released a seven track offering, Volume 1, on April the 8th. Never will I say that I am very offay with prog rock, though I have seen my fair share live. The band consists of Mark Folkrod (drums, vocals), Aron Christensen (bass, synth), Joel Meredith (guitar) and Ezra Meredith (vocals, guitar).

There is a bite to the guitars with electronic fuzz on the first track “Run On“. It is like an opus and an introduction to what will be awaiting you on this journey. “Freedom March” has a native American feel it is and also could be on psychedelic drugs it seems. With the tracks “Feel It ” and “Floating Mountains Over Rivers“, there is this yearning for the open spaces, as the guitars wend their way through the natural world, looking for passage to places unknown. “Feel It” has an angrier edge to it, meanwhile, “Floating Mountains Over Rivers” has a shamanistic texture.

What The Wizard Said” actually starts off sounding a lot like the Jesus And Mary Chain with all the feed back. The wizard could be real or a hallucination of a fever dream. It is not often an eleven minute track is chosen as a single but this is the case with “Gonna Be Alright” which is a dirty dirge number with laconic droning guitars and vocals. Last track is “Mary Marrakesh” and this track reminds me very much of the other set of Scots, Teenage Fanclub, with the great vocal backing. I think this is probably my favourite track off the album.

The band was brought into fruition due to Covid and lockdowns at the time, and it not hard to see it has cemented a bond between these musicians.There is a harkening back to the late 60s and early 70s psychedelic rock with the darkness of The Doors pervading. Not a fan of purely instrumental progressive rock but the vocals and heart injected into this make Volume 1, make this genre far more interesting , especially when you can hear a melting pot of so many styles within.

Volume 1 | Supplemental Pills (bandcamp.com)

Supplemental Pills | Facebook

TurboWave is the metal crossed with electronics style that Seattle band, Dual Analog describe as their musical sound. They very recently released their debut album. Lust, Worship And Desire, so there seemed no better time to talk to the two originators of the group, Chip Roberts and Kurtis Skinner, about their turbowave genre, origin story and of course about the new album.

Dual Analog, welcome to the Onyx rabbit hole of reality versus the Id. We hope you will enjoy your flight with us as we traverse dimensions.

You are from the Seattle scene in Washington. What is the alternative scene like there?

Chip: The most popular original groups are metalcore or singer/songwriter acts, but there’s a growing goth/darkwave scene coming up. The climate in the Northwest lends itself to dark, brooding music. Unfortunately, the “Seattle scene” of the early 90s kind of typecasted this whole area it has taken a while to move past that as a city. It’s been almost 30 years now, it’s time to move on!

Let us clear something up. You describe your musical style as turbowave. One of the Onyx cats is called Turbo as well, however he does not write music in the style of new wave, industrial and metal (though he does disappear for large lengths of time so who knows). Can you explain your style a little more?

Kurtis: Personally, I like to branch out to different genres to see what I can do and what will work. A “Dual Analog” song to me would have drum machines and/or acoustic drums, some guitar, vocals, and various synths, as well as possibly some orchestral and sound design elements.

Chip: Saying it’s “synthwave metal” puts us in a difficult spot, because if it’s not synthwave enough, people get uppity. Similarly, if it’s not metal enough, people get uppity. We knew it had to be a “wave” genre of some kind, but we didn’t want to paint ourselves into a corner. Plus, “turbo” makes me think of the Judas Priest record, which incorporated heavy metal guitars with keyboards and drum machines.

Kurtis: We just like to combine interesting grooves and melodies into a more or less traditional song format.

Chip: The songs off of “Lust, Worship, and Desire” comprise just one portion of our catalog; we have lots of different kinds of songs from danceable, gothy affair, to straight up pop. We wanted something that hadn’t already been defined so that we could stretch out a bit.

What were Chip Roberts and Kurtis Skinner up to in the Seattle music scene before joining their collective super music powers together?

Chip: We were playing together in Perfect Zero, but I was also playing or subbing in cover/tribute bands in the area. I played lead guitar in a Prince tribute, which is how I met Libby B.; she sang backup. I was also playing the casino circuit with a female fronted funk/RnB cover band.

Kurtis: In addition to Perfect Zero, I was and still am composing for various independent films, mostly shorts.

We gather the name Dual Analog, has something to do with the fact there were two members originally in the band, so how did you guys become involved with each other and create this project?

