Review Summary: Get up, the party’s over now
Blu Fish had a gig to celebrate the release of their debut EP Shments
on the 29th of November. They’re friends of mine, so of course I was going, and of course I was going to buy their CD (I forgot to buy their CD), and of course I was going to get uncharacteristically hyped up during their set. For this was a particularly special set - not just because they were finally getting the recognition they deserve, but because they were also probably a little tipsy and unintentionally playing lead single “The Party” as fast as they possibly could. After some intensive 32-note drum fills and deafening reverb sent an explosive coda roaring across the finish line, drummer/vocalist Cameron McCurdy looks to the crowd of friends and family and fans, and gasps out a single sentence.
“These drumsticks are really heavy.”
I have no idea how to write a semi-professional review about my friends’ work. If I was feeling cheeky, I’d write that Shments
is the best concept album about a house party to come out of New Zealand since Lorde’s Melodrama
(which is true). If I was adhering to a more objective critical template, I would be analysing their recipe of indie rock with a pinch of surf and a twang of Melody’s Echo Chamber-psychedelia. There’s a good amount to unpack in the lyrics, dedicated to destroying suburban doldrums, social anxiety and “filthy rich boomer’s advice.” Each track follows a similar trend of descending chord patterns and jet-fuelled instrumental codas, yet they’re all subtly proficient enough in their instrumentation to dissuade any sense of formula. At the end of the day it’s serviceable, catchy indie rock bolstered by a self-aware wit and a lack of pretension.
is relatively low-stakes, to the point where it can’t even be bothered spelling out the “establishments” it’s fighting fully. It’s just that these stakes happen to feel so close to home, because they are so close to home. They’re the small stakes of friends who live half an hour away, as opposed to half the world. Friends who share each others’ tastes so keenly that the product they make reflects them effortlessly. It’s a chronicle of youth from people still in that youth. And it’s the way that, after a year of personal burnout, watching my friends continue to lift the drumsticks each night ignites a spark of inspiration to do better.
I have no idea how to write a semi-professional review about my friends’ work, so a thank you note will have to suffice.