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Reviewed by Michael Hollywood

Oyawa: Won’t Even Try To Scale It EP

Reviewed by Michael Hollywood

Oyawa: Won’t Even Try To Scale It EP

Recorded and produced by Daryl Tapsell at Blackdoor Studios across the second half of 2015, ‘Won’t Even Try To Scale It’ is the latest from Waiheke Island-based three-piece Oyawa. Checking in at just under half an hour the EP amounts to six tracks of varying degrees of heaviness, headlined by student radio popular Heads On Fire. These tunes are not so much outright heavy, as they are merely weighty, and the band’s careful use of the art of repetition tends to create a sort of dark brooding intensity throughout. There’s an underlying anxiety, a sense of impending doom perhaps, without the music ever really breaking out into anything resembling unabashed card-carrying hard rock. Part of the reason is the occasionally menacing vocal stylings of lead singer Nikki Ngatai (who also plays guitar), as she squeezes every last smidgen of meaning out of a set of lyrics that frequently stare into a rather shadowy abyss. The rhythm pairing of Brett Garrity (bass) and Miles Gillett (drums) complement this voice-as-main-weapon approach perfectly, giving Ngatai’s upfront personality enough room to flourish in its own right. Guitarist Willem van der Plas joins the band for a couple of tracks without radically altering a formula that clearly works, and on this evidence, we certainly won’t have seen or heard the last of Oyawa.