Chip: Kurtis and I have known eachother since elementary school. We started our first “band” in 7th grade, broke up in high school, and then reformed in college. We played in Axis of Symmetry and Perfect Zero, both of which erred were melodic death metal. After playing the Northwest metal scene for a few years, we found, if you were a metal band, that there wasn’t a ton of room for innovation; it’s very black and white. We put out an EP with Perfect Zero before dissolving the band; it had just become too much compromise and damage control. However, Kurtis and I still wanted to work with eachother, and we were sitting on some very strong material for what would have been the second Perfect Zero record.

Kurtis: Right after Perfect Zero ended, we got together and discussed how we each wanted to go forward musically. We had the same ideas of what we wanted to make, and so the beginnings of Dual Analog started.

Can you tell us who else is part of Dual Analog?

Chip: Kurtis and I are the primary songwriters and recording musicians. All of the instrument parts you hear on the record were written and recorded by the two of us, but we have some of our backing band members helping out on harmony vocals throughout the record. The live backing band is Sarah Anne Campbell on drums, Lindsey Ferrari on backup vocals, Libby B. Franklin on backup vocals, and Alika Madis on guitar. Sarah and Alika do live backups as well; it’s a really powerful and strong group of players.

Lust, Worship And Desire is your debut, after releasing six singles. Did you feel it was time to put out an album or was it planned this way?

Chip: We had an EP written, tracked, and sent off for mixing, but the person we sent it to for mixing and mastering flaked on us. During that waiting period, we wrote a number of songs that we were excited about, so we decided to shelve that EP and just make a full album of all-new songs.

I have to say I really like the mix of modern electronics with vocals in Golden Temple. Do you have a favourite track off the album?

Chip: I like every song on the record, and they’re all a little different from one another, which I love, but the song I’m the most proud of is the title track “Lust, Worship, and Desire.”

Kurtis: I like some more than others, but I’m very happy with “Among the Living”. It’s also one of my favorites to play live.

Four of the six singles made it onto the album….what happened to Neon Dreams and Wasteland?

Chip: “Neon Dreams” was more of a soft open that we put out to give people a sample of our new project. Originally, I had it arranged with acoustic drums and 7-string guitars, but we decided to do just the electronic version as a single. We had floated the idea of putting out the heavy version for the album, but it didn’t really fit with the rest of the songs musically or lyrically. Live, that song always goes over really well, especially with the guitars added. “Wasteland” was kind of similar in that we thought about putting it on the album, but it just didn’t fit with the rest of the material.

The album has a premise or a storyline running through it. Can you tell us about the boy and his search?

Chip: After receiving an unsolicited kiss from a, seemingly, complete stranger, he sets out to become actualized sexually. Taking the affection as the one thing missing from his life, he devotes his existence completely and utterly to attaining physical perfection and achieving enlightenment through sex. He practices asceticism, studies the ancient, lost art of lovemaking, and worships the goddess who gave him a taste of what he was missing before disappearing. I liken the concept to a “coming of age” story.

It is said that this is an ideal based in Buddhism, and is this a lesson learnt?

Chip: Now, that would be a spoiler.

I also noticed that a lot of the synths create chiming bell like sounds. Was this a preferred addition or a way to tie in the karmaic storyline?

Kurtis: I can’t speak to the storyline, but for me the bells add an interesting organic element and has contributed to how we define “our sound”.

Chip: In terms of whether the sound is intentional or incidental, I think it’s a chicken or the egg scenario. Certain songs need a certain sound, and certain sounds bring a certain song. I’ve always felt that every song we write has a “setting,” some kind of visual backdrop that pops into your head when you hear it. Songs like “Among the Living” or “Pantheon,” for example, feel like a Tibetan monastery. “Dynasties Behind” makes me think of a hot summer afternoon in Angkor Wat. When a certain setting comes to mind, I just go with it and the rest comes together pretty quickly.

There seems to be an 80s retro feel to the music, especially with the synths and the vocals. Would you say this is the era that influenced you the most?

Kurtis: I listen to a lot of modern electronic music, which has a lot of 80s influence in it these days, so I think that’s more what I was going for – a modern version of these types of sounds.

Chip: In previous projects, I always sang tenor. That kind of voice works at times for this kind of music, and you can hear it in a few songs on the record, but the rounder, more baritone flavored vocals just kind of found themselves into the sound. It wasn’t a foresight driven decision to say “I’m going to try to sound like Depeche Mode” or “I’m going to make this one more like Duran Duran,” it’s just that the music lends itself to that kind of vocal style. As we got more organized and focused, I had to get back into voice lessons. As I learned more of the proper technique, my voice just sort of naturally changed. It was kind of odd since I had always tried to sound more like Sebastian Bach than Roland Orzabal, but I like the way my voice sounds now, and I can still sing like Bas when I want to.

