Words: James Frostick
Band image: Joseph Leary
New Zealand’s own Die! Die! Die! are back with a cacophonous new EP due out next month – one born out of a frenzied period of writing and recording with its most heralded line-up. ‘Casualties Of Decades’ is a bona fide ripper that beats and pummels its way into the upper echelons of Die! Die! Die!’s storied and voluminous discography.
It’s been a while since I’ve penned anything regarding New Zealand music. This is no purposeful or pointed omission, or some sort of a jab at the quality of the country’s music (it’s as phenomenal as always). It’s purely my own failings as a self-appointed purveyor of trans-Tasman output. If you’re curious to know what spurred my desire to rectify this disparity in content, its this bit of new noise from Dunedin-born agitators Die! Die! Die!. The band recently announced a brand-new four-track EP called O, which is the first piece of material written since Lachlan Anderson returned to the band early last year. Die! Die! Die!’s early records (Promises Promises, in particular) featured heavily in my personal rotation, and Lachlan’s effortlessly springy bass lines (like those on ‘A.T.T.I.T.U.D‘) were a consistent high point. O was reportedly written and laid down to tape earlier this year in a period of frenzied creativity – a lightning-strike moment that saw the band capture the feeling of being reunited without overthinking or dwelling needlessly on the process.
O‘s lead track ‘Casualties Of Decades’ kicks off with a punishing grind – a concussive battering that lasts a good 40 seconds before Andrew Wilson chimes in with his hoarse vocal spray. The years haven’t dulled Die! Die! Die!’s knack for sheer brutal energy. ‘Casualties Of Decades’ is a cardiac arrest in song form. It pushes your eyeballs in with its unrelenting force. Andrew’s vocals are almost pleading in nature. He seeks to buy a dream, whatever kind is going. He wants to be taught – to be useful. The years beat down and his future becomes ever more twisted – unrecognisable than the potential he once envisioned. As the song breaks down, he hones in on the singular importance of identity when the vision threatens to collapse – “You can never be no-one, no-one can ever be you“.
Strong words to live by, backed by a signature torrent of Die! Die! Die! fury that hasn’t lost any of its potency.
O will officially drop in full on August 16. You can pre-order it here, but unfortunately the strictly limited allocation of Peter King lathe-cut vinyl records have been snatched up (sorry, there were only 50). Die! Die! Die! will also be cruising along Australia’s east coast in October. The dates are as follows:
October 4 at Oh Jean Records, Melbourne (Free Show)
October 6 at Yours & Owls Festival, Wollongong