The fermentation of particularly tuneful post-punk and indie-pop in New Zealand is a thing that began in the late 1970s and, unbelievably, has never stopped. Once upon a time in this beautiful, far-off land, punk came to stay (via The Clean), got into the soil, and bloomed every season since (usually via Flying Nun Records, undoubtedly the finest state-funded record label ever). The young Kane Strang is the latest chapter in that story and in his clarion call from the band-room basement, there’s a kind of synthesis of the main musical principles of his homeland over the last 40 years. There’s a campfire sense of good melody, a personability even when he’s being obtuse, and kaleidoscopic bursts of noise, that always pull back to reveal a simple and elegant musical framework. He’s like Pavement, if Pavement ever truly knew what they were doing. On the new single, “Oh So You’re Off I See,” it all comes together in a way that’d appeal to fans of classic Weezer just as easily as it would to some nerd on Discogs scouring the planet for lost 45s by the Clean. I should know, because I’m both.
With Chain of Flowers, from Wales, and Marge. Tickets here.