What music and bands inspired you to get into the music world?

Chip: KISS and Bon Jovi were the two biggest ones starting out.

Kurtis: Chip was basically the first person to introduce me to music, so KISS and Bon Jovi, but also AC/DC and Guns n’ Roses.

What bands/acts do you listen to now?

Kurtis: I’m all over the place, so this is always a hard question for me. Rufus du Sol is one of my favorite bands right now, but also Above & Beyond, Porter Robinson, Lane 8, This Will Destroy You, Lights & Motion, Halestorm, Dance with the Dead to name a few.

Chip: I’m listening to whatever my girlfriend has playing in her car. Lately, it has been mostly Wu Tang Clan and LaRoux. I’m getting into some Fates Warning right now and also stumbled across this obscure New Wave band called “Zee,” particularly their album “Identity” from 1984. Sounds kind of like Dead Can Dance, but poppier.

If you met Buddha on the road would you ask him the meaning of life, kill him or have a beer with him?

Chip: A cup of tea.

Kurtis: I would ask what he was doing sitting on the side of the road.

What is in the future for Dual Analog?

Chip: Hitting the promo as hard as we can and lots of meetings with promoters. We have a video for “Into the Unknown” coming out in May, then we’ll be shooting another video for the title track “Lust, Worship, and Desire” around late July.

Kurtis: Also, tons of new material, we have no shortage of ideas. There will be a lot of music coming from us for the foreseeable future.

Thank you for astral travelling with us today. Glad to see no one became motion sick or became spiritually lost.

Lust, Worship, and Desire | Dual Analog (bandcamp.com)

Dual Analog | Facebook

Just when you thought it was safe again to go near the water, Sea Lungs have returned with a new single, “Lighthouse Noir“. I swear on a bottle of gin (it is only good for swearing on) that these guys are getting better every release. Maybe they are getting into their groove or finding their sea legs but whatever it is, they should keep doing it. The new single conjures up visions of Sexgang Children with a little pinch of The Virgin Prunes and wrapped in the ever perfectly spine tingling vocals of Lennon, eerily sounding ever so like Rozz Williams. A story of madness brought on by loneliness and extreme melancholy, a heay toll that brings on suicidal thoughts while the wonderful guitars smashing down like waves on the rocks below. “Lighthouse Noir” is out on Mantravision Productions, so we though there is no better time than now to talk to founding member Jarrad Robertson about the band and how they are navigating the waters of the music scene.

Aaarrrghh…. welcome Jarrad Robertson of the band Sea Lungs. Come sit in the wadding pool with our pet kraken, whilst we talk of tales and scrim the shaw with Onyx.

Seeing as you are no land lovers, can you please introduce the crew.

Sea Lungs is made up of Andi Lennon on vocals, Dase Beard and Micheal Johnson share bass duties depending on the tracks requirements ( Dase does the noisy guitar bits too), I play the  guitars and cover the drums (both live and programmed) and Ant Banister provides the production skills and throws some keys in when needed.

Now, not all of you live close to each other do you? How much harder does it make to construct your music?

I’d say it has taken some of the strain out making the music. I write the main composition of each song and then send it off to each of the guys to do their thing. We all just do it when we have time, and with the understanding that it gets done when it gets done. That takes any pressure out of trying to create something to fit a deadline. It would be nice to get in a room and hash them out though at some point. Micheal and I live 10 minutes from each other, yet due to recent lockdowns and family commitments we haven’t really had much of a chance to jam.

You are all in the darker alternative scene, so how did Sea Lungs come to fruition?

In early 2020 as lockdowns were beginning and live music stopped I decided to record some stuff at home, as countless others did. But it was a bit unsatisfying so I reached out to people I’d met while gigging with my previous band and asked for help to fill the songs out. Apart from Micheal, I’ve only ever met the other members once or twice so it felt like a long shot. Luckily everyone I asked said yes and now we have my perfect lineup. The bands we are all from make music very different to the SL stuff so it’s a place to experiment.

Sea Lungs is a rather curious moniker and I am wondering how did you decide upon it?

