7th October | Rough Trade
There is an ever-growing wave of alternative talent currently cresting somewhere within the southern hemisphere. The Beths, Lime Cordiale and The Chats have already become contemporary staples of their respective genres, seeing their names become increasingly common amongst end-of-year lists and official charts. New Zealand-based alternative songsmiths, Miss June seem destined for that same pedestal and if their recent Rough Trade show is anything to go by, they are certainly deserving of some international praise.
The avant-garde freedom of openers, Grandma’s House is instantly infectious. Whilst they may not be the most technically proficient band on the face of the planet, their manic shades of punk and acidic rhythms are equal parts primal and powerful. Hooky vocal inflections coast atop guttural waves of percussion that harken memories of mid-00s Anti Flag, whilst channelling the arresting presence of London’s Petrol Girls. Rolling drums and lightning guitars balance a passionate soundscape that becomes impossible to ignore, let alone disrespect.
Bristol’s Sapphire Blues have been steadily gaining momentum for a hot minute now. Opening their set with a snarling smirk of feedback, their thunderous percussive weight blends effortlessly with meaty, powerful guitars to knock the air out of the room. Their combination of twitching rhythms and controlled vocals paint a vivid picture of the maniac and the preacher, with neither personality ever fully monopolising the spotlight. Strong, confident diction and commanding stage presence lead this band to entertain rather than simply perform, with a beautifully crafted degree of sonic separation allowing for catharsis and colour amongst strength and mania.
A cacophonous opening refrain gives way to tight, playfully layered composition as Miss June rip into their headline set. The band’s sardonic vocal wit pierces the venue with a sharp and confident presence. There is an aggressive punk spirit bundled tightly within Miss June’s indie-pop production, leaving the outfit projecting a venomous yet approachable appeal in a whirl of dynamically diverse songwriting.
Both the percussive and rhythmic elements of Miss June’s genetic make-up are thick and viscous, displaying a mesmerising contrast to a noticeably softer, sweeter top end of the frequency range. Compositionally there are strong pop structures that generate a foundation for the majority of the band’s catalogue. These hooky, dynamic punches are often wrapped in a bedding of alternative and over-driven sound.
Away from the more conventional tracks, there exist some cuts that channel an air of experimental, off-the-wall songwriting, though these efforts consistently land as playful and endearing. Elements of Mindless Self Indulgence can be heard in some of these scattered rhythms and raucous vocals, though a firm spine of Pixies-brand alternative rock seems to keep any exaggerated meandering in check.
Looping, hypnotic choruses and viciously tight rhythms ensure that Miss June hold a crowd’s attention for as long as they’re willing to perform and, alongside the clear passion and dedication towards their craft, it becomes vividly clear that entertainment courses through this young band’s veins.
See the video for ‘Anomaly’ here: