Music Reviews

Die! Die! Die! This Is Not An Island Anymore

(self-released) Rating - 8/10

During their run in the 2010s, New Zealand noise-punks Die! Die! Die! made attempts to soften the corners of their abrasive origins—whether it was 2012’s effects-laden Harmony or 2014's hook-driven S W I M. The changes were minimal yet significant—a period that allowed them to expand their songwriting panache without dismissing their hardcore DNA. This Is Not An Island Anymore, their seventh LP, signals a refreshing step forward in their careers, which sees all of the original band members back together after a decade. Upon listening to the first few minutes, their chemistry is immediately palpable. From jagged, bass-driven scorchers (15 Years) to screeching drone (Is Darren There), frontman Andrew Wilson lets out visceral yet tuneful cries over their infectious, locked-in groove—and did I mention the bass lines are phenomenal? On Vanish, the band finds great precision through their stop-start dynamics and tense, erudite spoken-word reflections reminiscent of Shellac. But they achieve a blistering manifesto that is theirs and theirs alone, one that could only result from their over 15-year friendship and bond.