Like so many band names I borrowed it from a song title. It’s the name of my favorite Baroness track. But it felt right in what I wanted the project to represent. At the time when the idea for this project first popped into my head I was going through a rough patch with my mental health. I found that seeing the ocean, even if just from my car while driving home, would clear my head and allow me to breathe. So it just fit. When I started writing with Andi, without me telling him the name, he took the lyrics in a nautical direction so it seemed it was destined to stick

Your latest single is Lighthouse Noir, which is a rollicking and crazed sea shanty. Between the guitar work and Andi’s vocals, this is a hybrid beastie, a cross between Sexgang Children and Virgin Prunes with that sing song manner at times. How did the band go about writing this little epic?

The main guitar part for the song was a kind of guitar warm-up, or even subconscious tick kind of thing. I’ve been playing it for years just as a thing I do everytime I pick up my guitar. Anyway I got a new guitar pedal and as soon as I played the warm-up it just sounded like something from an old mystery film. After fleshing it out I got the mental image of a thriller set at a lighthouse. This is the only time I’ve actually passed an idea for a narrative on to Andi and he dived on it. He is a master at spinning tales and the lighthouse idea was definitely in his hitting zone.

The artwork for Lighthouse Noir is bloody awesome. Bilge away and tells us who created this masterpiece?

An artist called Nikko who I’ve had a few dealings with now drew this up for us. He does amazing work and I could not be happier with it. I said ‘hey, can you do a lighthouse?’ and that was the total of my input. With just that tiny bit of info He ran with the idea and nailed it. He can be found at @nikko_s_den on Instagram for more info.

Your previous single Piss Up A Rope is a far different creature, bringing attention to how very few take advantage of the many. Can you tell us a little more about this premise?

Again, Andi has to take all the credit for this. We like to look at the idea of Empires, both past and present. While these days there is less of conquering foreign lands and taking colonial possessions, there are still empires being built at the expense of the masses. It unfortunately seems that now we willingly provide the means for these billionaires to do as they please and applaud them for it. But a tech giant taking all of your information and selling it or a multinational crushing small business should not be idolized. There is no comparison to the atrocities of historical empire building, but I’m sure horribly exploited workers the world over may see some parallels.

With three singles released, are you guys looking to keep going this way or release these tracks on an EP or album?

The goal is definitely to release something in a longer format and to get something physical out into the world. That’s hopefully in the works for later in the year.

Mantravision is the label Sea Lungs is with and Ant Banister also does the producing, mixing and mastering, which may we say is excellent and with that in mind, how did you get involved with Ant and Mantravision?

-I have only met Ant once when his band Sounds Like Winter (which also features Andi) came to Melbourne and played on a lineup with my previous band. We got chatting and liked each other’s music. After I decided to begin Sea Lungs his name was top of my list to collaborate with. Luckily he liked the demos I sent him, or he has been too polite to turn me down so far.

So is music for you a more political thing or just whatever inspiration hits you with?

Andi and I both share a love of History and take a huge amount of our inspiration and ideas from it.  And the most fascinating parts are usually the most horrible. I think it’s a very common human trait to be drawn to diabolical tales, viewed from far enough away to not get blood on your shoes. There is no joy to be taken from it, it’s more just finding out what our species have been capable of and hoping we don’t repeat the horrors. And it seems that all of it has political ties so I guess it’s unavoidable.

I’ve always thought music should be a bit dangerous, a little uncomfortable. If you can listen to an album and not be left with questions or have been shifted in some way then what is the point? We aren’t necessarily making any blunt political points with our music but there are morals, like any good tale. How would a person react to the isolation of a lighthouse keeper’s work? Or in the case of “Piss up a rope”, how much wealth is enough, and at what or who’s expense?

Will we be getting a tale of swashbuckling pirates? Nay we do not want it but rather need it!

-I’m sure at some point there will be a mention of pirates, but probably not in a positive light. The romanticised idea we see of pirates from the age of sail is pretty far removed from reality. That being said my kids would love it, so maybe if this project fails and I move into children’s entertainment.

What music influences do each member bring with them?

One of my favourite things about Sea Lungs is the varied musical backgrounds we come from. Although we all kind of meet on the post-punk front we have all done very different things previously. Andi brings the Death-rock and punk vibes. Dase has played noise rock, post-hardcore, doom and sludge. Dase and Micheal both go pretty far down the experimental noise rabbit-hole too. Most of my influence is drawn from grunge, alt rock and a bit of metal so I guess when we throw it all together it makes for an interesting brew. Ant, besides being a local post-punk hero,  loves all things synth and electronic so I’m trying to lead him astray by giving him heavier music to work on. But there is a strict no synths policy in Sea Lungs.

Do you think at some point you will all get together to do some live gigs?

We are currently working out when that will be possible. It’s definitely going to happen, it’s just a matter of maybe outsourcing parts to people based in Melbourne or Sydney if we can’t all get together. But it will happen.

Speaking of live gigs, all of you are in other bands. How has covid affected your ability to play live and be creative in your other projects?

For me it stopped me in my tracks completely.  Pigs of the Roman Empire released an EP just as the lockdown began but never got to launch it live. Not long after due to expanding families and work/ life balance we decided to call it quits. The last gig I played was in November 2019, which was the gig I met Ant and Andi at. Those guys are back playing shows with their band Sounds Like Winter which is great, and Dase is playing shows occasionally too, but for 2 years in Melbourne at least the live scene was dead. It’s regaining some momentum now but everyone is kind of holding their breath a little.

If you could be any famous seafarer (real or fantasy) who would it be?

While the idea of sailing the world is captivating, from everything I’ve read it is also terrifying and was for the most part extremely dangerous for numerous reasons. I’m not sure I’d be cut out for it. I think leading an expedition in the age of exploration, like Magellin or Drake, would have been quite an experience, but these voyages usually came at the cost of hundreds if not thousands of lives.

What will the seafaring Sea Lungs be getting up to in the future?!

Writing and recording more tracks. We have a few up our sleeves that we will be working on for a physical release in the next few months. Other than that just trying to stay as active in the musical landscape as possible.

Avast ye salty dog. Thank you for swabbing the decks so to speak young Jarrad and giving us insight into Sea Lungs. The kraken enjoyed very much nibbling at your toes and don’t trust the mermaids on your way out! Crafty wenches they be.

Music | Sea Lungs (bandcamp.com)

Sea Lungs | Facebook

Mantravision Productions | Facebook

New Zealand in the 80s, among its many acts, had Vietnam, who were active from 1981-85 and are back after a long hiatus, with a new album called This Quiet Room. Previously they had released their debut, self titled album back in 1985, so this makes This Quiet Room their second album ever, making it a long time between drinks but some things are worth waiting for. The guys are older, maybe a little more world savvy but still full of passion. Making up the band are Shane Bradbrook (vocals), Cranston Brecht (guitar), Barn Coren (guitar), Geoff Lerwill (keyboards, piano, organ), Joe Neufeld (drums, backing vocals) and Adrian Workman (bass, bass VI, guitar, modular synths, piano, backing vocals).

All up there are 12 tracks for your listening pleasure here…. well 11 as “Leon” is this odd bridging piece of what sounds like an audience in a pub. “In Another Desert” sets the whole tone really, where the raucous pace picks you up and those wonderful guitar lines ring out at you. I hear lots of influences within, such as the Billy Bragg like “I Once Said“, and a cover of “Kidney Bingos” by Wire, which also has a Johnny Marr edge to it. Magazine could have written “What Have I Done“, which is also one of my favourites, and the reflective “Do It for You” and “It’s All Around“, with its swelling chorus. There is the much more poppy “Always Hotels” and at the other side of the spectrum is the almost darkwave “Whispers To Ignore”. The plinking bar piano and smoky ambiance of “Lost In The Flame” could be Portishead, while the ghost of Australian band Hunters And Collectors inhabits “Truth Vs Love“. It is actually the last song on the album that is the latest single, called “Where Is My Happiness?“. A lament about being let down by those that never should, and yet the the guitars are light in opposition to the lyrics.

Australian and New Zealand music scenes in the late 70s and early 80s were very intertwined. There was the very Antipodean sound coming out of the post-punk purveyors of the time, with bands traveling the Tasman Sea to tour and many New Zealand bands eventually settling in Australia. At a time when most bands were coming from the South Island, giving rise to the Dunedin Sound, Vietnam were from Wellington on the North Island. Obviously in the 80s, the members of Vietnam were unable to keep the band together at the time but now, post-punk is seeing a great revival (though for some of us it never went away) and many great bands of the period are seeing people take interest in their music again, making it easier to reach an audience. This Quiet Room has the wonderful jangle and exploding with dark exuberance. The atmosphere created by Vietnam NZ is joyous nihilism with good solid songwriting and years of honed practice. Have a beer, a dance and turn up This Quiet Room.

https://vietnamnz.bandcamp.com/album/this-quiet-room

https://www.facebook.com/VietnamBandNZ/